Some local communities in post-conflict areas (including thew Western Balkans) face more long-term consequences from the wars than others. Some have gone through particularly brutal war experiences, while others are located in the border region between states. Many such communities remain ethnically divided, with little cross-communication between people on the different sides. Peacebuilding processes on the state level can be jeopardised by events evolving in such communities.
The Nansen Dialogue Network sees the importance of dialogue on different levels, to ensure sustainable, lasting peace. Dialogue used as a key tool for institutional capacity building at the local level it is essential for sustainable peace.
This is the reason why NDN is working with local politicians and administrative leaders in several municipalities, and actively cooperates with counterparts of the different professional groups from other parts of the region and from Norwegian municipalities. The aim is to establish contact between professionals on the same level, who face similar challenges in their everyday lives.
Examples of municipality projects are: Political cooperation and development in the municipality of Bujanovac in Southern Serbia, in cooperation with Lillehammer municipality in Norway; dialogue between people with influence in the political and educational institutions in Srebrenica, Bratunac and Prijedor in Bosnia-Herzegovina; dialogue processes between political leaders and administrative leaders in Mitrovica Kosovo Polje, and Oblic in Kosovo; and dialogue between local political leaders and business leaders in Sandzak, the bordering region between Serbia and Montenegro. Pljevla municipality has established contact with the municipalities of Lom and Vågå in Norway, in order to explore possibilities for closer contact and cooperation.
For more information, see the relevant websites of the Nansen Dialogue Centres.