Boko Haram, the Islamic State’s West African Franchise | Monday March 23 | 12:00 – 1:00 | Hudson Institute | REGISTER TO ATTEND | Boko Haram swore fealty to the Islamic State earlier this month. The Nigerian Islamist terrorist organization, infamous for the abduction of 276 Chibok schoolgirls last April, has a long record of violent atrocities. Recently, it has increased attacks on marketplaces and public spaces, indiscriminately murdering moderate Muslims and Christians alike. How will this new affiliation impact the operations and reach of Boko Haram? To assess the humanitarian situation in Nigeria and the global security implications of an alliance between two of the world’s deadliest terror groups, Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom Director Nina Shea will host a discussion with Bukky Shonibare and Emmanuel Ogebe. Bukky Shonibare is a strategic team member of the #BringBackOurGirls Campaign and the coordinator of Adopt-A-Camp, a program that assists internally displaced persons in Nigeria. She will provide her firsthand account of conditions on the ground. Emmanuel Ogebe, a human rights lawyer from Nigeria, will evaluate the broad impact of the new alliance between Boko aram and the Islamic State.
Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations: Learning from 2013-2014 & Looking Ahead | Monday March 23 | 3:30 – 5:00 | USIP | REGISTER TO ATTEND | President Obama has raised the possibility of another push for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement before he leaves office. With stability on the ground already severely at stake, it is imperative that any renewed attempt take account of lessons learned from last year’s round of failed talks. Join the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Center for a New American Security on March 23, for a discussion with Ilan Goldenberg, the chief of staff to the U.S. special envoy during those talks and author of the new report Lessons from the 2013-2014 Israeli-Palestinian Final Status Negotiations. What suggestions and recommendations can we draw from a process that built upon and at times diverged from the path of previous diplomatic efforts? How can they be leveraged by the U.S., the international community and the parties themselves to move forward constructively toward a peace agreement? Goldenberg will be joined by a panel of experts who will offer an assessment of the report’s findings and recommendations, particularly in light of lessons learned from earlier rounds of negotiations. The panel will include William B. Quandt, Professor Emeritus, Department of Politics, University of Virginia and Tamara Cofman Wittes, Senior Fellow and Director, Center for Middle East Policy, The Brookings Institution. Lucy Kurtzer-Ellenbogen, Director of Arab-Israeli Conflict Programs, USIP, will
Jerusalem: Divided or Indivisible? | Tuesday March 24 | 9:30 – 11:00 | Foundation for Middle East Peace | REGISTER TO ATTEND | Israel has controlled East Jerusalem for almost 50 years. During that time, Israeli authorities have been responsible for municipal services, housing, and urban planning for Jerusalem’s more than 300,000 Palestinian Arabs. Yet even as Israeli politicians proclaim that Jerusalem will never be divided, the contrast between its Jewish and Palestinian neighborhoods is starker than ever. The poverty rate for Palestinians in East Jerusalem is near 80%, physical infrastructure in Palestinian neighborhoods is poor, public facilities are few and far between, and a chronic housing shortage leads Palestinians to resort to unpermitted construction, for lack of alternatives. Simultaneously, Israeli settlement and building and construction further consolidates Israeli control over the city, undermining prospects for a political resolution on the city. The inequity and friction between Palestinians and Jews in Jerusalem is in many ways a microcosm of the larger Israeli-Palestinian conflict. FMEP invites to hear from Yudith Oppenheimer from Israeli NGO Ir Amim as she outlines key findings from its report, “Jerusalem: The Rising Cost of Peace,” a longitudinal mapping of developments on the ground from the introduction of the Clinton Parameters in 2000 until today. In context of the findings, Yudith will discuss the current forecast for a political resolution on the city. Yudith is joined by Nava Sheer (Bimkom – Planners for Planning Rights), who will present on the challenges facing those who advocate the development of planning policies and practices that are more just and respectful of human rights, and responsive to the needs of local communities in Jerusalem.
Facing Terrorism: A Lebanese Perspective | Wednesday March 25 | 12:00 – 1:00 | Wilson Center | REGISTER TO ATTEND | Lebanon is surprisingly quiet while the region around it is literally burning. The country is facing many challenges, from the vacancy in the presidency to Hezbollah’s involvement in the fight in Syria to the presence of over one million Syrian refugees. Because of the government’s war on terror, Lebanon has succeeded in keeping a lid on the sources of tension in the country while fighting extremism and fending off terrorism. Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk, a key figure in this fight to keep the country stable and secure, will discuss fighting extremism in Lebanon and how to keep Lebanon from becoming involved in the surrounding wars.
Voices of Civil Society in Iraq | Wednesday March 25 | 12:00 – 2:00 | National Endowment for Democracy | REGISTER TO ATTEND | As part of the World Movement for Democracy’s Civic Space Initiatives (CSI), the World Movement will hold an event to discuss a landscape of civil society in Iraq. The event will serve as a launch of the World Movement’s new CSI video, Fatima. Fatima Al-Bahadly, featured in the film, will be one of the featured panelists. The CSI video shows how she deals with challenges and works with various communities, such as youth, women, religious minorities, and the public sector (provincial council). Amina Hassan, who was behind a camera and produced the Fatima video, is also an extremely courageous activist. Because of her media/journalism work, she was shot three times by militants some years ago, but she survived. And, today she is committed to continuing working to address social issues through media production. The activists will be joined by Zainab al-Suwaij, from the American Islamic Congress in Washington DC. Laith Kubba, Senior Director for the Middle East and North Africa, National Endowment for Democracy, will act as moderator.
Fragility and Extremism in Yemen, Again |Thursday March 26 | 9:00 – 10:30 | Bipartisan Policy Center | Yemen seemingly only attracts U.S. attention when tied to a terrorist attack or plot: the USS Cole in 2000; Anwar al-Awlaki’s incitement to terror since 2004; the “underwear bomber” in 2009; the cargo plane plot in 2010. The country’s long-simmering political fragility and endemic civil wars largely escape notice. Now, both dynamics are at play simultaneously: just days after Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) took credit for the Kouachi brothers’ attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris, the Iran-backed Houthis have overrun the capital and forced the resignation of the Yemeni government. Please join us for a discussion of recent events in Yemen and how they will affect U.S. counterterrorism efforts and regional dynamics. The panel debate will feature Ambassador Barbara Bodine, Former U.S. Ambassador to Yemen, William D. Murray, Founder, Alphom Group and former Senior Executive, Central Intelligence Agency. The debate will moderated by Mark Hosenball, Journalist, Reuters.
The Way Forward in the U.S.-Afghanistan Security Partnership | Thursday March 26 | 11:00 – 12:00 | The Heritage Foundation | REGISTER TO ATTEND | Join us as Abdullah Abdullah, Chief Executive Officer of Afghanistan, discusses the way forward for the U.S.-Afghanistan partnership. How can the two countries continue to work together to ensure Afghanistan’s long-term security and stability? What kinds of support do the Afghan security forces require to stave off Taliban advances? What should be the long-term U.S. role in helping to stabilize the country? Following months of political tensions over disputed election results, the two main contenders, Dr. Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani, agreed last fall to a power sharing arrangement in which Ghani became the country’s new President and Abdullah was sworn in as his Chief Executive. The two leaders will be in Washington for an official visit March 22-25. Jim DeMint, President, The Heritage Foundation, will act as discussant.
States of Fragility: Post-2015 Ambitions | Friday March 27 | 10:30 – 12:30 | USIP | REGISTER TO ATTEND | More than 1 billion people live in countries affected by armed conflict or by the fragility of their societies. Fragile states are often vulnerable to conflict because their populations tend to see their governments as ineffective, illegitimate, or both. As a group, they are the ones that lag furthest behind in achieving the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals. USIP invites to a discussion on a new report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, “States of Fragility 2015: Meeting Post-2015 Ambitions,” sponsored by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the World Bank. The panel will include Melissa Brown, Director, Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation, USAID, Alexandre Marc, Chief Technical Specialist, Fragility, Conflict and Violence-Cross Cutting Solutions Area, World Bank Group, Brenda Killen, Deputy Director, Development Co-operation Directorate, OECD, Jolanda Profos, Peace and Conflict Adviser, Development Co-operation Directorate, OECD, Sarah Hearn, Associate Director and Senior Fellow, Center on International Cooperation. Andrew Blum, Vice President of Program Management and Evaluation, USIP, will moderate, and Nancy Lindborg,
President, USIP, will hold the opening remarks.
Discussion with Prince Moulay Hicham of Morocco on the Future of Authoritarianism in the Middle East | Friday March 27 | 11:00 – 12:30 | Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, & World Affairs | Morocco’s Prince Moulay Hicham Ben Abdallah El Alaoui is an established voice calling for political reform and greater democracy in the Arab world. As an author, scholar, and philanthropist, he has been deeply involved in establishing creative initiatives for scholarly research on the Middle East on topics including democracy, climate change, governance, and authoritarianism. He will share his expertise on current regional issues during his lecture.
Colombia: Peace from the Regions | Friday March 27 | 3:00 – 4:30 | USIP | REGISTER TO ATTEND | The Colombia Peace Forum is a series of policy discussions sponsored by USIP to support a peaceful resolution to one of the world’s longest-running internal armed conflicts. At our March 27 forum, a panel of experts will analyze how a peace accord might be implemented on the ground. How will it build on existing efforts? And how can it be made inclusive and participatory? The session also will take up questions of the linkages among the regions and with the central government; the rights and needs of citizens; and ways to enhance citizens’ participation and effectiveness in promoting peace in the regions. The program will be conducted in Spanish with a simultaneous English translation for those who attend the event. The webcast will be in Spanish and an English video of the event will be available a day or so after. Speakers will include Virginia M. Bouvier, Senior Advisor for Latin America Programs, USIP, Andrés Santamaria Garrido, President, National Federation of Ombudspeople (Personeros), Adela Aguirre, Ombudswoman of Pasto, Department of Nariño and Marino Córdoba, Afro-Colombian Peace Council (CNPA) and Association of Displaced Afro-Colombians (AFRODES).