Tackling the challenges faced by post-conflict communities

  • Last updated: 19 Apr. 2011 16:57

From 28 April to 1 May, 35 experts from NATO, partner and Mediterranean Dialogue countries will meet in Dubrovnik, Croatia at a workshop to discuss and outline the most effective strategy towards reconciliation in post conflict communities.

A student holds up a placard with a white dove and an olive branch during a march called ''The right to live in peace'' in San Jose November 12, 2010. Hundreds of schoolchildren and teachers participated in the march, while Costa Rica awaits a pronunciation of the special session of the OAS Permanent Council regarding its border conflict with Nicaragua, according to local media. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate (COSTA RICA - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS EDUCATION)

The aftermath of conflict on any community can be devastating and long-lasting, with the attendant mental health and social implications proving complex and numerous. More often than not, this has a negative impact on the rebuilding process, as well as on the social and political stability of communities previously engaged in war.

This event will address one of the Science for Peace and Security (SPS) programme’s key priorities - “Countering Other Threats to Security” and will focus on the appeasement of opposing factions within a nation-state who are, for different reasons, sworn enemies. A multidimensional process, this endeavour fuses psychological, social, economic and legal issues into a precarious roadmap for peace.

However, the general consensus is when you engage the two opposing sides of a conflict in the reconciliation process, the chances of maintaining peace at the post-conflict stage become more feasible

Keynote speakers at this event will present and discuss topics such as:

  • what is reconciliation?;
  • the victims and the perpetrators;
  • childrens feelings and attitudes toward former enemies and perpetrators;
  • how do we live together in North Caucasus?; and,
  • living together after Beslan.

This event, which builds on the progress made at the 2009 SPS workshop “Returnees and the social reconstruction of communities affected by armed conflict” held in Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina, will gather and analyse models of reconciliation best practices from countries that have experienced conflict.

The Tel Aviv University (Israel), University of Zagreb (Croatia) and the University of Ulster (Northern Ireland) are among the participating institutions engaged in and contributing to this NATO Science workshop.

This workshop is funded through NATO’s Science for Peace and Security Programme. For more information, visit www.nato.int/science (see “Calendar” for organisers’ contact details).