On 17-18 May in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, the international mediation fest was held. Traditionally, the organizer of this event is the branch office of the Russian State Social University in Minsk. This year, the Center “Mediation and Law” (Minsk, Belarus) and the Center for Mediation and Negotiations (Minsk, Belarus) joined the branch as co-organizers.
The fest is an annual event in the field of conflict and disputes resolution for the countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. This year the fest was the third in a row and more than 250 mediators, psychologists, conflictologists, lawyers, teachers, social workers and representatives of other professions working in the field of conflict and disputes resolution from 10 countries attended the event.
Traditionally, the fest is dedicated to development of mediation as an effective method for resolving disputes, allowing to reduce the level of conflict in society and reduce the burden on the judiciary.
This year, due to the expected changes in the legislation (introduction of plainly required mediation on family disputes), the main issue raised for discussion was family mediation.
The fest was held for 2 days. During the first day a plenary session was held at which well-known mediators and experts from America, Great Britain, Germany, Switzerland, Poland, Ukraine, Russia and Belarus delivered speeches. Representatives of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus and the Parliament of the Republic of Belarus shared their vision of effectiveness and prospects for mediation.
Also, the participants of the fest and its experts took part in the three-hour facilitation session, discussing the positive and negative aspects of mediation as compulsory pre-trial procedure.
The second day of the fest was devoted to the presentation of books about mediation published this year and the magazine “Vestnik Mediatsii” www.mediazia-vestnik.ru, as well as the website of the fest www.mediationfest.com and the international web-site “Mediation. Europe-Asia” www.mediation-eurasia.pro. In addition, on the second day 26 master classes were held by mediators, psychologists and other experts working in the field of mediation.
Outside the festival, pre- and post-seminars (trainings) of well-known mediators from America, Germany, Great Britain, Switzerland, and Russia were also held.
At the end of the fest the participants shared with the organizers the positive feedback on this event and desire to take part in the IV Mediation Fest.