Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Indonesia to be Harvard lab for peace-building studies 2007-11-10 14:54:41

JAKARTA, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- Indonesia's success in ending conflicts and creating peace has led Harvard University to propose using this country as a laboratory for its study into peace processes, local press said Saturday.

The Harvard Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research plans to work with Paramadina University (UPM) in Jakartato develop studies looking at past and ongoing peace processes in Indonesia.

"Indonesia is a fascinating country to study," program director Claude Bruderlein was quoted by local newspaper The Jakarta Post as saying.

"Lessons learned here are very telling, very informative."

Paramadina Rector Anis Baswedan said peace is now taking root in places once plagued by bloody conflicts, such as Ambon, Aceh and the Central Sulawesi district of Poso.

"There are lessons here that could be useful to the peace processes in other countries," he said.

Bruderlein said the UN had cited studies of peace processes in African countries, the Middle East, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

"Yet, our research finds that Indonesia has been one of the most successful countries in peace-building endeavors."

The Harvard program has been primarily active in the Middle East, particularly in the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Bruderlein said there is a need for professionals in peace-building activities to exchange notes and experiences, which would allow them to develop a methodology and standards as well as vocabularies. "There is very little literature on peace-building at the moment," he said.

Indonesia makes an ideal laboratory for peace-building studies because it offers simultaneous examples of all three phases as the nation tries to integrate security, justice and development, he said.  

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