Peace picks October 19-24

With apologies for the lateness:

  1. Operation Protective Edge: Legal and Political Implications of ICC Prosecution | Monday, October 20th | 4:00 – 6:30 | Arab Studies Institute | David J. Luban from Georgetown University, Georgetown Law Center, Margaret deGuzman from Temple University, Beasley School of Law George Bisharat from University of California, Hastings College of the Law, Noura Erakat  from George Mason University, New Century College and Kevin Jon Heller from  University of London, SOAS  will sit on a panel discussion on Israel’s offensive, Operation Protective Edge, against the Gaza Strip. This panel will explore the relevant legal questions under international criminal law as well as the political issues related to ICC accession by Palestine.
  2. U.S.–North Korea Nuclear Diplomacy: Lessons Learned and Next Steps  | Tuesday, October 21st | 10:00 – 11:30 | Carnegie Endowment for International Peace | October 21 marks the twentieth anniversary of the 1994 Agreed Framework with North Korea, which froze Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program in return for the provision of nuclear power reactors and the eventual normalization of ties with the U.S. In the decades since the Agreed Framework was struck and then subsequently unraveled, successive American presidential administrations seem to have exhausted available policy tools in an effort to curtail North Korea’s growing nuclear and missile capabilities. The speakers are Robert Gallucci, a distinguished professor in the practice of diplomacy at Georgetown University, Victor Ch, a senior adviser and Korea chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, as well as the director of Asian studies and D.S. Song-KF chair at Georgetown University, Sydney Seiler, a special envoy for the Six-Party Talks and Duyeon Kim, a associate in the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
  3. Rebuilding the Gaza Strip: Obstacles and Opportunities | Tuesday, October 21st | 12:00 – 1:00 | Middle East Institute | REGISTER TO ATTEND | MEI will host Gaza-based Rania Elhilou (ANERA) and Paul Butler (ANERA) for a discussion of the humanitarian and infrastructural costs of the recent Gaza conflict and steps needed to address the ongoing crisis.Nearly two months after the ceasefire, more than 100,000 people remain displaced due to the massive infrastructural damage to housing units, businesses, schools and clinics. Many more lack access to basic resources, including food, electricity and clean drinking water. Based on her observations from the ground, Elhilou will describe the conditions faced by Gaza residents, and how they are coping, while Butler will discuss the challenges to Gaza’s reconstruction. Middle East Institute scholar Ambassador Philip Wilcox will moderate the discussion.
  4. Iranian Policy toward the Iraqi and Syrian Crises | Tuesday, October 21st | 12:00 – 1:00 | Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars | Jubin Goodarzi, Deputy Head of the International Relations Department at Webster University in Geneva, Switzerland will speak at the event. Tehran has had a longstanding alliance with Damascus over the past 35 years, and its relations with Baghdad have steadily improved since the ouster of Saddam Hussein in 2003. This has resulted in close ties between Iran and these two key Arab states. However, this has all been called into question since the eruption of the Syrian revolt in 2011, and moreover, the recent rise of ISIS and its challenge to the Iraqi state. Iran has become heavily involved in both conflicts since it has much at stake. Jubin Goodarzi will provide an overview of the evolving situation and focus on Iran’s policies, perspectives, interests, and options in the ongoing Syrian and Iraqi crises.
  5. A Fresh Perspective on Tunisia | Wednesday, October 22nd | 10:00 – 11:30 | Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies | REGISTER TO ATTENDMondher Zenaidi, Independent Presidential candidate for the Republic of Tunisia, will discuss this topic. During the 2011 revolution, Zenaidi was the only member of the government to support the young demonstrators in Kasserine with his presence, including attending the funeral of civilians killed in the city of Ezzouhour, and had the police in the region replaced by the national army to restore the peace. While serving in the Tunisian government, he chaired a committee at the World Trade Organization. He supports broad trade reform to enable Tunisia to adhere to WTO principles and exploit its comparative advantages. He advocates for reduced state involvement in the economy to revitalize Tunisia and reduce disparities in regional development. Zenaidi is also a vocal advocate for a closer U.S.-Tunisian partnership, especially to counter violent extremism and terrorism.
  6. Ensuring a Strong U.S. Defense for the Future: Findings of the National Defense Panel | Wednesday, October 22nd | 10:00 – 11:30 | Bipartisan Policy Center | REGISTER TO ATTEND | In recent months, the U.S. military has been dispatched to the Middle East to fight ISIS, to Africa to combat Ebola and to Eastern Europe to deter Russia. Yet, automatic reductions to the defense budget, known as “sequestration,” remain the law of the land. Highlighting this tension between national security and fiscal restraint, Michèle Flournoy and Eric Edelman, members of the bipartisan, congressionally-mandated National Defense Panel, warned in a recent op-ed, “without budgetary relief, the U.S. armed forces soon will be at high risk of not being able to accomplish the national defense strategy.”
  7. Kobani: A Challenge to the Peace Process? | Wednesday, October 22nd | 2:00 | Georgetown University |REGISTER TO ATTEND | There will be opening remarks by Dr. Sinan Ciddi, Executive Director, Institute of Turkish Studies and the event will be moderated by Dr. Gonul Tol, Executive Director, Center for Turkish Studies, Middle East Institute. The panelists include Aliza Marcus, Journalist and the author of Blood and Belief, Dr. Kadir Ustun, SETA Foundation, Washington, D.C.  and Mehmet Yuksel, Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP), Washington, DC Representative.
  8. Ukraine Elections: An End to the Crisis? | Wednesday, October 22nd | 2:00 | Center on Global Interests | The past 12 months have seen unpredicted and unprecedented disruption in Ukrainian politics. As the deadly conflict in the country’s east continues and economic indicators plummet, the outcome of Ukraine’s upcoming parliamentary elections will be a crucial factor in determining the future course of the country. Will the Petro Poroshenko Bloc’s “party of peace,” expected to win control of the parliament, be able to overcome the crisis facing Ukraine? In anticipation of the Oct. 26 elections, CGI will host a panel discussion exploring the recent changes in Ukraine’s domestic politics, the effects of the election on Ukrainian unity, and the implications for U.S.-Ukraine and Russia-Ukraine relations. The speakers are William Green Miller, former United States Ambassador to Ukraine (1993- 1998), Senior Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Peter Voitsekhovsky, Research Director at the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation; former journalist for BBC, Radio Liberty, and the Voice of America and Katie Fox, Deputy Director of the Eurasia department at NDI, overseeing NDI election monitoring, civic organizing and political party development programs in the former Soviet Union, with a focus on Ukraine, Russia, Belarus and Moldova. Ms. Fox was stationed in NDI’s Ukraine office in 1995-1998, and again in 1999 and 2004. The event will be moderated by Konstantin Avramov, Program Director at Center on Global Interests.
  9. Reflections on Islamism: From the Muslim Brotherhood to the Islamic State | Thursday, October 23rd | 12:30 – 2:00 | Washington Institute for Near East Policy | REGISTER TO ATTEND | Once again, Islamism has taken center stage in the Middle East. A generation ago, the pivotal events were the takeover of the Mecca mosque and the Islamic Revolution in Iran; a half-generation ago, the pivotal events were the horrific attacks of September 11. With the counterrevolution against the world’s oldest Islamist movement, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and the sudden and bloody emergence of its newest, the “caliphate” called the Islamic State, the complex face of Islamism is again capturing the attention of governments, journalists, analysts, and popular imagination. To inform our understanding of the changing face of Islamism and provide a scholarly context for the decisions policymakers need to make. The speaker is Shimon Shamir, the dean of Middle East scholars in Israel, is professor emeritus of Middle East history at Tel Aviv University. In addition, he had the unique experience of serving as Israel’s ambassador to both Arab states with which it is at peace, Egypt and Jordan.
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