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All Conflicts are Unique, but Studying the Experiences of Others Can be Useful

In the framework of the workshop "The Complexity of Peace Processes: the Cases of Northern Ireland and Scotland" held in Yerevan on September 25-28 "Armedia" IAA took an interview from a senior program officer within the Mediation Support Team at the Center for Security Studies (CSS) Anna Hess Sargsyan and the Chairman of NGO "International Centre for Geopolitical Studies" Nato Bachiashvili.

 

-What is the importance of this kind of seminars?

Anna Hess Sargsyan

- Everything depends on the context. It is important to understand what the relationship of the government with civil society is. Sometimes the parties are sceptical and such workshops give an opportunity to get acquainted with each other, to work in the framework of the same format.

I've had a very interesting experience in Nepal, where the project was implemented not only on the domestic level, but three large groups from Nepal, Pakistan and the Philippines were involved. At the end of the project we saw how the phenomenon of viewing the other side "mysteriously" in negative sense vanished.

 

- Taking into consideration your experience, can you tell us what practical or tangible results such workshops are usually having?

- Such workshops help to think over the relationships or processes. In the Philippines understanding each other was then expressed in their peacebuilding work. The establishment of human relations and ties helps to coordinate the work and create cooperation.

 

- What are your expectations from the workshop?

Nato Bachiashvili

- I think this project is very important. We live in a very unstable region, where the situation changes almost every day and we should be ready to respond to various developments. The format of the workshop is very important, as all of us directly or indirectly are involved in negotiation processes and do our best to find points of intersection. This kind of format gives an opportunity to add something to the work of state institutions.

Of course, all conflicts are unique, maybe those conflicts discussed in this workshop are not that similar to our conflicts, but the experience of resolution of these conflicts can help us acquire skills for the development of further strategies.  

We have great expectations for this workshop, which is taking place for the first time in Armenia and then will be held in Georgia. The topics discussed are very important, they are success stories and show us that people were able to peacefully solve their problems.


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