4u2 - For you too - Roland Brunner
meeting of the European Network for Civil Peace Services
Next Steps from Vision to Reality
to 28th of May, 2000
Minutes of discussion
Friday 26th of May, 2000
Poort - van Eeden and Tilman Evers give a welcome to the participants. - Under
the guidance of Renate Wanie, we gather in small groups to make new
acquaintances. - Our first plenary session is a round of presentations from the
organisations present, following a set of three questions: Since the last
meeting in Salzburg (and complementing written reports),
Renate Schoch reports from Gruppe
Schweiz ohne Armee (GSoA), Switzerland: The main effort is to influence
legislation on peace an security matters. The GSoA entered a proposition in
Parliament stating three minimal conditions for any participation of the Swiss
army in conflict resolution:
discussion in Parliament will possibly be postponed until Autumn; the
proposition will probably be watered down to an extend that GSoA will have to
oppose it by means of a derogatory referendum. - All this demands an amount of
activity that hinders CPS activities. There is one ongoing Kosovo project.
principle, non-violent conflict resolution is en
vogue. The Swiss Foreign Ministry is having contacts with foreign experts,
f.e. Norbert Ropers from the Berghof Centre in Berlin. Of course, these official
efforts are being fitted into the overall Swiss security policies. The GSoA is
too small for launching an efficient opposition. A main problem are the contacts
with the development and relief organisations: They are unwilling to cooperate
with an antimilitaristic group like GSoA and claim they are doing already all
work that is needed in conflict prevention.
Jochen Neumann reports from Peace
Brigades International - German Section: The main activity is accompanying
human rights activist as a measure of personal protection. There are ongoing
projects in Colombia, Mexico, East Timor, Ex-Yugoslavia (together with Balkan
Peace Team) and Indonesia. The Sri Lanka project has been ended. The problems
vary a lot from country to country; in Mexico e.g. it is getting visa. In
Colombia there are 40 PBI volunteers from different countries! among them one
German trained in the context of the ZFD-model-training course. The bulk of the
PBI volunteers receives a shorter training of one introductory weekend and then
two weeks of training. The main needs are: Good curricula for these trainings,
and an exchange of trainers.
Renate Wanie reports from Helsinki
Citizens' Assembly - German Section: The HCA is not specialised on CPS
activities. In 1995, it organised a workshop on the German-Polish border with 60
participants from different European countries on the perspectives of CPS; since
then, no larger initiative has followed, mainly because of lack of money. Among
the members are experts highly active in the turkish-kurdish (Andreas Buro) and
the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict (Bernhard Classen), even intervening practically
to free hostages. In the last years and especially since the Kosovo War, Renate
and others from HCA are permanently invited to conferences on alternatives to
Helga Tempel gives a short complementary report to the written
quarterly report on the Forum Ziviler
Friedensdienst: CPS work has started in serious in various countries; the Forum
itself having several peace volunteers in the Southern Balkans. Training and
projects are now financed to a great extent by the German development ministry,
making the CPS a public-private-partnership. The German development organisation
are actively participating in this programme. As yet, it remains a problem to
find sufficient (good) candidates for the four month trainings, and adequate
trainers. Hopefully, trainers can be employed on a regular instead of a
honorarium basis in the future, giving more continuity to the job.
Vredes Teams Nederland, there is also a written report, complemented by Janne
Poort - van Eeden: BVTN works only in the field of training, not of sending
volunteers. The information day (see report) was a success. The Council of
Churches held a conference "Religion and violence" with the
participation of BVTN. - The Netherlands are sending military personell with
poor preparation in UN-missions.
the first time, an EN.CPS participant from Georgia is participating: Ucha Nanuashvili, chairman of the Society for Human Rights in Georgia. He is a professor of
international law and political science at Tiflis University. The society exists
since four years, its members are lawyers, teachers, political scientists,
social workers... It has 2 full time employees and 25 volunteers. It is financed
by international foundations; the Georgian government has no money for NGOs. Its
aim is the protection of Human Rights in Georgia and neighbouring countries. For
example, it looks after refugees from the neighbouring states Ingushetia and
Abkhasia and sees to it that prisoners are not tortured. It also offers
education in Human Rights (HR) and conflict prevention (CP) for local moderators
and for pupils at secondary schools. One severe problem is the lack of
professional trainers and of training material. At present, the society is
setting up a library on HR and CP.
society has contacts with the Ministry of Education and with Parliament,
participating in an advisory Council for Human Rights of The Parliament. Also,
there exists an "ombudsman" for lawful administration in Georgia to
whom complaints can be brought. Another contact exists with United Nations
Caucasian situation is very complicated. There has been much of an ethnical
exchange (or "cleansing") of population between Georgia and Abkhasia.
The society is about to form a Caucasian network of 6 NGOs from three countries
Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, in view of forming multinational Caucasian
civil peace teams. For this, there will be an international conference at the
end of August; a representative from EN.CPS would be welcome. The working
language is Russian.
Gudrun Kramer is representing the Austrian Peace Service ÖFD: The new right wing government in
Austria is cutting budgets for NGO work by 50 %. The main task of ÖFD is to
train and send young men who offer a peace service instead of military
conscription. At present, they have 15 to 20 persons on different posts in
Ex-Yugoslavia. Until now, this work was subsidised with about $ 10 000,- per
year and person by the Ministry of Interior; subsidies have now been cut to $
7500,-, which makes work almost impossible. The next training will be of 5 weeks
in August for some 20 - 25 participants. One problem is: Some years ago, service
was allowed to take place after professional formation; this is no longer
possible. Volunteers are now 17 to 19 years old, lacking a consolidated identity
to work independently in a foreign surrounding. In March, Barbara Müller from
the German BSV evaluated the programme. - Janne Poort - van Eeden suggests that EN.CPS writes a letter of
protest to the Austrian government.
David Grant is Coordinator of the Nonviolence Training Center of
the International Fellowship of
Reconciliation IFOR in the Netherlands. One example of his work is the
Religion and Peace conference at Jerusalem from which he just arrives.
Participants were 8 Israelis, 8 Palestinians, and 16 from 4 other countries,
among them India and Northern Ireland.
groups and countries not represented, only the Swedish
Peace Forum has sent greetings (but no report). There has been no reaction
from France. In England, there are many groups and training resources, but no
specific CPT work, and not too much interlinked with foreign groups. (The
following day, Giovanni Scotto,
Italian scholar on stage in Berlin, pays a visit to the workshop and explains
the Italian situation: There are many interesting groups, but not much
networking beyond the Italian borders.)
(Minutes of Part 1: Tilman
Report on EU developments
by the Quaker Council for European Affairs,
Brussels, and supported by quite a number of influential European organisations
involved in peace and conflict work, a new Brussels office is going to be
installed starting already this year. It is called European
Peace-building Liaison Office (EPLO) and is meant to serve as a sort of
agency between needs and offers for civil conflict transformation, to build up
political contacts to relevant EU institutions and the European Parliament and
for lobbying on behalf of civilian ways of peace building. It will also form
links with the wider spectrum of like-minded organisations. By all this it hopes
to improve the effectiveness of the different organisations working in the field.
Its work will be directed and funded by a group of European NGOs.
up the office with at least one full-time person would mean to collect up to 100
000 EURO per year. Also the smaller organisations are asked to contribute at
least 3000 EURO the year. The EN.CPS being involved in the founding process from
the very beginning was offered a special reduced contribution of 1000 EURO per
year. (see later in the minutes). The office will be established as an
independent sub-group of the European
Platform on Conflict Prevention and Transformation. This European Platform
with the office in Utrecht, NL, with its director Paul van Tongeren, is acting
mainly as a sort of clearing house endorsing non-military conflict
transformation on different levels including the media. It is not working on the
practical field-work level itself but trying to build up general political
understanding for civilian peace-building measures.
context with the new Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU there are
quite a lot of resolutions dealing with civil conflict work. There are several
special civilian instruments under development (as f.i a Rapid Reaction Unit)
and new endeavours are made to set up the European
Civil Peace Corps (ECPC) that has been discussed since years. Parliamentary
"Intergroups" are installed, and especially the Green Party tries hard
to ensure the influence of NGOs in the field. All this needs our awareness and
our support. Without letting the politicians know about our work and our ideas
these so-called civilian measures for the prevention of violence will be handled
without influence and participation of NGOs. In this respect it seems as if the
EPLO office in Brussels is a "must" for all NGOs including our Network.
(Minutes of Part 2.: Helga
Simulation Game: Crisis in the land of Erehwyna
Grant from the International Fellowship of Reconciliation took us into a
simulation game. On Friday night he introduced the game to the participants:
everyone received a paper with a description of her/his role. The function was
to be announced, the instructions for the role had to be a secret. The roles
were: two negotiating teams from the parties, Bow Wow and YipYip (each
consisting of 3 persons), two IFOR-linked mediators from within the country, two
mediators from a international organisation (like the UN), one independent
mediator and two journalis
the roles in mind, participants read out the introduction paper, while David
made a map of the country on the white board. The conflict situation in the
country of Erehwyna, between the YipYip population and the Bow Wow people was
escalating unto the brim of violence. After a bit more of introduction and
instruction, the session for the day was closed.
Saturday 27th of May, 2000
morning the game developed in three rounds. First the negotiating teams
discussed their strategy in separate rooms. The mediators discussed between
themselves, before having access to the negotiating teams, and the journalists
tried to make a newspaper article and a television news program. After a joint
press conference, the news was read and watched. This gave new points of view
and made another round of negotiations necessary, in which the mediators
shuttled from one party to the other, while also more news about developments in
the outside events were given. Finally there was a joint session of both parties
with the mediators. The conflict was not resolved, but a first step into mutual
understanding was made.
evaluation, all participants came out with the secret information about their
roles, and it turned out that many of them had hidden agendas for themselves
and/or their organisations.
all participants the game was a good learning experience. Although it did not
take place at the level of acting peace teams, the game gave much insight in
the game started, all players felt they had to fill in much more background than
was given in the basic information. This brought an extra dimension and dynamic
into the play, and made the players live inside their roles. Most participants
felt they could use a similar game in their training curricula.
forms have been filled out; they will be summarised and distributed later.
also agreed that in future meetings of EN.CPS an element of training should be
Discussion on a Code of Conduct
Ziviler Friedensdienst initiated the discussion on a code of conduct for
civil peace services. They took as an example International
Alert's code of conduct, and also translated this into German.
Tempel gave a short explanation of International
Alert's Code of Conduct for Conflict Transformation Work.
Schoch opened the discussion by stating that she found a tension between
conflict resolution in public and confidentiality, as well as between neutrality
mentioned aspects they missed in this code of conduct, if it should be applied
for civil peace services. Missing aspects included:
questions are raised:
is the code of conduct we are developing meant for?
do we handle impartiality and/or partisanship
should be included in the new code?
will develop guidelines for our work, which means workers, funders, governments,
and clients. They all have to know what we stand for and what our guiding
principles are. The work we do is lobby work, awareness and fund raising,
training, mediation work, community building. It’s a mixture of solidarity and
mediation work. Justice is an important issue.
question how to be impartial, or only support one side might be answered with
the statement that 'we support every party
which commits itself to deal nonviolently with the conflict, with respect for
the other side and the will to dialogue.' This does not exclude peace teams
from having contacts with oppressive or violent parties, but these parties will
not have our support.
decided that we will not develop a new code of conduct, but only guiding
principles for our work. We also will not hurry to have these guiding principles
finished soon. It has to be a developing process, in which also our colleagues
at home, and the groups who are not present now, will participate. We make an
appointment for the procedure:
Wolleh gave a very inspiring introduction on the history of the divided island
of Cyprus. Once more it showed how complicated a process peace building is.
know more about this matter: read Oliver's thesis (buy the book; see the movie)!!
We ended the day in a
Sunday, 28th of May, 2000
Coordination of the network and representation
the Salzburg meeting Janne did the network coordination and she also was
representing the network in external meetings, especially EPLO. She promised to
do so until the Berlin meeting. Now she is willing to continue with the internal
coordination - mostly by email -, but she does not feel comfortable with the
representation at EPLO. (too much time consuming, and she does not feel like the
right person in that setting). The participants are happy that she will continue
with the internal coordination; for the EPLO meetings Oliver Wolleh wants to
consider finding himself or someone else to do it.
participants would like to meet in Switzerland next year; Renate thinks this
might be a good support for the Swiss GSoA work; she will discuss the matter
with her colleagues (P.S.: Confirmed!).
Another idea is to have the meeting in France, since we would like to strengthen
the connections with our French network participants. As an in between step,
Switzerland might be a good option for them too, we hope. Jochen suggests
another place: Kreisau in Poland. The Kreisau Foundation for Mutual
Understanding might be hosting us. We will find out if they are a possible
participant for EN.CPS.
decide to have our meeting in the weekend of
4th, 5th and 6th May, 2001.
in this meeting, we want to have again a mixture of practical exchange,
discussion and training. Conrad suggests to ask some people of the Austrian ÖFD
who worked in the field, to tell about their work, and to do some training with
Further cooperation within EN.CPS
Participation in the European Peacebuilding Liaison Office
suggests we will give them the benefit of the doubt for one year. This implies
that we will have to raise 1000 Euro between ourselves. Tilman states that we
will never have a less expensive entrance to Brussels. The forumZFD is willing to contribute E 250,- the BVTN E 125. Other
participants will discuss the matter in their own organisations. Together with
the original of the folder, Janne will send all EN.CPS participants a request to
donate a helpful amount.
Brussels Event 27th of November 2000
EN.CPS will present itself there to members of the European Parliament, Council
and Commission. The Brussels Representative of the German Protestant Church and
the Heinrich Böll Stiftung are hosting the event. The EN.CPS external
representative is the first likely person to participate in this meeting. If he/she
will not be able to come, Janne will represent the Network.
International, Multicultural Large Scale Peace Force
their request, Janne sent the promotors of the Peace Force a letter of support,
under the impression that in Salzburg there was a basic support for the idea,
although not fully for all the details. The letter of support was a bit too much
for some of the participants. Conrad emphasises that 'large scale' does not have
to mean an invasion of a nonviolent army. There are many ways in which such a
peace force might operate, like for instance Doctors without Borders, or the Red
Cross. We have to continue the discussion, and help the idea developing. In any
case, the way David Hartsough and his group are working is a great help to raise
awareness about the ideas of nonviolent conflict resolution.
if the Network cannot have a policy of its own (as we decided in Salzburg), we
will have to be able to react as an organisation, according to what we agreed in
the meetings. In between meetings the coordinator and the external
representative have to be trusted about how to bring about the developed network
Conference in Bolzano
Alexander Langer Stiftung organises a conference from 25th of June till 1st of
July. Helga has more information for those who want to participate.
Support for Austrian ÖFD.
new Austrian government showed its face already by cutting the funding for the
Austrian Peace Services. We as European Network want to express our concern
about the developments. The ÖFD already started protesting, and we want to
joint their protests, inside and outside Austria. Gudrun will send Janne the
letter the ÖFD already made, and she can make it into a letter of protest of
EN.CPS and distribute it.
Europe more civil peace services organisations are active. We should try to make
them participants of our network. Gudrun has a list of contacts ÖFD already
has; she will send it to Janne, who will send them an invitation to participate
in EN.CPS. Helga will contact the Belgians, who wrote to her before, and from
whom we did not hear any more.
Needs of participants
question is raised, if a EN.CPS Newsletter might fill a need. We don't think so
for the moment. The necessary information is already forwarded in between
meetings, like interesting papers, or the quarterly reports. The response is
very low. Janne strongly requests to make at least the quarterly reports,
because they are a means to keep each other informed. As long as it takes so
much trouble to get reactions from participants, a Newsletter will not be needed.
Evaluation of the meeting
we do a game: Welcome Diversity. Renate Wanie makes us applaud to the many
different and - even after a long weekend of getting to know each other -
unexpected qualities participants have.
we discuss how we have experienced the meeting.
(Minutes Part 3 – 7: Janne
Poort – van Eeden)
4your questions and contacts: rbr(at)4u2.ch