Please view this site in landscape mode.

The workshop on "knowledge networking for peace: rhetoric or reality?" (July 27 to July 29) was organized by Bellasap: SAP-International, Bellanet Asia and SAP-Falcha, Babarmahal, Nepal.

The opening session laid emphasis on the importance of knowledge sharing for managing conflict situations. Since there have been many initiatives for peace building in South Asia, the speakers recognized the importance of sharing this experience among the regional countries to help each other find solutions to the conflicts facing each of them. The distinguished speakers other than the organizers in the inauguration included Dr Shankar Pd. Sharma, Vice-chairperson, National Planning CommissionNepal; Mr Kanak Mani Dixit ; Chief editor, Himal Khabarpatrika; and Mr Richard Harmston, Canada.

The workshop had discussion on three themes Peace Knowledge Sharing, Online Networking for Peace and Peace Open Content. During the workshop, role of women in peace building was also emphasised and it was urged that women be given decision-making status and be involved in all peace negotiations and dialogues. The speakers said that it is important to address the issue of injustice and discrimination since they form the root causes of conflict in South Asia. It was also shared that a balance has to be struck between indigenous knowledge and ICT driven knowledge. The participants debated intensively with the resource persons on making use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools for peace building. More importantly, it was highlighted that though ICT in itself cannot bring about lasting peace, it surely acts as a catalyst in peace processes. The need of a knowledge foundation was emphasized while highlighting the major role that the media can play in the negotiation bids and also the significant works that the youth of South Asia can put to guide the peace process in the right direction.

The workshop was unique in a sense that there were adoption of different knowledge sharing tools including Open Space and multimedia tools including video produced by different participating organizations. The selections of these tools were made in such a way that it added more value to these sessions. The knowledge fare session organized in the workshop also created a good space for people to learn about different initiatives of other organizations in the peace promotion process.

The goal of the workshop was to build a community that could practice and promote peace. During the three days the resource persons from home and abroad together with the participants, including peace and development professional, development activists, journalists, experts on ICT, lawyers, and the others, intensively debated on how to apply ICT tools in peace process. It was identified that knowledge sharing through ICT tools could generate innovative ideas for peace. The online networking facilities like online networking could bring people together from various backgrounds and serve as a platform to start peace building efforts. At the same time the experts argued the importance of recognizing the need to make available the open peace sources and contents that are crucial in peace process. They also felt that the major challenge in the wide dissemination of knowledge available via Internet is the language, and there is need to make this content available in language understandable by the common people. The workshop concluded with the urge from all the participating organizations show their commitment to strengthen peace network for creating peaceful and secure South Asia.