Tag: Colombia

Peace picks, October 17-21

  1. Elusive Peace in Colombia: A Conversation with Ambassador Juan Carlos Pinzon | Monday, October 17 | 2:00pm – 3:00pm | American Enterprise Institute | Click HERE to Register |

    On October 2, Colombians rejected in a referendum a peace accord between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) through a national plebiscite. Proponents of the agreement said it was the only way to end the 50-year terror campaign plaguing Colombia and usher in a new era of peace and prosperity. Critics argued that it provided amnesty to human rights violators and that facilitating FARC’s political participation will invite narco influence and corruption into Colombia’s government and society.
    Join AEI for a conversation with Colombian Ambassador Juan Carlos Pinzón about what the rejection of the peace agreement means for Colombia and the US, the hopes and concerns of the Colombian people, and the post-accord challenges the country will face.

  2. National Security Law and the Legal Challenges of Terrorism | Monday, October 17 | 3:00pm – 4:00pm | Institute of World Politics | Click HERE to Register |

    Andrew McCarthy will give an overview of terrorism law and an explanation for why neither the criminal justice system nor the military system is a good fit against international terrorism. Andrew C. McCarthy III is a former assistant US Attorney for the Southern District of New York. He led the 1995 terrorism prosecution against Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and eleven others. The defendants were convicted of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and of planning a series of attacks against New York City landmarks. He also contributed to the prosecutions of terrorists who bombed U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. He resigned from the Justice Department in 2003. He is a contributing editor of National Review and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

  3. Saudi Vision 2030: Opportunities and Challenges | Tuesday, October 18 | 12:00pm – 1:30pm | Middle East Institute | Click HERE to Register |

    Saudi Arabia’s ‘Vision 2030’ is the Kingdom’s most comprehensive economic reform package in its history. Put forward by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, Vision 2030 aims to privatize entire sectors, raise non-oil revenues, cut subsidies, and streamline government services, among other reforms.
    But the challenges are significant, including moving Saudi nationals out of the government sector and into private employment, employing higher numbers of women, and raising taxes. In the process, the plan upends the Kingdom’s long-held social contract, which guaranteed its citizens most of their needs in return for their support.
    The Middle East Institute (MEI) and the Conflict Management Program at the Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS) are pleased to host a discussion examining the economic and political implications of Vision 2030 with Hala Aldosari (Arab Gulf States Institute, ASGIW), Anthony Cordesman (CSIS), Fahad Nazer (AGSIW), and Jean-Francois Seznec(MEI and SAIS). Paul Salem(MEI) will moderate the discussion.

  4. Turkey and the Syrian War, an EES Distinguished Lecture with Dr. Sonar Cagaptay | Tuesday, October 18 | 6:00pm – 7:30pm | Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies | Click HERE to Register |

    The European and Eurasian Studies (EES) Program cordially invites you to join a presentation and discussion with  Soner Cagaptay of The Washington Institute for Near East Studies on “Turkey and the Syrian War” on Tuesday, October 18, 2016, 6:00-7:30pm. The session will be moderated by European and Eurasian Studies Program Director and Professor Erik Jones.

  5. A New Strategy for Iran-US Relations | Wednesday, October 19 | 9:00am | The Atlantic Council | Click HERE to Register|

    Nearly four decades since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, the United States has found itself at cross-purposes with Iran throughout the Middle East. Though the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to limit Iran’s nuclear program has reopened channels of communication between the United States and Iran, new opportunities for engagement must be measured against the ongoing threat Iran poses to US partners and allies in the region. Ellen Laipson, Atlantic Council distinguished fellow and president emeritus of the Stimson Center, presents her ten-year vision for tackling these complex challenges in A New Strategy for US-Iran Relations. On October 19, Michael Connell, director of the Iranian Studies Program at the Center for Naval Analyses, Atlantic Council board director Amir Handjani, and national security correspondent for the New York Times David Sanger will join Laipson for a discussion of this first regionally focused installment in the Atlantic Council Strategy Papers.

  6. Islamophobia: Overcoming Myths and Engaging in Better Conversation | Thursday, October 20 | 11:00am – 12:30pm | The Atlantic Council | Click HERE to Register |

    Islamophobia is on the rise in non-Muslim-majority countries. It is worse today than it was in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks, with no signs of improvement. Following the recent spate of global terrorist attacks, Muslims are increasingly portrayed negatively by the media. Furthermore, some US politicians and their European counterparts have proposed an array of policies – from policing Muslim communities to controlling the flow of refugees and migrants from the Middle East.
    The role of national policy on civil rights protections is vital and now more important than ever before.
    Join us on October 20 for a public discussion at the Atlantic Council, convened in anticipation of the Smithsonian’s opening of its international exhibition, ‘The Art of the Quran.’
    Our distinguished group of panelists will address issues, including the media’s influence on shaping public perceptions of Islam and Muslims; the role policymakers can and should play in bridging the gap between Muslim and non-Muslim communities; and the role art and cultural institutions can play in shifting the narrative to a more inclusive and productive discussion. This panel will feature Karen Armstrong, author and Commentator on Comparative Religion, Vali Nasr, Dean, School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, Zainab Salbi, Founder, Women for Women International and Best-Selling Author, and TV Host. Moderated by Frederick Kempe President and CEO of the Atlantic Council.

 

 

 

 

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Believing in peace in Colombia

A SAIS alum living in Bogotá writes: 

While the world rejoices that the government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) reached an agreement to end a 52 year-old conflict, my parents refuse to accept the terms negotiated in the agreement. “Those people should be in jail for what they have done to this country!” announced my father, a 65 year-old who in his life has not seen peace. “I am going to vote ‘No’ in the plebiscite, because I don’t believe in this government,” declared my mother. The October 2 will give Colombians an unprecedented opportunity to vote ‘Yes’, or ‘No’ on a yet-to-be determined question.

My parents are not alone in their skepticism of the agreement. Many Colombians, led by former president (2002-10) Alvaro Uribe Velez, are campaigning against it on the grounds that the government was too lenient in terms of transitional justice, political participation, and reparations for victims. The sentiment is understandable. The name FARC in Colombia carries the  psychological weight of massacres, kidnappings, bombs, and all sorts of terrorist attacks orchestrated by the world’s longest standing Marxist guerrilla.

The terms of the agreement are revealed in a 297-page document that the government has done a poor job socializing to the public. It contains important concessions by both the government and the FARC. Tellingly, the FARC agreed to disengage from the narcotics trade. However, the scourge of narcotrafficking will remain as long as consumers in Europe and the United States continue with their voracious and inelastic appetite for cocaine. The agreement also contains landmark steps on victims rights, a truth commission, and transitional justice for FARC-fighters, paramilitaries, and state actors who committed grave crimes in the context of the conflict.

The agreement will arguably take 20 years or more to implement, but its effects will begin to be seen on tomorrow, August 29,when the government and the FARC declare a complete bilateral ceasefire.  The accords will be signed in Bogota on September 23, which will signal ‘D-day,’ the beginning of the transition period when the FARC will move to 23 hamlet zones and eight temporary camps across the country for 180 days. This will be followed by an 18-month stabilization period, a 10-year period of implementation of the agreements and a further 10-year period to consolidate peace. This doesn’t mean Colombia is out of the woods yet, as there remain important  narcotrafficking Organized Armed Groups (GAO) and a smaller, yet fierce, communist insurgency, the National Liberation Army (ELN). These groups will continue their criminal activities for a while. But removing the FARC from the picture will make a huge dent in the bloodshed.

Colombia deaths

Figure 1: Showing the number of civilian, public forces, and FARC deaths during offensive actions and combats. Source: CERAC

As a result of the agreement, little will change for urbanites in Bogota, Medellín, Cali, and Barranquilla. Yet for individuals living in distant rural areas, the effect will be enormous. No longer will the FARC recruit their children for war, plant landmines, destroy their makeshift infrastructure, or participate in battles in their territories. The implementation of the accords will mark the beginning of the implementation of an ambitious plan to redistribute land to victims, build tertiary roads, and provide rural electrification to the countryside, which has suffered from the abandonment of the State for over 200 years. It is an enormously complex challenge, to which the United States, European Union, and United Nations have pledged assistance.

Yet the opportunity to dream of a better country, one where political differences are debated and argued, where we finally get an opportunity to heal 52 year old wounds, depends on the October 2 vote. Peace with the FARC is within our reach. The referendum will initiate a transition to a period full of uncertainty but immense promise.

In order to fulfill that promise, the first order of business will be to rid ourselves of the generational bitterness caused by the longstanding confrontation. “Do you think you will see peace during your lifetime, Dad?” I asked. “Probably not,” he replied, “but your children might.”

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What difference do women make?

For the  15th anniversary of UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security, on Tuesday the US Institute of Peace collaborated with five Scandinavian embassies to host the event “Global Security: What Does Gender Have To Do With It?” The event specifically examines what lessons may be learned from Scandinavian successes in gender equality and feminist policies, and comes in the wake of a new global report that explores the continuing – and some new – challenges for gender equality and women’s rights worldwide.

After Ambassador William Taylor, Executive Vice President of the USIP, gave the welcome, His Excellency Geir Haarde, Iceland’s Ambassador to the US, highlighted Scandinavian countries’ successes, including their long history of collaborating and sharing best practices, but also warned that even they must be vigilant against backsliding. This is especially important considering the global climate for gender rights: violent extremism, gender-based violence, systematic rape as a weapon of war, women being formally excluded from peace processes, and many other continuing challenges.

The keynote speaker, Elisabeth Rehn, former Minister of Defense for Finland and instrumental in achieving UNSCR 1325, took a global outlook. Nordic countries have indeed achieved much, but 1325 in particular ‘was born in Africa, in Namibia’. Rehn therefore highlighted the locality of all advancement initiatives. There is a crucial role for the UN, of course, in formalizing and institutionalizing such initiatives, and for world leaders as well, but Rehn pointed out that women the world over – as individuals – have different needs and expectations, and so naturally they need different projects as well.

Rehn also explored one of the central themes of the event: including women in peace negotiations and processes greatly enhances the success of negotiations and the sustainability of peace agreements, and counters violent extremism. Women’s participation can produce creative peace, which pays attention to the psychological aspects of reconstruction as well as the physical, and incorporates social, health, and education issues – especially for girls.

The expert panel featured Brigadier Flemming Kent Vesterby Agerskov of Denmark, who was Director of the Combined Joint Interagency Task Force in Afghanistan; Captain Anna Bjorsson, Gender Advisor at the Swedish Armed Forces Headquarters; Carla Koppell, Chief Strategy Officer at USAID; and Ambassador Dag Halvor Nylander, Norwegian Special Envoy to the Colombian Peace Process.

Agerskov offered insights into how incorporating women into his efforts to fight corruption and increase stability in Afghanistan heightened successes there. Like his fellows on the panel, he emphasized the need for decisive leadership on board with increasing women’s participation in all aspects of peace processes and civil society initiatives. Bjorsson stated that gender equality is a central policy of Sweden’s current government, following the principle that women and men must have the same power to shape society and their own lives. Creating a military with a gender-equal code of conduct and increased female participation makes it more effective in addressing different groups’ security concerns, as well as enhancing its reputation.

Koppell highlighted the relative successes of the USAID agenda on women’s rights in the past three years, with 50,000 women worldwide working for it in some capacity, but also stressed that this program needs to improve. For instance, they are behind on women mediators and dealing with non-state actors in countries where USAID projects are based, as well as in exploring the consequences for gender rights of new threats like climate change.

Nylander concluded with an illuminating overview on how the peace process in Colombia over the past three years has had the most success of any such process in confronting gender issues, such as sexual violence; integrating a gender perspective into all resolutions; and working with numerous women civil society activists and women’s NGOs. Importantly, though at first neither party (the Colombian government and FARC) fully acknowledged the importance of gender issues, they now are both supportive of these steps.

This panel did not have sufficient time to go into detail about local cases, but the speakers agreed on global themes and answered their initial question. UN reports and local experiences have shown that gender-inclusive settings with active participation from both men and women greatly facilitate negotiations and create enduring peace agreements. Women, like men, have roles to play at every level and at every step in the process, even in militaries. Hopefully, the next fifteen years will bring more progress.

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Peace picks, September 28-October 2

  1. Ukraine: From Evolutionary to Revolutionary Reforms | Monday, September 28th | 12:00-1:30 | Atlantic Council | REGISTER TO ATTEND | Please join us for an in-depth discussion of Ukraine’s reform agenda since the Maidan revolution, and the public release of a new, comprehensive assessment of what has been achieved so far and the challenges ahead. Since Ukraine’s Maidan revolution, Ukrainian leaders pledged to push through a long list of urgent reforms, including fighting corruption, securing stable energy supplies at market prices, simplifying the tax code, overhauling civil service, and ensuring macroeconomic stability. VoxUkraine, a network of experts, led by a group of leading global economists, lawyers, and members of the Ukrainian policy community has monitored the reform process in detail. Olena Bilan, Chief Economist at Dragon Capital and Editor of VoxUkraine, and Mike Duane, Contributor and Editor of VoxUkraine, will discuss their assessment of the reform process and what still needs to be done. The most prominent reform achievements are the establishment of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau to fight high-level corruption, the introduction of a new police force in the cities of Kyiv, Odesa, and Lviv, the reform of the banking system, and the restructuring of the natural gas sector. However, these reforms are still insufficient given the vast reform agenda Ukraine’s authorities face. The key question is not whether the country must implement reforms but rather where the government should start the process. After years of mismanagement, nearly every aspect of economic and political life in Ukraine needs reform. There is no time for slow evolutionary changes. Radical and revolutionary reforms are the only way to success.
  2. Israel in a Dynamic and Changing Region: A Conversation with Ambassador Michael Oren | Monday, September 28th | 4:00-5:00 PM | Wilson Center | REGISTER TO ATTEND | Rarely has the situation in the Middle East seemed more dangerous and complex. Please join us as veteran historian, diplomat and now Knesset member Michael Oren shares his analysis of Israel and the region. Dr. Henri J. Barkey, Director of the Middle East Program at the Wilson Center, will introduce Ambassador Oren, and Aaron David Miller, Vice President for New Initiatives, will moderate. This talk is presented by The Joseph and Alma Gildenhorn Middle East Forum of the Middle East Program.
  3. The Syrian Refugee Crisis: Challenges for Syria’s Neighbors and the International Community | Tuesday, September 29th | 10:30-12:00 | Brookings Institution | REGISTER TO ATTEND | In the last five years, more than four million Syrian refugees have crossed into neighboring countries seeking safety from the unending civil war. Providing protection and public services for the refugees has taxed the capacities of host countries, with hospitality wearing thin and many refugees despairing about their futures. In recent months, the European dimension of the Syrian refugee crisis has finally drawn global public attention to the catastrophe and the need to increase burden-sharing with neighboring host countries. Does the international community have the political will and the resources to respond, and if so, how will it address the challenge? How is the crisis affecting Syria’s neighboring countries that still bear the brunt of the refugees? Why is burden-sharing so important? Brookings will host a panel discussion to explore the international response to the Syrian refugee crisis. Brookings Senior Fellow Elizabeth Ferris and Brookings, TÜSİAD Senior Fellow and CUSE Turkey Project Director Kemal Kirişci will present their new study, “Not Likely to Go Home”, an examination of the challenges that Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey face in providing protection and humanitarian assistance to Syrian refugees. They will also reflect on what these conclusions mean for the wider international community. Following their presentations, Simon Henshaw of the U.S. State Department, Gregory Maniatis of the Migration Policy Institute, and Alar Olljum of Brookings and the European External Action Service will provide remarks. Elizabeth Ferris will moderate the event and offer opening remarks. Following the presentations, the panelists will take questions from the audience. Join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #RefugeeCrisis.
  4. Egypt: Reducing Risks, Unlocking Potential: Middle East Institute 3rd Annual Conference on Egypt | Wednesday, September 30th | 9:00-4:00 | The Ritz-Carlton | REGISTER TO ATTEND |The Middle East Institute is pleased to announce its third annual conference on Egypt, which will convene a diverse group of Egyptian and American officials, activists, scholars, and entrepreneurs to look beneath the surface of Egypt’s most pressing issues. Three expert panels will examine Egypt’s political situation, domestic and regional security challenges, and economic and human development priorities. MEI’s annual Egypt conference seeks to increase understanding of the risks and opportunities facing Egypt today. The conference is free and open to the public. Updated agenda for the conference, as well as speaker bios, may be found here. Don’t forget to join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #EgyptConf2015.
  5. Women Leading Peace: Women’s Political Participation in Peace Processes | Wednesday, September 30th | 10:00-11:30 | Gaston Hall, Georgetown University | REGISTER TO ATTEND | In Commemoration of the 15th Anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, Georgetown’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security is hosting a high-level symposium on women’s political participation in peace processes. The symposium features remarks from the President of the Republic Kosovo, H.E. Atifete Jahjaga, and the Hon. Secretary Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State, as well as the launch of the institute’s new report, Women’s Political Participation in Peace Processes in Northern Ireland, Kenya, Guatemala and the Philippines. There will be an expert panel featuring the following speakers: Monica McWilliams, Professor, Transitional Justice Institute, Ulster University; Njeri Kabeberi, Executive Director, Center for Multi-Party Democracy Kenya; Claudia Paz y Paz, Former Attorney General of Guatemala; and Miriam Coronel Ferrer, Chair, Government of the Philippines Peace Panel.
  6. Colombia’s Peace Progress and Transitional Justice | Wednesday, September 30th | 8:30-5:00 | US Institute of Peace | REGISTER TO ATTEND | Colombia’s government and the FARC movement achieved their September 23 breakthrough in peace negotiations by setting down basic principles on the rights of victims to truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-repetition. USIP’s next Colombia Peace Forum, on September 30, will analyze the role of historical memory in these transitional justice issues. As policymakers and analysts consider how the new breakthrough might be consolidated, Colombian researchers will present a report, central to these issues, to a U.S. audience for the first time. The report—Basta Ya! Colombia: Memories of War and Dignity—was produced by Colombia’s National Center for Historical Memory. Its authors will join other scholars and practitioners to examine lessons that might contribute to the creation of the national truth commission and other architectures as part of the peace process.The event will be co-sponsored by the U.S. Institute of Peace, the Washington Office on Latin America, the International Center for Transitional Justice and the U.S. Agency for International Development. The discussions will take place in English and Spanish with simultaneous interpretation in both languages. The event will be streamed live without interpretation; webcasts will be posted later in both languages. To participate via Twitter, use the hashtag #ColombiaPeaceForum. The full agenda is available in English and Spanish.
  7. Indonesia’s Foreign Policy Shifts | Thursday, October 1st | 12:00-1:00 | East-West Center | REGISTER TO ATTEND | The last fifteen months have seen robust domestic and international debates on the changing fundamentals of Indonesia’s foreign policy. These debates have highlighted different shades of Indonesian foreign policy, exhibiting the complex nature of Indonesian strategic thinking and the multiple challenges it seeks to address. Experts have variously labeled Indonesia’s current strategic thinking as assertive, inward-looking, internationalist and auto-piloted. Some have also wondered whether Jokowi’s Indonesia has any foreign policy direction at all.Emerging powers, such as Indonesia, often encounter growing dissonance between their existing international status and aspirations. Jokowi’s Indonesia is exhibiting a similar dilemma, prompting Indonesia watchers to revisit Indonesia’s long-standing debate about whether Indonesia is punching below, above or at par with its weight. Jokowi’s Indonesia seems to have moved away from ASEAN, altered some of its normative and ideological approaches, and changed its long-standing position on the South China Sea. Experts debate whether Indonesia is “going it alone”.Dr. Vibhanshu Shekhar, an Asia Studies Visiting Fellow at the East West Center, will discuss these issues in order to highlight strategic underpinnings of the foreign policy of Jokowi’s Indonesia.
  8. Averting a Deepening U.S.-China Rift Over the South China Sea | Thursday, October 1st | 4:30-6:00 | Bernstein-Offit Building, SAIS | RSVP via email to: Reischauer@jhu.edu | Dr. Michael D. Swaine will address how ongoing disputes threaten to drive U.S.-China relations in a far more adversarial, zero-sum direction and destabilize the region. He will emphasize how Washington and Beijing face a growing need to clarify their claims and grievances, provide a clear indication of consequences to unacceptable behavior, provide mutual near-term assurances to avoid entanglement, and work to stabilize the long-term relationship.
  9. Striving for Northeast Asian Peace | Friday, October 2nd | 9:00-12:00 | CSIS | REGISTER TO ATTEND | Please join us for an international conference with senior opinion makers, policy makers, and officials to look in-depth at the prospects for regional cooperation among the major powers of East Asia, in advance of the White House summit between the United States and the Republic of Korea.
    This event is by RSVP only and all remarks are on-the-record. Speakers include: Dr. Evan Medeiros, Former Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Asian Affairs, National Security Council; Dr. Kurt Campbell, Chairman and CEO, The Asia Group; Former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, U.S. Department of State; Ambassador Ahn Ho-Young, Ambassador to the United States; Dr. Victor Cha, Senior Adviser and Korea Chair, CSIS; Professor and Director, Asian Studies Program, Georgetown University; Dr. Shin Beomchul, Director General for Policy Planning, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea; Dr. Jin Canrong, Professor and Associate Dean, School of International Studies, Renmin University of China; Dr. Choi Kang, Vice President for Research, Asan Institute for Policy Studies; Former National Security Council Staff, The Blue House; Dr. Narushige Michishita, Director of Security and International Studies Program, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, Japan
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Colombia: understanding conflict

Colombia: Understanding Conflict
SAIS Conflict Management Program
Student Research Trip

Student Panel Presentation and Discussion
Moderated by Professors P. Terrence Hopmann and
I. William Zartman

Wednesday April 1, 2015
4:30 pm
Rome Auditorium
1619 Massachusetts Ave., NW

In January 2015 sixteen SAIS students spent ten days in Colombia interviewing leaders, and members of international organizations and members of the community in Quibdó and Bogotá. The objective of the trip was to gain a deeper understanding of the roots of the Colombian conflict; to evaluate the conflict management efforts that have taken place; and finally to present recommendations about how best to advance the process of long-term conflict resolution and peace-building. Students will discuss their findings and present their report.

Sponsored by the SAIS Conflict Management Program

This event is open to the public. Please RSVP to
http://colombia-report-understanding-conflict.eventbrite.com
A reception will follow

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Peace picks March 23 – 27

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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).
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