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about-ifor-banner.jpg

About IFOR


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About IFOR


Mission

Founded in response to the horrors of war in Europe, the IFOR has taken a consistent stance against war and its preparation throughout its history.

Perceiving the need for healing and reconciliation in the world, the founders of IFOR formulated a vision of the human community based upon the belief that love in action has the power to transform unjust political, social, and economic structures.

 

Today IFOR has branches, groups, and affiliates in over 40 countries on all continents. Although organized on a national and regional basis, IFOR seeks to overcome the division of nation-states which are often the source of conflict and violence. Its membership includes adherents of all the major spiritual traditions as well as those who have other spiritual sources for their commitment to nonviolence.

 

The Power of Nonviolence

IFOR members share a vision of a world where conflicts are resolved through nonviolent means, where systems that foster fear and hatred are dismantled, and where justice is sought as a basis for peace. While coming from diverse religious backgrounds, we have a common belief in the transforming power of nonviolence and reconciliation.

 

The International Secretariat

The IFOR International Secretariat in the Netherlands, co-ordinates communication among IFOR members, links branches to capacity-building resources and helps co-ordinate international campaigns, delegations and urgent actions.

 

IFOR has extensive working relationships with like-minded non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and civil society initiatives around the world. IFOR’s 100 years of expertise in active nonviolence is recognized and respected by these NGOs and many others.

 

International Representation

IFOR has observer and consultative status to the United Nations ECOSOC and UNESCO organizations.

IFOR maintains permanent representatives at the United Nations (UN) in New York, Geneva and Vienna who regularly participate in conferences and meetings of UN bodies, providing testimony and expertise from different regional perspectives, promoting non-violent alternatives in the fields of human rights, development, and disarmament.

 

Areas of Work


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Areas of Work


Themes of IFOR's Peace Work

At various International Councils the IFOR movement has elevated certain themes as main areas of concern for continued program development. Many branches and groups carry out local projects on these issues and the International Secretariat prioritizes these as areas of support and coordination.  The Secretariat also identifies themes and areas of work are common among IFOR Members. The following areas represent areas of concern either elevated by the movement at an International Council, or represented as common themes or areas of work among branches.

 

IFOR Members


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IFOR Members


International Structure for Organizations & Individuals

The Organization of a Global Network

The diverse array of people of conscience who identify with IFOR's values work primarily through member organizations which we group into branches, groups or affiliates. Representatives from these organizations meet every four years at an International Council, to decide on policies and develop international programs. An elected International Committee (ICom) meets regularly between Councils to oversee the implementation of these decisions.

 

The Courage of individual action with the Strength of a Supportive Community

IFOR understands the importance of local action and we realize that local actions can have global significance. Working for peace and justice can sometimes be isolating work, and not everyone has supportive community. Individuals are encouraged to work with member organizations but there have often been individual members of IFOR who are not represented by a member organization. We work to provide encouragement and support to people throughout the world who are promoting nonviolence in their home communities and nations. Some of these courageous individuals exist in areas where there is no formal branch, group or affiliate of IFOR. 

 

Peace Prize Laureates

IFOR has six Nobel Peace Prize Laureates among its former and present members that have all been or are actively contributing to the dissemination and teaching of non-violence.

 

Jane Addams (1931)

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (1964)

Emily Greene Balch (1946)

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Mairead Corrigan-Maguire (1976)

Chief Albert Luthuli (1960)

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Adolfo Pérez Esquivel (1980)

 

History


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History


Over 100 Years of Nonviolence

IFOR recently celebrated its Centennial and has been contributing to the global movement of nonviolence since its founding in 1914. Our history precedes not only many of the NGOs we currently work with but the United Nations with whom our international representatives correspond as well.

 

Please explore our highlighted history slightly re-edited by the IFOR Secretariat from a 1984 article by John Ferguson. Sources of the article can be found in our colophon.