The Weinstein International Fellowship program, launched in 2008, provides opportunities for individuals from outside the United States to visit the U.S. and learn more about dispute resolution processes and practices. It’s also an opportunity for them to pursue a project of their own design that serves to advance dispute resolution in their home countries. This year, 13 fellows from across the world were granted fellowships to come to the US as part of their fellowship and study ADR.
We asked each of the fellows some questions to learn more about their past experience and their future goals. Following is that exchange with our Cambodian Fellow Savath Meas.
Tell us about yourself and what your fellowship is.
I’m originally from Cambodia and currently serve as the president of the Cambodian Center for Mediation, in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice. As part of my Weinstein International fellowship project, I will study ADR processes in order to develop a model approach in Cambodia and better incorporate ADR methods into the formal justice system and to institutionalize mediation in Cambodia.
What inspired you to study ADR?
I was inspired to study peace building, conflict resolution and ADR to help rebuild a country destroyed by decades of civil war. In 1997, I was able to participate in a training course on conflict resolution that was conducted by international peace building and ADR practitioners. It was the first time this type of course was offered in Cambodia. The course was timely as Cambodia, a post-conflict country, faces a number of issues and challenges for future reconstruction and development, especially as the number of political and social disputes continues to grow over the years.
What will you do while in the United States?
I will work in partnership with the Consensus Building Institute (CBI) in Washington, D.C. and the United States Institute of Peace’s (USIP) Center for Mediation and Conflict Resolution. I will also study ADR and conflict resolution methodologies in the public sector and hope to develop my skills in conflict resolution, mediation and consensus building, areas which will be key to the establishment of a community mediation center in Cambodia.
Mr. Meas will be in Washington, D.C. until September and then will finish out his fellowship through December in Boston attending the Harvard Program on Negotiation.
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