The organizational grant for 1997 from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, due around the turn of the year, is not paid until early April. Thus, activities must be reduced or discontinued. This year's grant is again lower than last year's, reduced by about 10% to SEK 300.000, equivalent to US$ 38.000. A board meeting scheduled for January 10 is postponed since the financial situation of the foundation is unclear.
On January 15, Foreign Minister Lena Hjelm-Wallén, visits the foundation with the aim to learn about its activities and results. In a personal letter afterwards, she expresses admiration for the competence accumulated and for the foundation's aim serve citizens in Sweden and in conflict areas.
During spring Johan Galtung, Jan Øberg and other TFF associates teach at the Nansen Academy in Lillehammer, Norway, with groups of ex-Yugoslav NGO representatives as part of the Academy's multi-year effort to bring peace and understanding.
During the first months of this year webmaster Göran Larsson and Jan Oberg work with our comprehensive, interactive Internet website. It is uploaded for the first time on March 8, the International Women's Day under the URL of http:// www.transnational.org. It has the following sections: TFF News, Profile, Projects, Newsletter, PressInfo, Forum, Kalejdoskop, Links, Publications, and Friends.
The low-activity months are used to plan the "Learning Conflict" courses throughout former Yugoslavia.
On February 23 the lay-Buddhist organization Soka Gakkai in Tokyo donates US$ 10.000 per year for five years to the TFF.
Jan Oberg delivers a guest lecture at ICAR, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, on March 17 and meets with John MacDonald and colleagues at the Institute for Multi-track Diplomacy in Washington (IMTD) on March 18. He attends the International Studies Conference (ISA) conference in Toronto on March 19-20.
He is a keynote speaker, based on a manuscript, at a confe-rence on ex-Yugoslavia at University of Toronto, arranged by Metta Spencer, taking place March 21-23.
On March 24 Jan gives a guest lecture at the International Peace Academy, IPA in New York.
Between March 24 and 28, he conducts interviews with United Nations staff in the Secretary-General's office and in the Peacekeeping, Humanitarian and Political Affairs Department, among them ambassador Rolf Ekéus, Shashi Tharoor, Bertie Ramcharan, Alvaro de Soto, and staff at the Yugoslav desk. Jan also had a meeting at the unit for contacts with NGOs.
During his stay in New York, Jan meets with ambassadors or deputies at the UN missions of Croatia, Yugoslavia and Macedonia and with the Quaker UN Office.
He then continues to Boston, Massachusetts, to speak at the Boston Research Center for the 21st Century, established by Soka Gakkai on the initiative of Dr. Daisaku Ikeda. There, as elsewhere, the main focus is on how to do conflict-mitigation and teaching in conflict areas. Jan discusses possible cooperation with Virginia Strauss of the BRC. He also meets with staff of the Conflict Management Group.
March 29 he spends with Elise Boulding at her home in Wayland, conversing about developments in peace research and mutual research interests as well as their work in IUPIP, Rovereto, Italy. He also exchange information with Gary Shapiro of the Conflict Catalysts about their work and that of the TFF in Bosnia and discusses possible cooperation.
On April 1 and 2 he attends the "Virtual Diplomacy" conference at the United States Institute for Peace, USIP, and lectures at Richard Falk's seminar at Princeton University in the evening of April 2 where he also meets Michael Doyle to discuss UN peacekeeping in general and Eastern Slavonia in particular. The morning on the 3rd he spends dicussing future TFF initiatives with Richard Falk.
Before departing the US in the evening of April 4 he meets with Michael Renner of the Worldwatch Institute to discuss his recent book.
Kerstin Schultz embarks on a longterm research project with American scholars, coordinated by the Copenhagen Peace Research Institute, COPRI, on peacebuilding in Western and Eastern Slavonia.
On April 27-30 Peter Jarman and Jan Oberg conduct Learning Conflict course # 3 in Tuzla, coordinated by the Norwegian Church Aid and the Tuzla Citizens' Forum.
On May 1-4, they conduct Learning Conflict course # 4 in Banja Luka in cooperation with United Nations Civil Affairs Department.
Peter Jarman and Jan Oberg then travels to Sarajevo to meet Vice-President Dr.Ejup Ganic who had invited them to discuss possible cooperation about seminars on conflict-resolution and democracy. From there they went to Mostar to meet the Croat and Muslim women who participated in the first Learning Conflict course.
Back in Banja Luka they conducted Learning Conflict course # 5, in cooperation with ICVA, the International Council of Voluntary Agencies, gathering NGO participants from various places in ex-Yugoslavia.
Kerstin Schultz and Jan Oberg arrive to Eastern Slavonia on May 12 and spend some days with UNTAES in Vinkovci and Vukovar. While Ms. Schultz conducts her research in the field, Jan works with Ms. Jeannie Peterson, head of Civil Affairs in Vinkovci, to prepare for Learning Conflict course # 6 with Serbs and Croats in Vinkovci and Vukovar, May 15-18 &emdash; a pioneering effort by the United Nations and the TFF which like other courses was a success.
Board meeting 43 is held in Haverdal on May 23 and 24. Peter Nobel retires as chairman of the board after three years and becomes an adviser by June 30; Jan Oberg takes his places, Kerstin Schultz and Ann-Sofi Jakobsson become members of the board. Burns Weston who has been co-opted member of the board, specialized in human rights, leaves too but stays on as member of the conflict-mitigation team. We thank some of our international advisers (Alfred Mechtersheimer, Gennadij Gerasimov, Cheng Li Yu) and invite some new (see below and our Internet website for details). The statutes were also reviewed and minor adjustments decided.
On May 29-June 1, Learning Conflict course # 7 is conducted with Serbs and Kosovo-Albanian NGOs in Kotor at the coast in Montenegro, by Peter Jarman and Jan.
From June 3-7 Soeren Sommelius and Jan Oberg conduct Learning Conflict course # 8 &emdash; the last in our series &emdash; with young politicians and media people, Macedonians and Albanians in Macedonia.
The summer is spent writing reports, catching up and developing further the Internet website.
From July 28 to August 3, TFF is invited by the Austrian Study Centre for Peace Research, ASPR, and UNTAES in Eastern Slavonia to do two workshops with newly elected Serb and Croat municipal and county leaders from Eastern Slavonia, in Statschlaining outside Vienna - one element in the overall reconciliation plan worked out by the UN for the region. This was the 25th mission of the TFF to former Yugoslavia since 1991.
In July Soeren Sommelius publishes five articles in the series "After the War" (in Swedish) from yet another roundtrip to ex-Yugoslavia, this time focussing on e.g. Jasenovac, Mostar, Krajina, Macedonia. Read them on our Internet Forum pages!
Morten Kjaerum's and Jan Oberg's "The Conflict Consortium. On Conflict Management and Humanitarian Organizations" appears in August.
On August 15 and 16, Kerstin Schultz (also representing COPRI), Christina Spannar and Jan Oberg participate from the TFF in a meeting with leading members of the Centre for Conflict-Resolution and the firm Amphion/Encore in Copenhagen to explore possible cooperation.
Several TFF PressInfos are published during the first half of the year &emdash; on Dayton, UNTAES, Brcko, NATO expansion, the elections in Croatia and the work of the TFF.
In September Jan teaches at IUPIP in Rovereto, Italy and at the International Peacekeeping Training course at the Austrian Study Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution, ASPR, in Stadtschlaining outside Vienna.
During autumn Tom Weber, Michael Renner and John MacDonald join TFF as international advisers. Swedish advisers Eva Moberg and Birgitta Hambraeus retire as they feel their work no longer is related to that of the foundation.
TFF obtains a contract with the Council of Europe to contribute to the planning of and provide resource persons to three seminars arranged by the Council and the UN in Eastern Slavonia, UNTAES. The participants are Croat and Serb principals and teachers from Eastern Slavonian schools, the theme is human rights and peace eduacation in the schools and - indirectly - reconciliation between the ethnic groups with a view to the post-UNTAES period. The seminars are held in Strasbourg in October, in Opatija, Croatia in November and in Budapest in December with about 150 participants in all.
TFF is asked by UNTAES to do "diagnosis" and "treatment" on conflicts in the school sector in Eastern Slavonia. This project, financed by the Swedish International Development Agency, SIDA, and endorsed by the Croatian Ministry of Education is given highest priority during autumn. Jan Oberg, Kerstin Schultz and Peter Jarman carried out Mission 27 between October 29 and November 9 and Mission 28 beetween December 7 and 15 during which they had more than 60 talks, seminars with about 200 students and teachers, wrote two reports for the UNTAES mission and planned follow-up work in 1998.
On December 1, at the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jan participates in panel discussion with the Danish minister for foreign affairs, Mr. Niels Helveg Petersen, also CIO of OSCE - about the role of OSCE and the forthcoming summit in Copenhagen.
In December Jan cancels his participation in the project Root Causes of Humanitarian Emergencies under WIDER, World Institute for Development Economics Research, in Helsinki and the United Nations University. Having revised the original manuscript twice according to the contract and project leaders' suggestions, the manuscript is suddenly criticized to the extent that inclusion in the final publication will not be possible. The manuscript becomes a TFF publication in 1998.
"Learning Conflict and Teaching Peace in former Yugoslavia. A Course report" by Peter Jarman and Jan Oberg (65 pp) is published in December when we finalize the SIDA-financed program of eight courses in former Yugoslavia. 105 NGO participants with mixed ethnic background gave the courses an overall rating of 4.2 of 5 possible points and overwhelmingly many highly appreciative comments.
Our Internet activity develops: new materials featured about once a week such as PressInfos, Jonathan Power's columns, Jan Oberg's Kalejdoskop, and Forum articles by TFF associates. New links added and TFF being linked to other sites. Systematic feeding of all major search engines. We opened a new section called Features where we highlight important work done by others (articles, campaigns, examples of personal civil courage, themes and important documents) and we re-designed the site to be more user-friendly - all as result of a cooperation between Göran Larsson, Henrik Persson and Jan Oberg. By the end of the year TFF's website had an average of 15 visitors to the first page per day while accesses to other parts and documents of the site were in the thousands per month.
PressInfos during autumn covered themes such as the elections in Bosnia, the UN in Eastern Slavonia, the general lack of resources for reconciliation and work with the human dimensions of conflicts, Kosovo, the problems in Croatian schools, new TFF publications and Jonathan Power's columns that we feature. By e-mail and fax PressInfos now reach about 2000 people around the globe: media, international governmental organisations, movements, scholars, TFF friends, a broad variety of individuals throughout former Yugoslavia and Georgia, Nordic decision-makers, the UN system, and students from our courses and guest lectures. And new e-mail addresses are added every day.
1997 in summary:
A year with a larger global reach than ever through Internet and e-mail, fewer publications, more teachning, new associates, more field work and direct links to the United Nations and the Council of Europe. In short, a very good year.
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