PAX works to involve citizens from all of Kosovo’s communities in the local, national, and international policymaking processes that affect their lives. PAX strives to bring citizens together to address challenges of common interest, such as poor governance, weak rule of law, and the unresolved legacy of violent conflict.
PAX has been present in Kosovo since before the 1998-99 war. Today, our work focuses on two main areas: (1) supporting civil society and citizens to build a better future for northern Kosovo, and (2) dealing with the past and transitional justice. In the seven northern-most municipalities, Kosovo’s government has had limited authority and members of the Serb community look to the Serbian state for direction and support; PAX stimulates active citizenship and translates the perspective of citizens into policy recommendations in order to sustainably improve life for people from all communities in the region. Since dealing effectively with the legacy of mass violence and human rights violations will be essential to realizing Kosovo's vision of a cohesive, multi-ethnic society, PAX also works to empower state, civil society and international actors in Kosovo to design and implement inclusive transitional justice processes that strengthen guarantees of non-repetition and prospects for better relations between communities.
In partnership with UN-Habitat Kosovo and Community Building Mitrovica (see below), PAX designed and delivers the Inclusive Development Programme. This innovative programme builds the planning and management capacities of seven municipalities in northern Kosovo while fostering effective civil society and citizen oversight and facilitating robust local-central dialogue and inter-municipal cooperation. PAX and CBM co-implement a range of activities improving local government responsiveness and accountability, in close coordination with the Mitrovica Regional Monitoring Team (MRMT), a multi-ethnic coalition of civil society organizations.
PAX and its main strategic partner, Impunity Watch, issued recommendations on effective public outreach to the Kosovo Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor's Office, new hybrid judicial institutions based in The Hague, and facilitated initial contacts between those institutions and civil society in Kosovo. Together with local partners Centre for Peace and Tolerance and Integra, PAX and IW work to promote informed public dialogue about the Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor´s Office, and advocate for a stronger institutional framework for dealing with the past more broadly, including through a recent review of efforts to produce Kosovo's National Strategy for Transitional Justice.
In 2001, PAX established Community Building Mitrovica (CBM), now one of the best-known and most credible civil society actors in Mitrovicë / Mitrovica, the largest city in northern Kosovo. CBM has been an independent organization for more than a decade. It employs staff from diverse communities in order to make life in northern Kosovo easier for all. PAX acts as a strategic ally and technical advisor to CBM, which is a key partner in the Inclusive Development Programme.