Thursday, 20 October 2011

CoRe Connections – “I want to be a mediator for Halloween”

Filed under: Dispute resolution and negotiation,Media and Conflict — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 20:14 PDT

Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend the first ever GeekGirlCon in Seattle, along with my proudly geeky 17-year old daughters. While I have some interest in online gaming (and an embarrassing addiction to Plants vs. Zombies), I haven’t spent as much time as most of the other geeks at this particular convention in role play games and cosplay (costume play that can be quite separate from role playing). As a consequence, I was fascinated by some of the panels on the topic, and intrigued by the games room where I had the chance to observe some interesting games in action. But mostly, I was blown away by some of the unbelievable costumes! (My daughters and I overheard an especially telling conversation in the food court – one intricately costumed consumer of fast food called over someone she saw walking past to admire his chain mail and to compare techniques they’d each used to create truly extraordinary chain mail by hand.)

Given that starting point, and the rapid approach of Halloween, I couldn’t help but speculate on just how one could have a really cool mediator costume too?

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Myanmar moves to improve rights but far to go – U.N.

Filed under: Myanmar — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 19:34 PDT

Myanmar, seeking to cautiously open up after decades of isolation under military rule, has taken steps to improve its human rights record but still has much to do, a U.N. investigator said on Thursday.

After holding the first election in 20 years last November, the Asian country’s generals nominally handed power in March to civilians, have loosened some media controls and started political dialogue with Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, whose 15-year house arrest ended last year.

“I believe that this is a key moment in Myanmar history and there are real opportunities for positive and meaningful developments to improve the human rights situation and deepen the transition to democracy,” said Tomas Ojea Quintana.

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Let’s do a Myanmar

Filed under: Myanmar,South Asia — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 19:33 PDT

On September 30, Myanmar’s President Thein Sein surprised many by stopping the construction of the $3.6 billion Myitsone hydroelectric project. In the midst of a transition towards democracy, the move can be seen as the final gambit to win the hearts and minds of his people, even though it has angered China. The project is a collaborative effort between Myanmar and the China Power Investment Corporation, a State-owned entity. An upset China has already called for talks over the decision.

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4 Lessons Israel’s Enemies Will Take From the Shalit Prisoner Exchange

Filed under: Middle East — administrator @ 19:30 PDT

Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners have been released and Gilad Shalit is home. How will this deal shape regional dynamics in the years to come? I’ve been studying “engagements with hostile non-state actors” for several years (another name for the subject is “talking to terrorists”), and like the many scholars and diplomats who have written on the subject, I have plumbed the yawning crevasse between rhetoric and practice. Western nations don’t talk to groups they’ve designated as terrorists, unless those groups have something they want. Historically, the U.S. and Israel almost always talk to their enemies.

What can we expect as strategic payoff from the Hamas-Israel prisoner exchange?

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My part in the prisoner exchange deal

Filed under: Dispute resolution and negotiation,Media and Conflict,Middle East — administrator @ 19:30 PDT

Gilad Schalit is home! Three days after Gilad was abducted in an attack inside Israel, on sovereign Israeli territory, I was contacted by a Professor “M.,” a professor of economics from a Gaza university, a member of Hamas whom I had met six months before at a conference in Cairo.

He was the first person from Hamas I had ever met, and I was the first Israeli he ever spoke to. We spent more than six hours in dialogue during that conference. For me, it was like a time warp – his words sounded like conversations I had with PLO people 25 years ago.

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Structures of Peace

Filed under: children and youth,gender,Human Rights — administrator @ 19:30 PDT

Structures of Peace is a new conceptual framework for understanding and describing the factors that create a peaceful society. Derived from an empirical and statistical analysis of the Global Peace Index. Over 300 country data sets were used to define the key economic, political and cultural determinants that foster the creation of a more peaceful society.

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Cambodia: Tribunal Only Part of Answer to Trauma: Author

Filed under: Cambodia,Transitional Justice — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 19:29 PDT

Cambodia’s Hidden Scars is an study of the trauma inflicted by the Khmer Rouge and its current manifestation in Cambodian society. It was published by the Documentation Center of Cambodia to promote healing some of the psychological damage brought on by the violence of the regime. Co-author Beth Van Schaack, a professor at Santa Clara University’s School of Law, specializes in transitional justice and international law and human rights. She spoke with VOA Khmer recently about the book and Cambodia’s efforts to come to grips with its past.

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Vengeance Has No Place in a Libya Free of Qaddafi

Filed under: Africa files,Middle East,Transitional Justice — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 19:29 PDT

The overthrow of Colonel Muammar Qaddafi in Libya represents not only the end of a 42-year-old regime, but the end of an era of unprecedented repression and dictatorship in Libya. Military action was ultimately effective in helping rebels topple the regime. However, to ensure that they are entering a new era of justice, freedom and development, Libyans across the country must replace the militancy they unleashed against the Qaddafi regime with a new mechanism: forgiveness.

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