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“Envisioning Peace: An analysis of grassroots views on the Nagorno Karabakh conflict,” a new European Union-funded paper prepared by the International Alert, a UK-based charity considers interplay of conflict with individual and group identities, social roles and responsibilities and public discourses, and offers recommendations to the parties to the conflict and mediators.
The study, based on 110 interviews in 41 locations conducted in late 2017, “highlights possible alternatives to war, ways of transforming the conflict proposed by the societies themselves and potential new approaches to peace-building.”
Authors of the paper, IA expert Larisa Sotieva, Tbilisi-based psychologist Jana Javakhishvili and two Abkhazia-based experts Arda Inal-Ipa and Liana Kvarchelia, recommend “identifying what is important for people in their everyday lives and beginning with the ‘little’ things that can bring positive results. Examples include improving the everyday human security of those who live near the border and providing the right to free movement.”
“Before big political decisions are taken, humanitarian decisions and actions are needed. This would help to create a situation in which societies can accept peace as something of value, and as a tool. The process of working on everyday peace aimed at meeting basic human needs can gradually overcome a willingness to resort to war to resolve the conflict.”