Brazzaville Foundation: Details following the publication of an article in L’Obs

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Brazzaville Foundation: Details following the publication of an article in L’Obs

The Brazzaville Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering peace and preserving the environment wherever its services are requested.

The Foundation was created by Jean-Yves Ollivier after the 25th anniversary of the historic Brazzaville Agreement that secured a peaceful settlement of the conflicts in Southern Africa and paved the way for an end to apartheid. During the ceremony to mark the 25th anniversary, the President of the Republic of Congo, Denis Sassou N’Guesso, who had played a key part in the negotiations of the agreement, urged leaders to recreate the spirit of the Brazzaville Accord in contemporary peace negotiations. This inspired Jean-Yves Ollivier, who himself had had an important behind-the-scenes role, to establish the Brazzaville Foundation for Peace and Conservation to keep the “the spirit of Brazzaville” alive. The Foundation is completely independent. President Sassou N’Guesso has no involvement in the Foundation and has no say in what the Foundation does or how it is run.

The Brazzaville Foundation brings together internationally recognized actors specialized in peaceful conflict resolution, such as Doctor José Ramos-Horta, Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1996, Mr. Kabiné Komara, former prime minister of Guinea and Mr. Pär Stenbäck.

The main goal of the Brazzaville Foundation is to establish dialogue between parties to a conflict. It acts at the request of the parties or at the invitation of regional or multilateral organizations. It is not intended to be a substitute for official diplomatic channels, but seeks to facilitate dialogue and achieve a better understanding between conflicting parties wherever parallel diplomacy, informal bridge-building and discreet, pragmatic engagement offer an alternative way forward.

Drawing on the experience of its distinguished members and advisers, the Foundation is able to operate at the highest levels and to guarantee confidentiality. It has the twin aims of conflict resolution and conservation because conflicts are among the greatest threats to the natural environment. Only by achieving peace and stability can nations thrive, people prosper and the environment be safeguarded. Although relatively new, the Foundation played a major role in the release of Father Mateusz Dziedzic and the 25 hostages held in the Central African Republic in November 2014, took part in the 200th anniversary of the Congress of Vienna in 2015, and will join the forthcoming Baku Forum organized by Alliance of Civilizations under the auspices of UN.

Partnerships help create dialogue. Common ground can be found in almost every sphere. Music is a good example. In 2015 the Brazzaville Foundation offered its support to the Alma Chamber Orchestra, which has a clear remit and track record of using music to engage and build dialogue in the pursuit of peace. Our partnership is based on shared goals and ideas and has not involved any financial assistance. The Brazzaville Foundation is registered as a Charity in London, a centre of best practice in governance and regulated by the Charities Commission.

Jean-Yves Ollivier, the Chairman of the Brazzaville Foundation, was appointed Grand Officer of the Order of Good Hope by Nelson Mandela for his contribution to the struggle against Apartheid in South Africa and, in particular, for his contribution to the “Brazzaville Accord” signed on 13th December 1988. In 1987 he organized, in difficult and dangerous circumstances, the exchange of almost 200 prisoners between several countries that were at war in southern Africa at that time. This operation led the South African state to the recognition of the ANC and prepared the ground for the Brazzaville Accord.