Brandt School Universit├Ąt Erfurt

Guest Lecture: Supporting Political Dialogue and Transition

On December 11, 2017, the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy had the pleasure to welcome Ms. Alia Eshaq as a guest lecturer. She is currently working as a program manager in the Middle East and North African program at the Berghof Foundation in Berlin.

The current MPP student Mundher Mubarek moderated the discussion. Ms. Eshaq shared knowledge, experience and her opinion about the political dialogue and the transition processes in conflict countries, focusing on Yemen in particular. She gave a short overview of the causes of the Yemeni conflict. She furthermore elaborated on the work conducted by the Berghof Foundation to facilitate the peace dialogue between the main stakeholders in order to achieve a mutual peace agreement. 

Moreover, she tackled the topic of track II diplomacy and explained its relationship to the classical track I diplomacy by the United Nations. By taking Yemen as a case study, she illustrated the challenges and difficulties that third parties face in conducting mediation or dialogues. The panel touched on the role of gender in peace building in Yemen and Ms. Eshaq shared some challenges from personal experience, as it relates to job experience and growth as a mediator in the Middle-East context.

To conclude, the session was a very dynamic discussion on political dialogue and its productiveness in assisting to solve certain conflicts. Additionally, Ms. Eshaq was surprised about the amount of information the attendants had about Yemen and the ongoing Yemeni civil war, and expressed joy in contributing to the Willy Brandt School and in exploring the city of Erfurt.