Negotiations in a Cultural Context

Two important dimensions of the National Dialogue need to be highlighted in these concluding comments. The first is that the National Dialogue should be approached as a phased process with structured priorities. Highest in the order of priorities must be ending the violence that has already caused much death, suffering and displacement, both internally and into the neighboring countries and farther away to distant lands. Second on the priority list should be addressing and resolving inter- communal conflicts that are proliferating throughout the country. Third are intra -communal tensions and conflicts which, though local, can feed into conflicts at higher levels. The second dimension of the National Dialogue is to see the concept as an on-going process of negotiating human relations which is inherent in social interaction at all levels, from local to global. In that sense, National Dialogue should be seen as a means of shedding light and focusing attention on what is or should be the societal norm of human existence. The by-product of the process should therefore be to reinforce and revitalize the culture of dialogue as a peaceful means of resolving conflicts or differences and discouraging resort to violence as a means of dealing with conflicts.