ICAR Hosting Georgian and South Ossetian Peace Builders

Posted: December 19, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Mason’s Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR) is hosting South Ossetian and Georgian civil society-based peace builders this week (Dec. 16-19) at Point of View, the university’s conflict resolution retreat facility at Mason Neck, Va.

Susan Allen Nan, assistant professor of conflict analysis and resolution, is leading a group of conflict resolution specialists to facilitate the session. The meeting represents one of the first focused “track two” or citizen diplomacy initiatives since the August war disrupted Georgian-South Ossetian relations.

These exploratory discussions are intended to generate creative ideas for constructive progress in the overall peace process. During the meeting, participants have been discussing the implications of the August war in rebuilding peace and security in the region, as well as assessing where civil society initiatives could play a constructive part in improving relations.

“The official Geneva negotiations regarding Georgian-South Ossetian affairs have been plagued by issues of official recognition, with participants disagreeing over the status of individuals at the discussions,” says Nan.

“The individuals in this track two meeting participate in their own personal capacity, and the positions of respect they hold in their home communities offer them the opportunity to share ideas generated at the workshop with their leadership at home.”

ICAR has been involved in several confidential and nonconfidential citizen diplomacy initiatives over its 26-year history, including talks surrounding conflicts in the Horn of Africa, Middle East, Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

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