It's Time to Negotiate!

From November 10-16 2015, 22 young peace builders from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine met once more in Bakuriani, Georgia in order to participate in the third module of the training course called “Peace and Conflict Consultants”. The aim of this module was to build on previously acquired skills, to broaden and deepen them, as well as to practice and apply those skills in a two day simulation game. Furthermore, there was space to review and discuss the project ideas that had been developed by the participants during and after the last module.

A special focus laid on gaining knowledge as well as developing the skills and techniques of negotiation. During a whole day the guest speaker and highly experienced trainer Mohamed Shehab El Din from Egypt gave a stimulating and thought provoking introduction to this topic and prepared the group for the simulation game that followed the next day. What is negotiation? What is the difference between power and leverage? The participants would find out! Especially for the upcoming implementation phase, during which the participants will implement their own Peace Projects, these skills will be beneficial, when different stakeholders from different sectors and target groups will be approached.

The biggest and most emotional experience during the week in Bakuriani was the simulation game. The participants took on the roles of different stakeholders and had the extremely challenging assignment to find a peace agreement for the fictitious conflict of Tandera. Stepping into the shoes of, for example, the UN special representative, the commander of a militia, an Interior Minister or the representative of a charity organization during the simulation game named Tandera turned out to be a difficult task! For sure it fostered a “better understanding” and helped “changing points of view”, as one participant said after the game. Another participant shared the following: “I have learnt during the third module in Bakuriani, how to negotiate effectively and efficiently with people and to convince them that the idea of peace is still possible. I improved my negotiation skills (…) and enjoyed the simulation game (…) that made me feel as being myself a decision maker in the UN Security Council.”

The 3rd module of this training course was also a great opportunity to share and reflect upon ideas concerning the projects that all participants had prepared and which they are going to implement within the next month in their own communities. Using the technique of peer coaching all projects were discussed and feed-back and questions were addressed to the teams that developed the ideas. The results are very promising!It should also be mentioned that the cross-border relationships among the participants from the different countries across the region were strengthened and trust reinforced by some very entertaining evenings. A range of funny games, music, dancing, singing and a lot of laughter contributed to a light-hearted and friendly atmosphere.

This project is part of a four module training course regarding conflict transformation in Ukraine, Moldova and the South Caucasus. The main aim is to introduce the participants to the tools and techniques of conflict management in order to increase the quality and flexibility in this sphere. The next and last part of this course is going to take place in Kiev, Ukraine from December 10-13, 2015.

All results and especially the Peace Projects of the participants, will be presented during a public event that will be held on 12.12.2015 in Kiev.