Strategic Retreat „Civil Society Engagement in Conflict Resolution in Donbas“

From the 26th to the 28th June, 2017 a seminar on the role of civil society in the process of conflict resolution in Donbas took place in Warsaw. The international NGO meeting, which was attended by more than 40 representatives of civil society organizations from Ukraine, Russia, Germany, Poland, the Netherlands, France, Belarus, the Czech Republic and other European countries, was prepared by the Civic Solidarity Platform (CSP) and DRA e.V. in co-operation with the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and funded by the foreign ministries of France and Germany.

Within the framework of ten workshops, the participating NGO activists discussed the goals and experiences of their engagement. In addition to civil society representatives who work in different spheres connected to the conflict in the East of Ukraine, representatives of official institutions (OSCE and others) took part in the seminar.

During the seminar, following topics were addressed in working groups: Relationship between peace building and human rights; Work and documentation in controlled and uncontrolled areas in Donbas; Monitoring of international negotiations in Minsk; Human rights situation in the East of Ukraine: challenges and chances for monitoring; Role of NGOs in counteracting negative effects of information wars; Collaboration between NGOs and OSCE (Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine/ SMM, Project Coordinator/ PCU, Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights/ ODIHR); Gender dimension of the peace building processes; Ensuring reparations for the victims affected by the conflict; Access to and dialogue with dwellers of the uncontrolled territories of Donbas.

At the meeting the current state of development of the recently initiated European civil society platform CivilMPlus for conflict resolution in Donbas was presented. The main goal of the intended platform CivilMPlus is to strengthen crosscutting linkages between different spheres of civic activities and to promote strategic cooperation between civic actors with focus of work in the Donbas area.

On the results of the seminar a side-event is planned in the frame of the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting HDIM 2017 (September 2017). 

Contacts

CSP: Simon Papuashvili simon.papuashvili@iphronline.org and Yuri Dzhibladze yuri.dzhibladze@gmail.com, www.civicsolidarity.org

DRA e.V.: Stefan Melle stefan.melle@austausch.org  and Yuliya Erner yuliya.erner@austausch.org, project „Dialogue for understanding and justice: European NGOs working together for conflict resolution in Donbas“, https://austausch.org/dialog-175