Invitation HLPF 2021 Side-Event

Coming to Peace with Covid-19? Implications for peaceful, just and inclusive societies and recommendations for "building better forward" 

Tuesday, July 6th, 13:30 - 15:00 CEST / 7:30 – 9:00 EST via MS Teams
Please join the event by clicking here.

It has become evident that the COVID-19 pandemic is not only a health crisis, but one with serious economic, social and political consequences. These represent major risks for the achievement of SDG 16, including the promotion of peace, rule of law, inclusive, representative and participatory decision-making, and access to information and fundamental freedoms. While the pandemic is not a cause of violence, it acts as a driver of conflict and an obstacle to peace. But most worryingly, the pandemic has rapidly accelerated the world’s turn towards authoritarianism. Emergency regulations have opened the door for autocratic rule; journalists, local peacebuilders and human rights defenders are under threat, while those most in need of protection are the worst affected. To stop and reverse this downward spiral and create new potentials for peace, international state and non-state actors need to make a concerted effort and take guidance from their local partners. Only if a peacebuilding and rights-based lens is applied in countering the pandemic´s collateral effects, societies can generate momentum for peace and sustainable development.

In a joint initiative, the Advocacy Forum Nepal, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Civil Society Platform for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (CSPPS), CIVICUS and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development will discuss the implications of the Covid-19 pandemic from a peacebuilding perspective. FriEnt – the Working Group on Peace and Development – will present findings from a recent study “Coming to peace with Covid-19?” to lead the discussion.

You are cordially invited to take part in this online exchange. The panel discussion aims at a cross-sectoral audience for a joint reflection about emerging challenges, approaches for cooperation and support – and which scope of action remains to ensure that peace and conflict are addressed in responding to a complex pandemic.

You can join the side-event via the MS-Teams link here.

Welcome Note:

Dr. Michael Bröning, Executive Director, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in New York

  • Mandira Sharma, Co-Founder, Advocacy Forum Nepal, will elaborate from a Human Rights perspective on how the pandemic and state interventions have affected civic space and which potential long-term effects remain.

  • Fidèle Djebba, President of “Association Rayons de Soleil” and CSPPS focal point in Cameroon will focus on gendered impacts of COVID-19 and how state interventions amplify immediate effects of the pandemic and present options to address negative effects.

  • Mandeep Tiwana, Chief Programmes Officer, CIVICUS will represent the global view on SDG16, implications on fundamental freedoms and civic space and will explore prospects for policy alternatives in times of Covid-19.

  • Dr. Martin Schuldes, Head of Division, Peace and Security; Disaster Risk Management, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, will reflect on entry points for external support and recommendations for building back better.

  • Udo Bullmann, MEP, Member and Coordinator, Committee on Development (DEVE), will reflect on what is needed from the EU to further support accelerated action on SDG16.


Joint reflections with the audience.


Elsa Benhöfer, Policy Officer for international processes and global dialogue, FriEnt – Working Group on Peace and Development


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Die Arbeitsgemeinschaft Frieden und Entwicklung (FriEnt) ist ein Zusammenschluss von staatlichen Organisationen, kirchlichen Hilfswerken, zivilgesellschaftlichen Netzwerken und politischen Stiftungen.


Arbeitsgemeinschaft Frieden

und Entwicklung (FriEnt) c/ o GIZ

Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 36

53113 Bonn

Tel +49 228 4460-1916