Are Ukrainians fast to agree for peace solution?


While working in small groups facilitators from different countries who attended Peace Summit (held in Kyiv on July 4-5) could see Ukrainians (delegates from most regions of Ukraine) discussing problems, challenges and prospects of devolution power process in Ukraine.

After the activity foreign experts were asked to share their views on what things helped the participants and whet problems could be seen during discussions.

Michael Pannwitz, ICA Germany
From what I understood the difference lies in what decentralization means, what it could be and there is still disagreement there. It needs more discussions about that. This is my feeling that people need more time to understand what does it mean, how we’re doing it, how can we contribute into it.

However, on the values I think there is broad agreement. And even on 10 devolution commandments there seem to be broad agreement. They’ve put it together and there is an agreement.

From what I’m perceiving it was very peaceful, people were very interactive, getting together and into groups, working, passionate exchange on different opinions, but very peaceful. So, it’s a good step toward finding common ground and how to do it. I saw the readiness for peace and finding the way out.

Simon Koolwijk, the Netherlands

People were very much involved and engaged. We had good discussions. They were committed. When we evaluated, they said they started to learn to understand how to get consensus, to participate, to listen to each other. So I think this event is good for people to understand, to experience how decentralization at the local level is going to work, and that you have to listen and sometimes you have to give up some of your ideas, if you are trying to get to consensus.

Local people have more responsibilities, more resources, local developments, more initiatives bottom-up, there were agreement on more pilot projects. So, somebody gave nice example. If you had a community of monkeys and they all are dirty. Then one monkey goes to the sea and cleans himself, comes back to the community, the other monkeys see ‘Oh, that’s a good idea, we all should clean ourselves.’ They also start to clean themselves. The idea is, if people see good practices of decentralization at a local level, it will have a snowball effect. And that’s what people had a lot agreements about. With regards to principles they want to have transparent and open government, openness on how expenditures are made, and also professional authorities, who can listen to people and are capable in what they are doing.

In terms of disagreements I can’t name specific ideas, but some people had difficulties to give up their ideas. If they had certain ideas, it’s difficult for them to come to consensus. If they stuck in their minds, they want to go one way, and the majority of the group thinks different, it’s difficult to listen to others and to also pick from other people ideas.

Lorraine Margherita, France
I think it’s very much under control. I think the way the participants are working actually helping very much. I find them very much engaged and very much enligned with the time we give them to do things. That’s really impressive. They are eager to find the solution.

As for things and ideas helping them to come together, to be united, for me, as a foreigner it’s hard to say. Especially this workshop was facilitated by Ukrainians. So it goes really fast. And I try to follow up with the translator and I find it difficult to keep up with the exchange of ideas. And for the moment it’s not over. I’m not sure I can say how united the visions are at this stage.
I noticed that the debate was heating up, especially on sharing ideas. It went harder and harder. However, later on I could see that some people were really engaged, some declarations being made, some statements that were pretty tough. So I felt that things got maybe not out of control but very emotional.

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