Thirty-five practitioners and experts from Asia and Europe gathered in Letterkenny and Derry, Ireland, for a dialogue on the different types of minority conflicts, focusing in particular on “frozen conflicts” — cases where the cessation of open hostility offers a chance for the regional and international community to design possible political solutions and a framework for sustainable peace.
The meeting produced a set of policy recommendations on minority conflict management to political decision makers in Asia and Europe and identified issues and case studies that could be effectively addressed within the ASEM framework and through co-operation among key stakeholders in Asia and Europe. Participants were encouraged to share their knowledge with their respective networks to generate collaboration on minority conflict management.
They were also given the opportunity to interact with local communities in both Letterkenny and Derry. In Derry, participants met over an informal dinner with local community workers who presented their institutions and networks that mainly focused on peace, reconciliation, and non-violent resolutions of conflicts in Ireland. Martin McGuiness (Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister) and Mary Coughlan, (Ireland Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment) also hosted a special session for the participants to meet with community groups involved in cross-border, cross-community activities.
The sixth Asia-Europe Roundtable focused in particular on:
– Understanding the complexities of minority conflicts and different minority demands including affirmative action, cultural autonomy, and secession so that appropriate solutions can be formulated and applied.
– Examining the process in which inter-communal differences may escalate into political violence and extremism.
– Highlighting useful and substantive insights from case studies and draw out implications for conflict management.
– Examining the institutional capacity of different political systems and the different legal and political frameworks to accommodate minorities.
– Exploring the possibilities of using the ASEM framework or other Asia-Europe dialogue forums or processes to address minority conflicts in these two regions.
Mr. John Hume, Nobel Laureate
HE Cho Tae-yong, Ambassador of Korea to Ireland
Prof. Dr. Stefan Wolff, University of Nottingham, UK
Dr. Brandon Hamber, INCORE (University of Ulster), UK
Mr. Edgardo Pedro Legaspi, ASEAN Program, Southeast Asian Committee for Advocacy
Dr. Mary Martin, Centre for the Study of Global Governance’s Group on Human Security
Mr. Justin Davies, Former Chief of Staff of the Aceh Monitoring Mission