Courtesy of Hans Sinn <hansinn@superaje.com>

A Civilian Peace Service

On Dec. 12. 1998 the German government announced its intention to create a Civilian Peace Service (CPS). The service will have a threefold task: peacemaking, peacekeeping and peace building. The CPS will be comprised of men and women trained in the skills of non-violent conflict management. The new service will be based on those non-governmental organizations which
have a proven record in the field of non-violent conflict management, human rights and the delivery of foreign aid. The CPS will come under the auspices of the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The BMZ is at this time creating the infrastructure for and define the task of the new undertaking. The BMZ will release the results of its deliberations after June 1. 1999.

In the meantime some seventy German NGOs have formed a "Consortium Civilian Peace Service" and arrived on April 7. 1999 at an agreement (below) of how to approach the Government and relate to its new initiative. The agreement reflects the difficulties of trying to introduce a pro-active, violence prevention element into the familiar re-active government foreign aid

About 45 NGOs, whose emphasis is on peacemaking and which are currently operating under the heading of "Forum Civilian Peace Service and Action Community Peace Services, have as yet no standing in German law. Unlike development work, there is nothing in German law which recognizes peacemaking as a profession. Thus the laws which would cover the activities
of a Civilian Peace Service have yet to be created. In the meantime the Peace NGOs are trying to share with the Development NGOs their standing in law.

To this end a number of German peace and development NGOs have come together as "Consortium Peace Service". They have agreed on "Professional Peace Service in Cooperative Development Work" as a transitional concept, until such time when the German government has rooted peacemaking in law.


Common Concepts for a "Professional Peace Service in Cooperative
Development Work"

The Consortium Civilian Peace Service has acknowledged and discussed the "Concept for a Professional Peace Service in Cooperative Development Work" by the Co-partnership of Development Services (AGdD).  The consortium has built upon the experience and further developed the proposals of the Action Committee Peace Service and Forum Civilian Peace
Service in the course of arriving at the "Common Concept Professional Peace Service in Cooperative Development Work"

0. Political Perspectives

0.1 The tasks of the Civilian Peace Service have evolved in response to recent global changes. These tasks go beyond the realm of cooperation in development work, and require the cooperation of government and social forces.

0.2 The Consortium understands therefore the Civilian Peace Service as a field of work which traverses the policies of the Federal Government and touches upon the mandates of a number of government departments.

0.3 The members of the Consortium are prepared to accept, in the realization of a Civilian Peace Service a large share of responsibility.

0.4 The delivery of cooperative development service is at this time limited by the Development Helper - Law (EhfG) to those carriers who have come together in the   'Co-partnership for Development Services'. ("carriers" are those in charge of (mandated)  and responsible for a particular service)

The Consortium intends to consult with the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the relevant bodies of parliament, on how to create a legal base, which will enable the Action Committee Service for Peace (AGDF) and the Forum Civilian Peace Services to act as self-reliant carriers of professional peace forces in the cooperative
development work.

0.5 Under the current Development-Helper Law, the carriers who are recognized by that law cooperate with the other members of the Consortium in the following manner: Professional Peace Service in Cooperative Development Work as contribution for the Civilian Peace Service.

1.0 The members of the Consortium Civilian Peace Service (members of the Co-partnership of the Development Services (AGdD), Action Community Services for Peace (AGdF), Forum Civilian Peace Service welcome the endorsement of the work by the Federal Government. The members of the Consortium are prepared to participate in building and shaping a
"Professional Peace Service in the Cooperative Development Service" as a step toward the Civilian Peace Service.

1.1 The members of the Consortium presuppose that a future Civilian Peace Service will encompass different and complementary components. For a "Professional Peace Service in Cooperative Development Work" the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is the responsible agency.

1.2 The object of the participation by the members of the Consortium in creating a "Professional Peace Service in Cooperative Development Work" may be summed up as follows:

The assertion that "Development policy is Peace policy" may be correct at the meta political level. Nevertheless, the tasks and the work of a Civilian Peace Service must be clearly differentiated from the familiar tasks and work of the development services. The common elements of both peace and development work must be identified so that the specific character of the Civilian Peace Service will become apparent.

 Promotion of democracy and human rights as well as strengthening the Civil Society is important objectives of development services. The actors in this field are primarily Church based bodies, nongovernmental organizations and political foundations. From the perspective of a Civilian Peace Service these are supporting and complimentary activities which help to create the
necessary preconditions for non-violent conflict management. The specific tasks of a CPS call for measures and strategies, which go beyond the familiar development work and require new qualifications by the persons deployed.

Development services and peace services have emphasized their various experiences in publications and position papers and generally agree that the activities of a Civilian Peace Service appear to be threefold:
I. Prevention of violent conflict, Peacekeeping.
II.Intervention in the course of a violent conflict, Peacemaking
III.Reconstruction in the aftermath of a violent conflict, Peace Building.

The AGdD and the peace service have experience in all three areas, but mainly in prevention and reconstruction (creating the structures of civil society, trauma work, reintegration of refugees etc.). Past work has also shown that it is occasionally necessary to enable an afflicted people to manage their conflict by non-violent means. It is here that there is a  significant overlap of cooperative development work and a Civilian Peace Service.

Basis of the participation of the members of the Consortium Civilian Peace Service in "Professional Peace Service in Cooperative Development Work"

2.0 The members of the Co-partnership Development Services have decades long experiences in the placement/deployment of professionals in the area of promoting peace producing measures. They also have a proven infrastructure for the selection, preparation and accompaniment and in personal cooperation. Based on their work in their own society the peace services, their activities in development countries in partnership with native people  have a proven capacity to identify and educate peace
professionals, to deploy native and foreign personnel and obtain the support of institutions and organizations on site.

2.1 The "Professional Peace Service in Cooperative Development Work" can, as an institution, build upon these presuppositions. Beyond this there is a need to further develop the already available institutions and processes.

2.2 The existing experiences and promotional practices are relevant to the three phases of conflict management. Particularly to phase one, The prevention violent conflict (peacekeeping) and phase three the rebuilding of a society after a violent conflict (peace building).

We view participation in the phase of conflict intervention as a new challenge. This includes protecting people in danger, advice during conflict, measures to deescalate a conflict and various forms of mediation.

2.3 The primary carriers of civilian conflict management are in "Professional Peace Service in Cooperative Development Work" those local, existing organizations which are in keeping with our approach and whose actions we support. We do not plan to participate in civilian nonviolent conflict management in places where there are no ties to the structures of local partners who initiate and adhere to peace promoting measures and processes.

3.0 Carriership of the "Professional Peace Service in Cooperative Development Service in the context of the Development Helper-Law and the regulation of the cooperation of the members of the Consortium.

3.1 The participation of the "Professional Peace Service in Cooperative Development Work" within the Development-Helper Law is up to the current, recognized carriers of the development service. These carriers could make a "Professional Peace Service in Cooperative Development Service" part of their program. They could help with measures with the above-mentioned aim and on the above-mentioned basis, together with the partnership organizations on site.

3.2 The members of the Consortium, which are not recognized as carriers of the development service participate via the "Professional Peace Service in Cooperative Development" by means of their own programs and/or in cooperation with the recognized carries of the development services.

3.3 Desired forms of cooperation are:
(a) Education and qualification of peace professionals
(b) Placement and deployment of peace professionals (Coop-  Projects)
(c) Services for peace professionals

It must be emphasized that cooperation in accordance with 3.3 allows for promotional measures also in regions where the recognized carriers of the development services do not have their own partnership structures.

4.0 Tasks and Profile of the "Professional Peace Service in Cooperative Development Service"

4.1 "The Professional Peace Service in Cooperative Development Work" intend to become recognized on the basis of the performance standards which are to developed jointly, and to which the carrier oblige themselves, and to which all activities are expected to measure up to. The Consortium is seeking a dialogue with the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development about these standards.

The following minimum standards apply to the "Professional Peace Service in Cooperative Development Work".

4.1.1 Profile of the qualifications of the professionals.
(a) Several years of proven professional experience.
(b) Proven intercultural experiences if possible overseas on in developing countries.
(c) Additional qualifications in the field of non-violent conflict management.
(d) Minimum age of 28 years, except when justified by specific tasks such as working with young people, the age minimum may be lowered to 25 years.
(e) Knowledge of appropriate foreign language.
(f) Stable personality with proven social and intercultural competence and ability to manage stress.
g) Be in good health

4.1.2. Partner- and Project Selection.
(a) Local as well as international organizations, which are structurally anchored on site, are seen as potential partners.
(b) The selection must consider especially the specific role of the native partner in a conflict situation. Selection must further take note of the special security and communication interest and the function of the exploring/sent peace professionals (task mandate and loyalty on site).

4.1.3. Preparation of Peace Professionals
(a) Decisive is professional and life experience in combination with the necessary qualifications which are required for the fulfillment of the task.
(b) The carriers will see to it that preparations of the professional will be individual and future task oriented.
(c) There will be additional professional preparations or education according to a basic yet to be developed curriculum. From case to case, outside trainers and educators may be used.
(d) Language training in Europe - by the use of existing programs of the development services.
(e) Teaching of the culture, social, political and economic structure of the area in which the peace professional will operate.
(f) Acquainting the peace professional with the character and orientation of the carrier organization.

4.1.4 The care of the peace professional on site
(a) Administratively: by the partner on site and the carrier/ cooperative partner (assurance of an appropriate administrative care is part of the selection of a project and on site project partner)
(b) Professionally: the peace professional may be supported by the relevant resource persons/ institutions. Here for instance, peace and conflict research institutes and actors in the field of civilian conflict management may come into play.
(c) Psychosocial support: if needed, possibly by a suitable agency on site.  Still to be explored is if the carrier organizations should jointly have counselors on call, or in some cases provide counseling in cooperation with established institutions.

4.1.5 Evaluation  and personal debriefing:
(a) Upon return from the field there will be a debriefing and joint evaluation of the placement in terms of goals met. In some cases debriefing will include psychological counseling.
(b) When needed, further psychosocial after care will be offered. It is up to the specific carriers of the " Professional Peace Service in Cooperative Development Work" to go beyond the basic agreed upon performance standards.

April 7, 1999. Consortium Civilian Peace Service
Signed: Gertraude Kaiser,
Signed: Klaus Wilkens, Chair of AGDF
Signed: Dr. Tilman Evers, Member of the Forum ZFD Executive.

(Translation and introduction by Hans Sinn)
Brooke Valley Road 687
Perth, Ontario
Tel: 613 264 8833
Fax: 613 264 8605
Civilian Peace Service <http://www.superaje.com/~marsin/cps.htm>

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Last Update: 13 Jul 2000