New GPPAC publication “Creating Spaces for Dialogue – A Role for Civil Society”

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.

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