Who is the Network open to? Only sitting parliamentarians?

The Parliamentarians Network is open to any current or former Member of Parliament, from regional, national or supranational parliaments, who wishes to be a part of building an effective structure for conflict prevention.

Where did the Parliamentarians Network come from?

The EastWest Institute’s International Task Force on Preventive Diplomacy issued a Declaration Making Conflict Prevention Real in December 2007. The members of the Task Force called for the establishment of the Parliamentarians Network as one mechanism to ensure effective change in the existing conflict prevention architecture.

Why was the Parliamentarians Network started?

The Parliamentarians Network is viewed as an initial answer to the existing deficiencies in the global conflict prevention architecture and a way to generate the necessary political will within parliament for the effective prevention of conflicts turning violent. As people’s representatives, parliamentarians are particularly well-placed within their respective states to understand and provide solutions to the many intricate issues that may contribute to conflict.

What is the Parliamentarians Network’s added value? Aren’t there many other parliamentary networks out there already?

We are unique as an international group of parliamentarians with an exclusive focus on conflict prevention, dedicated to mobilizing national and international resources towards the prevention of conflict turning violent.

There are established regional networks devoted to similar causes, and existing international networks working on comparable but not identical issues (like peacebuilding, ongoing conflicts, etc). These networks offer opportunities for cooperation and collective action.

What is the Parliamentarians Network's big goal?

Our principal goals are to generate political will and increase resource allocation toward conflict prevention. Political will has yet to be fully realized among the members of the international community so that they respond consistently and effectively to prevent large-scale violence. Securing the necessary resources to strengthen and support a solid institutional architecture for conflict prevention is another important and critical step toward making conflict prevention real. Furthermore, the Network aims at bringing together parliamentarians to share experiences and create mutual trust thereby increasing security and decreasing the adversary nature of their relationships.

Why did the Parliamentarians Network change its name?

The Parliamentarians Network for Conflict Prevention was initially called "The Parliamentarians Network for Conflict Prevention and Human Security". The Network’s former Executive Committee, however, took a decision during its meeting on June 17, 2010 to shorten the name based on consultation with some members and the notion that human security aspects are imbedded in the principles of conflict prevention. There are additional public relations benefits with the shorter name. You can still, however, see the former title in some of the Network's meeting reports and documents created before June 2010.

What is conflict prevention?

One of the main difficulties with the notion of conflict prevention is that it can cover the whole range of activities associated with the mitigation and management of violent discord. What makes it even more difficult is that different organizations employ the term in different ways. So we have chosen not to define conflict prevention in the traditional sense of the term but to use a broader, more inclusive explanation that encompasses the whole gamut of activities associated with the prevention and mitigation of violent conflict.

Ultimately, sustainable peace is achievable only if all stakeholders work together. Parliamentarians from around the globe, in cooperation with the international community, the public, and all interested and affected parties, must work towards removing the incentives for violent conflict by addressing the root sources of tension within and between societies, states, and regions and together build effective and sustainable “top‐down bottom‐up” approaches to conflict prevention.

Do you only focus on international conflicts? What about internal conflicts?

Part of what we do is to build the political will to recognize that conflict prevention issues transcend state boundaries. Given our global interdependence, it is obvious that not one state is isolated from the effects of conflict in another country, be it in terms of refugees, organized crime, or environmental degradation and climate change.

Do you get involved in current conflicts?

The international community already has in place structures for dealing with ongoing conflict. We are not part of or integrated into that chain of command, so rather we act as an advisor, promoter, initiator, and watch dog for conflict prevention efforts. Our goal is to generate political will and raise awareness for conflict prevention with our national constituencies and governments along with other key international decision-makers.

Where do your figures/statistics come from? Are they reliable?

The figures we use come from sources such as the UN, the OECD, private think-tanks, non-governmental organizations, and trusted academic research institutions, and are offered on good faith.

More questions? Let us know!