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Europe is speechless with racing rhetoric, opinion-making, hasty declarations, reactions, and helpless gestures, some promoting understanding and some preventing tolerance and openness. Today, as for the last three days, Brussels is frozen with fear and the whole city has stopped functioning the way it used to. In a way, we find ourselves confused and marginalized in the heart of our beloved Europe.
«The success of a dialogue depends, firstly, on the ability not to speak but to listen. And its outcome is the understanding of your dialogue partner and the formation of trust towards him or her» (a quote from the Mykolayiv dialogue initiative)
In Ukraine, several initiatives are using dialogue to build options to address some of the country’s most difficult challenges. Visualising them may help strengthen their impact and learn from each other. I was recently invited to give input at a meeting on Innovative Thinking on Strategic Approaches to Conflict Management in The Hague, next to four other people working in this fascinating world. Their experience: years of work in policy advise, years of work on business and development, and connecting thousands of people in one of the most beautiful peace initiatives I have seen. My experience: making doodles to represent dialogue. Surely I had way more to learn than to say, but this is roughly what I presented.
Thursday, 12 June 2014 16:34

Peace from the Desktop

The unseen value of peace assistance  When I first heard about peacework three or four years ago, all I could picture was a group of experts getting off a helicopter in a conflict zone. Silly as it sounds, back then my mind thought of peace as something built in a very specific moment in time by people with a very specific set of skills. A spectacular intervention in times of crisis, peacework was all about implementation: get there and ‘make’ peace. What I did not know is just how much of that peace is actually made in the shadows, or from the desktop.
'While track one breakthroughs like the Ohrid Agreement or the recent Kosovo-Serbia Agreement are needed to start peace processes, positive peace can only be achieved through sustainable long-term follow-up of the implementation process'  
"Disputes arising over implementation terms may not just arise between the parties, but also between parties and implementers, and between implementers and other implementers. As a result, and perhaps paradoxically, more mediation may in fact be required at this time, and between more actors, rather than less." 
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