14th Advisory Group Meeting
Peacemaking in Current Times: Complex Challenges and Innovative Solutions
Network Members, Secretariat, and Oman Ministry Members gather in Muscat, Oman for the 14th Advisory Group Meeting. Photo: Hamza al Saqri
The Network’s 14th annual Advisory Group Meeting (AGM) in Muscat, Oman gathered 78 Network Members from 63 different organizations to revisit the Network’s Strategy for 2020-2025, examine emerging trends in peacebuilding, dialogue, and mediation, and discuss our collaboration going in 2023 to continue to translate our strategy into practice. With over 25% of participants being youth, the AGM prioritized intergenerational dialogue and collaboration.
Since its inception in 2013, the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemaker’s Annual Advisory Group Meeting has served as an opportunity for friends and colleagues to gather for reflection, learning, and networking to uplift the imperative role of religious and traditional actors in addressing some of our most pressing global challenges. This year’s event was hosted through the generous support of the Ministry for Endowment and Religious Affairs, Oman, and KAICIID Intercultural Dialogue Center.
The meeting opened on Monday, November 14th with a keynote discussion led by Palwasha Kakar, Interim Director of Religion and Inclusive Societies at the United States Institute of Peace, inviting Network Members to reflect on the role of religious and traditional actors as peacemakers in light of emerging global challenges, including but not limited to complex inter and intra state conflicts, destabilizing climate change, a rise in polarization and extremism, and more recently a global pandemic.
H.E. Minister Mohammed Said Al Mamari, Minister of the Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs, Sultanate of Oman provides opening remarks on day 1 of the AGM. Photo: Triss Yap
Saumya Aggarwal (UNOY) shares reflective points after group activity. Photo: Triss Yap
Matthias Eder (IRDIS) shares reflections after group activity. Photo: Triss Yap
Network Members then broke into small groups and were encouraged to reflect on the emerging trends discussed in the keynote panel and share how their organization is responding to new challenges and opportunities to advance the Network’s priorities. The first day concluded with a Fireside Chat with Traditional and Faith-Oriented Inside Mediators moderated by Mr. Peter Nsenkeng, Political Affairs Officer at the UN Mediation Support Unit.
In reflection on ways forward/opportunities for religious and traditional actors in building peace, Network Members explored topics related to increasing meaningful youth participation, ensuring ample opportunities for networking and connectivity, reducing the digital divide, increasing gendered interpretations of religious texts as well as female participation in interreligious dialogues, and active inclusion of women and youth in mediation spaces.
“… The 2022 Advisory Group Meeting – AGM – is a success story. From Local to Global, we arrived to share experiences, culture, thoughts, future perspectives, and food, in a very friendly atmosphere. It was a time for networking to keep our work moving forward as one.”
Network Member, Seconde Nyanzobe, Advocacy Officer, ISOKO Partners for Peace and Gender Equality
Network Member Nuruddeen Lemu participate in Bingo Activity at the AGM. Photo: Triss Yap
Network Members Monicah Charo and Lucyana Yulia participate in Bingo Activity at the AGM. Photo: Triss Yap
Network Members Pia and Palawasha Kakar participate in Bingo Activity at the AGM. Photo: Triss Yap
Advisory Group Meeting Day 1. Photo: Triss Yap
The second day of the AGM, Tuesday, November 15th, opened with a series of reflections from Network members on the content of the first day’s agenda, as well as a short reflection from the 20 youth Network members who participated in a connecting cultures program prior to the start of the AGM. Click here to learn more about the program.
The day continued with a panel discussion focused on how the Network can deepen its commitment to advance inclusivity within its five-year strategic plan to go further in advancing the leadership of women, youth, and marginalized groups.
Network Member Wisdom Addo with H.E. Minister Mohammed Said Al Mamari, Minister of Religious and Endowments, Sultanate of Oman.
“[This was] my first time of participating in an international gathering for Network Members and I was blown away by the Secretariat program activities. The representation of the youth, women, religious leaders and civil societies really portray the vision and mission of the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers. I want to express my profound gratitude to the Ministry of Endowment and Religious Affairs, the people of Oman for their hospitality shown to each and everyone of us, and seriously leading the way of an exceptional peaceful country.”
Network Member, Wisdom Addo, Executive Director, West African Centre for Peace
Throughout the meeting, opportunities were created for Network members to share innovative tools and resources related to the Network’s mission. Click here to view a list of Network members and their resources. The day concluded with interactive small group discussions inviting participants to reflect on the main takeaways from the prior two days in relation to where the Network should focus its efforts going into 2023. Network members were also encouraged to commit to a “powerful action item” for advancing the Network’s mission.
Following the AGM, participants attended and participated in Oman’s celebration of the United Nations Day of Tolerance. Click here to read the event highlights! Through the support of the Ministry for Religious Affairs and Endowments, participants toured cultural sites of Muscat, including the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, the Oman National Museum, and the Souk.
Network Member Saurav Upadhyay (Alliance for Peacebuilding) engaging with ceiling scriptures inside the Grand Mosque. Photo: Élie Khoury
Network Member Amal Al Wahaibi (Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs Oman) and Network Secretariat Member Rachel Palermo share a photo together. Photo: Élie Khoury
Network Members [from left to right] Carla Schraml (Berghof Foundation), Palawasha Kakar (Interim Director of Religion and Inclusive Society at USIP), and Nura Detweiler (Berghof Foundation) at the Grand Mosque. Photo: Triss Yap
Network Members [from left to right] Fiona Davidson, Zainab Hassan (SGEM), Seconde Nyanzobe (Isoko Partners), Sister Zeph (ZWEE), and Network Secretariat Member Johanna Hakulinen at the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque.
Traditional market, the Souk (1). Photo: Triss Yap
Traditional market, the Souk (2). Photo: Triss Yap
About the Peacemakers Network Members
The Network membership comprises over 100 organizations around the world that seek to support new ways of strengthening the positive engagement of religious and traditional peacemakers in peace and peacebuilding processes. The Network supports collaborative work and engagement. Working collaboratively is more than just the intersection of common goals – it involves engaged, collective determination to reach shared objectives of collaboratively supporting the positive role of religious and traditional actors.
Follow the Network on social!