The International Coordinator is IFOR’s chief executive officer and as such responsible for the International Secretariat. This includes the facilitation of IFOR’s network and oversight of IFOR’s programmatic activities, which are the Women Peacemakers Programme (WPP) and IFOR’s representatives to the UN.
IFOR as an international network exists since 1919, but the spark for its existence came from an international peace conference held in Constance, Germany, in 1914, at the eve of World War I. Its vocation is to work for peace and nonviolence and against war, for reconciliation and against injustice. IFOR’s members share a commitment to respect every human being and thus to nonviolence. They believe that reconciliation is possible and that nonviolence is the way of peace. IFOR now has 80 members in 48 countries, many of whom are heavily engaged in human rights work, peace building, peace education and training.
Regarding his vision for IFOR, Francesco says: “An organization that counts among its past and current members seven Nobel peace laureates should assume a leading role in conflict resolution and interfaith dialogue at the international level.”
According to IFOR President Hansuli Gerber, the appointment of a new International Coordinator comes at a time of great uncertainty and great opportunity. Anticipating its centennial in 2014, IFOR is challenged, alongside with many other initiatives, to stand for just peace, nonviolence and reconciliation, Gerber said.
Francesco Candelari was born in Torino, Italy, on 10 January 1981. Since his early life, while his friends and classmates in elementary school where watching Tom and Jerry, he was educated by his father at reading Gandhi and Martin Luther King. Culturally filled with nonviolence, he understood at the age of 19 that his vocation in life would have also been knowing people all over the world, listen to their stories, write their stories and connect them.”
In 2000, he went to Burkina Faso thinking he would have been a missionary and in fact he was saved by the locals leaving behind all pretentious ethnocentric approaches. Since then he travelled and lived in four continents. Paris 2003, India 2005-2006, New York 2008-2011 have been his most important steps in his recent personal and professional life.
He worked in the field level while in India and at the institutional level in New York as the United Nations Crime Research Institute (Unicri) Representative to the UN Headquarters.
Francesco is also a journalist.