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15 / 06 / 2004
The Barcelona Cohabitation Commitment, legacy of the dialogue on Conflicts in daily life, has been presented

Iago de Balanzó, president of the “Ponts de Mediació” Association, and Jordi Granés, director of the Dialogue “Conflicts in Everyday Life”, have presented the Barcelona Cohabitation Commitment (Compromiso de Barcelona por la Convivencia-CBC), a set of ten commandments on how to act peacefully in various contexts of daily life. The CBC has become the great legacy of the Dialogue “The Conflicts of Daily Life”, which has been so successful in terms of participation that the organizers stated that “the Forum has made a unique event in history possible by bringing together so many experts in the field of mediation and conciliation.”

The CBC is the result of the work started a year ago by experts who have put the finishing touches on it at the Dialogue “The Conflicts of Daily Life,” held at Forum Barcelona 2004. The CBC, which institutions can sign, proposes a new interpretation of the quality of life of our societies in terms of parameters such as peace and harmony, as well as making cohabitation possible through dialogue, listening and exchanging creative formulas for overcoming problems and difficulties and renouncing any sort of violence, be it direct, structural or cultural.

During Balanzó’s assessment of the Dialogue conclusions, he stated that citizens, not institutions, should be the main figures in the efforts to create conditions for peace and harmony. “We should not delegate this to third parties for them to solve our lives,” he said. Balanzó called for politicians to commit to mediation and conciliation and for “Truce Homes” to be created to serve as an alternative to courthouses, where “words would be a main component of relationships.”

Balanzó pointed out that “the culture of mediation is gradually reaching the people” and that in countries like France and Argentina, where mediation processes are well established, about 80 per cent of issues that would otherwise have ended up going through the normal judicial processes now reach a satisfactory conclusion by this method. According to Balanzó, it is not about incurring an extra new cost but using current resources in a different way so as to produce “private chambers” where new and better results can be achieved. “It is necessary to give Catalan law an injection of peace and create mediation chambers in the civil registry office”, he suggested.

Jordi Granés expressed his great approval of the success of the Dialogue in terms of attendance numbers, which totaled more than 1,300 attendees, 22 international speakers, and 80 experts, and it also gave rise to 30 workshops. Granés mentioned that 400 officers from various police forces in Spain took part in the event on one of the days. “It was very important they speak about mediation”, he pointed out. He also mentioned that 172 guest experts took part in the Dialogue opening event. At the closing session today there will be 570 students from 6 Spanish universities.

“The Forum has made possible something unique in history by bringing together so many experts in our field. The comments we have heard in the course of the dialogue were “incredible”, “brilliant”, “extraordinary”, said the director of the dialogue “Conflicts in Everyday Life” with obvious satisfaction. Iago de Balanzó too emphasized that “conflict is an opportunity for progress and growth”.