Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Conflict resolution important to achieve COP15 consensus: Mediators Beyond Borders

While talks, agendas and lobbyists are in overdrive this week as countries strive to reach an agreement everyone is happy with, Mediators Beyond Borders are trying to convince people that mediation and conflict resolution skills are important to achieve consensus.
President of the US-based organisation Kenneth Cloke (above) says their mission is to build conflict resolution capacity around the world and they are hoping to ensure that , "the first time something goes wrong, the whole thing does not fall apart."
"Mediation is an extremely powerful method of dispute resolution and if you want climate change to work, you cannot use military force. What you can use is mediation so you have to  negotiate in a collaborative way with each other and that is the skill we are bringing," he said.
The organisation has beenmeeting delegates and handing brochures and no one has claimed this to be a bad idea so far.
Interestingly enough, he says, Solomon Islands has been the only nation so far who support mediation being the way to go. "This appreciation was at a government level and it means alot."
Explaining mediation, he added, "to solve any of the worlds problems, you have to learn how to live together as human beings on the same planet and we have not figured that out yet. But it's really easy - we have to treat each other equally and fairly, we have to earn to talk beyond our differences and overcome prejudices and biases. We have to have ways of responding when the communication breaks down."
The MBB has projects in 14 countries but hope to add some more from the Pacific as well and already have it pipelined for countries like Fiji and East Timor.
"We have members in Australia and New Zealand who are joining us in two projects in the Pacific and we hope to have more as we are only three years old now."
One of the founding members of MBB, Fiona Nagle agrees mediation is going to be extremely important to adjust the world to the new way of living.--ENDS

Rachna Lal
Climate Pasifika 

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