The Academic Peace Orchestra Middle East is a classical Track-II initiative: The Orchestra consists of some 70 experts – mainly from the Middle East/Gulf, one of the most conflict-ridden areas of the world. The Orchestra is meeting regularly in working groups (“Chamber Orchestra Units”) on specific topics in the context of a nine part conference cycle from 2011-2014. The main goal of this initiative is to shape the “Middle East Conference 2012” on the establishment of a zone free of weapon of mass destruction and their delivery vehicles agreed upon by the international community in May 2010.
For this reason, these experts develop ideas, concepts, and background information in a series of some 40 “Policy Briefs” which are the results of intense discussions within the “Chamber Orchestra Units”. They will be released under the series title “Policy Brief for the Middle East Conference on a WMD/DV Free Zone” and will be sent to high-ranking decision makers in the Middle East/Gulf, diplomats and (inter)national media. In this framework, the broader normative “Cooperative Security Concept” – will be further developed, embedded, and institutionalized in the region. The concept also served as the basis for the earlier project “Missile Defense Research International”. At the same time, the Orchestra meetings serve as venues for confidence-building among the experts. The networking activities of PRIF’s project group are documented by the Atlas on Track-II research activities in or about the Middle East/Gulf region.
The project is generously funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Protestant Church of Hesse and Nassau, and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation.