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We know that peace cannot be imposed from above, and that only communities themselves can determine what peace between them looks like. At the same time, community level programmes alone cannot engineer national and regional political reform. Any lasting settlement requires high level political decisions making.

That is why we support diplomatic discussions at the highest level, mediating disputes, building trust and providing the space needed to address issues positively and constructively.

By providing a private, open environment for individuals to hold conversations and build trust, we can help people arrive at innovative and practical solutions to protracted problems. The aim is to develop workable agreements which will change the status quo and allow the communities to heal together.

As diplomacy becomes far more complex, fragmented and layered, facilitating effective diplomacy requires us to bring innovative thinking to real- world, international problems to address the blockages that have kept peace processes stagnant.

Such a process requires all sides to have the skills and tools

they need to represent the interests of their communities. Because representatives of minority and disadvantaged groups may lack these resources, we support them by providing them access to legal experts, academics and other diplomats. It’s crucial that minorities and marginalised peoples can participate in peace processes, so that a fair and pragmatic path to peace can be achieved.

What we do

Our low profile approach allows us to engage in situations where official processes cannot.

James HolmesICO Secretary General


We organise closed door  mediation between conflict parties so that  actors can share their perspectives and with our help, settle their differences.

Policy Expertise

We draw on the expertise of our network of academics and practitioners to engage in problem solving, provide advice and generate new ideas to support our diplomatic work.

Capacity Building

ICO believes communities can come together and achieve peace by constructing a shared vision for a better future.

Where we work

ICO engages in diplomacy in 4 locations.

UN Contributions


UN Contributions

ICO’s Commitment to African Development Highlighted at Special High-Level Dialogue

13 July 2022
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ICO Consultants

ICO enlists a range of experts, from international law practitioners, to peace and conflict academics  to consider the impact of ICO’s interventions and develop new thinking.