Archive for the ‘international mediators’ Category

Unrest in Caribbean Has Roots in Slavery Past

February 23, 2009

Unrest in Caribbean Has Roots in Slavery Past

I read about this about a week ago and it stuck in my mind. So, when I saw it again on the homepage of Yahoo! News, I decided to write about it. An additional factor driving me to write about this is that as mediators and negotiators, we are always promoting ‘expanding the pie’. there are plenty of times I blog on ‘typical’ ADR and mediation news stories so why not expand the realm and mention this? Reading this story, there is a heap of built up anger, frustration, resentment and other emotions dating back over a century- yes a century, not years!

From the article:
POINTE-A-PITRE, Guadeloupe – Protests that have nearly shut down the French Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique are not just about demands for lower prices and higher wages: For demonstrators they are no less than a battle against the vestiges of slavery.
Afro-Caribbean islanders — most of whose forbears toiled in the sugarcane fields under the yoke of slavery more than 160 years ago — not only resent France’s handling of the global economic crisis, they have long resented that slaveholders’ descendants control the economy on both islands.
They also suspect that businesses earn too high a profit on goods, most of which are imported.


…The protests are “not a call for war, but for dignity…”

…Several islanders blame the arrival of 450 French riot police for the violence that has erupted during protests — and say it shows how France treats the islands like colonies.
Full article [here]

Where can mediation or negotiation fit in? Have there been any type of talks between the haves and have-nots? Is the arrival of the riot police seen as instigating an already powder-keg in the making?

Admittedly, my knowledge of the situation is limited but one route towards a possible peaceful solution is using The Third Side Model and exploring options that promote cooperative negotiation.

The Third Side is a book and concept created by William Ury (for sale [here] and many other places) which says in conflicts, there are roles for everyone. They are broken down to ten:
Provider
Teacher
Bridge Builder
Mediator
Arbiter
Equalizer
Healer
Witness
Referee
Peacekeeper
read more on them [here]

The good sign already coming out is the protest leaders and the French Government are already negotiating.

“Protest leaders and government officials are still negotiating to lower the costs of housing, gasoline, water and electricity.”

Hopefully dialogue will continue towards a peaceful resolution.

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International Mediator Update

February 6, 2009

International Mediator Update

The latest update:

Tony Blair (United Kingdom)- Leads the ‘Quartet’ as head mediator/negotiator in the Hamas-Israel conflict. Role might be diminished as newly elected US President Obama seemingly wants to go in a more USA-led direction with Secretary of State Clinton and Middle East Envoy George Mitchell. Thing are not so bad though, seems has been been given the title of ‘first friend’ by President Obama (read it here).

Also, recently stopped by my office… really, read it [here]

Nicolas Sarkozy (France)- Attempted to mediate same as above to no avail. He did meet today with Palestinian President Abbas and the Prime Minister of Qatar. The latest rumored mediator role is possibly in the Croatia-Slovakia border dispute.

Thabo Mbeki (South Africa)- as previously mentioned here, the leaders in Africa have lost faith in his ability to be the mediator in the situation in Zimbabwe.

Moammar Gadhafi (Libya)- Newly elected president of the African Union, vows to continue effort as a mediator is the Darfur region. Has had little success so far.

Tayyip Erdogan (Turkey)- Severely jeopardized his neutrality and role of international mediator with his public condemnation of Israel last month.

Jimmy Carter (USA)- The former President also jeopardized his neutrality when recently asked by a reporter who was responsible for the conflict in Gaza, his reply was, “Israel.” He also added, “”You got to talk to both sides,” Carter said. “But you can’t … take the position that everything that Israel does is right, and that anybody who disagrees with them is an act of terrorism. You got to try to find solutions that relate to both sides.”

International Mediator (general)- From the BBC, Leaders of the Anglican Communion are to employ professional mediators in an attempt to resolve their ongoing dispute over sexuality.
Full Story [here]

This story has received considerable media coverage on all the major networks here in the States. SAO PAULO (AP) — An American man who has waged a four-year custody battle for his son in Brazil brought a U.S. congressman along Thursday to help make his case to the country’s courts and politicians.

Speaking with The Associated Press on their way to Brasilia, David Goldman said he has not been allowed to see his 8-year-old son Sean since his former wife Bruna took the boy for a two-week vacation to her native Brazil in 2004 and never returned.

…Both sides are scheduled to meet Friday with a high-ranking Brazilian federal judge who is expected to attempt mediation or decide whether the case should be heard in federal or state courts in Rio de Janeiro, said a court spokeswoman who spoke on condition of anonymity because of department policy.
Full story [here]