Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue

Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue

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About Business Network

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

HD is one of the world’s leading organisations in the field of conflict mediation. Since 1999, it has been helping to prevent and resolve armed conflict, and to alleviate the suffering of those affected by violence. Independent and discreet, we work with our clients – parties to conflict – to assist them in their search for peace.

We use the tools of private diplomacy to expand the space for the non-violent resolution of armed conflict. We open channels of communication and mediate between parties in conflict, facilitate dialogue, provide support to the broader mediation and peacebuilding community, carry out capacity building work, and conduct research on mediation issues. We deploy our expertise to support local and nationally-owned processes that protect civilians and foster lasting and just peace. Our position enables us to link and collaborate with multiple organisations and actors within the mediation field.

In the last 15 years, HD has positioned itself as a leader in the field of conflict mediation. In recognition of its strategic role and to reflect its strong link to its host country and to Geneva, Switzerland granted HD a special international status in July 2015 awarding it privileges and immunities that will further support its peacemaking mission worldwide.

Our Values and Principles

HD was founded to pursue Henry Dunant’s vision of a world more humane. HD embraces a set of values that foster integrity, professionalism and respect for diversity in all areas of its work. We subscribe to the core humanitarian principles of humanity, impartiality and operational independence.

Those values and principles, as well as HD’s operational standards are reflected in its Charter. This Charter, which guides HD’s activities, was adopted in 2013 following an internal review of the organisation’s identity, values and principles.

Our approach

As a private peacemaking organisation, our strengths and distinguishing traits include:

  • The ability to conduct mediation at the leadership level of parties in conflict;
  • Political independence and impartiality;
  • Rapid, flexible response and the effective management of discreet processes;
  • Readiness to support other lead mediators;
  • Relationships with high-level networks, particularly in Asia and Africa;
  • Creativity and willingness to take risks for peace;
  • Capacity to convene.

HD pursues its objectives with a commitment to new approaches, to learning, and to collaboration, working with others across borders, beliefs and professions. Since the organisation began operations in 1999, it has established itself as an institution that is reliable, discreet and astute.

HD’s operational work strongly relies on service-oriented corporate services (HR, Finance, Communications, Fundraising Logistics, and IT) to guarantee efficiency and compliance in a fast moving environment.


One of HD’s strengths is its ability and commitment to conduct confidential dialogue processes. Under certain conditions, a confidential process can provide an enabling environment for parties to begin addressing differences. It reduces the potential costs of negotiation, especially at an early stage in the process when publicity may jeopardise the process of dialogue or the security of those taking part.


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