Peace & Security Award 2007

The Center for Conflict Resolution & Reconciliation (CCRR) is a Palestinian non-governmental organization committed to an alternative approach to conflict transformation. Cherishing the values of peace, reconciliation, forgiveness, respect, and hope, CCRR’s mission is to contribute to a prospering, non-violent Palestine by empowering marginalized groups to participate in the decision-making process that affect their everyday lives.

Founded by Noah Salameh in 1999, and registered with the Palestinian National Authority in 2000, CCRR has been working to strengthen democracy, human rights, and justice, considering these fundamental components for lasting peace. The Center strives to turn the culture of violence into a culture of non-violence, believing reconciliation to be a long-term goal. All members campaign for peace and justice both within the Palestinian community and among the people of the region.

CCRR’s projects take place among two main tracks. The first track concentrates on Palestinian society, aiming to increase mutual respect, encourage diverse and critical thinking, acceptance of the other, and forgiveness as well as to decrease internal stresses. On the second track, CCRR works on various regional and international levels with individuals and organizations who subscribe to CCRR’s mission statement. This second tract includes analysis and discussion of the conflict in the region, searches for methods to address violence, and creates just solutions. CCRR’s projects are implemented by Palestinian trainers and facilitators who are professionally and culturally qualified.

CCRR’s Peace Education Project provides young Palestinians the skills and methods necessary for dealing with differences, disagreements, and conflicts in general, and particularly focuses on conflicts between students and teachers. In 2006/2007, this program took place in 30 schools throughout the West Bank, training both teachers and students in negotiation, communication, and listening skills.

CCRR’s Youth Project has a core youth group of Palestinian teenagers, boys, and girls who meet at least once a week and are involved in different CCRR programs. The Media in Conflict Program, run jointly by CCRR and the Israeli organization Neve Shalom/Wahat Al-Salam’s School for Peace, seeks to study how journalists deal with conflict, how the media affects the political conflict, and how the conflict affects journalists. Other projects include one on School Violence and a Young Politicians program, the later of which has been implemented at 10 Palestinian universities in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, providing training for student leaders in leadership, communication, and how to deal with conflicts.

In taking the decision to present the Center for Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation with its 2007 Peace & Security Award, the Awards Committee and the International Council particularly were impressed with CCRR’s pioneering, non-governmental approach towards peace and conflict resolution in a region where purely political and military efforts to establish peace have failed. CCRR’s various projects—peace education, youth project, media program, school violence, young politicians program, and programs for women—are fundamentally important projects for the future of Palestine and ultimately world peace. We are delighted to recognize and bring greater worldwide attention to CCRR’s accomplishments in empowering marginalized groups in Palestinian society and its efforts to turn a culture of violence into a culture of non-violence.

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