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Conflict resolution

We work with the international community to promote conflict resolution around the world. Our efforts focus on peacemaking, peace-building and sharing our experience of the Northern Ireland peace process.

Conflict Resolution Unit

Our Conflict Resolution Unit (CRU) was established by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 2007 to improve Ireland’s contribution to international conflict resolution by drawing on:

  • Ireland’s tradition of UN peacekeeping
  • Our commitment to overseas development aid
  • Our experience of the peace process in Northern Ireland
  • Our commitment to human rights and the international rule of law

Our work

Sharing our experience of the Northern Ireland Peace Process

Ireland has a unique experience of building and sustaining peace and promoting reconciliation on this island. Capturing and sharing our experience helps us protect and nurture peace in Ireland and allow us to share that experience with peace builders elsewhere, where this might prove helpful.

We have shared our experience of the North South Ministerial Council with officials in the Republic of Korea and supported similar work in the Western Balkans, Afghanistan, and the Middle East. We have also provided practical assistance to Moldovan and Transdniestrian negotiators and hosted political and civil society leaders from Ukraine and Turkey.

During Ireland’s Chairmanship-in-Office of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in 2012, we hosted an international conference ‘Shared Future: Building and Sustaining Peace, the Northern Ireland case study’ - the first time Ireland had hosted an international conference on the Northern Ireland peace process.

The event brought together a broad range of senior political figures with first-hand experience of the peace process to share their experience with OSCE participating states. It was moderated by the former President of Finland and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Martti Ahtisaari. Former US Senator George Mitchell, who chaired the negotiations for the Good Friday Agreement, also spoke at the conference.

Supporting multilateral initiatives

We provide extra-budgetary support to multilateral organisations in the following areas:

  • Mediation Support Unit (within the UN Department of Political Affairs)
  • Global Acceleration Instrument for Women, Peace and Security and Humanitarian Engagement
  • OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR)

Partnering with civil society

Engagement with civil society is an extremely valuable and useful channel for Ireland to gain access into peace making and peace-building. Our international NGO partners include:

Fostering academic research

Andrew Grene Postgraduate Scholarship in Conflict Resolution

A postgraduate scholarship scheme to which the Conflict Resolution Unit has contributed €350,000 since 2008 was named in 2010 for Irish UN worker Andrew Grene, who died tragically in the Haiti earthquake. The Andrew Grene Postgraduate Scholarship has enabled ten postgraduate students to conduct research on issues of governance, education and gender with relevance to peace-making and peace-building. The current scholar is José Gutiérrez, whose research on Colombia in the field of Sociology and Conflict is affiliated with the UCD School of Sociology.

The Andrew Grene Postgraduate Scholarship in Conflict Resolution is part of the Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme administered by the Irish Research Council. Further information regarding applications for the 2016 Andrew Grene Postgraduate Scholarship in Conflict Resolution can be found on the Irish Research Council’s website. The Irish Research Council (www.research.ie) can be contacted concerning this Scholarship on postgrad@research.ie.