International Youth Forum on inter-cultural dialogue and confidence building measures across the Black Sea Region:
Turkey, Istanbul, Holiday INN Hotel
February 19-22, 2014
Young people growing up in regions affected by armed conflicts, being exposed to and/or enduring the consequences of extreme forms of physical and structural violence, are often confronted with dramatic life forming experiences, emotions and challenges. Such experiences may strongly influence their views and behaviour towards their own and other communities, their relation to conflict and peace and to their identity. Many young people, despite often adverse circumstances, choose to engage in constructive initiatives and dialogue instead of becoming themselves the multipliers of hatred and rejection which fuel prejudice. When supported and recognized in their role, these young people may become peer leaders and educators and, in turn, sensitize and involve other young people in dialogue, mediation, intercultural communication, conflict transformation and peace work projects.
This project aims at changing the currently fluctuating attitude of young people regarding the possibilities of resolution of the conflict, which include today a variety of non-peaceful options, towards a peaceful and compromising standpoint in which youth will strive only for a peaceful resolution of the conflict through confidence-building.
The aim of the project is to engage young people and youth organizations from conflict stricken regions in dialogue and conflict transformation activities based on human rights education and intercultural learning and to provide them with a positive experience in living and learning together.
The main goals of the project are as follows:
– To provide participants with information and knowledge on the European experience of building cooperation and understanding between participating country nations
– To have discussion on the positive and negative aspects of the policies carried out in Black Sea and Caucasus in peace building, achieving economic prosperity and strengthening the national identities of the Caucasian people during last 15 years
– To discuss the probable models of the peace building policy in the region of Black Sea and South Caucasus highlighting and applying “European experience”
– To have a discussion on “Common House of the Black Sea and Caucasus” cooperation and integration model
– To identify the role of Youth NGO’s for the future regional cooperation in the region
Young leaders, youth workers, young women, students, civil society activists, NGO representatives and local community members from Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Turkey, Georgia, Greece, Albania, Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia.
The main activity of the project is contributing to the confidence-building process in one of the most fragile regions in the world, namely in Black Sea and Caucasus. We believe that in order to achieve this target, firstly we should form a regional forum of youth group where problems of regional cooperation could be discussed. Thus, in short term this a unique opportunity for us to discuss with our partners from various countries.
The project will use the methods like the plenary sessions, workshops, discussions, working groups. The organizers would like to stress the need of creating informal bounds between participants, especially by: meetings in different conditions, “round-table” meetings, simulations, different educational modules, evaluation meetings, social program and case studies devoted to the specific issues of civil society and NGO co-operation in multi-cultural environment.
The international meeting is direct contact of all the partners, as well as creating an exact timing of all activities.
So far we have chosen the issues (I-VIII), around which we intend to create the Partnership:
I – crisis management, solving international conflicts (e.g. Russian – Georgian, Moldavian – Russian, or Ukrainian)
II – cultural diversity and inter-cultural dialogue
III – human rights
IV – democracy development in Black and Caucasus countries
V – Civil society, social activity
VI – historical, cultural, religious heritage
VII – sustainable development
VIII – other issues, invented during the co-operation
- To develop the conceptual and practical meanings of conflict, peace, and conflict transformation.
- To share among participants their personal experiences of conflict and violence and their coping strategies, identifying commonalities and specificities between them
- To develop the competences of participants in conflict transformation and intercultural learning, including a critical understanding of the personal and collective identities and their role in armed conflicts
- To learn about human rights and human rights education as frameworks for conflict transformation and dialogue
- To learn from existing practices and experiences of people within the youth field working on dialogue and conflict transformation
From each country will participate 2 delegates. The participants applying the Forum should have experience of working on the area of conflict management, peace education, youth cooperation and confidence building measures. During the plenary sessions every country delegates should make an introduction of their country case. Every participant should be prepared in advance for presentation of the country case and in the introduction should give information about the programs being implemented in every country and confidence building measures.
During the Forum will be discussed the following topics:
- stimulate democratic and economic reforms
- support stability and promote development
- facilitate practical projects in areas of common concern
- open up opportunities and challenges through coordinated action in a regional framework
- encourage the peaceful resolution of conflicts in the region
Our vision, as the young leaders is that, historically, the Black Sea region has been rather a cooperation medium than a barrier. Naturally it has allowed for communication and exchange (either cultural or economic). Youth organizations in the region are very similar, in terms of origin, path and challenges they are facing. There are numerous lessons learnt and expertise which are worth sharing. Youth organizations have the vocation to act jointly to bring positive social change for both their countries and for the region as a whole.
There are following main defining elements of this Forum, within the Black Sea cooperation framework:
- The focus of the Youth Forum is on young leaders and youth organizations as a particular transformative force throughout the region, bearers of democratic values and advocates of open societies, human and social rights, peace and solidarity throughout the region.
- The Youth Forum aims to bring together young leaders and youth NGOs from all the countries in the wider Black Sea region as a forum for specialized regional dialogue and cooperation and with young leaders and youth organizations and institutions active in the region.
- The Forum brings around the same table a broader constituency: civil society, EU and international donors and officials from the region or involved in the region, thus supporting capacity building for these actors in order to overcome current gaps in access to information and funds, as well as in implementation practices.
Travel reimbursement and accommodation:
After presenting air tickets, invoices and boarding passes to the organizer of the Forum, the participants will get their reimbursement. In the case of request, organizer of the Forum may purchase the air tickets of the participants in advance. Participants will be provided with accommodation and lodging.
Arrival days of the participants is on 19 of February 2014 and departure day is on 22 of February. The dates of the Forum are 2 days-20-21 of February 2014.
Participants are responsible for arriving to the hotel from the Ataturk airport in Istanbul by using direct metro or bus.
The website address of the hotel: http://www.hiistanbulcity.com.tr/