Marking International Day of Peace

21 September 2018 | Sasha Jesperson

On this International Day of Peace Sasha Jesperson, Director of our Transnational Challenges Practice, reflects on the evolving nature of conflict and how Aktis Strategy contributes to a more sustainable peace

Starting in 1981 with a focus on the ‘ideals of peace’, and reaffirmed in 2001, when 21 September was declared a day of global ceasefire and non-violence, the International Day of Peace has evolved alongside growing recognition of the difficulties of achieving peace, particularly a positive peace that goes beyond cessation of violence. The International Day of Peace is now framed by the protection of human rights, and the importance of broader economic and social development for people everywhere. These factors are now considered necessary to achieve a sustainable peace.


A similar recognition of the pre-conditions of peace drives Aktis’ mission - to address both the root causes and the symptoms of conflict in order to deliver long-lasting, positive change. We deliver projects in countries experiencing active conflict, but also fragile states which may not be directly affected by violence but are still far from achieving peace. With technical support from our practice areas, our project teams work hand-in-hand with our clients and partners to solve these complex problems that threaten security and stability.


As head of our Transnational Challenges practice, I witness the impact crime has on conflict. The lack of governance or rule of law during conflict creates an opening for organised crime, and post-conflict transitions are easily manipulated by criminal actors, resulting in a “criminalised peace” that hampers recovery and reconstruction. Focusing on migration, I also witness how conflict forces people to flee their homes. Whether they are displaced within their country or move further afield to seek refuge, they are vulnerable to exploitation. These are two challenges we want to address to contribute to peace.


I invite you to hear from other members of our practice areas as we mark this important day. Check out the video below. Happy International Day of Peace!