Posted, here, is the annual report from the Carnegie Endowment on its efforts this year in advancing the cause of peace among nations, hastening the renunciation of war as an instrument of national policy, encouraging and promoting methods for the peaceful settlement of international differences and for increasing international understanding and concord, and, finally, aiding in the development of international law and the acceptance by all nations of the principles underlying such law.View Report
National Democratic Institute for International Affairs – Yemen
Tribal Conflict Management Program
Nadwa Al-Dawsari, former student of the Center for Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, Nadwa and Humphrey Fellow (2004-2005), visited the Center in February and delivered a talk, “Managing Tribal Conflict in Yemen,” which combined perspective on tribal culture and traditional approaches to conflict managment (tribal customary law) with an analysis of current efforts to reduce violent conflict and to improve economic development prospects in Yemen. Nadwa serves as senior program manager for Yemen’s National Democratic Institute for International Affairs’ Conflict Management Program.
In designing and managing the tribal conflict management program in Yemen, Nadwa helps the Yemeni government and tribal leaders deal with the causes and manifestations of tribal conflict.
She holds an MA in Development Studies from the University of Leeds, England. While at the Bloustein School as a Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow, she received training and conducted research on conflict resolution and public policy issues. The Humphrey Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Institute of International Education.
The NDI’s “Tribal Conflict Mangement Program” focuses on capacity-building and conflict management in several designated development areas where poverty is intense: unemployment rates are high; illiteracy is rampant; and, overall, there is a lack of basic services. Causes of conflict have to do with land and land-related issues; perceived misallocation of government resources and competition over what resources there are. NDI’s approach, with financial assistance from the USAID, is to conduct research, establish causes, evaluate existing mechanisms for managing disputes and develop ways, with the contributions of citizens, to improve the management of conflict and improve the prospects for economic development by technical assistance and training.
Nadwa Al-Dawsari (with her tribal shiekh colleague)
Pictured are Nadwa with some tribal leaders discussing launching a campaign to revive the old tribal tradition of safe havens to protect schools, students and teachers from revenge killing and conflicts.
One outgrowth of the July 19 – 21, 2005, GPAC (Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict) work, i.e., the Global Conference on Civil Society: Forging Partnerships to Prevent Violent Conflict and Build Peace, that took place at the United Nations, in New York, is the decision, in December, 2005, by the General Assembly and Security Council, to create a Peacebuilding Commission to help stabilize and rebuild societies emerging from war. CNCR is a member of GPAC and has been working for several years to create a capacity, globally, for assisting countries to re-build after the cessation of civil strife, which, we believe, is critical to effective conflict resolution.
Jan Eliasson of Sweden, president of the General Assembly, told the New York Times (December 21, 2005) that the commission was critical for keeping war-torn countries from reverting to hostilities, which, he said, had occurred in half the cases over the past 20 years where conflicts had ended.
The commission is intended to pick up the international effort in such countries when peacekeeping missions are completing their tasks of bringing fighting to an end and monitoring cease-fires Again, in the New York Times, Secretary General Kofi Annan told the GA that while many parts of the UN had traditionally been involved in helping countries in longer-term recovery after protracted conflicts, there had never been an entity to coordinate those activities, develop expertise and strategy and focus attention on reconstruction and building of institutions. “Too often,” he said, “a fragile peace has been allowed to crumble into renewed conflict.”
The commission will have 31 members, seven of which, including the 5 veto-holding permanent members, will come from the Security Council; 7 from the Economic and Social Council; and others from nations that suppy the most troops for peacekeeping missions and also represent geographical balance. Representatives of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, among other institutional donors, are expected to attend commission meetings. The commission will advise the Security Council and submit reports to the General Assembly for debate.
There is a new day in Morningside Heights since Lee Bollinger took over the presidency of Columbia University. Pressed by the need to expand but aware of the spectacle of 1968 when his predecssor, seeking to expand into Harlem and build a gymnasium in Morningside Park touched off a campus rebellion and opposition among local residents, Bollinger decided to establish a 40-memberr community advisory council as it prepared to embark on its plan to creatae a new campus on 18 acres bound by 125th Street, Broadway, 12th Avenue and 133rd Street. It sponsored town hall meetings to solicit comments and worked with Comunity Board 9 whose district includes West Harlem. Columbia is seeking to be “part of building the community” according to Bollinger (New York Times: 4/21/04, B8), and has incorporated a number of design principles that came from the community discussion,s notably retaining current streets and building designs that invite pedeestraisn to move west toward the river, enlivening 125th Street as a gateway to the Hudson River waterfront, aligning with city and state efforts to improve the piers for recreation and commuting purposes. At the same time, Bollinger is working with the community to create job traing programs and to provide both construction and technical job opportunities. He is also looking to work with the community to expand ways in which Columbia can provide space for community arts, theater and dance as it expands.
Inclusive, participative processes that seeks to broaden and deepen the links between institutions, developers and communities reflect another significant dimension of the field of negotiation and conflict resolution, that having to do with improving processes for decision-making, involving those who are part of and likely to be affected by decisions, and attempting to produce outcomes that are satisfactory, even optimal, and that sustain and build relationships that last.Linda Stamato, Sanford Jaffe
A major development, concerning the management of negotiations to create a trust fund to compensate people made sick by asbestos exposre, brings mediation to the national legislative process. Unable to agree on the terms for creating the trust fund, U.S. Senate leaders have agreed to enter mediation. A federal judge, Judge Edward Becker of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia, is mediating.
In agreeing to participate in the mediation, Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), the Minority Leader, wrote the following to Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), the Majority Leader: “An inclusive approach holds the best promise for moving toward a consensus solution of this very contentious and consequential issue.”
The legislation is needed, advocates for victims and insurers agree, as a wave of lawsuits clog the country’s courthouses. Roughly 730,000 asbestos claims have been filed, including over 110,000 last year, according to a study by the Rand Institute for Civil Justice (reported in The Star Ledger, 4/23/04, pg.6). The cost of the litigation is approximately $70 billion and almost 70 companies have filed for bankruptcy protection under the weight of the lawsuits. The legislation, under consideration, aimed to create a trust fund financed by businesses and insurance companies. Officials from both political parties agree that something needs to be done to improve the system but they disagree on what to provide, in structure and financial resources.
The clear and pressing need for a resolution motivates the parties, and, certainly, the agreement to engage in mediation to reach a legislative compromise is a new and intriguing turn in the dispute resolution field.Linda Stamato, Sanford Jaffe
The State of New Jersey and the Education Law Center in Newark, an advocacy group for urban schools have negotiated an agreement in Abbott v. Burke, a lawsuit that was before the New Jersey Supreme Court for 22 years.
The mediated settlement created a process for the parties to work collaboratively on critical issues such as regulations to implement court decisions regarding school supplemental programs, administrative matters, and classroom instruction in 30 of the state’s poorest districts. Read the rest of the story.
Webmaster note: In the fourth paragraph of the article on PCI’s Web site, New York’s Attorney General Eliot Spitzer is identified as “Former Attorney General.” Spitzer is still currently the state’s Attorney General.
State Solutions is a project sponsored by Policy Consensus Initiative, under the direction of Abby White (Vermont) and Lang Marsh (Oregon). The project’s purpose is to create a (or strengthen an existing) statewide mechanism to facilitate collaborative problem solving to advance public goals and public policy objectives.