Section: B) – Syllabus 1 - Introduction

Marvin Garbeh Davis posted 8 months ago, 2 Responses
A UN Mediator – can (s)he be neutral?
The UN Mediator cannot be neutral. He represents an organization that does not appear to be neutral. The underlying part of this lack of neutrality stems from the fact that the UN recognizes Macedonia formally as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), but the Security Council has agreed that it is a provisional name.

Is it the purpose of the UN Mediator to act neutral?
Yes, the purpose of the UN Mediator to act neutral. This is the central of mediation.

Does the origin of the UN Mediator possibly influence his work?
Yes, the origin influences his work. I would even go as far as stating that where he was born, educated and grew up will possibly have some influence on his work. In the case of being a UN Mediator, there are influences –overt and subtle that can possibly influence her work as a Mediator.

What are the benefits for the UN to settle this conflict?
One of the main benefits of the settling conflict is ensure that Balkan country join the European Union and NATO.
Who has the benefits of having these countries in conflict?
In my mind many Western countries had some kind of interest in the conflict. The European Court found the Greek embargo illegal and put Greece on trial, but did nothing to stop it while it was so harmful to the Macedonian economy. They never cared about the rights of the Macedonians in Greece while the Macedonians of the Aegean are still facing daily oppression and persecution. Finally, they still play that game for the Macedonia\'s name, the way Greece wants them to. The fact that some western countries took sides show that interest can affect the truth. Greece is a member of the European Union, NATO, an important ally that occupies a very strategic position. On the other hand, all other countries that do not belong to those organizations have recognized Macedonia under its constitutional name. Russia and China are among those countries. The question now is if the West is willing to risk losing Greece for the small landlocked Macedonia? But by standing silent on the issue, they are taking an active role in Greece\'s politics.

Who may have an advantage of destabilizing the EU or UN?
I think the small landlocked Macedonia has the advantage of destabilizing the EU or the UN. Greece is a member of the EU, NATO and an important ally that occupies a strategic position. However, there are countries like Russia and China that recognized Macedonia under its constitutional name.  Both countries belong to the UN and this could cause some internal conflict among members of the UN. 

Is this conflict a diversion for another conflict to be executed?
This conflict is an old conflict and I would agree that it is a diversion to another conflict. The dispute over Macedonia\'s constitutional name goes back to the Republic of Macedonia\'s declaration of independence in 1991. 

What are the benefits of the parties in conflict?
Greece continue to enjoy the support of EU and NATO and delay Macedonia accession to the EU. Also, Greece is a member of NATO and the EU and Macedonia pursues a membership in both organizations, but Greece has the advantage of using its position as a member of the EU to block Macedonia’s path to EU membership. Macedonia a small country continue to enjoy the support of countries such as Russia and China in the midst of the conflict.

Does this conflict bear a new name for an older dispute?
This is an old dispute. It goes as deep and essentially part of exclusively Greek culture and heritage. 


What economic relations do they have and would there be an advantage for these neighbors?
The economic benefits of peace will enormous for Macedonia. Greece is the third partner and the second largest investor in Macedonia. And even the leaders in Macedonia believe that Greece will be a great economic partner in the development of their country. 

The core of the problem is a complete lack of trust. Greece realizes that its only leverage to get the Republic of Macedonia to change its constitutional name is to use its position as a member of the EU to block Macedonia\'s path to EU membership. This is the challenge: Both Greece and Macedonia have a vital interest in ensuring that other enlargement-skeptical countries in Europe not hide behind them and their dispute to undermine the whole Western Balkans accession agenda. 


Reflections/Training Dairy

1)	What does mindfulness mean to you?
Mindfulness is being in a state of awareness, total serenity with yourself. It is a state in which you leave behind the burdens and attachments of the past and  the longings of the future and stay in the moment, living one breath at a time. 

2) Which role does it play in your daily life?

Mindfulness helps to slow me down. It helps not to do a lot based on my thoughts. It helps my mind to work and act from insight instead of always going backward in the past and try to use my experiences to sort out things in the present.

3) Exchange with your friends and find similarities.

One of the outstanding outcome of my sharing my experiences with my friends is the understanding how the past affects them in making decision and action in the present. Without Mindfulness to anchor their minds in a state of being in the moment, they act in the present based on past information. Even decisions made in the future is based on the past as well. This affects the quality of the decision and thinking processes.



Task 2
My Thoughts on Mindfulness

The quality of everything we do depends on the quality of thinking we do first.” — Nancy Kline
I recently read an article written by Philip Moffitt on Mindfulness on Mediation. In this article Moffitt explains Buddha teachers that suffering comes from ignorance.  By ignorance he means the misperceptions and delusions that cloud the human mind which according to him if not emptied can cause suffering. To free our mind from this suffering we must free our mind though the gaining of insight into what truly is. Insight in this case means a profound level of understanding that transcends mere intellectual cognition and can only be known by experiencing it. One of tools of reaching this state is Mindfulness and which according to Buddha is the ability to be fully aware in the moment. 
We human beings are naturally entrapped repeated with the surface experiences of life and often get lost in it. These encumbrances cannot be brought into mediation, otherwise we will be trapped mentally and be incapacitated and clouded with emotions that will not allow us to clearly see what is happened. We will live in the past and become attached and instead of having insight about the present our mind will continue to reel in the past and blemish what is happening in the now.
One aspect of mindfulness which is very important as we work in Mediation is that it enables you to fully know your experience in each moment. It allows you to think clearly, to be mindful of the all the feelings that words, people, places generate in your body. Mindfulness allows you to have insight that these feelings are created by a chain reaction of thoughts in yoru mind. Mindfulness helps you acknowledges how painful, miserable, uncomfortable these thoughts make you feel but instead of reacting with harsh words unskillfully you choose not to react. Mindfulness allows you identify with the impulses, and act from them. It is an unpleasant moment, but you are not imprisoned by it. 
Unless we are trained to understand and act in the present mindfully, we will not be able to mediate. As long as we bring along our attachments to Mediation, we will not able to see and understand in the moment and help other find the way to peace.

Dear Marvin,

thank you for this reflection and work in general. The only thing that I can add is that the U.S. might also have an interest in destabilizing the EU, while this also changes with the transatlantic trade agreements that they might sign.

I am impressed by your critical thinking skills. I can’t wait to see your first article. Please do not forget to send the reflection on the initial quote of this first chapter of the course, namely Section A of Syllabus 1.

BR, Daniel

Thanks for your feedback on my reflection. You are right, I think the US might also have an interest in destabilizing the EU.
I am working on my first article and will get it to you asap.

Yes, I will send my reflection on the quote – you mean the quote that has to do with “Every human being has a personality of their own as dissimilar as are two beings of the same race and of a similar nature….