• Leaders in the field of conflict transformation and peacebuilding met in Dubai recently to mark the 40th anniversary of Search for Common Ground.
  •  The anniversary marked the launch of the 40 Campaign which set out 40 Calls to Action that the public can undertake to find common ground in their communities.
  • 10 initial actions were launched as part of the 40 campaign, with 30 more actions to be rolled out throughout 2022.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Search for Common Ground, the world’s largest peacebuilding organization, recently marked its 40th anniversary in Dubai by bringing together leaders in the field of conflict transformation and peacebuilding to discuss how to implement their strategy over the next few years. To celebrate its anniversary, the organisation has launched a series of 40 calls-to-action as part of its campaign to engage the public in promoting peace.

Operating in 31 countries across the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Africa, and North America, the organization works to end conflict and to build healthy, safe, and just societies all over the world.

Assembling in Dubai last week among dozens of Search for Common Ground’s peacebuilding leaders for a meeting to explore the organization’s strategy for the next few years were Shamil Idriss, CEO of Search for Common Ground; Zuhra Bahman, Afghanistan Country Director; Allassane Drabo, Regional Director in West Africa; and Joseph Mariampillai, Country Director in Myanmar, who are all working on the frontlines of violent conflict zones.

To recognize 40 years of Search for Common Ground the organization will be recommending 40 actions that people can take to find common ground in their lives, communities, and countries. The first ten actions are now released and include the key themes of:

  • Giving Backthrough providing financial support to Search for Common Ground’s local peacebuilders and other organizations working to promote peace in conflict zones.
  • Getting Involved: which outlines how individuals can partake in the larger movement by spreading the word on Search for Common Ground’s work and by supporting young common-ground activists through the Youth, Peace, & Security Fund. The fund works to support young people, the excluded and overlooked majority, who are reducing violence in conflict settings through their efforts.
  • Learning New Skills: which includes a number of recommendations to equip individuals with the ability to identify and prevent the spread of fake news, as well as providing them with virtual dialogue facilitation trainings.
  • Getting inspired: through listening to Breakthroughs, Search for Common Ground’s podcast about supposed enemies tackling tough problems.

On the occasion of it’s 40th anniversary, Shamil Idriss, CEO of Search for Common Ground stated: “We are happy to be uniting leaders from our offices around the world in the UAE to celebrate our 40th anniversary and to commemorate decades of building trust between enemies through finding a common ground. These breakthroughs for peace over the last 40 years prove that the Common Ground Approach works. With the 40 Campaign, we are inaugurating our next 40 years of work to transform conflict into cooperation, and calling everyone — from ordinary citizens to world leaders — to focus on and find common ground. It’s the most effective way to face the challenges of the 21st century, from the climate crisis to the specter of nuclear war.

“Hope for a more peaceful world is real and actionable, we know this from having been on the frontlines of conflict for 40 years – the Cold War in the 80s, the Balkans in the 90s, Sierra Leone and Liberia in the 00’s, and conflict zones such as Myanmar today – common ground paves the pathway to lasting peace. That is  possible today, too, if we all take effective individual actions to find common ground.”

Search for Common Ground’s methodology, the Common Ground Approach, builds trust between supposed enemies, triggers collaboration towards shared goals, and generates breakthroughs for peace.

About Search for Common Ground

Search For Common Ground is the largest dedicated peacebuilding organization. Since 1982, we have worked to end violent conflict and to build healthy, safe, and just societies all over the world. Currently, we work in 31 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and North America.