Legal entity and StructureConflict Solutions International, Inc. is a 501 c (3) volunteer-driven nonprofit incorporated in the District of Columbia in February 2003. It is headquartered in the District of Columbia but maintains points of contact in other cities through our Meetups, currently in London, Brussels, Moscow and Beijing. The corporation is governed by a Board of Directors, currently comprised of 4 members. Officers include a President, a Secretary and a Treasurer. In addition to officers and directors the corporation also has a Board of Advisors, volunteers and other persons serving in various capacities.
Mission StatementTo ameliorate conflict by supporting freedom, democracy, human rights and self-determination of peoples around the world.
VisionA world in which every person enjoys all of the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments.
The CSI Story
With the end of the cold war, the relative stability the world had known for almost 50 years gave way to new threats to peace and security. Ethnic and religious conflicts, regional wars, terrorism and human rights violations are erupting with increasing frequency around the world. While governments and large international organizations often intervene, there are conflicts and special situations which can best be dealt with by smaller and flexible independent organizations. Conflict Solutions International (CSI), created to deal with those challenges, is a small, independent, non-partisan organization. Its offices are located in Washington, D.C., with representatives and advisors in several countries. Operating in the field of conflict resolution, it conducts its activities in the most impartial and independent manner. Central to its mission is a role of fact finder and also of spokesperson for those people and movements whom traditional media has left behind. In that sense, it shares certain goals with investigative reporters and news organizations . But it differs from these entities in significant ways. We are action- and crisis-oriented and specialize in difficult areas . While we remain true to the spirit of our non-profit status, we also strive to operate with the efficiency and flexibility of a private enterprise.
The TeamKey to an organization’s effectiveness is the quality and integration of its people. Officers, directors, advisors, field representatives and consultants of Conflict Solutions International bring the organization a unique blend of cultures and professions. They create a team that combines professionalism with substantial field experience. The flexibility of the organization and its independence from governments allow it to operate effectively and lend it credibility. The location of our offices in Washington, D.C. offers the advantage of access not only to officials from almost every nation, but also to representatives of various movements and insurgencies. A Board of Directors manages the general affairs of the organization. They are experienced professionals who meet in Washington, D.C. on a regular basis. They bring to the organization many years of experience in law and other disciplines with emphasis in international relations. A small staff, headed by a President, manages the day-to-day business of the organization as well as coordinates political activities and missions. A Board of Advisors includes lawyers, journalists, professors, civil servants, and other professionals. It assists with political analysis and helps select projects and missions. Advisors, especially those located in potential mission areas, can assist the organization in gaining access to areas and people of interest. The diversity of their cultures and nationalities helps give CSI a balanced approach in its activities. Another important asset of our organization is a database of international professionals with impressive credentials, proven field experience and language skills. Many of them can be available for missions and projects on short notice. That ready availability places our organization in a position to deploy anywhere any time and therefore increases our potential and effectiveness.
- Operate an interactive website with extensive content and opportunities for the public to offer comments and submit materials.
- Run programs with speakers open to the public. The programs have included: presentations by the government in exile from Burma, representatives of Tibet, the honorary ambassador of the Naga people in the US, the representative of the Sikh movement of India, a veteran of Bosnia missions and writer; a special program on Cuba, one on Iran on the 30th anniversary of the Islamic revolution, a program titled Russia, then and Now, Hostage Negotiations, Islam and Western Society, Saudi Arabia and others.
- Run a channel on Youtube where we broadcast videos of presentations made by speakers in the field of human rights and conflict resolution. The site accepts comments and viewers often post their opinions regarding the presentation.
- Run Meetups in five cities: Washington, DC, London, UK, Brussels, Belgium, Moscow, Russia and Bejing, China.
- Run a Blogspot where we encourage input and articles by members of the CSI community as well as the wider public
- Occasionally run social and networking events for the purpose of raising awareness of the issues CSI specializes in, and to strengthen the bond among volunteers and other people interested in our work.
- Conduct research on topics relating to human rights and conflict resolution, and more specifically, the right of self-determination of people. We have researched many liberation and independence movements around the world.
- Counseled victims of oppression who are seeking, through peaceful means, liberation and self determination for their people.
- Have a profile on Facebook, to share our activities and news with members of Facebook and the public at large.
- Pioneered the concept of “Freedom Exchange”, an initiative to bring about conflict resolution by and exchange of political prisoners. An example of this approach was put in place (though not through CSI) by the US and Cuban governments. The actual release of prisoners, which some considered political, gave rise to an improvements in relations which in 2015 resulted in the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Future PlansIn the years ahead, CSI plans to continue to pursue the goals it was set to accomplish in its charter. Namely its mission to ameliorate conflict by supporting the freedom, human rights and self-determination of peoples around the world using education, mediation, negotiation and other available tools. After a period of limited activities and reorganization, beginning in 2018, CSI is being updated and, to a certain extent, transformed. While the goals remain the same, the methodology is being updated in order to adapt to the media and technological changes that are taking place. We still believe that conferences and presentations as well as interviews with important personalities are relevant. But we are going to leverage the power of social media and new technologies to go beyond the reach of local activities. And it is not only the technologies that have changed. The thinking and the habits of most younger people have changed in ways that demand a different approach to promote ideas and values. We are shifting from static information and platforms to a more image-oriented style, where images can help convey ideas and news in a faster, more fluid way. Chief among our plans is the use of photography, videos and documentaries to cover issues and stories that we feel need to be told. Our most ambitious goal, however, is to open up the range of ideas and projects by bringing in the input from readers and users from around the world. By living in their space, seeing through their eyes and speaking through their voices.
© 2018 Conflict Solutions International