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Symbol of peace reached Kyiv sky or How "Kyiv Open" 2011 was held

Dear friends,
We should become the changes that we want to see
Mahatma Gandhi

     During the last weekend, October 1-2, 2011 in Kyiv, the participants of the Fourth Annual International Debate Tournament “Kyiv Open” were searching for the ways to change the world for better. The event, held by the All-Ukrainian Youth NGO “Debate Academy”, attracted over 70 people from Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Lithuanian, Austria, Germany and the Netherlands.
     The Tournament was supported by the UN Resident Coordinator Office in Ukraine, International Organization for Migration Mission in Ukraine, International NGO “Pulse of Democracy” and the Institute of the social work and management of National Pedagogical Dragomanov University, Open Society Foundation and International Debate Education Association.
     Traditionally, IDT “Kyiv Open” was devoted to the theme of peace and nonviolence. This year it was especially timely, as on October 2 the world celebrates International Nonviolence Day. Appropriate atmosphere and content were created with many components: symbols of peace and nonviolence, handouts, motions, speeches of experts.
     Among the distinguished guest of the Tournament were the expert from IOM in Ukraine Yana Salakhova & Mridula Ghosh – Board Chair of the East European Development Institute. On October 1, Ms. Salakhova informed the participants on the situation with migration processes in Europe, discrimination and xenophobia in the context of peace and nonviolence movement. On the 2nd of October, the anniversary on Mahatma Gandhi Birthday, Mz. Mridula Ghosh held a lecture about the life and activity of the ideologist of nonviolent opposition, his beliefs and principles of strife.
     “Kyiv Open” 2011 set new challenges to the participants in order to find solutions of complex problems. For example, should there be no limit on self-defense against violent crimes? Is it better to ban parades and demonstrations that could incite a violent response? Are large bounties for the capture of pirates and the destruction of pirate ships reasonable? Would the cessation of all financial, political and military aid to both Israel and the Palestinian Authority promote the negotiation of a peace deal? Is it democratic to ban political parties that propagate racism and xenophobia? The breaking teams from Germany, Ukraine and two from Russia were debating a really urgent motion on whether the citizens should turn to violence as a means of opposition in an oppressive state?
     The tournament symbolically (and traditionally) ended with the release of the white dove, the symbol of peace, to the twilight Kyiv sky, which symbolized the awareness of 70 more young people about the issues of peace and nonviolence.

Thanks to all for their participation,
UYNGO “Debate Academy”

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