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Creating Spaces for Dialogue – A Role for Civil Society

Creating Spaces for Dialogue – A Role for Civil Society, is a publication released December 2015 from the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC). It is a compilation of different case studies about dialogue processes that have taken place among polarized societies.Creating_space


Dialogue and mediation is at the heart of the work of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC). GPPAC members employ dialogue and mediation as a means for conflict prevention, to decrease tensions during conflict, or as a tool for reconciliation in post-conflict situations. Last week, GPPAC presented its new publication dedicated to dialogue and mediation “Creating Spaces for Dialogue – A Role for Civil Society” in Pyongyang, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The stories presented in this book are authored by GPPAC network members who initiated a conversation between communities and societies polarised and divided as a result of conflict. Each story shows how civil society plays a vital role in rebuilding trust and enabling collaborations.

The authors describe how the dialogue processes unfolded, and share resulting lessons and observations. They also present their views on the questions that need to be addressed in designing a meaningful process. Is there such a thing as the most opportune moment to initiate a dialogue? Who should introduce the process? How is the process of participant selection approached, and what are the patterns of relationship transformation? Lastly, what follows once confidence and trust have been established?

The first two stories provide an account of civil society contribution to normalising inter-state relations between the US and Cuba, and Russia and Georgia. The following two chapters offer chronicles of community dialogues between Serbians and Albanians in Serbia and Kosovo, and Christians and Muslims in Indonesia.

On June 10th, GPPAC’s experts on dialogue and mediation convened in Pyongyang, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, for a seminar co-organised by the Korean National Peace Committee and GPPAC. The seminar marked the first public presentation of the book.

In Pyongyang, the GPPAC delegation reflected on the case studies presented in the book. They also shared and examined specific examples of dialogue and mediation initiated and facilitated in different contexts, including in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Southeast Asia.

You can download the full publication in PDF here.

The Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC, pronounced “gee-pak”) is a global member led network of civil society organizations (CSOs) who actively work on conflict prevention and peacebuilding. The network consists of fifteen regional networks of local organisations with their own priorities, character and agenda. These regional networks are represented in an International Steering Group, which jointly determines our global priorities and actions for our conflict prevention and peacebuilding work.

Our mission is to promote a global shift in peacebuilding from solely reacting to conflict to preventing conflicts from turning violent. We do this through multi-actor collaboration and local ownership of strategies for peace and security. Together, we aim to achieve greater national, regional and global synergy in the field of conflict prevention and peacebuilding, and to strengthen the role of local members in the regions affected by conflict.

Follow on Twitter: @GPPAC

Resource Link: Creating Spaces for Dialogue – A Role for Civil Society

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