The original idea for CIPCR International came about in late 2010 when a number of like-minded individuals, who had been working separately to resolve conflicts in divided and disparate communities — both in Northern Ireland and other conflict zones across the globe — came together to discuss combining efforts to achieve a more substantial initiative.
We felt that more needed to be done to address the causes of conflict itself in those communities; to provide leadership to those groups who wanted to bring about peace; to help groups move towards a democratic route to resolving conflicts; to share best practice in conflict resolution and peace-building based on our observations of the various groups we had been working with.
We also felt that the so called ‘Mitchell Principles of Democracy and Non-Violence’ that were central to the Northern Ireland Peace Process, could be applied in full or in part to other conflicts.
MITCHELL PRINCIPLES OF DEMOCRACY AND NON-VIOLENCE
To reach an agreed political settlement and to take the gun out of Irish politics, there must be commitment and adherence to fundamental principles of democracy and non-violence. Participants in all-party negotiations should affirm their commitment to such principles.
Accordingly, we recommend that the parties to such negotiations affirm their total and absolute commitment:
a. To democratic and exclusively peaceful means of resolving political issues;
b. To the total disarmament of all paramilitary organisations;
c. To agree that such disarmament must be verifiable to the satisfaction of an independent commission;
d. To renounce for themselves, and to oppose any effort by others, to use force, or threaten to use force, to influence the course or the outcome of all-party negotiations;
e. To agree to abide by the terms of any agreement reached in all-party negotiations and to resort to democratic and exclusively peaceful methods in trying to alter any aspect of that outcome with which they may disagree; and,
f. To urge that “punishment” killings and beatings stop and to take effective steps to prevent such actions.