by Ellen Schwartz
The Track II Young Professionals held a successful workshop Jerusalem on March 4th with Ambassador Dennis Ross. The workshop brought together young professionals from Israel, Jordan, and Palestine and focused on the role of international diplomacy in Track II environmental peacebuilding. Ambassador Ross highlighted the need to build public recognition of the Young Professional forum’s work, and provided suggestions for how participants can build awareness and support for their work within international organizations and donor countries.
Ambassador Ross emphasized the importance of Track II as an incubator for coming up with new ideas and strategies for building peace on the ground. Unlike the Track I level, he said, Track II allows for informality and gives you the space and freedom to brainstorm and try out new things.
After Ambassador Ross spoke, participants were given time to ask questions. They focused on how to build support for their work with the public, how to plan projects together, and emphasized the need for training in lobbying, public speaking, and strategic framing of their work.
At the end of the meeting, Ambassador Ross echoed his support for the Young Professionals Forum. “You have to show the world that you are not going to wait for peace. You don’t want an older generation to decide what your lives are going to be; and that will resonate”.