The Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) is a global network led by civil society organisations (CSOs) actively working to prevent violent conflict and build more peaceful societies. The network consists of 15 regional networks, with priorities and agendas specific to their regional contexts.

At present, the North American Regional Secretariat is being hosted by Mexico and lodged in the organization Centro de Colaboración Cívica. PACS-Can was voted in as an official partner organization at the most recent GPPAC regional meeting in Chiapas, Mexico in October.

On October 9-11, I attended the “Exchange of Experiences” forum in Moxviquill, Chiapas. Members of numerous local partner organizations gathered for an exchange aimed at developing common directions for peacebuilding work in the region. Discussions were mobilized through a World Café process that deepened understandings and developed program areas to be enhanced and implemented.

A field trip to Las Abejas (site of a massacre in 1997, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Las_Abejas) grounded the peacebuilding explorations towards the challenges experienced by one local group. The group’s struggle to be heard in the international arena provoked much reflection on the dimensions, applications, and limitations of contemporary peacebuilding practice.

Participation in GPPAC is an opportunity for PACS-Can and its members to engage with broader networks and to consider new peacebuilding ideas and alternatives. Key programmatic priorities for GPPAC North America include:

  1. Human security. Inequality and exclusion: xenophobia and discrimination, especially towards indigenous populations in the Americas.
  2. Conflicts regarding mega projects that impact land and territory.
  3. Climate change.
  4. Militarization of public security.
  5. Social polarization.
  6. Gender-based violence.

The PACS-Can board would be interested to hear about member activities in any of these areas. If anyone/organization is holding seminars/workshops/conferences that would lend themselves to livestreaming this could increase our interaction with each other on these fronts.

Wendy Kroeker, PACS-Can board member

Canadian Mennonite University