NGO Working Group on Conflict Management Meeting


November 27-28, 1998
Moscow

The Centre for Conflict Management (Kazakhstan) and Nonviolence International - Newly Independent States (Russia) are pleased to invite you to take part in the meeting of the NGO Working Group Conflict Management and Prevention of the CIS Conference on Migration, invite you to take part in the meeting of the NGO Working Group Conflict Management and Prevention of the CIS Conference on Migration, supported by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. The meeting will take place in Moscow on November 27 - 28, 1998.

The purpose of this meeting is to allow the representatives of CIS NGOs and International humanitarian organizations and agencies who work with conflict issues to meet with each other and to discuss the existing and potential conflicts in the CIS which may cause new flows of forced migrants and steps to be taken in order to avoid such negative developments. During the Meeting a Program of Action for 1999 of this Working Group is planned to be elaborated. Participants are expected to work out their own suggestions and plans and to send them for organizers' consideration before the Meeting.

The participants will arrive in Moscow on November 26 and leave on November 29. They will be reimbursed for reasonable travel expenses upon arrival in Moscow (economy class airfare or train). However, the participants are expected to make their own travel arrangements. The participants will be lodged in the hotel "Centralnyi dom turista". The meeting will take place there as well.

Preliminary Program of the Meeting

November 27, 1998:

  9.00 - Welcome and acknowledgements. Introductions.
  9.30 - Description of the Working Group on Conflict Management and Prevention initiative, its goals and objectives
10.30 - Coffee break
11.00 - Participant's presentations
13.00 - Lunch
14.00 - Continuation of participant's presentations
16.00 - Coffee break
16.30 - Creating a list of potential "trouble spots" and ranking them according to their perceived priority. Defining the number and discussion topics for the small group's discussions.

November 28, 1998:

  9.30 - Work in small groups
11.30 - Coffee break
12.00 - Groups presentations and discussion
13.30 - Lunch
15.00 - Defining future activities of the Working Group:


Changes may be introduced into the program.

We would like to ask the participants to think over the following issues for discussion:

1. What is seen as the most serious and potentially dangerous situations, which might lead to conflicts and migration flows:


2. What activities may be carried out in order to prevent such negative developments:

3. Ways of information exchange (including creation of a network).

4. What topics must be discussed in the regional-centered and issue-centered working groups.

For more information please contact:

Centre for Conflict Management, Kazakhstan
Dr. Elena Sadovskaya, president
Ms. Lada Zimina, project coordinator
tel./fax. (3272) 47-94-49
E-mail: ccm@online.ru Address: apt. 23, 57 Timiryazev str., Alma-Ata 480090, Kazakhstan

Nonviolence International - Newly Independent States
Mr. Andre Kamenshikov, project co-ordinator, tel. (095) 351-4855,
Ms. Plahotnikova Julia, project assistant, tel. (095) 932-2957
Mr. Michael Sharaev, project assistant, tel. (812) 238-3930
fax (095) 336-5323
E-mail: ninis@glasnet.ru

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE BACKGROUND OF THE MEETING AND ITS OBJECTIVES

I. Program of Action of the UNCHR Conference

The UNCHR Conference on Refugees, Displaced persons, and other forms of involuntary displacement in the countries of the CIS was held in Geneva in May 1996. It worked out a Program of Action in the framework of the follow-up to the CIS Conference. The governments of the CIS countries and other states, international organisations including the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), as well as non-governmental organisations (NGOs) emphasized a unified strategy for dealing with issues connected with the forced migration of millions of people that followed the disintegration of the Soviet Union. This strategy was formulated in the Programme of Action adopted by the Conference. Today the term CIS Conference on Refugees Processť is often used not just as a referral to the conference that took place in May 1996, but also to a series of combined activities carried out within the framework of implementing Conference decisions.

It was decided at the Conference that the Conference Steering Group should hold annual meetings to evaluate progress in the implementation of the Program of Action and to discuss further plans. As of now, three meetings of the Steering Group have taken place, the most recent one on June 18-19, 1998, in Geneva.

During the work on implementation of the Program of Action, a constant expansion of the role of NGOs in CIS countries emerged as a general trend.

The number of NGOs accredited by the Conference and its Steering Group meetings also increased. This prompted UNHCR to work on a regional strategy to collaborate with NGOs and render them support.

One of the most important steps taken toward developing this collaboration between NGOs, and also between NGOs from the CIS countries and international organisations, was the creation within the framework of the Conference of a number of NGO Working Groups:

II. Working Group on Conflict Management and Prevention: goals and objectives

The main goal of the Working Group on Conflict Management and Prevention is to provide a clear picture of possible conflicts and other negative developments that may cause future migration flows and discuss specific activities which may help avoid such tragic events. These activities may include specific proposals about using the potential of local NGOs in the areas of tension.


Last updated: November 9, 1998


Center for Civil Society International
ccsi@u.washington.edu