DC Week – Surprises in Conflict Transformation

By Nathalia

One of the most memorable moments from DC week will always be when we visited the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). As an aspiring diplomat, I was excited to learn about this organization’s approach to peace-conflict resolutions in foreign nations. Prior to visiting, I had always believed that intervention was the best kind of solution. However, the USIP taught me that in fact the best kinds of resolutions are those that emerge from within the nation of conflict. When the USIP explained that their approach to peace-conflict resolution was enabling nations of conflict with the skills necessary to implement peace on their own, I was initially surprised. However, in listening to their examples I began to understand that implementing this strategy is perhaps more effective because it will allow those with a better understanding of the situation and the cultures to handle the conflict. Overall, my experience at USIP expanded my mind because it taught me that although true peace can be achieved in various ways, we are most effective when we collaborate and better understand and trust each other’s cultures, values, abilities, and expertise.