"Track II” Citizen Diplomacy and Conflict Transformation

Seminar with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov (left) and Vladimir Orlov, (Head), Center for Global Trends, Diplomatic Academy, Russian Foreign Ministry (center)

Bruce Allyn and Cynthia Lazaroff have been participating in, teaching and facilitating U.S.-Russian “Track Two” Citizen Diplomacy and Track 1.5 efforts (Track 1.5 refers to dialogues that include both citizens and government officials).  They have had an ongoing dialogue with senior Russian experts and officials on what steps the U.S. and Russia can take to improve relations and maintain a constant dialogue on nuclear risk-reduction, not holding such talks hostage to our very real and substantive political differences. The conversations focus on the 10 steps in the “Nuclear Playbook.” The 10 steps are based on recommendations from former Secretary of Defense William Perry, former Senator Sam Nunn, former Secretary of State George Schultz and others. These steps are now gaining increasing support in the new U.S. Congress and in emerging coalitions among peace, climate change and social justice movements. 

Bruce and Cynthia presented two sessions for the Working Group on the Future of US-Russian Relations, co-sponsored by Harvard and the Russian National Research University.  The sessions focused on how creative negotiation and mediation tools can assist to break the deadlock and reach concrete agreements in U.S.-Russian negotiations.  William Ury participated by live video connection from Geneva. They also presented two sessions at the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry focused on shared interests such as the nuclear danger and the 10 steps in The Nuclear Playbook.

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