3 days for better global governance: reviewing the success of the second edition

More than 7,000 participants representing no less than 164 countries joined 33 heads of state and governement as well as 12 international organizations, convening for three days at La Grande Halle de La Villette at the second edition of the Paris Peace Forum to advance concrete global governance solutions.

What happened during the second edition of the Paris Peace Forum?

The second edition of the Paris Peace Forum resonated on an international scale, further confirming the necessity of this truly unique gathering of actors to focus on concrete solutions to the greatest challenges facing the world today. More than a conference, fair, or summit, the Forum is a singular platform gathering all actors of global governance to design concrete initiatives and reinvent contemporary cooperation.

At the Soft Opening reserved for members of the comunity, the Forum was pleased to welcome back Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General, who made an address during the 11 November gathering. The Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, also said a few words following an official welcome by Pascal Lamy, President of the Paris Peace Forum.

“We need to think multilateralism in networks, closer to the people, we need to work hand in hand with regional organizations, but also financial institutions, development banks and specialized agencies.”

Antonio Guterres

Taking place the morning of 12 November before more than 30 heads of state and government, the Opening Ceremony began with a word of welcome from Trisha Shetty, President of the Paris Peace Forum Steering Committee, followed by addresses by Ursula von der Leyen, President-Elect of the European Commission, Wang Qishan, Vice President of the People’s Republic of China, Félix Tshisekedi, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Emmanuel Macron, President of France.

“My vision is of a Europe which helps to reconcile those who are divided, Europe that brings together those who are apart, but at the same time, that demands responsibility. From ourselves, from our friends and from our partners.”

Ursula von der Leyen

“We in China cherish peace and stability more than anything else, because we have endured the havoc of conflict.”

Wang Qishan

“Today we face one of the greatest challenges of our times – building peace, maintaining peace, passing peace on to our children. To achieve this peace, every man, every state, must question its contribution to providing solutions to the challenges that threaten humanity.”

Félix Tshisekedi

“We have to carry on, launching new initiatives, and not to compete with multilateral institutions but to add to their actions.”

Emmanuel Macron

Throughout the 12 and 13 November, 350 speakers intervened in discussions taking place in seven dedicated spaces, such as the main Agora 1, the Auditorium, the Agoras 2 & 3, the Amphitheatre, as well as project pitches in the Space for Solutions and launches on the Stage.

Beyond the rich debate program, the three days of the Forum are dedicated to showcasing concrete solutions representing the 6 major themes of the Forum: Peace & Security, Development, Environment, New Technologies, Inclusive Economy, and Culture & Education. 114 projects of the Paris Peace Forum presented their initiatives in the Space for Solutions in front of high level personalities, global governance stakeholders and media, and project leaders saw the opportunity to make meaningful connections at their stands and to discuss their projects through pitches.

EN selected projects themes

In the Space for Innovation, 75 participants took part in one of three PeaceGame sessions, organized by the magazine Foreign Policy in cooperation with Körber-Stiftung. The PeaceGame brought together experts from foreign ministries, think tanks, international organizations, businesses, and civil society to take on the roles of key international stakeholders to navigate a series of challenges compelling them to think quickly and creatively while identifying opportunities for cooperation.


At the end of the event, the Closing Ceremony was the moment to reflect on the past 3 days, as well as officially announce this year’s 10 Scale-up projects selected to benefit from one year of support from the Forum. Justin Vaïsse, Director General of the Paris Peace Forum was joined by Trisha Shetty, President of the Forum’s Steering Committee.

“With this second edition, the Paris Peace Forum cements its unique status as an international summit, a high-level conference, and a platform for solutions at the same time. Tomorrow, we will further strengthen our role as an incubator because solutions can no longer come solely from states but must stem from grassroots coalitions of actors. The Paris Peace Forum offers a platform to the projects and initiatives that build peace in the world of tomorrow.”

Justin Vaïsse, Director General of the Paris Peace Forum

Symbolic gesture – Peace Globe

At the Peace Globe, located at the center of the Paris Peace Forum, 42 participants including many heads of state and government shared a book or other object, explaining why it represents for each of them a symbol of peace or a solution to a global challenge.

What’s next?

The Paris Peace Forum does not simply end in November, but serves as an incubator, supporting global governance initiatives year-round. During the Closing Ceremony of the 2019 edition, 10 global governance solutions were announced, selected among the 114 projects presented during the 3 days, to benefit from one year of support by the Paris Peace Forum and its partners.

Our objective is to incubate local solutions to enable them to scale up. Each in their own field, the ten projects we are going to support contribute to shaping new solutions to the major challenges of our time.

Trisha Shetty, President of the Paris Peace Forum’s Steering Committee

The 2019 Scale-up Projects
  • Youth driving democratic change – Olso Center
  • The Abidjan Principles – Right to Education Initiative
  • Sustainable cities Program – Sustainable Cities Institute (SCI)
  • Model drug law West Africa – Global Commission on Drug Policy
  • Global High Seas Treaty – High Seas Alliance (HSA)
  • Ultra-poor graduation initiative – BRAC USA
  • Rapid Response Mechanism for Higher Education in Emergencies – Global Platform for Syrian Students
  • Principles for inclusive peace – Interpeace
  • SADA’s Women cooperative – United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), International Labour Organization (ILO)
  • Festival à Sahel Ouvert – Association Globe

Mark your calendars, the next edition of the Paris Peace Forum is the 11 to the 13 November 2020!

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