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CMI’s High-Level Ukrainian dialogue group meets in Belfast and Dublin

Published on Thursday, 5th of March 2015

CMI has supported Ukraine’s efforts to build an inclusive society since 2010. This endeavor has continued as dialogue among political and intellectual actors gains momentum. Our work focuses on the need to bridge societal divisions and address external conflict factors, in order to create preconditions for Ukraine’s longer-term development.

In continuation of CMI’s work in Ukraine, our latest high-level event for Ukrainian political and intellectual actors was held in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland on 21-26 February 2015. The dialogue group includes decision-makers, Members of Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament) and intellectual leaders, who together represent a broad spectrum of political views and opinions from different parts of the country, including the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

During their visit to Northern Ireland and Ireland, these high-level experts explored such key areas as peace process and settlement; economic recovery programmes and opportunities; and the deconstruction of mutually hostile myths and discourses in order to move towards a more cooperative agenda. These areas were explored through discussions with top-level politicians, experts, community leaders and former combatants from both sides, who shared their experiences and the lessons learnt from the Northern Ireland peace process. While the settings, root causes and consequences of the two situations are very different, lessons that could be useful for Ukraine’s situation were drawn, including the organisation of societal dialogue.

The group’s interactions with top-level colleagues in Belfast and Dublin was combined with internal dialogue sessions. The internal discussions continued to focus on ways forward out of the current crisis in Ukraine. Participants also crystalised the thematic priority areas for the upcoming dialogue sessions in 2015. These areas include the international dimension, supporting an inclusive national identity, reforms and reconciliation.

This event has been organised with funding from the British Embassy in Kyiv, the UK Conflict Pool Peacebuilding Projects in Ukraine 2014-2015. Organisational support was provided by the Causeway Institute for Peace-building and Conflict Resolution International and the Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Ireland.