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Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy

IMTD was founded in 1992 by Ambassador John W. McDonald and Dr. Louise Diamond. The mission of IMTD is to promote a systems-based approach to peacebuilding and to facilitate the transformation of deep-rooted social conflict through education, conflict resolution training and communication. The Institute is based in Arlington, VA, and has more than 1300 members in 31 countries. IMTD is supported by a wide range of key personnel, associates and interns.

In fulfilling our mission statement, IMTD takes a holistic and participatory approach in assessing all key variables in deep rooted conflicts in both conflict and post-conflict settings (our systems approach). Through training and third-party involvement, we then facilitate peace building by facilitating conflict prevention, management, and transformation.

We promote the breaking down of stereotypes and other barriers, provide differing groups with the skills to transform how they view each other, and facilitate the development of mutual understanding, trust and reconciliation.

At the invitation of community-based groups in conflict, our needs-based approach and interventions include conciliation, facilitation, mediation, adjudication, and negotiations primarily through participatory training and interactive dialogue based on field-tested and tailored curriculum and methodology. Our effectiveness lies in our core values of understanding facts and prevailing feelings inherent in a conflict, careful listening, building an environment of trust and commitment, and programming resources to address conflict transformation needs over the long term.

IMTD’s intellectual capital, lessons learned, and best practices are disseminated and shared through an extensive publications program of occasional papers, frequent public presentations, a long-standing internship program, and through an extensive network of partners and friends spanning most continents.

A message from Ambassador John W. McDonald, Chairman and CEO of the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy…

The Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy, or IMTD as we are known by our many friends around the world, was officially incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in Washington D.C. on May 26, 1992, by Dr. Louise Diamond and by me. We had co-authored a book called “Multi-Track Diplomacy: A Systems Approach to Peace” the previous year and decided to create an Institute by that name in order to bring our message to the world. We became a US tax-exempt, non-governmental organization, called a 501 © (3), later that year. On May 26, 1992 we had no money, no staff, no office and no computers but we had two dedicated people who had decided to dedicate their lives towards making this concept a reality.

In 1985, while still at the State Department, I wrote the first book on Track Two Diplomacy, based on the term coined by my good friend Joe Montville in 1982. The book is entitled “Conflict Resolution: Track Two Diplomacy.” Track One is government-to-government, which I did for 40 years as a US Diplomat. Track Two in non-governmental, people-to-people, and is focused on international conflict and peace building. In 1989 I expanded Track Two to five tracks and then in 1991 to nine tracks – government, professional conflict resolution, business, private citizen exchanges, training and education, peace activism, religion, funding, and lastly communication, which ties all the nine tracks together.

In our fifteen years of operational experience we have developed certain ground-rules that we feel are important. For example, we only go where we are invited to go by the people in conflict. We go and listen and learn and ask what peoples’ needs are. We try to respond to some of those needs, especially when they involve training and education. When we take on a project, we make a five year commitment, or longer if necessary. We do not advertise but depend on word of mouth references. We build trust and in the process touch the heart of the people involved in ethnic conflict and are willing to find solutions.

Our first project was Cyprus, where we worked for eight years. We have done good work, over the years, in Israel-Palestine, Jordan, Bosnia, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia, Tanzania, Congo (DRC), Zimbabwe, Rwanda, India, Pakistan, Kashmir, Nepal, Sri Lanka, the Government of Tibet-in-Exile, Georgia, Taiwan and Cuba. In addition we have been involved in drinking water and sanitation issues for years and more recently in water and peace issues.

We have also facilitated, since 1993 a number of dialogues involving people living n the greater Washington D.C. area. We hosted an Ethiopian dialogue for eight years, a Somali Dialogue for five years and have worked with Israeli-Palestinians, Cuban-Americans, Afghans, Japanese-South Koreans, Japanese-Chinese and Tibetan-Chinese, with commendable results.

We also have an extensive publications program which you will find of interest.

We have had almost 200 interns since 1992, six or seven in the Winter, Spring and Summer terms, all getting their Masters in Conflict Resolution and coming from almost 40 countries around the world.

Resource Link: www.imtd.org

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