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TEDxThessaloniki - Elpida Rouka - Dare to imagine a different narrative for a different future

What would you think if someone told you political processes in conflict zones need imagination or that empathy and compassion are the first steps towards relating the opponent sides? This is not what most people think of mediation and negotiations. But Elpida Rouka, currently a United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, has a different story to tell. According to her, better understanding is critical as we cannot compress centuries of evolution in a decade; it simply won't work. She points out how important is to evade from stereotypes, take risks and look closer, be present, have access, use moral authority, listen, learn, imagine and voice a different narrative. Elpida Rouka is currently based in Jerusalem where she leads the political team for the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, an office which was set up after the Oslo accords.She has worked for the United Nations for over a decade and has most recently served as Principal Political Adviser for the UN's Special Political Missions both in Iraq (2007-2009) and in Afghanistan (2010-2012) where she has dealt with aspects of facilitating peace and political processes, advancing regional dialogue, promoting human rights and assisting with the framework of electoral preparations. Previously Elpida has held various positions in the United Nations Headquarters in New York including in the Office of the Iraq Programme, which oversaw the sale of Iraqi oil and the delievery of aid to that country, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations during the surge in multidimensional operations and the Office of the Secretary-General of the United Nations under the administrations of both Kofi Annan and then Ban Ki-moon. During that time she took part in various good office and mediation initiatives.
Length: 14:25

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