Today we started a two and a half day long simulation of the Georgia/Abkhazia conflict which is sure to prove challenging, yet rewarding at the same time. I have been appointed as the Abkhazian representative and I have thoroughly enjoyed the insight I have gained into the process of international multilateral negotiations. It seems to be a very realistic exercise and has been an excellent example of the complexity of conflicts in terms of the past and present grievances that influence the actions of the parties. I look forward to fully engaging in the negotiation process to learn as much as possible in the next couple of days.
Today is also the first day of the last week we will spend in Bologna, therefore marking the beginning of the end for the 2010 IPSI Symposium. As I sit on top of the roof of the hotel and look over the city, I have started reflecting about the past three weeks and come to the realization that I have learned an immense amount about conflicts, peace processes, and negotiation. I also think about how valuable my newfound knowledge will be in the future and how applicable it will be, no matter what field I may enter. Finally, I think about how even though I will be happy to be back home with my family, I will miss Bologna. Two weekends ago I went to Florence and this past weekend I visited Venice, yet each time I come back to Bologna to start the week, I feel as though I am back home. I will be sad to leave it behind, but at the same time, I think about all the friends I have made here and the possibilities that lie ahead for all of us.
Lee Todd, Canada