Jeremy Smith, 9th December 2011
I have just returned from three stretching days’ work in a workshop and conference in Cologne (28th November to 1st December) with 15 Palestinian and 15 Israeli Mayors, where I moderated the discussions (using every technique known to me from the meeting-management handbook!) to negotiate agreement on practical steps for cooperation between them. Okay, it was not exactly negotiating the Oslo Peace Accords, but at times we felt pretty close to how the diplomats must have felt at the time!
At several points, our work seemed doomed to end without agreement – but finally, we managed to draw up a set of future projects to work on together, covering promotion of tourism to the West Bank (aiming to increase not just numbers, but the amount spent in the West Bank by tourists), environmental issues, water purification, exchange visits (political, business, young people etc.), as well as a mayors’ network to promote practical cooperation. Continue reading… ›