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Articles | 1584 | 18.08.2015

How did belligerent countries come to peace: international lessons for Ukraine

Another two-day round of negotiations in Minsk has recently finished. Concerns that it will not become a breakthrough in the settlement of Donbas conflict, unfortunately, have justified.

After another failure in Belarus, perhaps, it’s time to admit that such methods as – negotiations and firefights – do not produce peaceful effect. It is necessary to apply brand new approaches. What it could be?

The axiom is – Ukraine is tired of war. Society is depleted by mobilization, funerals, economic crisis and politicians, who cultivate the topic of conflict – frankly speaking, it is good yeast for ratings.

Nevertheless, the demand for military political rhetoric begins to fall. It is a fact that is confirmed by sociological surveys.

For instance, according to the Kiev International Institute of Sociology, ratings of the largest political parties of the coalition have dropped from 21-22 to 4%. Meanwhile, according to Razumkov Center, more than 67,6% of Ukrainians believe that the country is moving towards the wrong way.

Together with the credibility crisis there is a doubt that the current military conflict is solvable within the framework of current political paradigm. During the year “official” negotiators have advanced, to put it mildly, insufficiently.

If every second attempt of politicians to reach an agreement leads to another round of confrontation, should we change negotiators?

Representatives of scientific and economic elite – without claiming for power and authority – could have taken upon themselves the negotiating function. They are able to perceive reality rationally and impartially, without being distracted by preparations for future elections and calculation of ratings.

The model of elimination of politicians from the process for reconciliation and settlement of the conflict has been successfully tested in South Africa. Truth and Reconciliation Commission, engaged in investigation of politically motivated crimes during the period of apartheid, had been working there since 1996 until 1998.

Despite the fact that the Commission was created at the initiative of the ruling political party “African National Congress” and Minister of Justice of South Africa, there was not a single civil servant or politician.

There were priests, lawyers, human rights activists and public figures, but not officials and politicians. A similar model was used during settlement of a conflict in Liberia. Overcoming of a conflict between Indigenous Peoples of Canada and the state is still successfully continuing also by the agency of Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which currently includes lawyer, journalist and former athlete.

This model can be successfully applied in Ukraine too. Organization of honest, direct, rational dialogue between people – is an opportunity to remove contradictions and a chance to end the war. However, such a dialogue should be based on simple and clear things and values that unite society.

Political ratings and party lists are definitely not on the list of such unifying values.

Such values are: well-being and social equality of Ukrainians, development and modernization of economy, increase of prestige and competitiveness of Ukraine in the international arena.

Discussion platforms should be established, where representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the EU will exchange expert views on possible ways to end the war in Donbas. It is quite possible that there will be worked out a common position, which will remove any acute contradiction and hasten the end of the war.

Such platforms must exist. There should be as many such platforms as possible, and they should involve as many people as possible: economists, doctors, students, and teachers … in order to remove more contradictions, accelerate a return of a to Ukrainian land.

Link to source: Forbes

Photo: Shutterstock