22 Peace Conferences that Every Peacebuilder Should Know

Check out these peace conferences and peacebuilding conferences. Find a conference of interest to you and get involved!

by Taylor O’Connor | 14 June 2024

peace conference

Photo by Alexandre Pellaes on Unsplash

“One individual cannot possibly make a difference, alone. It is individual efforts that collectively do!” – Jane Goodall

It is unbelievable how many peace conferences and events there are worldwide every year. When I studied Peace and Conflict for my Masters back in 2008 – 2009 I remember hearing about one or two academic-oriented peace conferences. And over the years, I heard about a few more.

But it wasn’t until I started my Everyday Peacebuilding website and began documenting peace projects worldwide that I really began to see just how many peace conferences there were.

Many organizations host peace conferences periodically or just as a one-off event, and some host annually. I began to document these a few years back to see if I could get a good understanding of this and to see what types of peace conferences existed. Like all the rest of my explorations into peace practice worldwide, I wanted to see the patterns and gaps in global peace efforts. And I wanted to see what I could do to provide linkages amongst these peace efforts.

I find that many of us who are dedicated to working for peace worldwide tend to work in silos. It is in making connections that we build momentum and make a stronger impact for the abolition of war, and for a more peaceful, just world.

So to help make these connections and to raise awareness amongst those who are passionate about peace, I hope this resource list is helpful for you. May you find a conference of interest to you and get involved.


What I learned from researching and documenting peace conferences over the years

It has been an interesting journey documenting these peace conferences over the years. I kept a document on my computer, and in reviewing new peacebuilding resources and events for my email newsletter each week, I’d write these down when I came across a new conference.

I found that some conferences were one-off conferences. I would write them on my list, then after the conference, the event page would be taken down from the host organization’s website and there would be no record of such event ever happening. I also found that some events happened each year, and I’d make note of that.

I found that many peacebuilding conferences focus on bringing together diverse stakeholders in building peace while others are on very specific topics aiming to advance some aspect of this approach to peacebuilding.

Prior to COVID, most conferences were in-person events with limited attendance. During and since COVID, most conferences have either moved online or have included a virtual component to facilitate virtual participation. Some new, 100% virtual conferences were started during COVID.


22 Conferences on Peace and Peacebuilding

So below, please see my list of 22 peacebuilding conferences. I have only included the conferences that have happened multiple times and seem to have a regular schedule of events.

I have not included:

  • University conferences or university student conferences for peace as these tend to not have a regular schedule or are limited in scope, focused mostly on providing opportunity for students to present at a conference
  • Conferences that are on related topics like human rights, gender, social justice, etc., that are not explicitly about peace
  • Conferences that don’t have a set page on their website where one can learn about the conference in general, or at least see information from past conferences
  • Webinars and events that are not explicitly called conferences, or at least regular events that focus on bringing peacebuilders together and sharing ideas

Some of the conferences have links to the overall conference, and for some, the link changes each year for each event. So links don’t break, if an organization only changes the link each year, or for each event, I have put the link to the host organization’s main website or events page, and from there you can find the links to upcoming conferences and events.

I have organized conferences into 5 categories:

  • Peace conferences focused on bringing diverse stakeholders together
  • Peace activist conferences
  • Academic peace conferences
  • Peace conferences with a specific thematic focus
  • Conferences with a specific geographic focus


Peace conferences focused on bringing diverse stakeholders together

There are 8 conferences in this category. It seems that many conferences see the value in bringing together diverse stakeholders to promote peacebuilding innovation and/or coordination of peace efforts.


The Paris Peace Forum (hosted annually in November) | by the Governing Body of the Paris Peace Forum

Thematic focus: international cooperation and collective action for peace

This event brings together key players in global governance, international organizations, civil society, the private sector, philanthropy, and academia to discuss and seek innovative solutions to threats to global peace. Bringing together diverse stakeholders The Paris Peace Forum strives to advance concrete solutions where none exist, promoting international cooperation and collective action.

The idea of the forum was initiated in 2017 by the President of France and operates as an independent entity with its own governing body that coordinates the event through diverse partnerships.


The Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development (hosted annually in May) | by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)

Thematic focus: collaboration and exchange of ideas for peace and security

The Stockholm Forum is centered around discussion-led roundtable sessions, as a platform for exchange among members of international communities in the development, humanitarian, peacebuilding and security sectors. The forum’s sessions are developed in collaboration with partner organizations and invite active participation from diverse stakeholders at all levels. Each edition of the Forum has had a different overarching theme associated with key threats to peace globally, emerging trends in peace and conflict, and/or key developments in the peacebuilding sector.

The Forum has traditionally be held at a physical venue in Stockholm, but in recent years a virtual component has been integrated.


The Geneva Peace Week  (hosted annually) | by the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform

Thematic focus: collaboration for peacebuilding innovation

This is an event that fosters dialogue and collaboration in the field of peacebuilding. It brings together diverse stakeholders, including practitioners, policymakers, and researchers, to address global challenges and explore innovative solutions for sustainable peace. The conference program includes panel discussions, workshops, policy briefings, art exhibitions, movie screenings, concerts, and networking activities. In recent years, Geneva Peace Week has facilitated participation both in-person in Geneva and online.


The Peace and Conflict Resolution Conference (PCRC) (hosted annually) | by Tomorrow People Organization

Thematic focus: networking amongst diverse stakeholders for peace and conflict resolution

This conference discusses themes related to global conflict and promotes the ideas of peace, tolerance and reconciliation necessary for the better world we all strive to live in. This conference offers a platform to learn and network with such diverse stakeholders. It is held in a different country each year, though in recent years has been held in Bangkok, Thailand.


The World Peace Forum  (hosted annually) | by the Shengen Peace Foundation

Thematic focus: connecting peacebuilders and peace activists worldwide

The World Peace Forum serves as an annual gathering that unites peace activists and fosters the sharing of ideas and initiatives. Each event is centered on a specific theme such as Conflict Resolution, Connecting Peacemakers and Women, Stability & Peace, Finding Common Global Values, etc.

The conference is hosted in a different country each year. Past conferences have been held in Romania, Colombia, Brazil, Jorden and Luxembourg (where the Schegen Peace Foundation is based).


The Basel Peace Forum (hosted annually) | by Swiss Peace

Thematic focus: promote peacebuilding innovation through exchange of ideas

The Basel Peace Forum brings together individuals from diverse sectors to address the crucial topic of peace. The forum fosters innovative thinking, inspires new partnerships, and showcases the relevance of peacebuilding. It serves to amplify the impact of peacebuilding and strengthen its visibility among the wider public. Forum activities include panel discussions, speaker debates, and creative workshops, all aimed to inspire through exchanging innovative ideas with participants from across the globe.

Participation is by invitation only and the number of participants is limited to about 300.


Peace Talks (hosted annually) | by a collaboration amongst the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform, InterPeace, and the United Nations Office at Geneva

Thematic focus: sharing inspiring stories of peacebuilders worldwide

PeaceTalks is an initiative that showcases the inspirational stories of people making a positive contribution to peace. The core activity is crating a platform for global peacebuilders to present about their activities and share their stories. The talks are recorded and shared virtually. The core concept of PeaceTalks is a belief in the power of storytelling to build peace. Through the sharing of these stories shared by peacebuilders, PeaceTalks creates a space encouraging dialogue, reflection and inspire hope. The website includes a database of recorded talks.


24-hour Global Peace Conference (periodic) | by the Rotary Peace Fellowship Alumni Association (RPFAA)

Thematic focus: sharing of diverse experiences and ideas to enrich peacebuilding efforts

Since 2020, the RPFAA has hosted 24-hour cross-regional online peace conferences. These take place virtually for 24 hours and included presentations and workshops by Rotary Peace Fellowship Alumni and other invited guests. I delivered a virtual workshop there a few years ago and overall found the organization of the conference to be excellent. There were tons of presentations and workshops on all kinds of topics. The Rotary Alumni tend to be involved in quite interesting peacebuilding projects worldwide. The network is huge and there are thousands of participants at each conference.


Peace activist conferences

Just a few conferences in this category, however, the organizations that host them tend to be coordination hubs of global efforts of peace activist groups aiming to abolish war. All outlined below have huge participation from tons of groups involved in global peace activism.


The World Peace Congress (hosted periodically, approximately every 4 years) | by the International Peace Bureau (IPB)

Thematic focus: global collaboration for war abolition

The World Peace Congress carries on a tradition of world peace conferences that began in the early 1800s. Regular ‘Peace Congresses’ were held between 1889 and 1939, and IPB itself is a product of these initial conferences as international delegates voted to form an organization to plan and coordinate regular ‘peace congresses.’ See my blog post on Historic Peace Organizations for more information.

WWII disrupted the flow of Peace Congresses, and few periodic global peace conferences of their kind were held for many decades. IPB has in recent years been reviving the World Peace Congresses. They are large events. The last one in 2021 hosted 2500 people as IPB networks with global peace organizations and wider global peace movements run deep since their founding in 1891.

The conference brings together peacebuilders, peace activists, grassroots peace advocates, civil society groups any many more working at global, regional, national, and local levels. The conference mobilizes diverse peace and social movements to create a vision for ending war and building a peaceful world, and mobilizes collective action.

There is no specific page for the World Peace Conference. They just have pages for past peace conferences, conference press releases, etc. When the next conference is announced you should find it at this above link also.


The No War Conference (hosted annually, dates vary) | by World BEYOND War

Thematic focus: peace activism and war abolition

This conference brings together peace activists from around the world to discuss practical solutions and collective action for abolishing war. The conference offers a platform for attendees to learn, collaborate, and work towards ending war and establishing a just and sustainable peace. Each year is a different theme like nonviolent resistance to militarism, unraveling the war machine, shutting down weapons expos and fairs, etc.

Earlier conferences were in-person events, but in past years the conference has gone virtual.


The 24-hour Peace Wave (hosted annually) | by International Peace Bureau (IPB) and World BEYOND War

This is a creative, collaborative event that has taken place since 2022. It includes a 24-hour-long Zoom featuring live peace actions in the streets and squares of the world, moving around the globe with the sun. They include a live Q&A section on Zoom for the last 10 minutes of each hour. The Peace Wave supports work for global peace and opposes military buildup including alliances like NATO, its partnerships around the globe, and related alliances. The peace wave visits dozens of locations around the globe and includes rallies, concerts, production of artworks, blood drives, installation of peace poles, dances, speeches, and public demonstrations of all variety. All 24 hours of each peace wave can be watched on the website, broken down into 2-hour segments. They also include some great highlight reels from past peace waves.


Academic peace conferences

Most academic conferences that cover peacebuilding do so in an indirect way and those that are explicitly about peacebuilding tend to be small (i.e. limited mostly to their own university) and/or have not regular schedule of repeat conferences on the topic. Often they are one-off conferences and the conference information is removed from the internet after the conference. Student peace conferences are also not included as they tend to focus mostly on providing opportunities for students to present their research. So there is just one main academic conference on peacebuilding that has regular, yearly conferences.


The Peace and Justice Studies Association Conference (hosted annually, usually in September or October) | by the Peace and Justice Studies Association (PJSA)

Thematic focus: peace studies and academic research

This conference is a forum for presentation and discussion of academic papers on advancements in peace studies and on a range of topics associated with peace studies. Each year has a different theme. Some themes include intersectionality and solidarity, positive peace, ‘health, equity and peacebuilding’, and 50 years of revolutionary nonviolence.


Conferences with a specific thematic focus

These conferences cover themes of technology, gender, education, environment, and other topics and are explicitly about peacebuilding. There are many other conferences on these topics that focus on human rights, social cohesion, social justice or other related topics, but are not explicitly about peace. I have only included thematic conferences that are explicitly about peace.


The Build Peace Conference (hosted annually) | by BuildUp

Thematic focus: technology and peace

This conference brings together around 300 practitioners, activists, academics, policy makers, artists and technologists from more than 60 countries to share experiences and advance knowledge on emergent challenges to peace in a digital age, and peacebuilding innovations to address these challenges. The conferences focuses on a different theme each year and is hosted in a different country each year. Themes are often focused on a specific challenge that is relevant to the host country.

It is an in-person conference, but may include some virtual participation.


The Noble Women’s Initiative Conference (hosted once every two years) | by the Nobel Women’s Initiative

Thematic focus: women’s leadership in international peace and human rights

This conference brings together women peacebuilders and women human rights defenders to strategize about advancing women’s human rights and peace worldwide. Nobel Women’s Initiative is led by a collection of women Nobel Peace Prize recipients. The conference includes speeches, workshops and discussions to advance women’s leadership in the promotion of international peace and human rights. Each conference centers around a theme relevant to pressing global issues of the day.

The link provided is to their events page where you can find information on past conferences and announcements for the next conference when available.


The Peace History Conference  (hosted in October every two years) | by the Peace History Society

Thematic focus: peace history

This conference is hosted by an association of peace historians that was founded in 1964. They started hosting conferences in 1994 and now do so every two years. Their Peace History Conference serves as a gathering of scholars, activists, and educators committed to exploring and promoting peace through historical perspectives. Each conference has a different specific theme, and you can search through their list of past conferences to see the reports of past conferences.


The Positive Peace Conference (hosted annually, dates vary) | by the Institute for Economics and Peace

Thematic focus: the work of the Institute for Economics and Peace

This one is an annual event that brings together thought leaders from various sectors to explore advancements in the field of peacebuilding by the Institute for Economics and Peace. It is an opportunity for learning, networking, and strategic planning for those interested in the work of the Institute for Economics and Peace.

There is not general conference link for this one, so the link above leads to the events page where you can search for the next conference. Many events both past and future are posted in here.


The International Institute on Peace Education (IIPE) (hosted once every two years) | by the Global Campaign for Peace Education (GCPE)

Thematic focus: peace education

IIPE is a weeklong residential experience for educators hosted in a different country every other summer. The Institute facilitates exchanges of theory and practical experiences in teaching peace education and serves to grow the field. The IIPE operates as an applied peace education laboratory that provides a space for pedagogical experimentation; cooperative, deep inquiry into shared issues; and advancing theoretical, practical and pedagogical applications.


The International Conference on Environmental Peacebuilding (hosted once every few years) | by the Environmental Peacebuildig Association (EnPax)

Thematic focus: environmental peacebuilding

This is the only global conference that is explicitly on environmental peacebuilding that exists. The first conference was held in 2019 and they have continued hosting this conference once every few years. There are virtual and in-person opportunities for participation.


The Earth Charter Conference  (hosted periodically) | by the Earth Charter International

Thematic focus: peace, environment and sustainability

This conference centers around the work of the Earth Charter’s International Education Center whose activities center around the importance of incorporating sustainability values and principles into the processes of learning and decision-making. The Center (and associated conference) focuses on creating paths in education for sustainable development, global citizenship education, and makes efforts to connect these with concepts such as planetary well-being and ecological literacy. It is a good conference for those interested in peacebuilding, environment and sustainability.

This conference also has no overall conference page. There is a specific link for each conference once announced. In the main website (link above) you can go to the ‘events’ page, and if the next conference has been announced you will find a link to it there.


The Ikeda Forum for Intercultural Dialogue (hosted annually) | by The Ikeda Center for Peace, Learning, and Dialogue

Thematic focus: social cohesion from a Buddhist perspective and approaches

This is an annual event that serves as a platform to explore key ideas from Daisaku Ikeda’s philosophy of Buddhist humanism and fosters dialogue among scholars from diverse disciplines and backgrounds. The forum seeks to foster understanding, diversity, and inter-civilizational dialogue, inspired by the life work of Daisaku Ikeda.


Conferences with a specific geographic focus

I have two examples below. There are likely more, but it is hard to find information about them on the internet.


The Peace Practitioners’ Research Conference (PPRC) (hosted annually, sometimes once every two years) | by the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPCS)

Thematic focus: support and coordination of peacebuilding in the Asia Region

This conference brings together peace researchers, activists, mediators, and civil society as part of a broader peacebuilding community to share, learn, reflect, and be in solidarity with one another. It is hosted at the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies in Siem Reap, Cambodia. They may have some virtual participation, but it is unclear. In theory, it is hosted every year, but it seems that some years have been skipped.

The focus is on the South East Asia and the broader Asia region, but it is open for international participation.


The PeaceCon (hosted annually) | by Alliance for Peacebuilding (AFP) and the United States Institute for Peace (USIP)

Thematic focus: the promotion of United States led peacebuilding efforts

This conference brings together experts and practitioners from the US and internationally to discuss and advance the field of peacebuilding. It showcases the role of the US government in global peace and is a space to forge new partnerships with US policymakers and US donors. It is the largest global gathering of peacebuilders in the United States.


Find a peace conference of interest to you

I hope that this list of peace conferences is helpful for you. I hope you use this as a resource. Find a peace conference of interest to you and get involved. They are always looking for speakers and participants.

If there is a conference that is missing on this list and you think it should be added, please submit it at the link HERE. I periodically update my resource posts and use these inputs to help me.

If you found this article helpful and want to find more blog posts like this mapping organizations that build peace across a wide array of themes be sure to check out our Resources page!

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