Tag: Nigeria

Peace picks September 12-16

  1. US Leadership and the Challenge of State Fragility | Monday, September 12th | 9:00am – 12:00pm | US Institute of Peace | Click HERE to RSVP |
    For more than two decades, addressing fragility has been an evolving bipartisan priority for U.S. policymakers. Yet growing understanding and consensus about the problem has failed to generate the strategic, unified, and long-term policies required to achieve solutions. Despite some progress, the United States and its international partners still struggle to prevent and reduce fragility.
    With the next U.S. administration and Congress taking office in January, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Center for a New American Security, and the U.S. Institute of Peace this year formed an independent, non-partisan Fragility Study Group to improve the U.S. government’s approach to reducing global fragility. The group was advised by more than 20 former U.S. government officials, members of Congress, academics, and private sector leaders. Its report concludes that the incoming administration will have to exhibit remarkable discipline and imagination in choosing where and how to exert U.S. leadership. The study group offers recommendations for the next administration and Congress on ensuring more coherent policy responses among U.S. agencies, strengthening international partnerships, and developing the capabilities required to help fragile societies build more resilient, and thus stable, states. Following the discussion of the report by the study group’s chairs on September 12, scholars from each institution will preview several of a series of policy briefs to be released in coming months on specific portions of the new approach.
    On panel one, William J. Burns, President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Michèle Flournoy, CEO, Center for a New American Security, Nancy Lindborg, President, United States Institute of Peace, moderated by David Ignatius, Columnist and Author, The Washington Post. On panel two, Rachel Kleinfeld, Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Loren Schulman, Deputy Director of Studies and Leon E. Panetta Senior Fellow, Center for a New American Security, Maria J. Stephan, Senior Policy Fellow, United States Institute of Peace
  2. African Politics, African Peace | Monday, September 12th | 2:00pm – 3:30pm | US Institute of Peace | Click HERE to RSVP |
    More than 100,000 peacekeepers deployed in Africa make up three-quarters of such United Nations troops worldwide, and they illustrate the frequent response of the African Union to defuse violent conflict with military forces. But the AU has another strength: political power. Join the U.S. Institute of Peace with researchers Alex de Waal and Mulugeta Gebrehiwot of the World Peace Foundation on September 12 for recommendations from their new report on how the AU can harness its unique advantage to advance peace and security. Their new report for the AU argues that the Union must move away from its reactive approach to violent conflict and draw on its inherent political strengths. Their extensive research includes case studies of the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Somalia and South Sudan. The authors, joined by AU representatives, will share major findings and offer policy recommendations for how the African Union can best harness its political expertise to reduce violent conflict on the continent and advance its mission of lasting stability. Featuring Alex de Waal, Executive Director, World Peace Foundation; Research Professor, The Fletcher School, Tufts University, Mulugeta Gebrehiwot, Program Director of the African Security Sector and Peace Operations Program, The Fletcher School, Tufts University, moderated by Princeton Lyman, Senior Advisor to the President.
  1. 20 Years Later: The United States and the Future of the CTBT | Tuesday, September 13th | 9:00am – 7:00pm | The Stimson Center | Click HERE to RSVP
    Twenty years ago, the United States took a leading role in negotiations for a verifiable ban on the explosive testing of nuclear weapons. The result was the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), which opened for signature September 24, 1996. Although the treaty has widespread domestic and global support, the CTBT has not yet entered into force because the United States and seven other key states have failed to ratify the treaty. This month, the Obama administration, along with other U.N. Security Council member states, are considering a resolution that reaffirms support for the global norm against nuclear testing and the eventual ratification of the CTBT. Please join the Stimson Center and Arms Control Association for a briefing on the security value of the treaty in the 21st Century and the purpose and status of the U.N. Security Council initiative. Featuring Rose Gottemoeller, Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, U.S. Department of State, Ambassador Adam M. Scheinman, Special Representative of the President for Nuclear Nonproliferation, U.S. Department of State, Ambassador Mitsuru Kitano, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Japan to the International Organizations in Vienna, Ambassador Kairat Umarov, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the United States, Michael Krepon, Co-Founder of the Stimson Center, will convene the meeting. Daryl G. Kimball, Executive Director of the Arms Control Association, will lead the question and answer session following the presentations of our panelists.
  2. Mitigating Electoral Violence: Lessons from Nigeria’s 2015 Election | Tuesday, September 13th | 12:00pm -2:00pm | School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University | Email Ernest Ogbozor at eogbozor@gmu.eduto RSVPUncertainties characterized the period before Nigeria’s 2015 election, with many people predicting a possible outbreak of the worst election violence in the country. This led to different initiatives to mitigate potential violence during and after the election. This included the signing of a peace pact, referred to as the “Abuja Peace Accord” by the leaders of the two largest political parties. The 2015 election is now history, but many African countries have not learned from the Nigeria’s experience. As some African nations prepare for elections in the coming months; like Somalia, Gambia, and Ghana, the events unfolding in Gabon where a presidential candidate declared victory in an unannounced result of an election and further asked his opponent to call and congratulate him is of concern. Professor Attahiru Jega, a former Chair of the Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission during the 2011 and 2015 elections, and a current visiting scholar at the George Mason University will share his experience from the Nigerian elections and its implications for other countries. Featuring Professor Attahiru Jega, Former Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and a Visiting Scholar at the George Mason University, Professor John Paden, Clarence Robinson Professor, George Mason University, Professor Terrence Lyons, School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University
  3. From Tribe to Nation: Iraqi Kurdistan on the Cusp of Statehood | Wednesday, September 14th | 9:30am – 11:00am | The Wilson Center | Click HERE to RSVP |
    There is growing recognition that after decades of dogged, if at times unorthodox, efforts to build their own state, the Iraqi Kurds are on the cusp of formally declaring independence. It is no longer a matter of “if” but “when.” And the United States, as much as Iraq’s neighbors—Iran, Turkey, and Syria, which have restive Kurdish populations of their own—needs to be ready when Iraqi Kurdistan, the first real Kurdish state in the modern sense, is born. Most importantly, so do the Kurds. Join us for the launch of Amberin Zaman’s latest paper “From Tribe to Nation: Iraqi Kurdistan on the Cusp of Statehood.” Featuring Amberin Zaman, Public Policy Fellow, Woodrow Wilson Center; Columnist, Dikenand Al-Monitor Pulse of the Middle East, Abbas Kadhim, Senior Foreign Policy Fellow, Foreign Policy Institute, SAIS-Johns Hopkins University, and President, Institute of Shia Studies, Aliza Marcus, Author of Blood and Belief: The PKK and the Kurdish Fight for Independence and moderated by Henri J. Barkey, Director, Middle East Program, Wilson Center
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Peace picks July 20-24

1. Iran and the Future of the Regional Security and Economic Landscape | Tuesday, July 21st | 9:00 – 12:00 | CNAS | REGISTER TO ATTEND | Under the deal, Iran will put significant limitations on its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief from the international community. But the details and effects of the agreement are far from simple. Iran’s regional rivals, who are core U.S. partners in the Middle East, are deeply concerned about how the deal will change regional power dynamics. There are also questions about economic competition, particularly in energy markets, in the aftermath of

A 17th Century mihrab from Isfahan, Iran at the Israel Museum.  Israel is particularly worried in the wake of the Iran deal.
A 17th Century mihrab from Isfahan, Iran at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Israel is particularly worried in the wake of the Iran deal. PC: Eddie Grove

the nuclear deal.  Keynote address by: Dr. Colin H. Kahl, Deputy Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor to the Vice President. Panelists include: Dr. Suzanne Maloney, Senior Fellow, CMEP, Brookings, David  Ziegler, Distinguished Fellow and Director, Project on the Middle East Peace Process, WINEP, Melissa Dalton, Fellow and Chief of Staff of the International Security Program, CSIS, Elizabeth Rosenberg, Senior Fellow and Director, Energy, Economics, and Security Program, CNAS, Colin McGinnis, Policy Director, U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, Sean Thornton, Senior Counsel, Group Financial Security BNP Paribas, and Caroline Hurndall, Head of Middle East Team, British Embassy.  Moderators include: Ilan Goldenberg, Senior Fellow and Director, Middle East Security Program, CNAS and Zachary Goldman, Executive Director, Center on Law and Security, NYU School of Law and Adjunct Senior Fellow, CNAS.

2. Women and Countering Violent Extremism: Strengthening Policy Responses and Ensuring Inclusivity Tuesday, July 21st | 9:30-12:30 | USIP | REGISTER TO ATTEND | Women worldwide suffer disproportionately from violent extremism and conflict. Women’s key roles in society put them in ideal positions to prevent extremist violence. Yet, 15 years after the United Nations Security Council vowed to reverse the broad exclusion of women from leadership in security and peacebuilding, they

Women in the bazaar in Istaravshan, Tajikistan. Women remain heavily marginalized in Tajik society.  PC: Eddie Grove
Women in the bazaar in Istaravshan, Tajikistan. Women remain heavily marginalized in Tajik society. PC: Eddie Grove

remain marginalized. On July 21 at USIP, experts from civil society, the United Nations, academia, and the U.S. government will discuss ways to include women in efforts to counter violent extremism. The debate will directly inform U.S. government officials preparing for major international conferences on these issues this fall. The U.N. Security Council recognized in 2000 (in its Resolution 1325) that we need women to help lead in global efforts at resolving violent conflict. Several current wars and conflicts underscore how the recent surge in violent extremism has given new urgency both to protecting women and including them in solutions. The U.N. secretary general’s special representative on sexual violence, Zainab Bangura, will discuss that imperative, having recently visited Syria and Iraq. Speakers include: Zainab Hawa Bangura, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, Former Under-Secretary-General and High Representative of the UN, Timothy B. Curry, Deputy Director, Counterterrorism Policy, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Eric G. Postel, Associate Administrator, USAID, Robert Berschinski, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, U.S. Department of State, Carla Koppell, Chief Strategy Officer, USAID, Nancy Lindborg, President, USIP, Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, President, Women in International Security, Susan Hayward, Director, Religion and Peacebuilding, Governance, Law and Society, USIP, and Jacqueline O’Neill, Director, Institute for Inclusive Security. Moderator: Kathleen Kuehnast, Director, Gender and Peacebuilding, USIP.

3. Islamic extremism, reformism, and the war on terror | Tuesday, July 21st | 10:00 – 12:00 | AEI | REGISTER TO ATTEND | President Barack Obama has said that the Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL, Daesh) and other extremist groups do not represent true Islam. The extremists, however, dispute this.

The 15th Century Timurid Kok Gonbaz Madrasa in Istaravshan, Tajikistan. PC: Eddie Grove
The 15th Century Timurid Kok Gonbaz Madrasa in Istaravshan, Tajikistan. PC: Eddie Grove

This leads to a basic question: What role, if any, does Islam play in fomenting terrorism? As extremist forces increasingly sow destruction, how should policymakers respond? How prevalent are moderates, and how serious are regional calls for a “reformation” within Islam? What role, if any, can the US play to encourage reform? How do anti-Islamic polemics undercut reform? Panelists include: Jennifer Bryson, Zephyr Institute, Shadi Hamid, Brookings Institution, Abbas Kadhim, Institute of Shia Studies, Zainab Al-Suwaij, American Islamic Congress, Husain Haqqani, Hudson Institute and Former Pakistani Ambassador to the United States, and Mohamed Younis, Gallup. Moderators include: Michael Rubin, AEI and Danielle Pletka, AEI.


4. Negotiating the Gulf: How a Nuclear Deal Would Redefine GCC-Iran Relations | Tuesday, July 21st | 12:00-2:00 | The Arab Gulf States Institute | REGISTER TO ATTEND | As a nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 was recently finalized, few in the international community have more at stake than Iran’s Arab neighbors across the Gulf. Will the agreement usher in a new era of detente in the Middle East? Will Iran emerge as a more responsible partner, not just to the West but also to

The 13th-14th Century Bahla Fort in Oman. Oman played a key role in bringing Iran and the P5+1 together at the negotiating table.
The 13th-14th Century Bahla Fort in Oman. Oman played a key role in bringing Iran and the P5+1 together at the negotiating table. PC: Eddie Grove

regional powers? Can Iran and the GCC states begin to identify areas of cooperation to bring about more stability and security to the region? Will  the agreement truly prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, or does the Middle East stand on the brink of another, particularly dangerous, arms race? Speakers include: Suzanne DiMaggio, senior fellow and the director of the Iran Initiative at New America, Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi journalist, columnist, author, and general manager of the upcoming Al Arab News Channel, Nadim Shehadi, director of the Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies, Fletcher School, Tufts University, Mohammad Ayatollahi Tabaar, fellow, Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and, assistant professor, Department of International Affairs, Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University.

5. Russian Expansion – A Reality or Fiction: A Conversation with Elmar Brok | Tuesday, July 21st | 12:30-1:30 | German Marshall Fund | REGISTER TO ATTEND | With the Minsk II ceasefire in eastern Ukraine looking increasingly shaky, Europe risks a frozen conflict for years to come. However, is Russian President Vladimir Putin finished in Ukraine? Can the United States and Europe expect more aggression from the Kremlin or is consolidation Russia’s strategy now? What do the future of Russian relations with the European Union and Germany look like and what role do sanctions play in this calculation? Elmar Brok, chairman of the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, will answer these questions and provide analysis of U.S.-European views toward Ukraine and Russia. GMF, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, and the European Parliament Liaison Office are pleased to jointly host this conversation.

6. Saudi Arabia’s Scholarship Program: Generating a “Tipping Point”? | Tuesday, July 21st | 1:oo | Atlantic Council | REGISTER TO ATTEND | Westerners most commonly associate the Kingdom with oil, religious conservatism, and a deeply unstable region. Our panelists will challenge such conventional perceptions by examining the seismic economic, social, and governmental changes underway, many of which evidently result in part from the deliberate Saudi government investment in its human capital. The panel will present the thesis that, having sent over 200,000 Saudi youth abroad in the past ten years with the King Abdullah Scholarship Program, the Kingdom is already experiencing powerfully transformative economic and social advances. Ambassador Francis Ricciardone, Atlantic Council Vice President and Director of the Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, will moderate the discussion. Hariri Center Associate Director Ms. Stefanie Hausheer Ali will present key data and analysis on the scholarship program’s origins and size as well as its costs and benefits from her case study for the King Salman Center for Innovative Government. Dr. Rajika Bhandari, Deputy Vice President of the Institute of International Education (IIE) and Director of IIE’s Center for Academic Mobility Research and Impact, will discuss the Saudi scholarship program within the context of other international scholarship programs and the types of impacts such programs can have. Ms. Samar Alawami, an American University graduate of the scholarship program and researcher at the King Salman Center for Innovative Government, will discuss how the scholarship is impacting her generation. Ambassador James Smith, President of C&M International, will reflect on the changes in Saudi Arabia he witnessed during his tenure as US Ambassador from 2009 to 2013.

7. Rebuilding Afghanistan: Transparency & Accountability in America’s Longest War | Tuesday, July 21st | 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm | PS21 | REGISTER TO ATTEND | As the longest running and one of the most expensive wars in U.S. history winds down, just where did the money go? PS21 is delighted to present a discussion with the man looking into that very question, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John F. Sopko, and Just Security. Speakers include: John F. Sopko, Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction, and Andy Wright, Founding Editor, Just Security

8. Nigeria: A Conversation with President Muhammadu Buhari | Wednesday, Jul 22nd | 9:45 – 11:15 | Located at USIP but sponsored by NDI | REGISTER TO ATTEND | Please read: Important information for guests attending public events at USIP.  In a milestone for Nigeria and multi-party democracy in Africa, Muhammadu Buhari was elected president in March, becoming the first opposition candidate to unseat an elected Nigerian president through the ballot box. Following a vigorous political campaign period, Nigerians successfully managed a relatively peaceful electoral process and government transition. As the new government begins its mandate, political, economic and security pressures remain intense, including the escalating insurgency of Boko Haram and unresolved conflicts across the country. President Buhari’s remarks at USIP will come on the last of his three days in Washington, following his July 20 meeting with President Obama. All guests should arrive no later than 9:45 am to pass through security. Doors to the event will close promptly at 10:00 am.

9. Arbitrary Justice in Saudi Arabia: How Activists Have Organized against Due Process Violations | Wednesday, July 23rd | 11:30 – 1:00 | Located at Open Society Foundations but sponsored by Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain and Amnesty International | REGISTER TO ATTEND | Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) and Amnesty International are cosponsoring an event to shed light on the absence of Rule of Law in Saudi Arabia. The discussion will outline the specific deficiencies within the Saudi criminal justice system that lead to the

Manama, Bahrain. The event is co-sponsored by Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain and Amnesty International. PC: Eddie Grove
Manama, Bahrain. The event is co-sponsored by Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain and Amnesty International. PC: Eddie Grove

commission of human rights violations, including judges’ lack of independence, practices of arbitrary and incommunicado detention, and a catch-all anti-terrorism law. Discussion will then turn to highlighting the cases of those activists, including members of the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA) and human rights lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair, who have sacrificed their independence to raise awareness of human rights abuses and bring reforms to this system. Panelists include: Abdulaziz Alhussan, Visiting Scholar at Indiana University’s Center for Constitutional Democracy and former attorney for several ACPRA members, Hala al-Dosari, Saudi activist and women’s health researcher, Sunjeev Bery, Director of MENA Advocacy at Amnesty International USA, and R. James Suzano, Acting Director of Advocacy at ADHRB.

10. On Knife’s Edge: The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia’s Impact on Violence Against Civilians | Wednesday, July 23rd | 12:00-1:00 | Wilson Center | REGISTER TO ATTEND | The post-Cold War era has witnessed horrific violence against non-combatants. In the Bosnian War alone, tens of thousands of civilians died. The founders of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY)—and then of the permanent International Criminal Court (ICC)—hoped these courts might curb such atrocities. However, we still know very little about their actual impact. This talk will draw on the ICTY’s experience as the first wartime international criminal tribunal to provide insight into how and when these institutions might affect violence against civilians.  Speakers include: Jacqueline McAllister, Title VII Research Scholar, Ph.D., Northwestern University, Assistant Professor, Kenyon College and John R. Lampe, Senior Scholar Professor Emeritus, Department of History, University of Maryland, College Park.

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Iran’s return to oil markets

Thursday, the Wilson Center focused on “Middle East Energy: Beyond an Iran Nuclear Deal,” which explored the oil and gas sectors’ future given Iran’s possible sanctions relief. Speakers included David Goldwyn, President of Goldwyn Global Strategies LLC, David Gordon, Senior Advisor of the Eurasia Group, Julia Nanay, Principal at Energy Ventures LLC and Jean-Francois Seznec, a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council. The event was moderated by Jan H. Kalicki, Wilson Center Public Policy Fellow and Energy Lead.

Gordon talked about potential energy market responses with the entry of Libya and Iran into the market. Libya’s entry last year put downward pressure on oil prices. The country is currently in the process of building up its export volumes, but the political and security fragility remains. Iran’s market impact is also uncertain. There may be competition between Iran and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states for market share. Iran’s success is far from assured. The current uncertainty ends up being bearish for energy markets, which will lead to the strengthening of the US dollar. Only the risk of supply disruption and failure of nuclear talks could be bullish for markets.

If sanctions are lifted, Nanay thinks Iran’s key goal is to become the second largest producer in OPEC. Saudi Arabia’s oil production amounts to 10.3 million barrels a day, while Iran is at 2.8 million barrels a day. Iraq’s is a bit higher. Iran might bring back 700-800,000 barrels a day, with 20 million barrels released quickly and efficiently. Sanctions have also prevented oil revenues from flowing back to Iran. There may be as much as $100 billion that could be released quickly, possibly half from China. International oil companies (IOCs) also owe large sums to Iran.

Possible losers from sanctions relief are the Saudis, Russians, Nigerians and Kuwaitis. The Saudis and Russians have been able to capture some exports to China. Sanctions relief would decrease the market share of all oil exporting countries that have benefited from having Iran off the oil market.

Iran has several stalled projects with significant market potential in the oil and gas sectors. A South Pars project requires 24 phases to develop fully, of which 11 phases have already been done without sanctions removal. Iran is looking to complete more phases by next year. Iran has also planned three big Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) projects. Iran can ship this LNG to Europe and supply its neighbors, such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, but politics may complicate partnerships. The only neighbor Iran has a good relationship with is Oman. An Iran-Oman gas pipeline is possible, but the countries may disagree on price.

Seznec disagreed with Nanay on Iran’s potential in the oil market. Iran will require technology and investment that would make it dependent on IOCs. Instead, Iran can emphasize natural gas, which both Iran and the Gulf states need. The GCC states—especially Saudi Arabia—could partner with Iran in the gas sector. The Saudis have the technology and money to help the Iranians redevelop their gas fields. The Kingdom is seeking to avoid overdependence on crude oil. Instead, it wants to add value by building capacity for refined products and chemicals. Their vision is eventually to get out selling crude and leave Iran and Iraq as the “third world countries” that produce raw materials.

Goldwyn commented on Iraq’s position in the oil market. He believes Iraq might increase production by completing the revamp of the Al Faw Peninsula, but that is an $8-10 billion dollar project.

On the Baghdad-Kurdistan Regional Government deal, Goldwyn pointed out two reasons for the unraveling:

  1. Baghdad hasn’t paid Kurdish forces what it owes.
  2. The Kurds are not exporting the agreed-upon average of 550,000 barrels per day.

If Iraq is unable to increase production much and Iran produces an additional 500-800,000 barrels a day, there is no need for OPEC quota renegotiation, Goldwyn said. There is room for rapprochement on economics between Iran and the Gulf states. But first there must be rapprochement on security. If Iran reduces its involvement in Yemen and Iraq, there is potential for détente with the Saudis, who would also have to do their part in reducing the flow of funds to Al Qaeda and ISIS. If both parties deliver, an economic deal is on the horizon. Otherwise, the current situation will continue, with the Saudis better financed and more competitive than any other player in the Gulf.

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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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Peace picks April 28 – May 2

1. American Energy Prowess in a Strategic Foreign Policy Perspective

Monday, April 28 | 12 – 4:30pm

12th floor, The Atlantic Council; 1030 15th Street NW


The Atlantic Council and the Hungarian Presidency of the Visegrad Group invite you to an upcoming two-day conference titled American Energy Prowess in a Strategic Foreign Policy Perspective. The aim of the conference is to discuss and debate the strategic foreign policy aspects of the American shale gas revolution and its effect on the transatlantic relationship and the Central and Eastern European region. The Ukraine crisis has brought European energy security back into the forefront. The conference will bring together leaders from the US government, Central and Eastern Europe, and the energy industry to determine ways to strengthen European energy security and the transatlantic alliance through reinforced energy ties.

The conference begins with a luncheon discussion on Monday, April 28 at the Atlantic Council. The following day, participants will continue over breakfast on Capitol Hill to engage with key congressional decision-makers.

A full agenda of the event can be found here 

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Peace Picks April 7 – 11

1. Political Parties and Nigeria’s Electoral Process

Monday, April 7 | 10am – 12pm

2nd Floor Conference Room, Center for Strategic and International Studies; 1616 Rhode Island Ave. NW

Join us for a discussion of the critical roles and responsibilities of Nigeria’s political leaders, candidates, and party supporters in laying the foundations for peaceful, credible elections in 2015.  We will hear from the leaders of the two main parties about their plans for the primary contests, and their strategies for enforcing good conduct among candidates, promoting issue-based rather than personality-driven campaigning, ensuring a tone of moderation in the debates, and encouraging respect for the election outcome. This conference is part of an ongoing series, supported by the Ford Foundation, bringing Nigerian officials, civil society activists, and opinion leaders to Washington, D.C. to engage with U.S. policymakers and Africa experts on how best to ensure that Nigeria’s 2015 elections are free, fair, and peaceful.

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