We attended the Geneva Peace Talks in Geneva at the United Nations to find out how communication tools, techniques, and channels can contribute to resolving conflict. We met speakers from all over the world with different backgrounds and from different sectors, like science, art, and business. They shared their inspiring stories and practical solutions to resolve conflict and how they could play a role in peace process.
TWO COUNTRIES, TWO PEOPLE, ONE PROFESSION
One of the stories we would like to share with you is about two photojournalists from Israel and Palestine, who showed us how they broke boundaries and cultural taboos with their photos and their friendship.
Mati Milstein, used to be a checkpoint soldier at the border between Israel and Palestine, trained to kill people from Palestine. One day he decided to change his life and now is an Israeli Jewish photojournalist, working in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel. On the other side, Eman Mohammed grew up in a permanent war zone and hatred. She spent all her life in Palestine and is Gaza’s only photojournalist.
One day Eman crossed the border to Israel and met her Israeli colleague, realizing that her neighbours were no monsters like she has been told so many times. The process of establishing their cross-cultural friendship was not an easy one, heated discussions were followed by their attempt to make their point of view understood by “the enemy’s side”.
Now, these two photojournalists work and grow together, teaching us how essential it is to go back to the roots of the conflict and try to understand your counterpart in order to build peace. This story was particularly interesting for us, as we are actively involved in the peace process in Palestine. We demand an integration of a Human Rights perspective as well as the protection of women in accordance with UNSCR 1325, 2122 and CEDAW GR30. To find out more about our work in Palestine read our Blog about our side event at the latest Human Rights Council session in September!
HOW TO TALK PEACE?
There are various other ways to personally overcome the challenges of communication in peacebuilding and peace negotiations. As an artist performing peace, an interpreter choosing the right words for peace or a mediator understanding both sides for peace and many more.
For nearly 100 years we have been working to end and prevent war, ensuring that women are represented at all levels in a peace-building process. In 2015, we will bring together women peacemakers from all over the world in The Hague, celebrating our 100th Anniversary. We would be happy if you could join us as well.
We believe that every person has a role to play in peace. What is your role in peacemaking? Share your experience with us!