On 17th of July at 9:30 am at Caucasus International University was held a meeting with the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairmanship for the South Caucasus – Ambassador Angelo Gnaedinger. As the co-chair of the Geneva Discussions and the Ergneti IPRM meetings, Mr. Gnaedinger gave an overview of OSCE work in this area.

Mr. Gnaedinger gave a brief speech for youth about OSCE and its structure. He described the work of the Chairman’s office, Secretariat, CPC, field missions that are called to react to sudden crisis situations. Mr. Gnaedinger underlined that one of the major steps in conflict mediation is identifying the vectors of the interests of the political actors in given conflict. He talked about the importance of achievement the consensus among conflict sides.

The second topic Mr. Gnaedinger talked about was the conflict situations in South Caucasus region. He talked about the OSCE efforts to bring ideas that will promote conflict resolution. Participants were interested in Geneva discussions. Mr. Gnaedinger shared information with youth about Geneva international discussions, EU monitoring missions, IPRM meetings and IPRM working structure.

Ambassador highlighted that for the conflict resolution it is essential that all the sides put their points, identify the issues, and consider the positions of the other side. Also, Mr. Gnaedinger talked about the importance of the diplomacy. He recommended the participants among who are   students of international relations, public governance, members of governmental and non-governmental organizations and civil society act pragmatically and refrain from statements which will irritate the other side.

The second part of the meeting was held in question/answer format. Participants asked questions about terminology differences problem in conflict resolution process, civil society role in conflict resolution, field operations in the conflict regions. Also, participants asked questions about the conflicts that were resolved by OSCE. Mr. Gnaedinger gave the examples, such as the conflicts in Balkans, Helsinki resolutions etc. There were several questions about how OSCE decisions are put in action. Mr. Gnaedinger described several levels of conflict mediation; those were trade, culture, civil society, economics and finally politics.

Mr. Gnaedinger also shared his personal experience with the participants in conflict resolution. His prior objective was that most important thing in conflict resolution is the diplomatic work. Diplomats should be more pragmatic. Each side of the conflict has its points, behind the points there are interests and each interest is caused by certain needs. During the meetings diplomats should talk and act in a respectful way, so that neither of the sides could be irritated, because it can lead to conflict escalation. Ambassador advised that while defending their own interest all the conflict sides should be respectful to each other.

The meeting was held in frameworks of the project “Building OSCE Youth Network”, which is carried out by the Helsinki Citizens Assembly Georgian National Committee in partnership with Caucasus International University and by the support of the OSCE.