Arsal (Lebanon) is the winner of the 2019 UCLG Peace Prize! We would like to congratulate Arsal and its Mayor Mr. Basel Al Houjairy and we hope that many will follow suit in Arsal’s great efforts in peace-building and conflict prevention.
In 2014, IS and al-Nusra cells infiltrated Arsal (Lebanon) from Syria. After three years of war and terror-rule which tore the community apart, Arsal’s mayor now tries to bring it back together. Arsal’s local peace initiative aims to rebuild social cohesion and overcome mutual fear and hate between our Syrians and Lebanese inhabitants, wrought by the war and the ISIS atrocities through facilitating dialogue and sulha mediation sessions. In this way Arsal hopes to both prevent further conflict and help deescalate and mediate when they happen.
The Muncipality or Arsal acts as crisis managers that prevent personal and group conflicts from popping up or escalating in more serious group discrimination and other transgressions against the rights of our vulnerable inhabitants. They react 24/7 to outbursts of conflict and preventing the further escalation of violence through direct conflict mediation and using our meager budget for reparation against wrongdoing. Next to that, Arsal’s mayor fights for equal treatment and equal access to public services within the community. Arsal’s community is now at a point of serenity and peace, and acceptant of the reality.
Below you can find the video of Arsal’s local peace initative; the winner of the UCLG Peace Prize 2019.
We also want to thank all finalists (Santiago de Cali, Bogotá, Manizales and Duhok) for their contribution to a more peaceful society and stimulation of other local governments in striving for peace and justice! Below you can find a compilation video of the initiatives of all UCLG Peace Prize 2019 finalists.