TransConflict is pleased to present the third Global Coalition for Conflict Transformation newsletter, showcasing the work of the GCCT and its members.
TransConflict is pleased to present the third bi-monthly newsletter, which provides a host of insights into the work of the Global Coalition for Conflict Transformation (GCCT) and its members. The main purpose of this newsletter is to a) share information about the work of the GCCT and its members to a wider audience, and b) to strengthen co-operation and co-ordination between GCCT members themselves and with other interested parties.
To read previous versions of the GCCT newsletter, please visit:
- 1) New members of the GCCT – learn more about recent additions to the GCCT.
- 2) GCCT Members in Focus – Peace Dialogue – Armenia
- 3) GCCT Insight and Analysis – an overview of the insight and analysis produced by members of the GCCT on a variety of conflict and conflict transformation related topics.
- 4) GCCT Activities, Research and Requests – Partnership on Community-Based Sustainable Peace Analysis Research (2013-2014) – this section allow members to share both insights into their activities and research, plus calls for partnership and support, thereby strengthening exchanges between GCCT members.
- 5) GCCT Advocacy – Minnesota Declaration – “A call for justice for victims of Liberia’s civil war” – this section provides an opportunity for GCCT members to raise awareness about particular advocacy and lobbying campaigns they are pursuing.
- 6) Follow the GCCT and the TransConflict
1) New members of the GCCT
The GCCT was pleased to welcome a host of new members in the past several months, including:
- 1) Centre for Conflict Management and Transformation (CCMT) – Zimbabwe – CCMT’s vision is a society where people actively participate in creating social and economic justice by managing and transforming all forms of conflict constructively. CCMT’s mission is to enhance communities’ capacity do deal with conflicts by raising awareness and creating synergies among decision-makers and local stakeholders in conflict processes, thus building sustainable and constructive impacts towards transforming conflict and enabling a stable and durable peace. CCMT works to transform the ways in which societies deal with conflict – away from adversarial approaches and towards collaborative problem solving to find culturally-appropriate means to strengthen societies’ capacity to deal with conflicts constructively. CCMT provides relevant and quality training services to various organisations and groups; established a resource centre through which interested members of the public can access information on conflict management and transformation; provides conflict intervention services to individuals, groups, private sector companies and organisations; and conducts research into traditional and non-traditional conflict transformation approaches relevant to social conflicts in Zimbabwe.
- 2) South Sudan Youth Participation Agency (SSYPA) – South Sudan – works to empower youth leaders as peace ambassadors and beacons of hope for South Sudan. SSYPA has organized several peace building and conflict transformation activities across the nation for the past 10 years, through which it has both assisted and witnessed young people taking the lead to transform conflicts in South Sudan. SSYPA works closely with Norwegian Church Aid, the Oslo Center and CHF in South Sudan, primarily targeting youth. The South Sudan Youth Development Project, funded by CIDA, promotes effective and meaningful youth involvement in the development of their communities. It works to strengthen the administrative capacity of SSYPA, a network of 47 youth organizations in southern Sudan and facilitates collaboration among its member organizations. Additional programme activities include HIV/AIDS education and awareness, mine education and awareness, psycho-social support programs, community peace building and reconciliation, skills training and other local rehabilitation efforts.
2) GCCT Members in Focus – Peace Dialogue – Armenia
Each edition we will showcase a different member of the Global Coalition for Conflict Transformation. This edition’s featured organization is Peace Dialogue from Armenia.
3) GCCT Insight and Analysis
This section provides an overview of the insight and analysis produced by members of the GCCT on a variety of conflict and conflict transformation related topics:
- Using images in struggle – creating another social reality – by Modus Operandi – Art has the capacity to create another social reality, to give voice to the voiceless or to imagine a reality beyond conflict. Dreaming a new future is an effective weapon in struggle.
- Thoughts on community and commemoration – by Dr. Orna Young – The question of representation is a key issue in the issues of commemorations, many of which have had their ownership taken by the very individuals who are viewed as embodying the antithesis of the communal spirit evidenced at such events. This ownership is seeking to emphasise the exclusivity of a community, while binding that exclusivity to dysfunctional rhetoric so many in these communities have sought to move beyond.
- Time for the UN Security Council permanent five to give up their vetoes? – by Gerard M. Gallucci – Why has the relationship between Washington and Moscow not become more “normal” and permitted a greater degree of partnership in the Security Council? Reasons exist on both sides. But the world would be a better place if the US stopped trying to remake it in its own image and instead worked within the international community as part of that community.
- “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got” – by Dr. Orna Young – There needs to be a re-assessment of who is brought to the table in efforts to build and develop relationships. To move beyond the constant re-visiting of the same issues, perhaps we need to move the conversation beyond those “usual suspects”. The demographics of those engaging in these specific talks suggest that while many have shifted in their thinking to find areas of mutual concern and agreement, “new” voices will soon need to be heard.
- Between agitation and victimization – is Erdogan still a winner after Gezi park? – by Dr. Ulas Doga Eralp – Erdogan’s lack of anger management might not only cost him the presidency but also damage Turkey’s growth projections in an increasingly volatile region. His last meeting with the Taksim Solidarity Movement delegation might have been a positive sign that Erdogan finally is arriving at the same conclusion, but his insistence on the use of violence discourages such optimistic predictions.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina today – the view from Tuzla – by Mirjana Kosić – In spite of the demographic turbulence that Bosnia and Herzegovina has endured, Tuzla has remained largely multi-ethnic in composition, with Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims), Croats and Serbs residing side-by-side.
- Serbia and Russia – far right friendships? – by Vladimir Ninković – Whilst some may be tempted to use radical, far right organizations as proxies for their daily political goals, they would be wise to remember that even the most powerful political and security actors have in the past ‘overplayed’ with fire and created potent adversaries.
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4) GCCT Research and Activities
Partnership on Community-Based Sustainable Peace Analysis Research (2013-2014)
- Location – Eastern Africa – Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya
- Implementing Organization – Active Non-Violence Initiatives Kenya
- Partnership Request – Three-years of funding and research support
Eastern Africa is the newest frontier for exploiting high-value resources – including minerals, gas, oil, land and water – and developing large scale infrastructure and farms. For the communities affected, it is imperative to better understand the pillars of peace that can help transform conflict. As such, this community-based peace research focuses on locations where resource exploitation has commenced; deploying teams of researchers to facilitate participatory, community-led research that identifies existing and potential pillars of peace.
This research is based upon the premise that increased community engagement in peacebuilding – grounded in locally-identified pillars of peace – will impact the root causes of resource exploitation-driven conflict. The findings will better inform peacebuilding and advocacy, particularly with respect to conflict over community domains, heritage and livelihoods. Furthermore, it will raise awareness about the need to legislate for the rights of communities, whilst strengthening community links to national legal and governance frameworks.
b) Partnership Requirements and Methodology
Such a community-led research process requires financial and research support over a three-year period. Active Non-Violence Initiatives Kenya (ANIK) undertakes to act to co-ordinate all aspects of the research, including the dissemination of findings. The key purpose of the proposed partnership – between the communities themselves, peace researchers, funding entities and ANIK – is to ensure that research is conducted in three countries per year in 2013 and 2014.
The community-led research targets rural, subsistence-based communities, primarily farmers and pastoralists. Facilitative participatory approaches will be employed, supported by systematic scientific research. Researchers will be deployed to relevant communities for a period of six to nine months. All the researchers will possess practical community experience, whilst being acquainted with knowledge on the overall effects of resource extraction in Africa. Upon completion of the process in each country – which will generate technically competent sampling of comparative community experiences and perspectives – the findings will be disseminated through a variety of channels, including academia, practitioners and policy-makers.
ANIK has developed a multi-faceted approach to community-led research, including logistical and coordination facilities to identify viable partners at each level. ANIK will be responsible for facilitating the review and learning forums, and providing regular progress reports for each country. Coordination, information and knowledge management will help to shape and advance sustainable peacebuilding; capitalizing on the greater levels of community voice, participation and engagement in the process of peace research. ANIK is committed to upholding the highest standards of ethical governance, financial management, transparency and accountability.
c) Overall Objectives and Outputs
The overall objective is to identify the impact of high-value resource extraction on the various pillars of peace, plus the interrelations between communities that inhabit such localities.
Other strategic objectives include to:
- a) Explore and document community perspectives and perceptions on the processes used in the allocation, zoning-off and development of high-value resources;
- b) Examine the impact of extraction of resources on community livelihoods, domains, heritage and culture, sharing these concerns with government and the private sector;
- c) Identify legally-executable community-based options for strengthening the key pillars of peace at the local level with respect to resource extraction on community land.
- d) Analyse rights-based issues related to communities and their cultural domains, heritage, territories and natural resources; including consultation procedures and processes, plus benefit-sharing of high-value resources with local communities.
Outputs from Research Process:
- a) Design of community-led peace analysis and research guidelines;
- b) Systematic documentation of issues from a community perspective and enhanced knowledge in this sector;
- c) Networking of local entities to facilitate sharing knowledge for information-based action;
- d) Linking communities to sources of information within governance structures, thereby helping articulate issues related to community livelihoods and rights;
- e) Widened partnership and collaboration of peace builders in pragmatic learning processes.
This research will highlight the key pillars of peace in communities affected by high-value resource extraction driven conflict; thereby mapping out how peace can be sustained and enhanced. The findings will provide the basis for lobbying government and the private sector to ensure local communities enjoy the necessary protection. Furthermore, the process will strengthen communities by giving voice to their concerns over the impact of resource exploitation. On the basis of the research, a series of practical recommendations will be addressed to governments and the private sector, particularly the extractive industries. The findings will also be of value to peacebuilders and all those interested in conflict transformation in Africa; adding value to policy research and making, plus interventions that address community rights and livelihoods. The community-led research will contribute to knowledge about conflict transformation in in Africa, offering both practical and academic experiences and insights.
5) GCCT Declarations
On April 20-21, 2013, Liberians under the auspices of the Coalition for Justice in Liberia (CJL) comprised of Liberian human rights advocates in collaboration with international human rights organizations, assembled at the historic Continental Hall in the city of Brooklyn Center at which time attendees evaluated the state of human rights and justice for victims of Liberia’s 14-year civil war.
The Coalition for Justice in Liberia (CJL) – comprised of Liberian human rights advocates in collaboration with international human rights organizations – unanimously affirmed that in order for genuine peace, reconciliation and national healing to take place, it is extremely fundamental that the issue of justice for hundreds of thousands of Liberia’s war victims be addressed.