|‘Culture and Conflict’ Roundtable |
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On 7 December 2011, EUNIC in Brussels and ifa (Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations) organised an expert roundtable about ‘Cultural initiatives and empowerment of civil society in conflict resolution’.
The meeting took place one day before the EUNIC Heads meeting and gathered various EU security and conflict resolution experts as well as numerous EUNIC in Brussels members including the current EUNIC in Brussels president Mario Vielgrader as well as the former president Martin Hope. Other EUNIC members were equally present, such as EUNIC president Ana Paula Laborinho who opened the session. In her introduction, Ana Paula Laborinho stressed the importance of dialogue and listening in the course of peace and democratisation processes that are being supported by EUNIC and civil society initiatives in fragile and post-conflict regions.
The opening was followed by the first round table during which experts shared their experiences and discussed what is needed to guarantee a long-term, sustainable use of cultural and educational tools in peace processes. The question of impact and impact evaluation was raised. There was an overall agreement that a methodology to measure impact was needed but that criteria for success were hard to define. Risks of dialogue programmes and possibilities to overcome these risks were equally discussed.
The second round table addressed the question if European cultural institutes are yet acknowledged as convincing partners in addressing conflict resolution. Furthermore, the round table examined the particular challenges that EUNIC members have to face in fragile regions around the world as well as the competences EUNIC needs in order to find increased credibility in this field of expertise.
The session was concluded by Peter Mares, Head of the zivik-Civil Conflict Resolution Funding Programme who put forward the idea to establish a ‘Cuture and Conflict’ working group.
Added: 12 December 2011