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Global peace-building initiative.

ICO’s forum for cities in transition.

The Forum for Cities in Transition brings together protagonists from divided societies. Its guiding principle is that one divided society is in the best position to help another. The forum is designed so that cities on higher rungs of conflict transformation assist those on lower rungs. This process is reciprocal because those with particular expertise are reminded of how they attained it.

Our Projects
Origins of The Forum

Originating in a conference

Originating in a conference convened by South Africa President Nelson Mandela and the University of Massachusetts Boston in mid-1997, Professor O’Malley brought together Northern Ireland’s most senior party negotiators with those involved from all parties that led to the historic 1994 settlement in South Africa that brought the end to apartheid.

Northern Ireland party leaders were effusive in their praise of the contributions of the South Africans, revealing that one divided society can well assist the peace-making work of another divided society.

The proposed premise is that those who have real experience of doing the ordinary (refuse collection, water treatment, public transportation, social housing) in extraordinary circumstances (physical segregation, zero-sum politics, blaming the out-group for societal ills) are in the best position to learn from others’ practical experiences.

A pilot conference was held in Boston in April 2009, and delegates agreed a set of basic principles, expressing its collective desire to continue and expand this work. The Forum for Cities in Transition was established; there have been four annual gatherings since, hosted by FCT member cities Mitrovica (2010), Derry-Londonderry (2011), Kirkuk (2012) and Kaduna (2013).

Since 2018, International Communities Organisation has taken over the secretariat of the forum for cities in transition, and continues to collaborate with Professor O’Malley to continue its legacy.


member cities in the forum


direct beneficiaries




Cross-community interactions

There are 15 member cities of the Forum for Cities in Transition

  • Baghdad
  • Belfast
  • Derry-Londonderry
  • Haifa
  • Jerusalem
  • Kaduna
  • Kirkuk
  • Mitrovica
  • Mitte (Berlin)
  • Mostar
  • Nicosia
  • Ramallah
  • Sarajevo
  • Tripoli (Lebanon)

These annual meetings are an ongoing process, grounded in the tangible outcomes the each city delegation pledges at each event conclusion. Pledges come in the form of projects, aimed at furthering conflict transition and reconciliation.

For more information on the history of the Forum for Cities in Transition please visit