Ivanovic: Fate of Kosovska Mitrovica is crucial for Kosovo issue (EMportal)

Ivanovic: Fate of Kosovska Mitrovica is crucial for Kosovo issue
http://www.emg.rs/en/news/serbia/156091.html
(EMportal)
26 May 2011

State Secretary for Kosovo-Metohija Oliver Ivanovic, who is partaking in the second international conference dubbed Forum for Cities in Transition, in Londonderry, northern Ireland, stated that the fate of the divided city of Kosovska Mitrovica would largely resolve the fate of Kosovo-Metohija.

The fate of Kosovska Mitrovica is crucial for the resolution of the Kosovo issue, and therefore it is important to use the experience of other world cities with similar problems in the search for a solution for the city of Kosovska Mitrovica, Ivanovic told.

Kosovska Mitrovica has been divided as a result of the lack of trust between people, and although it would not be easy, this division can be abolished, he said.

“A lot of positive energy from the people with vision and persistence is needed for such a problem to be solved,” Ivanovic stated.

Forum for Cities in Transition has gathered delegations from Beirut, Belfast, Kosovska Mitrovica, Haifa, Jerusalem, Kirkuk, Kaduna, Mostar, Nicosia, Ramallah, Mitte and the host city of Londonderry.

The Forum was established in Boston, the U.S., in April 2009 by the representatives of the cities of Kirkuk, Nicosia, Londonderry & Kosovska Mitrovica so as to improve life of citizens in divided cities.

New Junior Ministers add their support for Cities in Transition (Northern Ireland Executive)

New Junior Ministers add their support for Cities in Transition
http://www.northernireland.gov.uk/news-ofmdfm-250511-new-junior-ministers-add…
OFMdFM (Northern Ireland Executive)
26 May 2011

Junior Ministers Martina Anderson and Jonathan Bell today attended the Forum for Cities in Transition conference in the Beech Hill Country House Hotel, Derry-Londonderry.

Speaking at the conference dinner, Junior Minister Anderson said: “The fact that the Forum For Cities In Transition Conference is being held in Derry, is an endorsement of our work so far and an indication that we are following the right path. Change takes hard work and regeneration is key tool in effective conflict resolution and peace building.

“We are very proud of the progress in Derry and the new Peace Bridge is a symbol of a new beginning. It represents a real opportunity to improve relationships by transcending the physical divide of the river which, for far too long, has been viewed as a boundary between the Waterside and the city side and it is another step forward towards our vision of a shared and peaceful city becoming a reality.”

Junior Minister Bell added: “For so many years we have viewed those different to ourselves with suspicion, but over time we have begun to lean that differences in our society must cease to be barriers, they must be recognised and appreciated as adding diversity.

“We must continue to tackle all forms of intolerance. Everyone has a role to play in building a society that is inclusive and tolerant and we must encourage and enable them to take ownership of their shared future.”

The conference brings together citizens from cities divided by conflict, with the aim of encouraging mutual learning, dialogue and the resolution of conflict through non-violent methods. The members of the Forum for Cities in Transition chose Derry/Londonderry to host this year’s conference, because of their desire to come and learn firsthand from the city’s experiences of the peace process.

Conflict and mental health on the agenda for international conference

Conflict and mental health on the agenda for international conference
by Forum for Cities in Transition
26 May 2011

The final day of the second annual Forum for Cities in Transition conference will focus on the link between conflict and mental health.

The conference which has been ongoing in the Guildhall all week has brought together 12 cities emerging from conflict to the city to discuss transition from conflict to peace.

The Forum for Cities in Transition brings together citizens from cities divided by conflict, with the aim of encouraging mutual learning, dialogue and the resolution of conflict through non-violent methods. The Forum works on the principle that cities that are in conflict or have emerged from conflict are in the best position to help other cities in the same situation. The Derry-Londonderry Forum is a founding member.

Spokesperson for the local forum for Cities in Transition, Michael Doherty said

“Northern Ireland is in many ways more advanced in our peace process than many of the countries participating in the conference, which is why we have decided to focus on conflict and mental health. At last year’s conference in Kosovo, many of the participants wanted to discuss this issue, as this is something we have experienced in our own transition from conflict to peace.”

The panel brings together academics and practitioners working in the field of conflict and mental to discuss the issue. Panellist include Brandon Hamber, Maureen Hetherington, Lord John Alderdice, Marie Breen-Smyth, David Bolton and Arlene Healy.

After the panel discussion, delegates will come together in smaller groups to discuss what they have heard, and outline practical examples of how they can bring what they have learned back to their own communities and cities.

ENDS

Notes to the editor:

  • Delegates from each city include mayors, councillors, municipal officers, business representatives and representatives from the community and voluntary sector.
  • Approximately 70 delegates from across the world will attend the conference.
  • Names of the participating Cities: Beirut, Belfast, Derry~Londonderry, Haifa, Jerusalem, Kaduna, Kirkuk, Mitrovica, Mitte, Mostar, Nicosia and Ramallah
  • The conference is funded by Department of Foreign Affairs, International Fund for Ireland, American Ireland Funds and Monitor, Boston.

Minister for European Affairs addresses the Forum for Cities in Transition conference in Derry (Government of Ireland)

Minister for European Affairs addresses the Forum for Cities in Transition conference in Derry
http://www.foreignaffairs.gov.ie/home/index.aspx?id=86798
Department of Foreign Affairs (Government of Ireland)
25 May 2011

Lucinda Creighton, T.D., Minister of State with special responsibility for European Affairs, today addressed the members of the Forum for Cities in Transition at their second annual Conference which is taking place this week in Derry.

Noting that Ireland is committed to sharing the lessons learned from the Northern Ireland peace process with other regions with an experience of conflict, Minister Creighton said:“One key aspect of my Department’s work is to share lessons learned from our own history with others who may be experiencing conflict in their own countries. The Northern Ireland situation, like all conflicts, has had its own particular characteristics and specific context. However, our experience of the collective and intense effort at all levels to find peace in an intractable historic conflict undoubtedly provides insights and lessons worth sharing. We also recognise that lesson-sharing is a two-way process, and there is much that Ireland can learn from others tackling the same challenges.”

Referring to the bomb which exploded in Derry city centre on Saturday, 21 May, Minister Creighton said:

“I would like to take this opportunity to condemn those responsible for the senseless incident which occurred last Saturday. There remain a small, unrepresentative and deeply misguided few who seek to drag us back to the bad old days. Their efforts are futile – the people of Ireland, north and south, have made it clear that they want a peaceful future. I commend each person who works at local level to advance that future and, in particular, everyone who helped local businesses, families and the public services to deal with the disruption caused on Saturday.”

Note for Editors:

The Forum for Cities in Transition is a framework in which representatives from cities emerging from or still in conflict have gathered together on annual basis for networking and peace-building purposes. The first annual conference was held in Mitrovica, Kosovo in 2010. Delegations from five cities – Derry, Belfast, Nicosia, Kirkuk and Mitrovica – participated in the initial conference.

Derry is hosting the second annual conference from 22-26 May. The conference is taking place in the Guildhall. Representatives from Northern Ireland (Belfast & Derry), Western Europe (Berlin & Nicosia), the Balkans (Mostar & Mitrovica), Iraq (Kirkuk), Lebanon (Beirut), the Middle East (Jerusalem, Haifa, & Ramallah) and Nigeria (Kaduna) are attending.

Funding support of €175,000 has been provided to the Conference from the Irish Aid programme, the Government’s programme of official overseas development assistance.

Work of the International Fund for Ireland showcased at Cities in Transition conference

Work of the International Fund for Ireland showcased at Cities in Transition conference
by Forum for Cities in Transition
25 May 2011

Work of the International Fund for Ireland (IFI) will be showcased on the third day of the second annual conference of the Forum for Cities in Transition (FCT). Participants from twelve cities across four continents that have been divided by violence will participate in the conference, which will be held in the Guildhall this week.

The FCT brings together citizens from cities divided by conflict, with the aim of encouraging mutual learning, dialogue and the resolution of conflict through non-violent methods. The Forum works on the principle that cities in conflict or emerging from conflict are in the best position to help other cities in the same situation. The Derry-Londonderry Forum is a founding member of the FCT.

Chairperson of the Derry-Londonderry Forum, Angela Askin, said:

“The International Fund for Ireland, as both a funder and as a partner in this conference has worked tirelessly over the last 25 years to bring the two communities of Northern Ireland and the border region together. We wanted the IFI to come to the conference and illustrate the practical programmes that have had a positive contribution on community relations, peace building and reconciliation throughout the border areas.

We wanted to show delegates the type of projects that have been implemented in Northern Ireland, and the positive impact they have had on peace building, giving them practical learning to bring home to their own cities.”

Throughout Wednesday, IFI staff and agents of the IFI will showcase their projects and programmes focusing on building foundations, building bridges, building integration, economic development and leaving a legacy. Throughout the day delegates will break into small workshops to discuss what they have learned from the IFI, and examine ways that they could bring back the learning to their own communities.”

ENDS

Notes to editor:

About the International Fund for Ireland:

  • The International Fund for Ireland is an independent international organisation established by the Irish and British Governments in 1986. The Fund’s main objectives are to promote economic and social advance and encourage contact, dialogue and reconciliation between unionists and nationalists throughout Ireland.
  • Contributors to the Fund are the United States of America, the European Union, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Since its inception, the Fund has committed more than £668m/€838m to a wide variety of projects in Northern Ireland and the southern border counties. Developing and funding initiatives that tackle segregation and promote integration to build a lasting peace in Northern Ireland and the southern border counties is a key priority for the Fund.

About the Forum for Cities in Transition:

  • Delegates from each city include Mayors, Councillors, Municipal Officers, Business Representatives and Representatives from the community and voluntary sector.
  • Approximately 70 delegates from across the world will attend the conference.
  • Names of the participating Cities: Beirut, Belfast, Derry~Londonderry, Haifa, Jerusalem, Kaduna, Kirkuk, Mitrovica, Mitte, Mostar, Nicosia and Ramallah
  • The conference is funded by Department of Foreign Affairs, International Fund for Ireland, American Ireland Funds and Monitor, Boston.

Kirkuk to participate in Cities in Transition conference in Ireland (Rudaw)

20110524 KPC
A meeting of Kirkuk’s provincial council. Photo by Ayub Nuri.

Kirkuk to participate in Cities in Transition conference in Ireland
http://www.rudaw.net/english/news/iraq/3699.html
Wladimir Van Wilgenburg (Rudaw)
24 May 2011

SULAIMANI, Iraqi Kurdistan — The Forum for Cities in Transition will hold its third annual conference at the Guildhall, Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland from Monday-Thursday, 23-26 May 2011. Nine delegates from Kirkuk will participate in the conference.

“All these meetings are very useful,” Hasan Turan, chairman of Kirkuk’s Provincial Council told Rudaw. “We hope to make the next conference in Kirkuk next year.”

Turan himself has participated in the conference in the past.

The Kirkuk Provincial Council delegation consists of Abdullah Sami Assi, Dilshad P. Aziz, Bahauldden Saeed, Ibrahim Khalil Rasheed, Rizgar Ali Hama-Jan, Sweetlen Isttifan Yousif, Mohammed Amin, Mohammed Kudur Kharab, Tahseen Mohammed Ali Kahyah and Galawezh Abduljabbar Mahed. The council chairman, Hassan Torhan had to cancel his participation due to the bombings that occurred in Kirkuk last week in which at least 27 people were killed and around a hundred wounded when a bomb hidden in a car went off in a parking lot outside the city’s main police station.

It is written on the website of the forum that members of the forum chose Derry-Londonderry to host this year’s conference because of their desire to learn from the city’s experiences of the Northern Ireland peace process.

Local members in the Derry-Londonderry Forum will showcase the achievements of their own city and offer assistance to other cities’ efforts to build lasting peace.

The Forum brings together citizens from cities divided by conflict. The main goal is encouraging mutual learning, dialogue and the resolution of conflict through non-violent methods.

Participant cities in this year’s forum are Beirut, Belfast, Derry-Londonderry, Haifa, Jerusalem, Kaduna, Kirkuk, Mitrovica, Mitte, Mostar, Nicosia and Rammalah.

Possible bridges of cooperation in Mitrovica (M-Magazine)

Possible bridges of cooperation in Mitrovica
http://www.m-magazine.org/index.php/en/news/kosovo/280-possible-bridges-of-co…
(M-Magazine)
24 May 2011

Londonderry, 24 Maj – Representative of Forum Mitrovica, Valdete Idrizi, said today that communities in Mitrovica could build bridges of cooperation, because the bridges are build by the communities that are deeply divided by ethnic Albanian and Serbian communities in Kosovo.

Idrizi which participates in the second international conference, “Cities in Transition” in Londonderry in Northern Ireland, said that it is very important to be familiar with the situation in cities similar to Mitrovica the way in which these cities came out from the problems facing the Kosovar city.

“Communities in Mitrovica may build bridges of cooperation, as we have seen the community who were deeply divided by the Serbian and Albanian, ” she said Idrizi.She pointed out that at this moment this requires political will and that after that will be normal city of Mitrovica, which as such is attract the investors and go the way of economic recovery.

In Northern Ireland during the international conference called “The Cities in Transition”, in which participate delegates from Beirut, Belfast, Mitrovica, Haifa, Jerusalem, Kirkuk, Kaduna, Mostar, Nicosia, Ramallah, Mite and the host city Londonderry. Aim of the Forum is to improve the lives of citizens in divided cities, and the first conference, “of Cities in Transition” was held last year in Mitrovica.