Presentation on theme: "Interest-based Analysis of the Protocol-related Armenia-Diaspora Rift"— Presentation transcript:
1 Interest-based Analysis of the Protocol-related Armenia-Diaspora Rift Photo by Arsen MerabyanPresented at the Second Annual PFA Forumon Armenia-Diaspora RelationsBy Tamar PalandjianMS Candidate at the Institute for Conflict Analysis and ResolutionGeorge Mason University
2 What rift? -- President Serge Sargsyan “And let no one ignore the fact that, contrary to any slogans, the Armenian nation is united in its goals and is strong with its sons and daughters. And let no one try to split Armenia and our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora in presenting their concern over the future of Armenia as an attempt to impose something on the Republic Armenia.”-- President Serge Sargsyan“Address to All Armenians” on October 10, 2009Source:“Diaspora and Armenia have never been so distant from each other.”-- Former Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian on Sept. 22, 2009Source:“Armenian government which was not freely and fairly elected is assuming theresponsibility to negotiate on behalf of our [Diasporan] lineage and legacy fromthe Armenian Genocide. It’s not only an inherent threat to our identity andinterests. And I think this explains a lot of the backlash.”-- HETQ Interview with Richard Giragosian, ACNIS Director on Jan 11, 2010Source:
3 How does it appear?Thousands protest in Diasporan communities and in Armenia since Oct 2009$15.8 million USD in 2009 All-Armenian Fund Telethon held November 2009compared to $35m raised in 2008Individuals stereotyping the Diaspora and Armenia“us vs. them”Potential for escalation into conflictSource:At this stage, my hypothesis is that there is not enough evidence to point to a conflict between Armenia and Diaspora per se just yet. However, if this rift continues and tension rises between the communities, the relationship can further deteriorate and could escalate to conflictSource:
4 Intro and PurposeHow can we begin to identify what is causing the rift in the relations between Armenia and its Diaspora?Distinguish between Positions and underlying InterestsBrief overview of Positions vs. Interests in Armenia and Armenian-American DiasporaWhat steps can be taken to increase mutual understanding amongst all parties involved?Move toward Interest-based discussion between partiesDialogue between Diaspora-ArmeniaFurther studies, research and projects on this topic
5 Dealing with disagreements and conflicts Ways to deal with differenceAvoidForce decision upon anotherCompeteYield to other’s demandsCome to a compromise solutionParties’ needs are not satisfiedAll are based on our PositionsPosition is what we seek to achieve in a disagreement or conflictWhat are some of the ways people deal with differing opinions, thoughts, issues? Disagreements and conflicts?We usually insist on satisfying our positions, avoid the issue or yield to the other’s demands.Sometimes, we come to a compromise agreement.Very frequently, parties are dissatisfied with compromise solutions because the outcome does not fully satisfy our needs.For example, consider this story: Lilit and Sarkis argue over the apricot and who’s going to get the last apricot. (1 minute max)
6 Interest-based approach Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher, William Ury and Bruce Patton offer alternative Interest-based approachWhat is the interest-based approach?Distinguish between Interests and Positions“Your position is something you have decided upon.Your interests are what caused you to so decide.”*Interest is the why questionApricot StoryPosition= Lilit wants the apricot.Sarkis also wants the apricot.Interest = Lilit wants the apricot becauseshe wants the seed inside the apricot.Whereas, Sarkis wants to actually eat the apricot.Fisher, Ury and Patton, based at Harvard Law School, offer what they call “principled negotiation” or is also known as “interest-based negotiation” or problem-solving/ integrative approach.This approach takes into consideration peoples’ interests underlying their positionsIn other words, it seeks to have people who are in a disagreement not only to think about their position and what they want to achieve but WHY they want to achieve.What does this approach look like?Continue with Lilit and Sarkis apricot story and tell how they could’ve come to a mutually satisfying agreement (30 seconds).* Source: Getting to Yes p.42
7 Why interest-based approach? Not all-or-nothing scenarios, potential for “win-win” solutionsThere are shared interestsMoves away from disagreement and conflict in a relationship to establishing or strengthening relations between partiesIncrease understanding of the interests underlying parties’ positionsPotential to decrease rift or tension in relations and disagreementThis is only a brief introduction to the framework and literature on interest-based negotiation. However, it all begins with understanding and identifying the difference between positions and interests.By seeking to understand parties’ interests, we can dig beneath their explicitly stated positions to try to find commonality, points of agreement and that’s where there is potential for solutions.These are some of the benefits of seeking the interest-based approachMost importantly, parties begin to move closer to each other, to begin to understand the reasons why they believe in their positions.How do these concepts apply to the relationship between Armenia and the Diaspora, especially after the Armenia-Turkey protocols?
8 How to determine interests Determining interestsHow to go about it:When you come across a position, ask “why”Also, ask “why not?” Think about their interests, their choice, what impact it might have on them and their relations with othersRecognize there are many interests involvedMake a list of your Position and InterestsLook at the interests underneathexplicitly made statements- How to go about determining interests is quite difficult and not so clear.- Positions are more explicit, whereas interests underlying it are less explicit- How to go about it…Source: Getting to Yes, page 44
9 Armenia-Diaspora: Looking at the interests (vs. positions) Distinguish between the parties’ interests and positions for Armenia and DiasporaShift away from focus on PositionsDiscussions and dialogue around our Interests between Armenia and DiasporaLooking ahead, what steps could we take to continue the dialogue and keep lines of communication open?The reasons why and how we should apply these concepts to the Armenia-Diaspora relationshipThus, in the Armenia-Diaspora relationship -- for both parties involved to communicate with each other and understand the interests underlying each other’spositions. Those who support the protocols explain the “why” and vice versa. Those who are against the protocols, communicate the “why”.
10 Defining the Parties involved Complex nature of bothparties, Armenia and DiasporaFocus analysis onArmenia-US Diaspora relationsNext question, who represents Armenian-American Diaspora? And, who represents Armenia?Perhaps in the future, more actions and projects focusing on an in-depth and inclusive interest-based analysis with all involved partiesComplex nature: Prior to delving into the analysis, there’s a need to recognize the complex nature of the parties involved in both Armenia and Diaspora. Numerous constituencies and organizations comprise each of the parties involvedThis analysis will be limited to 1 dimension of the Armenia Diaspora relationship – Armenia and US Diaspora relations. Armenian American community is one of the most active groups in the DiasporaYet another issue emerges when discussing the context of the relationship between Armenia and US Diaspora: Who represents the Armenian-American Diaspora? Who represents Armenia? Rather contentious questions that emerged, especially since October This won’t be an issue to take up in this analysis, however, recognition that there are debates on this topic right now.Recognizing the monumental task of incorporating ALL viewpoints of ALL parties involved, this analysis will be limited to focusing on few key stakeholders or parties both in Armenian-American Diaspora and Armenia.- Looking to the future, have more in-depth and inclusive dialogue with all stakeholders…
11 What are organizations/groups saying? Based on public statements, press and news releases, this table was put together to extract the positions of the stakeholders/parties identifiedDistinguish between the Positions and InterestsThis table could be further complete with input by Parties themselves. It would be good to utilize such a framework in the context of a dialogue between the parties and for them to incorporate fill in more interests within that column.*** Interests –Some of these interests can also be seen as “positions” and would thus need to be collapsed further. Need for engagement / involvement of the groups to provide further contribution toward underlying interests.*** Also IMPORTANT: Table does not include those who have a position of “undecided.” For future, this is where research can be done in surveying population in general about their positions and underlying interests.Based on preliminary analysis – it seems that interests of Diasporan organizations are more focused on Genocide recognition, whereas in Armenia it’s more about Armenian development, security and the NK issue
12 Where do we go from here?Convening sessions to be inclusive of all parties and stakeholders on the topic of Armenia-Turkey protocolsEngage in Dialogue based on interestsParties distinguish their Positions and InterestsIntroduction to Interest-based negotiation and conflict management skillsPropose and implement joint projectsAll Armenian Conference(s)Academic, policymakers, young professionals, politicians and etc.Research projects focus on Interests-based analysisThe reasons why and how we should apply these concepts to the Armenia-Diaspora relationshipThus, in the Armenia-Diaspora relationship -- for both parties involved to communicate with each other and understand the interests underlying each other’spositions. Those who support the protocols explain the “why” and vice versa. Those who are against the protocols, communicate the “why”.
13 Recognizing shared common interests What goals do we envision for Armenia?Both in the Diaspora and Armenia there is a desire to ensure:Nagorno Karabakh issue, security, peace and prosperityInternational recognition of GenocideTrade and economic development of ArmeniaFuture of Armenian nationother…Photo by Arsen MerabyanWith all of this being said, it seems that we all have common interests and goals for Armenia. Perhaps there are differences over HOW to achieve them.Question is how do we get there? How can we move towards these goals and engage with each other more actively to pursue them and help each other.