Working under the radar

Published on Wednesday, 15th of June 2016

CMI’s programme benefits from our Finnish roots and the unofficial nature of our work.


We work quietly under the radar. Our Senior Advisor Georg Charpentier at work in Libya.

The aim of CMI’s programme is to prevent and resolve violent political conflicts. In working towards this ideal we concentrate on peace processes in which our unique character gives us the best possible chance of contributing to peace.

In the field of international peacemaking, we are privileged to have strong Finnish roots. Coming from a small practically-minded nation with a history of neutrality and without a power-seeking agenda inspires trust in everyone we work with. We talk to all parties, but do not take sides. We encourage strong local ownership of peace processes. We strive to contribute knowledge gained from other processes.

Working quietly in the background

Another benefit of our programme is the unofficial nature of our work. We work under the radar and away from the official political sphere, but remain connected to it where that is feasible and useful. In general, we aim to create spaces where public discourse does not dominate the agenda, and official roles and political bargaining do not limit creative thinking and the search for mutually beneficial solutions to critical problems.

Based on the aforementioned strengths, we provide essential building blocks for various peace processes and political settlements. We do not seek the limelight through leading formal processes. Instead, we work quietly in the background building channels of communication and trust between the key actors. This helps all those involved to think creatively, which is a must for any successful peace process. The unofficial nature of our work is particularly important early on in peace processes, and in situations where official processes have become deadlocked.

Real results


Our Senior Advisor on Russia and Ukraine Denis Matveev focuses on designing and facilitating confidential dialogue processes

Strong-arming a settlement of any kind is out of the question – we would never do it, nor could we. Due to our principle of encouraging local ownership, and our own neutral approach, the eventual solutions towards peace come invariably from the conflicting parties themselves. What we seek to provide are the essential elements for inclusive, effective, and therefore lasting solutions.

While our approach is not easy, it has proven effective. The circumstances we work in do not allow for easy successes, but nevertheless our results-based approach has begun to show real results. Our work has helped to bring about genuine advances in peace processes, and with others there are encouraging signs. In 2015 we received 33 requests for extended engagement – some of which pertain to the most intractable conflicts around today.

Read more about CMI’s programme from our latest annual report.