Building Capacity for Track Two Initiatives


The ICHD is one of the region’s civil society Champions striving to promote regional peace and security through Track Two Initiatives.

One of the challenges to the regional peace and security are the unhealthy relations between Armenia and Turkey. As Turkey blocked its border with Armenia since 1993 and no diplomatic relations have been established between Armenia and Turkey, any effective peace-building effort in the region shall consider engaging civil society institutions in both countries in track two diplomacy (T2D) initiatives.

The joint project of ICHD and the Center for the Research of Societal Problems (TOSAM) supported by the American University’s Center for Global Peace, Washington, DC (AUCGP) and facilitated in Milano School at New School University, NY, was one of the first initiatives encouraging the institutional cooperation in the region in October 2001-August 2003.

TOSAM and ICHD developed a collaborative curriculum in mediation, cross-cultural communication and collaborative problem solving. This was a joint effort which involved working sessions characterized with active brainstorming, exchange of training materials, techniques and methods.

The shared understanding of the mission of the project - institutional cooperation through capacity building - became one of its major strengths. ICHD and TOSAM had a lot in common: their overall missions regarding the regional development were quite similar, the personal characteristics and values, as well as the work ethics were so similar that designing and implementing the project became an enjoyable exercise in cooperation. The ice started to melt with the very first visit of one of the Turkish partners to Yerevan, Armenia. The hospitality of Armenian partners, the common human values they shared and the professionalism allowed them to quickly shift to real cooperative working mode. The relations changed into a real cooperation over training activities.

The successful collaboration between TOSAM and ICHD continued further and more professionals from both countries were involved in joint activities. These were people representing various sectors of the countries, who could benefit from capacity building trainings. The project encouraged the participants to initiate specific task-based projects which would enhance the regional cooperation. About 100 participants were trained locally, using the joint curriculum developed by TOSAM and ICHD. Twenty two of these participants both from Armenia and Turkey later were chosen to participate in a joint training in Milano Graduate School in New York.

The partners recognized that directly targeting the existing conflicts would end up in a deadlock. Meanwhile, a process which discusses the essence of leadership, the new challenges leaders face in a gradually globalizing world, the importance of negotiations and innovative approaches to negotiations became an excellent framework for empowering people who for a number of reasons have been deprived of a chance to communicate, or at least start basic interaction.

The excellent communication between the partners, as well as the excellent rapport established between the individuals behind the organizations was critical for the success of the project. Both ICHD and TOSAM modeled the type of relations they would have liked to see developing among the participants. The ability to face a problem and analyze it, rather than hiding or avoiding it, shared problem solving, willingness to share information and turn to the partner for assistance were among the key indicators of the desirable behavior ICHD and TOSAM trainers were promoting.

The partners achieved a real breakthrough for all those involved in the project, since it resulted in changing the existing attitudes and perceptions towards one another. The change in perceptions was made possible through regular communication, which allowed the participants to realize the commonality of Armenian and Turkish cultures. They found out that there were far more similarities between the two cultures, than both had ever realized.

At least 80 people who were trained at both sides of Arax River now have more positive perceptions of each other. Such a change allowed developing into a real cooperative spirit especially among the implementers, which continues up to date. The participants had also developed certain relations. However, because of the lack of funding these relations did not manage to turn into cooperative projects. Strong institutional working relations have been established between TOSAM and ICHD. These two organizations continue to communicate regularly and to cooperate whenever there is an opportunity.

Once again supported by American University Center for Global Peace, UCGD and TOSAM initiated a rapid impact project for boosting cooperation between regional business leaders in Armenia and Turkey in October 2003-January 2004. ICHD engaged over 40 local businessmen of Armenia’s Shirak and Lori northern regions in two meetings. Later, in mid-December 2003, the partners brought together the businessmen engaged through the project in a regional meeting in Istanbul, Turkey. The meeting aimed at discussing success stories of various business projects and working out new ideas, as well as possible joint cross-border projects has been organized and coordinated by the Center for Global Peace.



Call for Expert on Policy Communication and Instruments

This announcement is available only in Armenian. 


“Green light” for environmentally neutral business development from Lisbon to Vladivostok

On March 3, 2021, the first meeting of the GreenDeal Task Force created under the Initiative Lisbon-Vladivostok was held. In the videoconference format, more than twenty authoritative experts in the field of ecology and business from Austria, Armenia, Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan, Russia, France, as well as the representatives of the largest business industry associations supporting the Initiative Lisbon-Vladivostok, discussed common approaches to harmonizing the activities implemented by the EU and the EAEU on the path to sustainable development, including a radical reduction in greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere by 2050.

 more >>



Youth Expo Catalogue

The Publication is available only in Armenian.