Every Papua New Guinean needs to take a class on “Peace and Conflict Resolution”, this was one of the units we studied in school.
Only then can we be able to resolve conflicts that arise in our homes or communities. With the knowledge and skills in Conflict resolution, we can solve conflicts through conciliation, reconciliation, mediation or arbitration. We can also be able to approach potential conflicts in a manner which will stop the conflict from erupting and causing harm to both parties.
Through conflict resolution, we can resolve or end conflicts (end violence).
There are many types of conflicts:
1. Relationship Conflicts
Occur because of the presence of strong negative emotions, misperceptions or stereotypes, poor communication or miscommunication, or repetitive negative behaviors.
Relationship problems often fuel disputes and lead to an unnecessary escalating spiral of destructive conflict.
2. Interest Conflicts
are caused by competition over perceived incompatible needs. This sort of conflict results when one or more of the parties believe that in order to satisfy their needs, the needs and or interests of the other must be sacrificed.
Interest-based conflicts may occur over issues such as money, physical resources, time, perceptions of trust, respect and fairness.
3. Value Conflicts
Caused by perceived or actual incompatible belief systems. Values are beliefs that people use to give meaning to their lives. Values explain what is “good” or “bad,” “right” or “wrong,” “just” or “unjust.”
People can live together in harmony with different value systems. Value disputes arise only when people attempt to force one set of values on others or lay claim to exclusive value systems that do not allow for divergent beliefs.
As stated above, these conflicts can be resolved if we have knowledge on how to resolve and end them.
Many conflicts or acts of violence are perpetarted by some disciplinary officers and defence officers, I wonder if they are taught “Peace and Conflict Resolution” in Bomana or Army camp.
Some conflict resolution skills we all need to manage conflict in a positive way:
1. Manage stress while remaining alert and calm
2. Control your emotions and behavior
3. Pay attention to the feelings being expressed as well as the spoken words of others (Listening)
4. Be aware of and respectful of differences.
PNG has one of the highest rates of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the world and only through education, not only through awareness like what most organizations are doing but through education.
Teach the men how to remain calm and deal with conflicts that arise in the home.
That is how we eliminate GBV in our country.