Description of initiative:
Collapse of former Soviet Union emerged military confrontation between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh from one side and Azerbaijan from another side, which led the entire region to humanitarian emergency. Absence of any relationships between conflict sides and stagnation in the negotiation process and threats of revival of military confrontation is a very serious challenge for wellbeing of the whole South Caucasus region. Under such conditions, the reestablishment of contacts at grassroots level between both sides of the conflict is extremely important. These contacts should be aimed at establishing measures of confidence and work on reconciliation process. In this context "Peace House" has become a methodological, educational resource centre for all representatives of the civil society involved in conflict transformation, as well as a temple of reconciliation for all those who need peace and want to establish peace in their country and region. "Peace House" works for: Public awareness raising; Increasing civil, democratic and physical security of both Azerbaijanis and Armenians from Karabakh, through support of development of democracy and civil society building; Discussions; Education (formal and informal); Publications; Cultural exchange; Direct contacts (cross border activities); Study of theoretical materials; Human rights monitoring.
Description of innovation:
After the collapse of the Soviet Union and proclamation of newly independent states in many of the former national territorial formations there emerged military conflicts, which led entire regions to humanitarian emergency. These processes were especially pronounced in the Caucasus. The Nagorno-Karabakh, Ossetian and Abkhazian conflicts transformed into mass bloodshed and their unresolved status to the present day is a serious hindrance for regional cooperation and more and more separates the region from positive processes of globalization, which started to prevail at the end of the last century. A wave of violence on these territories created a huge gap between once friendly peoples. The international community managed to prevent the transition of the conflict to the escalation stage and during recent years, these conflicts shifted from the stage of escalation to one of cooling. International multilateral institutions such as UN, OSCE, EU as well as the leading powers of the world -- the USA, France, Russia have vigorously tried to settle the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. The CSCE (which is presently called OSCE) has instituted the Minsk group in 1992, which deals uniquely with the issue of settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. However, thus far neither the efforts of the international community, nor the efforts of separate countries resulted in reconciliation. Moreover, recently statements on possible revival of hostilities are expressed by both Armenia and Azerbaijan. Meanwhile, the relations of representatives of civil society of the conflicting sides have decreased. All of these factors cannot but impact the wellbeing of the whole South Caucasus region. Under such conditions, the reestablishment of contacts at grassroots level between both sides of the conflict is extremely important. These contacts should be aimed at establishing measures of confidence and work on reconciliation process. In this context "Peace House" becoming a methodological, educational
Peace House(office of Nagorno-Karabakh Committee of "Helsinki Initiative-92", internet forum, seminars and discussion club, educational activity(trainings . . .), cultural exchange, audio-video diaries, creation of recourse and methodological centre for reconciliation, workshops, conferences, human recourses.
Key operational partnerships:
The Peace House is functioning on a daily base in the frame of Nagorno-Karabakh Committee of "Helsinki Initiative- 92" with the partnerships of the international Helsinki Citizens' Assembly network and with the support of Interchurch Peace Council(the Netherlands) and government of Nagorno-Karabakh. The main partners are Azerbaijani National Committee of Helsinki Citizens' Assembly and Gandja and Kazakh regional branches of HCA of Azerbaijan. Director of Peace House is Dr.Karen Ohanjanyan, coordinator of Nagorno-Karabakh Committee of "Helsinki Initiative-92"