- Where – Armenia (The Caucasus)
- Website – www.peacedialogue.am
- Contact Person – Edgar Khachatryan
- Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Address – 40 ap. 12 Myasnikyan str., 2002, Vanadzor, Armenia
- Other – Facebook
Areas of Expertise
Peace Dialogue has expertise in a range of areas, including:
Main Aims and Objectives
The vision of Peace Dialogue is to create a consciousness among members of society – through multilayer dialogue – that they are responsible for peace and that they are vested with the right to demand peace. Peace Dialogue strives to create the conditions for mutual cooperation and support between members of conflicting societies who see no alternative except the peaceful resolution of conflicts. This is achieved through the development of civil peacebuilding potential, strengthening respect for human rights and democratic values, promoting civil peace initiatives, and advocating on behalf of victims of conflict.
The aims of Peace Dialogue are:
- To support peaceful conflict transformation, reconciliation, and prevention in the South Caucasus;
- To promote the formation of dialogue between the citizens of conflicting societies in the South Caucasus;
- To promote the participation and empowerment of civil society in the processes of peaceful conflict transformation;
- To promote capacity-building for participants – particularly women, youth and victims of conflict – in peaceful conflict transformation processes;
- To support civil initiatives directed towards conflict transformation;
- To support conflict victims in advocating their own rights and interests.
Upholding the Principles of Conflict Transformation
Peace Dialogue’s activities have a concrete focus on Johan Galtung’s and John Paul Lederach’s theory and practice of dialogical conflict transformation. Peace Dialogue’s conflict transformation work in Armenia – plus elsewhere in the Caucasus and other violence-affected areas – is based on the concepts of Paulo Freire’s Liberation Pedagogy and Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed approach; which perceived dialogue as the only way for people to form the ability of critically analyze their context, resist violence, and find ways to change their reality.Therefore, the educational component of Peace Dialogue’s work is primarily based on mutual dialogical learning and reflections among participating key actors and the project staff. Such methodologies create a space for taboo topics in conflicting societies to be discussed, thereby making hidden problems and obstacles visible. These methods are also used as powerful tools to study and analyze the conflicting contexts in order to initiate dialogue among different layers of the conflict-affected societies. Peace Dialogue also works to empower conflict-affected societies to enable them to resist various types of violence, be it a) personal or direct, b) structural or indirect, and c) cultural or symbolic.
Where and with Whom?
Peace Dialogue works in Armenia, the wider region and internationally in other conflict-affected countries.Peace Dialogue’s local partners are the Civil Society Development Organization (NGOC), Internews, World Vision Armenia, and the Civic Development and Partnership Foundation (CDPF).
PD’s regional partners are Go Group Media, Women of Don, Fund Sukhumi, the Azerbaijan Committee of the Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly and the Iris Group.
Main Activities in the Field of Conflict Transformation
Peace Dialogue’s main activities include:
- a) Seminar on theatrical techniques in youth peace work for 20 youngsters representing the parties involved in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict – during the workshop, participants were divided into three groups to discuss conflicting situations that they had been involved in or observed. Thereafter, they made performances based on the themes selected.
- b) Conflict transformation seminar for youngsters and Peace Dialogue members from Vanadzor – gave the participants knowledge and practical skills for the most effective ways to transform conflicts. In addition, it laid a strong foundation for a meeting amongst the participants, all of whom are affected by the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The aim of the program was to create a group of young people who will feel responsible to solve all of the issues in their province, country and region through peaceful means.
- c) Conflict simulation workshop – participants discussed and made attempts to negotiate over the issues of a conceptual conflict in a fictional breakaway region called ‘Southern Lahur’. The model conflict took place between two virtual parties – Adamanti and Karaland – and was designed based on examples of various conflicts, including conflicts in the South Caucasus region.
- d) Campaign – “You should vote your heart” – the flash mob was organized on the road to Vanadzor’s city council and mayoral elections. The primary aim was to discourage lists of how people will vote that are often compiled in advance, thus promoting fair and free elections in an atmosphere of expression of free will.
- e) Research – “Armensions and Turks: Let the people talk about it” – in April and May of 2009, representatives of Peace Dialogue NGO had several meetings and interviews in Istanbul, Turkey among the citizens of the city to reveal the approach and moods of Turkish society regarding the present state of Armenian-Turkish relations. Discussions were organized among those citizens of Istanbul from different ethnic origins, with intellectuals, and with ordinary people.