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A Roadmap towards Reinvigorated Relevance for the IDPS

Constituency members of the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (IPDS) came together for an IDPS Steering Group Meeting [Paris, France] last month. The meeting was organised for IDPS constituencies to discuss issues of strategic importance for the International Dialogue and to decide on concrete engagement priorities to ensure the International Dialogue remains of relevance and fit for purpose given the current geopolitical context of the world.

Why was this Steering Group Meeting of strategic relevance? 

Our world is on fire.” These words were part of the opening statement of Peter van Sluijs, CSPPS coordinator and members of the civil society constituency delegation present in Paris. The world is indeed grappling with the impact of converging polycrises,  marked by escalating geopolitical tensions, increasing fragility, climate change, food insecurity and shrinking civic space. In this context, the work of the IDPS, to create progress towards a more equal and peaceful world , is more critical than ever. Despite this clear observation, we witness clear shifts in government interest from investing in conflict prevention and peacebuilding towards increasing investment in securitized approaches, in clear correlation with global tensions and the crisis in multilateral cooperation. 

In addition, Canada officially announced the end of its role as IDPS co-chair, and stepped down mid-June 2024. In this context of transition, Canada availed the services of a consultant who reviewed Canada’s stint as co-chair - while also presenting a review of IDPS raison d’etre and relevance in present day’s world. This strategic review reflected on the major achievements of the IDPS in past years, but also clearly indicated broad support for the partnership and strong attestation of its relevance - the IDPS is a unique tripartite partnership that bridges global and local, governments and societal actors, development and peace, and that places a priority on south-south cooperation. At the same time, the review also clearly pointed out that a revitalised partnership with renewed commitments would be needed for the IDPS to reach its full potential and to make it fit for purpose in today’s world. 

During the INCAF Director’s Level Meeting (DLM) that took place prior to the IDPS Steering Group Meeting, INCAF members concluded that IDPS was an important and unique platform to keep. In that same meeting, Switzerland agreed to serve as an interim co-chair until September 2024, while a quintet of donors will look from the INCAF-side on charting a roadmap towards a revitalised partnership. Against this backdrop, the civil society delegation present in Paris made a clear appeal; the IDPS is at a crossroads with a clear need of reorganising in its strategy, and making the partnership fit for purpose to the mounting global challenges, and after two-days of discussions the three constituencies decided on next steps needed to recalibrate the IDPS and its positioning.

What are the next steps?

All constituencies agreed that there is a need for partners to come together around a renewed deal and make IDPS fit for purpose. As a next step each IDPS constituency will hold consultations within their membership to gather inputs on the reform process. As one of the three constituencies, CSPPS will share more information of this opportunity of renewal and organise consultations with all CSPPS members in due course. The objective is to gather all inputs and agree on the way to bring forward a revitalised IDPS.

A word to conclude 

This Paris IDPS Steering Group Meeting underscored the critical need for a strategic recalibration of the IDPS as partnership amidst escalating global challenges. With the departure of Canada as co-chair, Switzerland's interim leadership, and the collective agreement to develop a roadmap towards reinvigorated relevance, the IDPS can and should enhance its relevance and effectiveness, reflecting the commitment from all constituencies for a unified drive towards a more resilient and peaceful world.

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