What we do

The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue’s (HD) mission is

to prevent, mitigate and resolve armed conflicts,

through dialogue and mediation.

{:en}Mediation and dialogue are the most effective, and cheapest, tools for preventing and resolving armed conflicts. They are the core business of HD, a globally connected private diplomacy organisation that operates discreetly to help conflict parties settle their differences.{:}{:fr}La médiation et le dialogue constituent les outils les plus efficaces et les moins coûteux pour prévenir et résoudre les conflits armés. Ils sont au cœur de l’action de HD, organisation de diplomatie privée qui, grâce à des réseaux de contacts dans le monde entier, œuvre en toute discrétion pour aider les belligérants à régler leurs différends.{:}

{:en}Providing effective support to mediators can increase the chances of successfully preventing, mitigating and resolving conflicts and of sustaining peace after an agreement is signed. HD offers this support by giving mediators access to the latest conflict resolution expertise and experience.{:}{:fr}Appuyer efficacement le travail des médiateurs permet d’augmenter les chances de prévenir, atténuer et résoudre les conflits, mais aussi de maintenir la paix une fois qu’un accord a été signé. HD soutient les acteurs de la médiation en leur donnant accès à une expertise de pointe ainsi qu’aux expériences les plus récentes en matière de résolution des conflits.{:}

{:en}The Oslo Forum is the leading international network of conflict mediation practitioners. Co-hosted by the Norwegian Government and HD, the Oslo Forum convenes conflict mediators, peacemakers, high-level decision-makers and key peace process actors in a series of informal and discreet retreats.{:}{:fr}Le Forum d’Oslo est une série de rencontres informelles réunissant des médiateurs internationaux, hauts responsables politiques et autres acteurs des processus de paix. Le Forum leur offre un cadre discret et informel pour mener une réflexion sur les pratiques actuelles de la médiation, travailler ensemble au-delà des divergences institutionnelles et de points de vue, et faire progresser leurs négociations.{:}

{:en}As part of its conflict mediation and dialogue activities, and where political dialogue may be difficult or impossible, HD undertakes mediation on a humanitarian basis. Humanitarian mediation enables the parties in conflict to address key issues, such as safe access and protection of civilians, the special needs of women and children, displaced populations and any affected minority groups.{:}{:fr}Dans le cadre de ses activités de médiation, lorsque le dialogue politique se révèle difficile, voire impossible, HD entreprend des initiatives à vocation humanitaire. La médiation humanitaire permet aux belligérants d’aborder des problèmes majeurs tels que la protection des populations civiles et leur accès à l’assistance humanitaire, les besoins particuliers des femmes et des enfants, la question des personnes déplacées et celle des minorités affectées par le conflit.{:}

Where we work

For almost two decades, HD has supported peaceful settlements around the world. The organisation is currently involved in more than 40 dialogue and mediation initiatives in over 25 countries.

Who we are

HD is a Swiss-based private diplomacy organisation

founded on the principles of humanity, impartiality and independence.


{:en}The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD) is a Swiss-based private diplomacy organisation founded on the principles of humanity, impartiality and independence. Our mission is to help prevent, mitigate, and resolve armed conflict through dialogue and mediation.{:}{:fr}Le Centre pour le dialogue humanitaire (HD) est une organisation de diplomatie privée basée en Suisse et fondée sur les principes d’humanité, d’impartialité et d’indépendance. Sa mission est d’aider à prévenir, atténuer et résoudre les conflits armés par le biais du dialogue et de la médiation.{:}

Foundation Board

{:en}As a Swiss non profit Foundation, HD is supervised by a Board, which serves on a voluntary basis. It sets the mission and the general policy of the Foundation and provides overall supervision of the development and implementation of the organisation’s programme and administration, as managed by the Senior Management Team and staff. {:}{:fr}HD est une fondation suisse à but non lucratif dont les activités sont supervisées par un Conseil de fondation qui définit la mission et la politique générale de l’organisation. Le Conseil supervise également le développement ainsi que l’administration et la mise en œuvre du programme d’activités de l’organisation, tel que conduits par les membres dirigeants et leur équipe.{:}


{:en}HD’s team has grown from a small group of 6 people in 1999 to more than 140 from over 40 different nationalities today, supervised by a 10 member Senior Management Team. The organisation is made up of individuals driven by meaningful objectives who find creative approaches to “getting things done” and are dedicated to making a difference in peace and mediation efforts. {:}{:fr}Composée d’un petit groupe de six personnes en 1999, l’équipe de HD compte aujourd’hui plus de 140 collaborateurs issus de 40 nationalités différentes, qui travaillent sous la supervision de 10 cadres dirigeants. L’organisation regroupe des individus animés par le sens de leur mission, qui recherchent des méthodes créatives pour “faire avancer les choses” et tiennent à contribuer aux efforts de paix et de médiation. {:}

Latest updates

Signing of a peace agreement between Idourfane and Ibogolitane communities in the border region of Mali and Niger

Idourfane and Ibogolitane communities from the regions of Gao and Ménaka in Mali and the region of Tillabéry in Niger, signed a peace agreement on 20 November 2018 in Gao, thereby putting an end to more than a year of deadly conflict between the two sides.

The Gao Agreement, which is the result of a mediation process facilitated by the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD), was signed by six Idourfane and Ibogolitane leaders designated by their respective communities in Mali and Niger.

Through this Agreement, both communities have committed to:

  • Ceasing armed confrontations and jointly denouncing any act of violence committed by any member of their community in the future;
  • Referring any threats or attacks to the relevant authorities of Mali and Niger;
  • Prioritising the use of traditional mediation mechanisms to prevent and manage their disputes;
  • Raising young people’s and opinion leaders’ awareness to encourage them to commit to peace;
  • Facilitating the return of displaced people back to their homes;
  • Offering condolences to the conflict victims’ families through the voices of the leaders of both communities;
  • Standing up against cattle theft and looting, whichever community is being affected by the latter, and facilitating the search of the stolen livestock and goods to be returned to their owners.
  • Following up on the Agreement’s implementation and reporting back to the communities on the latter, on a regular basis.

This Agreement puts an end to more than a year of intercommunal clashes which have caused the death of more than sixty people over the last six months. The conflict, which originates in a struggle for access to the region’s natural resources, currently affects 9 municipalities in Mali and 4 of them in Niger.

The mediation process, which was initiated at the request of the communities themselves, brought together all the parties which have an influence over the conflict, including leaders of the Fulani community, women and youth representatives from both communities, as well as the armed groups which have taken part in the clashes (the ‘CMA’, the ‘Platform’ and the ‘MSA’). Malian and Nigerien authorities have also been kept closely informed of the mediation process by HD.

“It is important that the communities pursue a close dialogue with Malian and Nigerien authorities in order to guarantee the Agreement’s implementation and sustainability. The signing of the Agreement will not put an end to the violence between the communities overnight, but represents a solid basis on which they can rely to manage their disputes in a negotiated manner,” said Abdelkader Sidibé, HD’s Head of Mission for the Sahel.

In this fragile context, HD will also support the Committee in charge of monitoring the Agreement’s implementation. Set up during the accord’s signing, the Committee comprises representatives from both communities.

The Gao Agreement falls within HD’s broader mediation efforts which seek to help stabilize the border regions of Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso.

HD would like to express its gratitude to the Kingdom of Denmark for its support to its activities in the Sahel region.


To read the Gao Agreement (in French), please follow this link: https://www.hdcentre.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Accord-de-paix-Idourfane-Ibogolitane-Mali-Niger-2018.pdf

For further information, please send an email to: pr@hdcentre.org.