SFG led a discussion on One and a Half Track Diplomacy as an instrument for promoting peace, for a group of peace practitioners in Stockholm. The interactive session was co-hosted by Tools for Peace, and EuropeHuset. The participants included practitioners of various conflict resolution methods. Julie Lindahl, author of several books, and Chairperson of Tools for Peace chaired the programme.
The discussion brought out several aspects of modern conflict resolution. First, in large conflicts the engagement of the state is essential. At the same time, other actors in civil society can play a useful role. Second, modern technology such as internet can be used for positive peace making objectives, though currently it has been misused by criminals and terrorists. Third, it is absolutely essential to have trust in the dialogue processes. Further, trust is inter-linked with mutual respect. The parties may disagree with each other on their positions, but they cannot disrespect each other. Once they are encouraged to respect, they also learn to trust the other side. Fourth, it is important for peacemakers to interact for cross fertilisation of ideas and experiences. Fifth, it is important that facilitators and peacemakers are unbiased and are seen to be unbiased and impartial.
For more information and video coverage see: http://www.storiesforsociety.com/tools-for-peace/
During the SFG visit to Stockholm, we also hosted the second round of dialogue between Israeli and Palestinian experts to find urgent solutions to water problems. The meeting was co-hosted by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the Human Security Division of the Swiss Federal Department for Foreign Affairs. It resulted in a concrete plan of action.
SFG was also invited by various Swedish experts for bilateral consultations on peace and conflict during the week.