The Inaugural Conference of the Youth Forum for Cities in Transition — held in Mitrovica from 23-27 September 2013 Youth from Belfast, Derry-Londonderry, Haifa, Jerusalem, Kaduna, Kirkuk, Ramallah, Tripoli and host city Mitrovica shared and explored local experiences, gaining invaluable and practical knowledge on how to build sustainable cooperative relationships within and across their communities and cities.
In her opening remarks at the event, the President of Kosovo, her Excellency Atifete Jahjaga, stated:
“From the city of Mitrovica, which unfortunately is divided in the middle, together you are sending strong messages of tolerance, understanding and peaceful coexistence. You who are sending strong messages that diversity is a value which should unite us and which enriches a society, a country.”
“It is the divided cities which remind us of a bitter past, which have left behind serious consequences, consequences which in many cases are still present. They remind us of the danger which comes from exclusion and refusal to accept and respect one another, to accept and respect diversity. Above all they reminder us how important peace is, how fragile it can often be, and how difficult it is to be built on ruins of destruction, the trust between people.”
The situation in the cities differed widely — from on-going violent conflicts (e.g. Kirkuk, Tripoli) to long-lasting conflicts (e.g. Jerusalem), to cities already recovering from conflict (e.g. Belfast and Derry-Londonderry). The delegates also focused on how youth activism develops, the potential of civil society, and especially the role of youth in conflict resolution.
Fourth Annual FCT Conference: Kaduna, Nigeria November 4th-8th 2013
The 4th annual conference of the Forum for Cities in Transition was held in Kaduna, Nigeria on the 4th-8th of November 2013, hosted by the by the Kaduna State Government, under the stewardship of H.E. Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero.
Thirteen non-African cities participated: Baghdad, Belfast, Derry~Londonderry, Haifa, Jerusalem, Kirkuk, Mitrovica, Mitte, Mostar, Ramallah, Sarajevo, Srebrenica and Tripoli Lebanon. Delegates included mayors, councilors, municipal officers, and representatives of the business, voluntary and community sectors.
- This was the first ever gathering with an international presence of this size and scope in the city’s history.
- Seven Nigerian cities which experience the highest level of Muslim- Christian violence also participated: Maiduguri, Jos, Bauchi, Kano, Ibadan and Warri. One of the most significant outcomes of this year’s FCT was their pledge to launch a first ever peace hub in Kaduna that will serve to mediate tensions and build peace among the diverse communities of these northern Nigerian cities. Representatives from four African countries: Rwanda, Ethiopia, Kenya and Ghana also attended as observers.
- Belfast stepped up to host 2014 FCT – dynamic, interactive conference focusing on sharing successes, challenges and ideas
- Derry-Londonderry: Mediation, Peace and Reconciliation Group to share mediation training programs with Tripoli – which did occur with facilitation from Professor O’Malley in September 2016
- Kaduna: Begin work on establishing a regional forum for FCT in Nigerian cities hub still to be realized – funded. Tripoli: Continuation of ongoing activities relating to non-violence campaign Mediation commitment, “Mercy Corps,” support for developing advocacy skills.
- Today have completed Road map to Reconciliation – After two years of intense work and facilitation with Professor O’Malley and FCT.