New dialogue support platform to promote peace and reconciliation in Ukraine

Jul 17, 2015

Since November 2013, Ukraine has been confronted by a number of profound and far-reaching crises, including an armed conflict in eastern Ukraine that has resulted in the loss of thousands of lives, the displacement of over two million people, and a deteriorating socio-economic situation throughout the country. Consequently, deep divisions have emerged among or between various groups and communities, while indigenous and international initiatives for peace and dialogue struggle to counter the growing violence and war rhetoric.  At the same time, an ambitious but crucial reform agenda and a dire socio-economic situation within Ukraine place additional stress on society, which is becoming increasingly polarized over various issues.

For Ukraine to succeed on its chosen path of sustainable development to prosperity it is necessary to restore social cohesion and promote understanding, reconciliation and consensus between and within different regions and communities.  This can be achieved only through inclusive and participatory dialogue at and between various levels (local, regional and national).  The fundamental need for such dialogue has been identified in a number of key documents, including the recent Recovery and Peacebuilding Assessment, which was conducted jointly by the United Nations, European Union and World Bank in response to a request by the Government of Ukraine (see: http://www.un.org.ua/en/information-centre/news/1975).

To support indigenous dialogue efforts, UNDP has partnered with the European Forum for Mediation and Dialogue (MediatEUr) in developing a Dialogue Support Platform.  This online platform will help Ukrainian dialogue facilitators to connect with each other and with international counterparts in order to share information and experiences, improve their skills and capacities for dialogue, and strengthen efforts to promote dialogue for peace throughout the country.  Utilizing modern interactive technology, the Dialogue Support Platform will provide a ‘live’ map of dialogue initiatives across Ukraine, as well as a visual representation of issues and themes of local, regional and national concern.  It will enable online discussion and debates, while at the same time serving as a ‘resource hub’ for facilitators, national policy makers, international partners and donors alike.

The Platform itself will be launched in September, but further details are available on the Platform website (see: http://dialoguesupport.org/) or by contacting Mr. Stan Veitsman, the Peace and Development Advisor, on stan.veitsman@undp.org.