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Published Date: Dec 28, 2012

SDPI PRESS RELEASE (December 28,2012)

Local leaders from Lahore, Multan, Bahawalpur, Sahiwal, Sargodha and Gujrat vowed to promote peace and tackle serious issues in their country through collaborative solution-oriented approaches during a five-days training workshop on peace building jointly organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and Search for Common Ground|Pakistan (SFCG)..

Conducted under SFCG|Pakistan’s national level “Pakistan Peace Initiative” project, supported by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), the training aimed to enhance the capacity of Pakistani local leaders to explore issues affecting them through a constructive, solutions-oriented approach that is geared towards reconciliation and peacebuilding.

The five-days workshop was attended by political leaders, representatives of civil society organizations, private sector ,jirgah members and district government officials. These trained leaders will also participate in district-level dialogue forums where they can effectively express their views on peace and democratization processes.

“Local leaders are influential and committed stakeholders in the process of peacebuilding in our country,” said AmmaraDurrani, Country Director SFCG|Pakistan.  “They need to be given innovative opportunities to apply the knowledge and skills of dialogue and consensus-building in order to build peace in their communities in a safe and constructive manner.”

Dr. Abid Suleri, Executive Director, SDPI said that peace is secured when leaders of conflicting groups agree on not attempting to impose their “positions” on others, but try to accommodate each other’s“interests”. He added that successful conflict transformation involves increasing the participatory role of key stakeholders while promoting co-existence between adversaries.

The training imparted to participants successful negotiation skills including establishing common goals, focusing on interests not positions, separation of people from the problem, inventing options for mutual gain, and openness to third-party assistance. Senior Advisor SDPI,Ahmed Salim, distributed certificates among participants in the concluding session.

Founded in 1982, SFCG is an international non-profit organization working around the world to transform the way the world deals with conflict–away from adversarial approaches and towards collaborative problem solving.

Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is Pakistan’s premier think-tank in policy advocacy and research. SDPI produces knowledge that can enhance the capacity of government to make informed policy decisions and to engage civil society on issues of public interest.