The Civil Peace Service: experts in the service of peace

The project "Someone is listening to me" brings together students and teachers to create a play that reflects on prejudices we hold against others. There are no solutions offered, instead the audience is asked to reflect on them themselves.

The Civil Peace Service (CPS) was esta­blished by Ger­many in 1999 as a new instru­ment for peace­building and crisis pre­ven­tion. Its specially trained ex­perts mediate in con­flicts, raise public aware­ness of the con­cerns of dis­advan­taged groups, help ease former com­ba­tants back into civilian life, work with trau­ma­tised vic­tims of vio­lence, and enable refu­gees to return to their homes. They always work with local organi­sa­tions and initia­tives. The Civil Peace Service is a successful model of coope­ra­tion between govern­mental and non-govern­mental agencies engaged in develop­ment and peace work.

The tasks of the Civil Peace Service

The tasks of the CPS's peace experts are highly diverse and are redefined for each mission. The preparation and training of the experts are tailored according to their individual skills and experience and the specific needs of the operational area. Depending on their level of expertise, training generally takes two to six months. The training syllabus covers instruments such as civil conflict resolution, inter-cultural communication and knowledge of local languages as well as geo-political and socio-cultural aspects. As a rule, the applicant must have completed a relevant vocational training or education programme, have several years of professional experience in a field of relevance to the Civil Peace Service, have sound language skills, and have an active commitment to civil society.

The Civil Peace Service's fields of action include:

  • strengthening local partners' potential for peace, for example through confidence-building measures,

  • mediating in conflicts between members of different ethnic, religious and interest groups,

  • monitoring and supporting the situation with regard to human rights and democracy, and strengthening legal certainty,

  • reintegrating and rehabilitating groups of persons particularly affected by violence,

  • contributing to reconciliation and reconstruction, including support for administrative functions at local level.

The organisations that constitute the Civil Peace Service Group

The CPS Group is an association of agencies enlisted by the BMZ to execute the mandate of the Civil Peace Service. The Group consists of the following state-approved development services:

  • Action Committee Service for Peace (AGDF)

  • Association for Development Cooperation (AGEH)

  • Christian Services International (CFI)

  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)

  • EIRENE – International Christian Service for Peace

  • German Protestant Church Development Service (EED)

  • Civil Peace Service Forum (forumZFD)

  • Weltfriedensdienst (WFD – World Peace Service)

The Civil Peace Service's overall programme and all the missions undertaken by it are decided upon by the BMZ in agreement with the Federal Foreign Office. All missions are coordinated with comparable European and multilateral projects.

BMZ glossary

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