Dialogue will save and build a new Ukraine

Odessa,December 12, 2014

Roundtable on “When communication helps to overcome the crisis and to keep the conflict – the experience and perspectives of dialogue as a tool for strengthening of stability in Ukraine”.

Participants: Andrej Dzyubenko, National Coordinator of OSCE projects in Ukraine,
Anna Shelest, Odessa Regional Mediation Group, Natalya Bilyk, chairman of the Civil Association “Protection of the family”, Dobropolie, Donetsk region, Steinar Brin, Nansen Center for Peace and Dialogue (Norway), Diana Protsenko, expert of mediation (Kiev, Ukraine).

Andrej Dziubenko told that the aim of the conference of mediators in Odessa is to gather in one place people, who can professionally engage in a dialogue, and have international experience to overcome differences between the conflicting groups.

Mediators give opportunity to exchange experiences, discuss as technologists, which have shown efficacy in some regions can be transferred and applied to other. Expert parties have provided experience in the Balkans, the Middle East, economical and social conflicts of different regions of the world.

Diana Protsenko said that the last meeting of mediators from different countries – a significant event, which is very important for dialogue in modern Ukraine.

Now in holding of dialogues dominated military color, and the theme of immigrants, events in Odessa. But there is another aspect of our lives, requiring an active dialogue. This is upcoming socio-economic reforms. Subject of reforms is more urgent in the calm regions, where there isn’t an acute social conflict associated with military action.

Gathered mediators not only discussed the urgent problems of their work, but also actively shared their experience, learned from each other, there were many practical exercises.

It is good that Ukrainian participants showed such results and outcomes that foreign experts have estimated their highest rating.

Steinar Brin said that he had for a long time worked in the Balkans and South-Eastern Europe. He made sure his eyes, that there should be a dialogue, and what happens when there is not.

If there is no dialogue, the trust and confidence are destroyed, society is divided further and to build a strong country becomes impossible. People are starting to go to other countries. Without dialogue, Ukraine can be divided for decades.

Mr. Brin said that in Odessa, he was inspired by the initiatives that offered Ukrainians dialogue.

Now Ukraine is especially difficult because of military operations in Donbas, but it was also at the Balkans. Dialogue has helped to understand why we have different values, language, and religion. We must learn to understand other people and causes of differences from them. It is important to build a national strategy for dialogue. We must all unite and support the state. And Ukrainians are not alone. The international community is with us and will help us to do it.

Yes, firstly people block, they are not ready to communicate. And here political negotiations are not enough. We need to understand what the difference of views is, plunge into the cause. In this sense, dialogue complements the policy and makes it more complete. Especially because there is no alternative to dialogue towards peace.

Anna Shelest said that in Odessa is a large group of organizations collaborating with each other. The conflict in society is always presents; it’s just different views on things. The conflict is real, and they are everywhere. Matter which method of conflict resolution we choose.

Bad when problems are not voiced. Is accumulated frustration and discontent. Therefore it is good that in Odessa, there are a number of sites where people can speak out and try to understand each other.

In Ukraine, there is still no serious approach to the mediation; there are only some good professionals. In the same Poland there is a culture of mediation, and the dialogue is actively applied in society, such as pre-trial solutions. While there is a dialogue, as we speak to each other, we have hope for a solution to the conflict.

Natalya Bilyk said that the city Dobropolie, Donetsk region, in which she lives, is on the front line of the conflict. On its community fell various conflicts. Despite the fact that there is no such scientific and psychological capacities, like in the same Odessa. Therefore it is good that such meetings are held, that Ukraine is in the process of pronunciation and problem solving. Yes, the light in the window is far, but it has already appeared. Ukraine is closer to peace and harmony.