The Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 70

Let’s stand up for equality, justice and human dignity

Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December – the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This year, Human Rights Day marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a milestone document that proclaimed the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being — regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. It is the most translated document in the world, available in more than 500 languages. Read more

Second RYCO Open Call

The Second RYCO Open Call is now open!

Deadline for applying: 25 January 2019, 23.59 CET

Under the present Call for Proposals, RYCO intends to support and empower civil society organizations and secondary schools to implement activities in the areas of regional youth cooperation, mobility and exchange; and enabling environment for regional youth cooperation. Read more

Connecting W Balkan Youth in Sarajevo

SARAJEVO – The European Union recognizes the regional cooperation in the Western Balkans as one of the priorities in the region. In order to promote and improve cooperation possibilities and reconciliation between the young people in the region, the EU Info Center in Sarajevo, in cooperation with RYCO and Ministry of Civil Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, organized the panel discussion “Connecting Western Balkan Youth”

“Connectivity is not only building bridges, railways or highways, it is also an important task to bring the people together. It is the exactly what the Regional Youth Cooperation Office is doing. The European Union will continue to support the regional cooperation, improvement of mobility and connectivity of youth. In the end, the young people have a task – the young people of BiH and the region – to bring their countries in the EU and we expect a lot from them. We also have to ensure them tools for such endeavour, and RYCO is one of the ways in which we support them”, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation in Bosnia and Herzegovina Mr Khaldoun Sinno said.

For the European Union, mobility, connectivity and regional cooperation are crucial for further growth and development, especially in the youth cooperation field. The regional cooperation fosters the EU enlargement process and it is of a key importance for the reform processes and sustainable economic growth of the Western Balkans.

RYCO Secretary General Mr Đuro Blanuša pointed out that RYCO is a result of cooperation between the governments of the region and civil society organizations. He said that RYCO is one of the reconciliation mechanisms in the region. “We are doing everything we can to bring the young people together, but also the societies and people of the region. We want to give an opportunity to the young people to learn from each other, overcome prejudices and stereotypes as they would cooperate, make new friendships and develop new ideas”, Mr Blanuša concluded.

The six projects supported by RYCO presented their activities and project ideas. Despite the fact that some of the projects are still being implemented, they achieved essential results in connecting the young people, the high school students at the first place, who were visiting their peers in the region, worked together on creative initiatives as well as created new conditions for improvement and further development of reconciliations prospects and strengthening common understanding of the young people in the Western Balkans. Conference in Vienna

PEACE TRAINING is a dynamic field which requires creativity and innovation but also constant engagement, information sharing and coordination among its practitioners. Thus, to contribute in creating a forum for collaborative engagements among different stakeholders in CPPB, organised a Practitioners Conference at the Sigmund Freud Private University in Vienna in Vienna from 1-2 October 2018. The conference which was titled “Shaping the Future of Peace Training in Europe and Beyond”, brought together about 150 practitioners from over 37 countries around the world and across different sectors including civil society organisations, training institutions, military, diplomatic and research institutions. The purpose of conference was to create a conducive environment for discourses around the future of peacetraining not only in Europe but worldwide. More importantly, we aimed to share with other actors from training and conflict prevention and peacebuilding (CPPB) practice our project results which included, inter alia workshops, reports, academic publications, a multi-functional web platform and CPPB handbook.

The conference was a great success. The 20 workshops, panels and informal spaces were refreshingly interactive and extremely rewarding. In the words of Picasso, “inspiration exists, but it has to find you working”; and indeed, as practitioners interacted and harmoniously worked together at the conference, inspiration thrived.

For many participants, the conversations and ideas sharing did not only inspire them professionally but also personally. The keynote address and plenary on the first day provided a useful and critical foundation by laying down the contextual relevance and realities in the field as well as facilitating an “energetic and interesting” discussions. The Plenary One titled ‘Mapping the Needs and Challenges in the Field of Peace Training’ in particular elicited enthusiasm among the participants who in the spirit of camaraderie openly engaged in the group discussions; ‘providing a momentum’ which made the conference special and fit for purpose. Plenaries and workshops on novelty, self-care and stress management, CSDP training, e-learning methods and approaches, leadership development, networking among others were professionally inspiring and personally motivating. One participant noted of her experience from the session on self-care and stress management: “It has reminded me about the importance of the “human factor” in peace training and that courses can and should do much more in preparing staff working in difficult environments…It inspired me to include self-care and stress management techniques in modules in courses I design and organize.”

Furthermore, it is said that ‘iron sharpens iron’ and indeed, the creation of such collaborative spaces allowed for the co-creation of new knowledge and learnings as well as much needed ‘fresh’ insights as participants interacted and shared their experiences with each other. Over the course of the 2-day conference, participants learnt new tools and ideas from each other which they could apply in their CPPB work. Serious games such as Mission Zhobia ; arts-based methods such as image sculpting and participatory videos; USIP online courses on CPPB ; and human-centred approach to training; were among the many new learnings which participants benefitted from.

The demonstration of Mission Zhobia expounded the complexities of using and evaluating the impact of technological/computer-based games in training especially in conflict settings, whilst highlighting the potential benefits such games could have in future CPPB trainings. These workshops proved that “accessible forms of e-learning, serious gaming and simulation have a huge potential that should be explored, tested and evaluated in the future.” Additionally, “micro-courses” such as those introduced by USIP are not only cost-effective and time saving tools for self-paced learning, but also a step towards the development of more innovative tools such as mobile/smartphone training apps. These will facilitate easy access by trainees across different continents.

Undeniably, while progress has been made, there are also challenges which continue to persist in the practice of CPPB and peace training; some of which were equally underscored during the conference and are consistent with our project findings see reports.

Peace Education

Della has been teaching secondary and adult education for over 20 years. She holds a BS in Sociology, MEd in Reading, and is ABD on the MComm in Storytelling.
In this lesson, we’ll discuss why peace education is more important now than it has ever been. We’ll also look at the ten primary objectives covered in a peace education program.

Peace Education: Importance

Strategies for achieving peace fall under three basic categories: peacekeeping, peacemaking, and peacebuilding. =&0=&generally involves police or military action and strives to achieve peace through strength and force. =&1=& involves communication skills like conflict resolution and mediation strategies for interacting non-violently with others. Both of these categories are reactive approaches that kick in after a violent incident has occurred. =&2=&, on the other hand, is a more proactive approach that uses peace education as a means of creating a more stable and peaceful culture, thereby preventing violent incidents from occurring. Peace education is critical to creating a culture that reduces the need for peacemaking and peacekeeping by developing a comprehensive program that teaches people how to interact with others and avoid unnecessary aggression. Let’s look at the objectives typically found in peace education.


There are ten primary objectives of peacebuilding, or peace education. These goals rely on the assumption that while violent conflict is unavoidable, there is a process by which we can address conflict and minimize violence. Peace education seeks to reduce violence and promote peacebuilding using the following objectives to inform the instruction. Let’s review each one:

Appreciate the Concept of Peace

This objective is met by studying the arts and humanities as they relate to peace. Literature such as novels and religious text, films, and documentaries; fine art such as paintings and photography; and even performance art such as theater and music all provide a rich backdrop for understanding the concept of peace and appreciating the art created in its honor.

Address Fears

It is in the nature of warmongers to incite fear among people to generate support for their genocide. Dismantling this deeply ingrained fear is one of the goals of peace education. Peace educators are prepared to allay the fears their students have about both major world conflict and war, as well as their own interpersonal conflicts.

Provide Information about Security

Peace education students need to understand the way national security systems work so they can begin to conceptualize alternatives to war that will keep the nation safer in the future. Peace educators teach about the implications of the arms race and international policy, the nature of the military, the militarization of the police, and the prison industrial complex.

Understand War Behavior

Another objective of peace education is to understand the behavior of war and the conditions under which a group will seek organized violence as an answer to conflict. Peace education students gain exposure to several peaceful societies as well as the role of individuals like Hitler and Napoleon in historical conflicts.

29 Nov, Yugoslavia:Day of the Republic

The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFR Yugoslavia or SFRY) was a country located in Central and Southeastern Europe that existed from its foundation in the aftermath of World War II until its dissolution in 1992 amid the Yugoslav Wars. Covering an area of 255,804 km² (98,766 sq mi), the SFRY was bordered by Italy to the west, Austria and Hungary to the north, Bulgaria and Romania to the east, and Albania and Greece to the south.

It was a socialist state and a federation governed by the League of Communists of Yugoslavia and made up of six socialist republics: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia with Belgrade as its capital. In addition, it included two autonomous provinces within Serbia: Kosovo and Vojvodina.

The SFRY traces to 26 November 1942, when the Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslaviawas formed during World War II. On 29 November 1945, the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia was proclaimed after King Peter II deposed, thus ending the monarchy. Until 1948, the new communist governmentoriginally sided with the Eastern bloc under the leadership of Josip Broz Tito at the beginning of the Cold War, but after the Tito–Stalin split of 1948, the SFRY pursued a policy of neutrality. It became one of the founding members of the Non-Aligned Movement, and transitioned from a planned economy to market socialism.

Following the death of Tito on 4 May 1980, the Yugoslav economy started to collapse, which increased unemployment and inflation. The economic crisis led to a rise in ethnic nationalism in the late 1980s and early 1990s; dissidence resulted among the multiple ethnicities within the constituent republics.

With the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, inter-republic talks on transformation of the federation also failed. In 1991 some European states recognized their independence. The federation collapsed along federal borders, followed by the start of the Yugoslav Wars, and the final downfall and breakup of the federation on 27 April 1992. Two of its republics, Serbia and Montenegro, remained within a reconstituted state known as the “Federal Republic of Yugoslavia”, but this union was not recognized internationally as the official successor state to the SFRY. The term “former Yugoslavia” (bivša Jugoslavija/бивша Југославија) is now commonly used retrospectively.

Making Mediation: Peace Processes Work

Making Mediation & Peace Processes Work: Peacemaking in Deeply Divided Societies and Challenging Conflicts is a unique three-day Advanced Professional Training designed for governments, UN agencies and missions, and national and international organisations working with mediation, negotiations, dialogue processes (from community to national and inter-party levels), peacemaking, and peace processes. The programme is intended for expert mediators and parties to mediation and negotiation processes seeking to identify measures to strengthen and improve their processes.

Facilitated by an expert practitioner, the programme will assist those involved in mediation and peacemaking efforts – before, during or postwar – to address key challenges and explore practical ways of improving the quality and results of their mediation and peacemaking processes.


Carried out in cooperation with the Department of Peace Operations (DPO) of PATRIR, the programme is also designed to actively assist mediation and peace processes. Technical Assistance is provided to ensure customized support for participating experts, representatives and organisations and agencies. In several cases, both / multiple mediation parties and mediators have taken part in the programme to assist them by providing a space to step out from their normal contexts and to go indepth, in a facilitated process, into improving their meditation and peacemaking skills, methods and approaches.


Click here for more information.

Title –     Designing for Impact: Improving the Quality, Impact and Effectiveness of Peacebuilding & Development Programming (Advanced Professional Training)

Organiser – International Peace and Development Training Centre (IPDTC) – Peace Action, Training and Research Institute of Romania (PATRIR)

Date- 3-7 December 2018

Location               Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Short  description


Designing for Impact: Improving the Quality, Impact and Effectiveness of Peacebuilding & Development Programming is an intensive training programme designed for agencies, organisations and practitioners working in conflict, crisis and post-war stabilisation and recovery who wish to improve the quality, effectiveness and sustainable impact of their programmes – including crisis management and prevention, peacebuilding, social, economic and political stabilisation, reconciliation in divided communities, and postwar recovery, rehabilitation and development. Drawing on more than 30 years of experience in over 40 countries, Designing for Impact: Improving the Quality, Impact and Effectiveness of Peacebuilding & Development Programming represents the most advanced training programme of its kind for policymakers, practitioners, governments and donors internationally. There is a gap between the scale of people’s efforts and investment, the huge number of programmes, activities and organisations in the field, and the impact this is all having on peacebuilding and sustainable post-war recovery and stabilisation. This programme has been designed to close that gap. It is practical and operational, designed for policy makers, donors and practitioners, and those dealing with the daily challenges of peacebuilding, development and recovery in areas affected by war and violence. Unlike almost every programme in the field today, it draws from across the entire breadth of operational experience, lessons learned and practical methodologies – doing so in a way that has been designed to enable agencies and organisations to go in-depth into their work and how they are doing it, coming out with better designs, better approaches, and with real effects.

What you get from this course:


Draw upon best practices and lessons learned in peacebuilding, development and post-war recovery programme development and implementation to improve planning and implementation.

Work through all stages of programme development, design, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and follow-through using own cases and programmes

Develop effective, customized processes relevant for your organisations’ missions and the needs and contexts in which you are working

Improve applied conflict and situation analysis and conflict intelligence to support better design of peacebuilding, development and post-war recovery programmes which can operate effectively and contribute to transforming root causes and impacts

Develop improved skills for designing relevant and appropriate programme and engagement strategies and activities, including crisis management and prevention, peacebuilding, socioeconomic and political stabilization, reconciliation in divided communities, and post-war recovery, rehabilitation and development.

Address key issues including: sustainability, ownership, challenges and collapse of peace and recovery processes, impact and effectiveness, gender, human rights stabilization and security, multi-track engagement

Support local capacity development and strengthening community and national ownership

Design peacebuilding and conflict transformation intervention for specific communities and sectors: including conflict party leadership, national and cultural groups, youth, women, media, & business

Develop tools to assist your organization for short, medium and long-term engagements.

Click here for more information and here to apply.

BIH Marks Dayton Anniversary

23 years ago, Bosnia’s wartime President Alija Izetbegovic, Croatia’s Franjo Tudjman and Yugoslavia’s Slobodan Milosevic put their initials on the Dayton Peace Agreement, which ended the 1992-1995 war in the country.

“This is not a just peace, but it is more just than a continuation of the war. In this situation, and in this world as it is, a better peace could not have been reached,” Izetbegovic said following the ceremony of the signing of this Agreement on December 14, 1995, in the Palace of Versailles in Paris.

The Agreement was initialled by the three leaders earlier, following a three-week peace conference at the Wright-Patterson Airforce Base in Dayton, Ohio.