Thematic Direction


Building Trust, Building Peace: An Agenda for the Future

Over the past decade, progress in science, technology, and economic development have greatly benefitted peacebuilding work. Nevertheless, our world remains fragile; plagued by internal violence and armed conflicts of far reaching geopolitical dimensions, increasing its fragmentation and polarisation. Urgent issues such as climate change and disruptive technologies add to our global complexity. As we strive to navigate these challenges, it is crucial to restore trust and faith in our institutions and, most importantly, in each other. The overarching theme for the 10-year anniversary of the Geneva Peace Week (GPW) is the following :

"Building Trust, Building Peace: An Agenda for the Future"  

We believe that sustainable peace is not just a noble goal but also a critical vector for development, cooperation, and innovation for the larger good of humanity. Join us for a week of insightful discussions, engaging workshops, and inspiring events to build trust, foster cooperation and pave the way for a peaceful future.

In addition, the GPW23 will build on the Geneva Consultations on the New Agenda for Peace held by the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform in March 2023. In particular, it will take stock of the ideas and recommendations generated by these consultations on how to better build peace through prevention by strengthening strategic foresight, human rights, mediation, climate, peace and security, good governance, regulation of conventional weapons and sustainable financing. 

More generally, the GPW’s 10-year anniversary will offer a unique opportunity to reflect on the peacebuilding achievements and setbacks of the past ten years, while setting the scene for fresh insights, concrete and bold recommendations in order to pave the way for a strong agenda for the future.


Partner organisations have the opportunity to organise events or produce digital content focusing on one of the three themes mentioned below, while also considering in their proposal, the general theme of the GPW23, i.e. the importance of (re)building trust as the core foundation of peace. To guide conversations, six areas of particular interest have been identified by the GPW consortium for each of the three thematic tracks.

Promoting peaceful and inclusive societies

The social contract is fraying. A lack of trust between governments and their people and between groups in society breeds scepticism and fuels divisions. Indeed, global peacefulness has steadily declined over the past 15 years. We must renew the social contract and restore trust. The social contract can only be renewed if all people are able to actively and equally participate in society. In our efforts to promote peaceful and inclusive societies, (re)building trust remains a core value. How do we create inclusive peacebuilding processes? What conditions are necessary to promote trust and foster peace?

Topics which could be addressed in this track are:

  1. Inequalities and social justice
  2. Local to global governance
  3. Gender equality and minorities rights
  4. Youth inclusion
  5. Role of conventional arms control in preventing conflicts and building peace
  6. Accountability and transitional justice

Addressing climate change through just transitions

The effects of climate change and environmental degradation are myriad. Resources may become scarcer, environmental crises more frequent, and conflicts more common. We must take immediate action to mitigate the effects of climate change and enact a just transition to a more environmentally sustainable future. However, these transformative processes too may upend traditional power structures, potentially creating friction and conflict. Emphasising trust among parties is critical to the success of a just transition. But what does this look like in practice? What lessons can we draw on to create more just and equity as we face climate change?

Topics which could be addressed in this track are:

  1. Water management and cooperation
  2. Green, just transitions
  3. Climate action
  4. Protection of biodiversity and ecosystems 
  5. Environmental peacebuilding
  6. Responsible business conduct

Harnessing technologies to build a better future

New technologies, like social media, which were meant to shrink the world and bring us closer together are being weaponized to further create divisions and sow distrust among each other. We too must bring fresh ideas and new technologies to the peacebuilding sector to counter the harmful effects of many of these new technologies. How do we regulate the worst impulses of new technologies? And how do we leverage these new tools for good in peacebuilding? What are the implications of different technologies on the future of peacebuilding?

Topics which could be addressed in this track are:

  1. Emerging technologies including artificial intelligence
  2. Cyber warfare, information manipulation and dynamics of conflicts
  3. Tech for good for positive social change 
  4. Strategic foresight
  5. Future of peace missions and operations
  6. Digital peacebuilding including PeaceTech


Please note that the selection committee might consider applications on topics that do not fit into these three thematic tracks. Additional topics must be relevant to peacebuilding efforts and the overarching theme of the 10-year anniversary “Building Trust, Building Peace: An Agenda for the Future,” including on the more specific themes relating to the New Agenda for Peace. To submit your application proposal, please follow the same procedure as for the thematic tracks.