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Annual Report 1996

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ANNUAL REPORT 1996...10th Anniversary

Jan and Christina conduct a series of interviews at the United Nations in New York in January, with the staff of the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations and with ambassadors to the UN from Yugoslavia and Bosnia.

Meeting with members of the TFF conflict-mitigation team to discuss and plan the SIDA-financed Learning Conflict program in ex-Yugoslavia, on January 26.

TFF board meeting 40 on January 27.

"Konfliktkonsortiet. Konflikthåndtering og humanitære organisationer" (The Conflict Consortium. Conflict Management and Humanitarian Organizations) by Morten Kjærum and Jan Øberg appears in January from the TFF. An English edition will later be published by the Centre for Human Rights in Copenhagen.

The English and Swedish editions of Tatsuro Kunugi, Elise Boulding and Jan Øberg's "United Nations Peacekeeping and Peoples' Peacebuilding &emdash; Patterns of Partnership", appear in January.

Jan Øberg meets with Dr. Ibrahim Rugova, Alush Gashi and Edita Tahiri, League of Democratic Kosova, in Copenhagen. The TFF last year received the comments from both the LDK and the Serbian government and the UNTANS proposal is &emdash; finally, one year late &emdash; authorized for publication by the Albanian side.

"Conflict-mitigation in reconstruction and development. An inspiration paper" appears in February &emdash; as does simultaneously a presentation of the courses in ex-Yugoslavia, "The Learning Conflict Program".

TFF is invited by ambassador Lars Jonsson, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to contribute to an expert study concerning international conflict-prevention and -management.

TFF is invited to a United Nations conference on reconstruction and conflict-resolution in post-conflict situations, in Rome, March 14-16, at which Jan serves as resource person and presents an adapted version of "Conflict-mitigation in reoncstruction and development" (see above).

Jonathan Power's feature article on peace in Bosnia that mentions the TFF and its conflict-mitigation philosophy appears in several newspapers around the world, in March.

In April UNTANS. Conflict Mitigation for Kosovo, is published &emdash; the result of four years of analyses and repeated talks with leaders and civil society organizations in Belgrade and Prishtina. It contains a) the original proposal for a United Nations Temporary Authority for a Negotiated Solution, UNTANS, to be established in the region, and b) the comments of Belgrade authorities and the leadership of LDK in Prishtina, as well as c) the comments by the TFF team. The publication is well covered by Nordic media, by BBC, by media in Belgrade and in Kosovo and reaches a variety of international organizations involved in ex-Yugoslavian affairs.

TFF annual and board meeting 41 on May 11-12. The foundation is heading for a financial squeeze due to an ever reduced (in purchasing power) organizational grant from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and due to ever higher administrative costs, especially for stamps, printing, salary and social expences (to be repaid to the Treasury). In consequence, the foundation's operation has to be re-organized: its program is reduced, its only fulltime secretary given notice, operations rationalized and costs cut drastically. TFF will be less of a service institution for the public, reduce the materials it sends free of charge around the world. Instead it will work through its PressInfo fax, e-mail and, from 1997, through Internet.

For reasons unexplained, SIDA withholds payment of its grant until late spring; the contract is re-written and the grant payment appears in June. Thus, Mission 23 from June 15 to July 13 &emdash; aiming to explore where to hold the series of "Learning Conflict" courses &emdash; could not take place earlier. Anna Coughlin and Jan Øberg visit Zagreb, Western Slavonia, Bihac, Mostar, Sarajevo, Tuzla, Eastern Slavonia (UNTAES), Skopje, Prishtina, and Belgrade and conduct 75 conversations with NGOs, humanitarian organizations, potential participant groups, the UN etc.

TFF board meeting 42 on August 22. Planning of two Learning Conflict courses take place during late summer.

Jan Øberg participates in Scientific Committee meeting and lectures at IUPIP, International University for Peoples' Initiative for Peace, in Rovereto, Italy from August 28 to September 3.

He is then invited to participate in an international conference in Hiroshima on nuclear policies &emdash; "Challenge to and implications for international relations theory and global history" &emdash; arranged by Risumeikan University in Kyoto and American University and sponsored by the Science Council of Japan and the City of Hiroshima.

On September 20 he lectured at Soka University in Tokyo after having received an honorary doctor's degree there.

Soka Gakkai's Toda Institute invites Jan to speak at Okinawa and he spends a couple of days there learning about the history and culture of the island. Later, he guest lectures at the Toda Institute in Tokyo.

TFF adviser Tatsuro Kunugi invites him to speak at an international preparatory meeting for a world NGO conference, entitled "The UN and Civil Society &emdash; NGOs Working towards the 21st century" held at the United Nations University, UNU, in Tokyo in late September; in addition, he lectures before students at the International Christian University, ICU.

The autumn is devoted to the re-organization of the foundation, its program and organization. Eva-Lena Borgström leaves in September but remains on standby when extra work needs to be done.

Mr. Göran Larsson takes up work at the foundation from September, to constuct a professional TFF homepage on Internet by early 1997 and also have a complete fax- and e-mail system.

TFF is invited to contribute to a comprehensive study on Root Causes of Humanitarian Emergencies under WIDER, World Institute for Development Economics Research, in Helsinki (early October) and the United Nations University. In this distinguished audience he presents a first version of manuscript later to become a chapter in three-volume publication from the project. Among the project directors is TFF adviser, Raimo Väyrynen, Notre Dame University.

While in Finland, he and TFF team member Susanne Eriksson meets with ambassadors and others at the Balkan desk at the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs concerning Kosovo.

On October 7 Jan Øberg conducts an interview with Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari; the first among a series of interviews with leading negotiators and mediators in the Balkan conflict.

Mission 24 to ex-Yugoslavia takes place from November 11 to 27.

Learning Conflict course # 1 takes place at Sarajevo University, Department of Political Science; it is a short, intensive introductory course taught by Jan Øberg on academic peace studies and aimed to stimulate the university to start related course and seminar activity for the first time (November 11-14).

Learning Conflict course # 2 takes place in Omis in Croatia with 16 women from both sides in Mostar (November 14-17). This course is taught together with TFF conflict-mitigation team member, Kerstin Schultz.

To investigate course options and do detailed planning with partners, Jan Øberg then travels to Pale, Banja Luka, Tuzla, Brcko, Vukovar and Osijek. A series of ten "Learning Conflict" courses is now a possibility.

Early December Jan Øberg visits Geneva and meets with people at the War-Torn Societies Project, the Geneva Peace Research Institute, and UNDP &emdash; to discuss possible relevance of the Learning Conflict program in development and peacebuilding projects. He also interviews Cedric Thornberry, former Deputy Mission leader and Chief of Civil Affairs of UNPROFOR, the next in the interview series with mediators in ex-Yugoslavia.

In December the foundation launched its first e-mailed TFF PressInfo &emdash; about UNTAES as a UN success.

The volume on UN Experiences and Visions has been postponed; authors on active UN duty have difficulty finding the required time. Likewise, the TFF Anniversary book has been delayed; during spring its manuscripts will be put on Internet.

In December TFF is informed by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Stockholm that the foundation, together with other more research-oriented organizations, will be moved to the budget for Sweden's peacekeeping operations and related matters (seminars, research and analyses). The amount of the organizational grant for 1997 will, however, not be decided by the ministry before well into that year. Once again, the foundation's immediate and long-term financial future is undecided.

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