Monday, August 5, 2013

Preparations for Conference on Peace Building in Baalbeck Underway

Preceding the conference on Peace Building in Baalbeck-Hermel to be held in October 2013, LOST organized three coordination meetings with prominent political, social, figures from Baalbeck-Hermel region in the form of a steering committee on July 13th, 20th, and 27th2013. These preparatory meetings, bringing together various stakeholders with expertise and interest in Peace Building, aimed to create an independent platform where objectives, agenda, and approach of the conference are discussed.They also served as a brainstorming activity, engaging attendees in the thinking process of what outcome we, the citizens of this region, are expecting from the organization of this conference.

70 people representing different key stakeholders in the local community attended these meetings including the clergy like the Mufti of Baalbeck, more than 10 school principals, NGO Leaders, Reconciliation groups, High Officers of the Local Security Forces, Academics, University Professors, Mucktars, and Local Media Reporters.

After a brief introduction about the civil peace unit and its mandate, LOST explained that such meetings will serve as a medium of presenting ideas where input will feed into a better understanding of the local context and a clearer vision of how to organize the conference. to achieve this purpose, three main questions were raised in these meetings:

-    What hinders civil peace building in the region?
-    What initiatives are needed to promote peace building?
-    What can civil society do on the local level to promote civil peace?

Responses, comments, discussions, results and recommendations were compiled and documented to be revised, filtered, and finalized in a meeting which can shape the direction of the conference. In the meanwhile, LOST organized meeting with a lot of international donors like War Child Holland, Alert International, Inter peace, Search for Common Grounds, the embassy of Switzerland, the Dutch embassy, and others to explain objectives of the conference and confirm their attendance highlighting the role they can play in promoting civil peace in the region.

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