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  • Coalition Says Include Peacebuilding in the Development Discussion
    concordant with the commitment to implement fully our respective commitments to enable CSOs to exercise their roles as independent development actors as agreed by 158 countries in Busan the statement says Busan refers to The 4 th High Level Conference on Aid Effectiveness 3 that was held in Busan Korea and brought together governments civil society groups and private interests from around the world to discuss development and aid strategy The statement also acknowledges that all actors in conflict affected contexts have vested interests and specific perspectives and that an open dialogue bringing in fresh ideas generating new evidence and listening to people s perspectives can help us all to see beyond our particular interests Recommendations for the UN outlined in the statement include Include commitments to address key drivers of conflict not only its symptoms Build on the framework for addressing drivers of conflict articulated in the Peacebuilding and Statebuilding Goals PSGs 4 and other credible peacebuilding frameworks Be based on a consultation process that actively includes people and civil society from conflict affected states and seeks out robust evidence of how to address drivers of conflict Define peace and development as best upheld by states that are inclusive

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/893 (2016-02-16)
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  • UN Calls for More Mediation, Inclusion to Resolve Armed Conflicts
    says And since mediation work does not necessarily end with the signing of a peace agreement local civil society groups in places like Nepal Kenya Kyrgyzstan and Mali have played a key role in supporting compliance with and implementation of signed agreements and routinely work with the parties to manage new sources of conflict Empowering these groups the report says can be an effective means for building national ownership of a peace process The UN Guidance for Effective Mediation is also mentioned in the report This Guidance will be formally released at a September 27 event in New York It will outline eight key mediation fundamentals for creating an effective process preparedness consent impartiality inclusivity national ownership international law and normative frameworks coherence and coordination among mediation efforts and the development of quality peace agreements It calls for all stakeholders in a peace process to build the capacity of civil society to maximize effective engagement and to communicate with any party or actor necessary to address the conflict This is especially important since countries like the United States have laws 4 that prohibit any engagement with listed terrorist groups even when such contact is intended to reduce the levels of violence perpetrated by these organizations The report is to serve as a foundational document for UN mediation efforts Ban said I am pleased that the General Assembly is encouraging all mediation actors to make full use of it he told the 193 member body Speaking during the same session the President of the General Assembly Nassir Abdulaziz Al Nasser stressed the importance of benefiting from the comparative advantages of different actors in different situations The President added that past and current crises have shown that if mediation is used early in the process it will be cost effective lead to

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/867 (2016-02-16)
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  • The Rebel, the Queen and Track II Diplomacy
    prohibition on material support of terrorism explicitly forbids non tangible speech such as training or expert advice and assistance that are necessary to successful Track II Diplomacy The Supreme Court upheld application of the law to peacebuilding in June 2010 in its infamous Humanitarian Law Project HLP decision 5 The second anniversary of the HLP decision was June 21 just a few days before the Queen and rebel shook hands The Charity Security Network marked it with a webcast where experts talked about the state of Track II Diplomacy two years later noting lost opportunities for peace Melanie Greenberg President and CEO of the Alliance for Peacebuilding explained how Track II works and why it is important for nongovernmental parties to have confidential and free contact with parties to conflicts for it to work You can see the webcast here 6 Ms Greenberg s remarks are at the 11 40 minute point While the legal prohibition is very broad the law does provide for exceptions in cases where activities do not contribute to terrorism In May 2011 a group of 45 former diplomats foreign policy experts peacebuilders and civil liberties groups wrote to Secretary of State Hillary 7 Clinton asking her to use her power to grant exceptions for Track II Diplomacy and other peacebuilding activities So far she has taken no action However there are signs that the State Department understands the advantages of dialog in resolving disputes During the same week as the anniversary of the HLP decision the State Department met with Hani Nour Eldin a newly elected member of Egypt s Parliament who is a member of Gama Islamyya which is on the U S list of terrorist groups State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland defended the meeting from criticism 8 saying exceptions can be made when

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/823 (2016-02-16)
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  • Benefits of Track II Diplomacy Recognized by UN General Assembly
    to support the activities of Track II actors civil society peacebuilding organizations UN Secretary General Ban Ki moon also welcomed the Friends of Mediation group an initiative of Finland and Turkey begun in 2010 that also emphasizes the importance of Track II actors 3 Ki moon told the session The more we deal with conflict in a flexible thoughtful and forward looking way the more we will learn to prevent it General Assembly President Nassir Abdulaziz Al Nasser said that promoting peaceful settlement of disputes is a pillar of his presidency For example he noted a February 2012 meeting 4 in Istanbul focusing on the efforts of Track II actors Overall speakers from many countries provided examples of the positive impact of mediation and called for more emphasis and resources to support it going forward Turkey s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the Friends of Mediation was formed to address lack of systemic framework and resources for mediation Italy s Minister of Foreign Affairs Giulio Terzi Di Sant Agata said the June 2011 General Assembly Resolution 65 283 5 focusing on strengthening mediation is a step in the right direction Many speakers noted the importance of making mediation an inclusive process He said the circle around the table should include civil society particularly women He said often the primary parties to the conflict just sat down and decided how to cut the spoils among themselves and went back home to spend their money or live their new political reality Instead he recommended incorporating people in most affected by the conflict which would increase the potential for effective lasting agreements In this respect he said a paradigm shift in looking at security is needed so that it is not considered solely through a hard security prism U S Senior Mediator James

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/803 (2016-02-16)
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  • U.S. Should Heed UN Call for Mediation Strategy in Armed Conflicts
    processes In others they initiate lead and successfully conclude entire processes As past experiences have taught us every conflict or dispute is distinct Each one requires careful attention and the most appropriate tools I would also assert that sometimes track II players have a comparative advantage They often act in a more informal and flexible way than State actors For this reason the United Nations system regional organizations and Member States should draw more from the expertise of this track Unfortunately U S counterterrorism law makes it a crime 8 for peacebuilders to engage with armed groups on the terrorist list for just the kind of Track II efforts Al Nasser describes Sec Clinton has the power under current law to change this counterproductive situation by exempting expert advice and assistance training and personnel related to peacebuiding from the material support prohibition In May 2011 a bipartisan group of foreign policy and peacebuiding experts wrote to her 9 asking that she do just that The State Department is now considering options for doing so A peacebuilding exemption from the State Department would have many benefits putting the U S in sync with the UNFMG and firmly on the side of mediation as the preferred way to resolve conflicts It would unleash the expertise and resources of U S peacebuilding groups significantly increasing the potential for Track II projects These off the record talks often are necessary to create conditions for the more formal negotiations carried on by nation states A premier example is the process that led to the formal negotiations ending apartheid in South Africa dramatized in the BBC movie Endgame 10 The UNFMG has held several meetings since its June 2011 launch and Al Nasser announced future efforts at the Istanbul conference On March 22 2012 he will

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/734 (2016-02-16)
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  • Why Talking Peace is Essential and Why it is Threatened
    Author Bill Richardson Melanie Greenberg and Derek Brown Mediating between warring parties has never been an easy task History shows that the odds are stacked against such efforts Academics who study the field of conflict resolution argue about whether more conflicts are ended by military victory or non violent negotiation the record is mixed but the prevalence of prolonged violent conflict across our globe demonstrates that successful peace efforts are

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/660 (2016-02-16)
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  • Supreme Court Upholds Ban on Peaceful Conflict Resolution Support To Terrorist Groups
    to a designated terrorist organization but fear facing criminal charges for providing those groups with material support After multiple lower court rulings 2 had found the statute unconstitutionally vague the Department of Justice asked the Supreme Court to review the case The Supreme Court disagreed with the lower court s rulings holding that the statute is not vague and does not violate speech or associational rights as applied to HLP s intended activities Writing for the majority Chief Justice John Roberts said terrorism is furthered by providing foreign terrorist groups with material support in any form All the activities involved in the case are communications and advocacy of political ideas and lawful means of achieving political ends Even the subjects HLP wishes to teach using international law to resolve disputes peacefully or petitioning the United Nations for instance concerns political speech David Cole an attorney representing HLP and others in the case said We are deeply disappointed The Supreme Court has ruled that human rights advocates providing training and assistance in the nonviolent resolution of disputes can be prosecuted as terrorists In the name of fighting terrorism the Court has said that the First Amendment permits Congress to make it a crime to work for peace and human rights That is wrong Stephen Vladeck a professor of law at American University and nationally recognized legal expert on the role of the federal courts in the war on terrorism said the ruling will adversely impact peace groups hoping to turn terrorist groups away from violence He said the Supreme Court s opinion would have a profound chilling effect on the efforts of peacebuilding organizations and other NGOs that seek to promote non violent democracy building measures vis à vis these groups through teaching and other advocacy training Sharon Bradford Franklin Senior

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/396 (2016-02-16)
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  • Supreme Court to Hear Oral Argument in HLP Case February 23, 2010
    is the constitutionality of material support statute when applied to the Humanitarian Law Project s non criminal activity The Humanitarian Law Project filed its brief 3 in November Numerous friend of the court briefs 4 have also been filed The government filed its reply brief 5 on Dec 22 2009 Source URL http www charityandsecurity org news Supreme Court Hear oral Argument HLP Links 1 http www charityandsecurity org news

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/274 (2016-02-16)
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