Global view of conflict resolution

The only way to solve a conflict at any level of society is to sit down face to face and talk about it. That was the advice of retired American ambassador John W. McDonald, now chairman of the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy, in an address to diplomats, students and others at St. Paul University in Ottawa on June 17. Having worked in over 100 countries over 90 years, Mr. McDonald said track-one diplomacy is government to government, but it "cannot work by itself." Track-two involves NGOs and conflict resolution professionals, he said, which is where, with proper interaction, the changes will, and do, take place. Mr. McDonald said IMTD is currently exploring an idea proposed by Tannis of Canada's ADR Centre to develop a web platform using social networking for a Virtual Alternative Dispute Resolution Round Table, towards the face-to-face discussions he believes are necessary for eventual solutions, and which would allow participation by other stakeholders not now included in decision-making.

Published: Wednesday, 06/22/2011 12:00 am EDT

The only way to solve a conflict at any level of society is to sit down face to face and talk about it. That was the advice of retired American ambassador John W. McDonald, now chairman of the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy, in an address to diplomats, students and others at St. Paul University in Ottawa on June 17. Having worked in over 100 countries over 90 years, Mr. McDonald said track-one diplomacy is government to government, but it "cannot work by itself." Track-two involves NGOs and conflict resolution professionals, he said, which is where, with proper interaction, the changes will, and do, take place. Mr. McDonald said IMTD is currently exploring an idea proposed by Tannis of Canada's ADR Centre to develop a web platform using social networking for a Virtual Alternative Dispute Resolution Round Table, towards the face-to-face discussions he believes are necessary for eventual solutions, and which would allow participation by other stakeholders not now included in decision-making.

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