About us

Since 1999, HD has been fostering dialogue, securing peace agreements and reducing the human suffering caused by war to help open the way to stability and development.

HD’s global reach, multi-track mediation and extensive networks allow us to work beyond the constraints of traditional diplomacy and engage all parties in pursuit of peace.

From international to local, we bring together governments, armed groups, opposition parties and communities – including women and youth – to help them build a shared vision of a better future and create sustainable peace.

With HD’s results-driven system of mediation support and analysis, we hone our effectiveness and share our knowledge – including expertise in digital conflict, inclusive peace processes, environmental peacemaking and healthcare challenges in high-risk areas.

In an increasingly fragmented and polarised world, the need for private diplomacy and discreet dialogue has never been more important.

Click here to explore ways to help us keep innovating to meet the challenges and achieve peace.

A non-profit organisation based in Switzerland, HD is supervised by an independent board, regularly reports to donors and files audited financial results. HD is funded by various governments and private philanthropy.

HD is deeply honoured to receive the Carnegie Wateler Peace Prize for 2022 in recognition of our track record of conflict mediation and contributions to peace.

Photo: HD’s headquarters on Lac Léman is an exceptional, discreet setting for our global peacemaking initiatives. © HD

Our work

We are pioneers in peacemaking. For more than 20 years, HD has been instrumental in reducing violence and achieving peace around the world.

HD Highlights

HD runs multi-track mediation processes across Africa, the Middle East, Eurasia, Asia and Latin America. The map highlights just some of our work in more than 80% of the world’s violent conflicts.
Map of the world showing HD’s areas of work 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

1. Colombia

HD is working to strengthen the benefits of peace accords signed in 2016, including support for the Manigua de Paz (Jungle of Peace) sustainable bean-to-bar chocolate business run by former FARC guerrillas in the Meta and Tumaco areas.

2. Spain

For 15 years, HD discreetly and steadily helped to resolve decades of violence in Spain, starting in 2004 with confidential support for talks and ending with the Basque armed group ETA disbanding. ETA’s final declaration was made public in a ceremony at HD headquarters in Geneva on 3 May 2018.

3. Ukraine

HD has been active in Ukraine since 2014, positioning our teams to help set up civilian evacuation corridors and develop discreet channels for communication after the war started in early 2022. During talks between Russia and Ukraine to restart the flow of vital food shipments, our teams provided advice and close support to the Black Sea Grain Initiative led by the United Nations and Türkiye.

4. Sahel

In a region of widespread instability, HD supports a network of more than 2,000 agro-pastoral mediators in Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Chad who resolve hundreds of conflicts over the sharing of natural resources every year. HD also mediates many local agreements to reduce the impact of conflict on communities and foster reconciliation.

5. Nigeria

HD is convening dialogue among various groups to address conflicts over land, water and political power in Middle Belt states. In 2021, HD secured the first social media peace accord between communities in conflict and has since achieved a peace agreement based on the sharing of natural resources.

6. Libya

HD brokered an immediate ceasefire in August 2020 and an agreement among major Libyan stakeholders to recommit to political talks. This led to a formal ceasefire and UN-brokered political deal with a new interim government, a roadmap for elections and substantial women’s representation in the future cabinet.

7. Tunisia

HD facilitated the Charter of Honour for Elections, an agreement between all major political parties in Tunisia that allowed the 2014 elections to proceed peacefully.

8. South China Sea

HD has convened two tracks of dialogue: On preventing violent escalation between coastguards and on avoiding a collapse in fish stocks. These resulted in operational principles to prevent incidents at sea and in scientific consensus on fisheries management between China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

9. Philippines

Since 2004, HD has helped efforts to end the conflict in the southern Philippines. HD’s initiatives include support for successful peace talks in 2014 and ratification of the law establishing the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, along with community dialogue sessions and training of mediators.

10. Senegal

Since 2014, HD has managed efforts between Senegal’s government and the various factions of the Mouvement des Forces Démocratiques de Casamance to end Africa’s longest insurgency. After five years of discreet shuttling between the parties, HD facilitated a series of direct talks resulting in the laying down of arms by a first faction of the MFDC in May 2023.