International Dialogues for Trust and Development
“As we face so many conflict drivers, we have to encourage the drivers of peace, such as women and the youth” says Chito Gascon of the Liberal Party of the Philippines and a partner of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) at the Just Governance Dialogue 2015 organized by Initiatives of Change (IofC) at Asia Plateau in Maharashtra, India. The theme of this dialogue was "Good Governance and Trust-Building: Priorities for Developing Nations and Divided Societies".
The three days event attracted some 160 participants from 40 countries to exchange experiences in peace building and bridging gaps between people in conflict. Maria Schneider, Regional Project Manager at the Regional Office of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) joined the debates from New Delhi along with FNF partners Chito Gascon and Mykola Ryabchuk, a journalist and writer from Ukraine.
Both presented their insights at the sessions, “Trust Building in Divided Societies” and “Healing Historical Wounds”. The discussions emphasized that trust in a community has to be built on a common ground rather than on what divides people. Speakers emphasized the need for dialogue to heal wounds inflicted by past injustices and violence. “It is no more about tolerating each other but to develop an interest in each other to truly overcome a conflict, within a community” says Maria Schneider.
One part of the dialogue was titled “Hope from Rural India”. Here, the conference participants met with people from a nearby village who have improved their lives by introducing participatory governance structures in their decision making. In this structure, the views of the youth and women are taken into account with more consideration.
“The whole experience of this dialogue was enriching, as it did not only focus on the minds of the people but their hearts as well. Participants were deeply touched by the moving personal stories and this produces a strong urge to take a stand and act for the cause” says Maria Schneider.