The Forum Civil Peace Service, Forum Ziviler Friedensdienst e. V. (forumZFD) is a German NGO, established in 1996 with the mission to further the realization of Civilian Peace Service. The forumZFD works currently in the Western Balkans, Israel/Palestine, Lebanon, the Philippines and since early 2015 in Cambodia.

Our Programme and activities in the Western Balkans:

Focus on dealing with the past and capacity building for peace

More than a decade since the wars in former Yugoslavia, the countries of the Western Balkans are politically classed as fragile democracies. With the exception of Croatia and Slovenia, they are all facing severe economic problems. Conflicts over power, resources and territorial claims are smouldering under the surface at regional level and beyond their borders. They harbour high potential for renewed escalation and prevent a sustainable consolidation of peace as well as urgently needed reforms.

The troubles of the past, which have not yet been overcome, are constantly exploited for political gain and are thus a constant source of potential strife. To this day, each country, each ethnic group and each conflict party has continued to nurture its own selective memory of these events. At the same time, the countries of the region are inevitably interlinked. This has a permanent impact on the dynamics of conflict in ethnically mixed areas and easily triggers negative chain reactions.

forumZFD works in the region with a focus on dealing with the past and providing education for peace at a formal and informal level. With its involvement in the region, forumZFD pursues a number of goals:

to encourage official institutions to develop a responsible and peace promoting approach to the violent past in the medium and long term;

to support critical debates on nationalism and violence and to foster a culture of non-violence

to institutionalise methods of non-violent conflict transformation (especially in the educational sector) and to strengthen the corrective role of civil society organisations;

to reinstate social relationships on the basis of mutual trust, empathy, basic values like human dignity, non-violence and tolerance, and to enhance the capability of conflict management.