This week’s peace picks

1. His Excellency Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations:  Building and Sustaining Peace: The UN Role in Post-Conflict Situations, CSIS, 11-noon May 7

His Excellency Ban Ki-moon Secretary-General of the United Nations

The Center for Strategic and International Studies Program on Crisis, Conflict, and Cooperation (C3) invites you to a Statesmen’s Forum with

His Excellency Ban Ki-moon
Secretary-General of the United Nations


Building and Sustaining Peace: The UN Role in Post-Conflict Situations

Welcoming Remarks and Moderated by

Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski
Counselor and Trustee

Monday, May 7, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
B1 Conference Room
1800 K Street, NW, Washington DC 20006

This event will be webcast live and viewable on this webpage.

For questions or concerns, please contact

Ban Ki-moon is the eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations. His priorities have been to mobilize world leaders around a set of new global challenges, from climate change and economic upheaval to pandemics and increasing pressures involving food, energy, and water. He has sought to be a bridge builder, to give voice to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, and to strengthen the organization itself. Mr. Ban took office on January 1, 2007. On June 21, 2011, he was unanimously reelected by the General Assembly and will continue to serve until December 31, 2016.

2.  Decline of Armed Conflict: Will It Continue? Stimonson, 12:30-2 pm May 7

SIPRI North America hosts a conversation about the causes and future implications of the recent decline in armed conflict

 SIPRI North America, 1111 19th St. NW, 12th floor, Washington DC 20036

RSVP: Please click here.

There is a prevalent public perception that the world has become a more violent place. However, many leading experts agree that there has been a decline of violence and war since 1989. To expand upon these findings and explore their future implications, SIPRI North America will convene a roundtable discussion with two leading experts in the peace and conflict field.

The following key questions will be discussed by a panel of experts:

  •  What are the reasons behind the decline of armed conflict? And will the decline of armed conflict continue?
  • What do we know about the nature and patterns of armed conflict?
  • Should the definitions of armed conflict be adjusted?
  • How does the Arab Spring fit into the paradigm of declining conflict?
  • What role did and should the international community play in mitigating armed conflict?

Welcome: Dr. Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, Executive Director, SIPRI North America


  • Dr. Sissela Bok, Board Member, SIPRI North America and Senior Visiting Fellow, Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies (Moderator)
  • Dr. Joshua S. Goldstein, Professor at the School of International Service, American University
  • Dr. Peter Wallensteen, Dag Hammarskjöld Professor of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala Universit

*Light lunch and refreshments will be provided

If you have any questions, please contact Masha Keller at

3. Thinking the Unthinkable: Potential Implications of Oil Disruption in Saudi Arabia,  Heritage Foundation, noon-1:30 pm May 8

If an “Arab Spring” uprising completely disrupted Saudi oil production, the U.S. and the global economy would face a massive economic and strategic crisis. Russia and Iran as oil-producing states would likely exploit the crisis to increase their power around the world while undermining U.S. influence, especially in the Middle East. A crisis in Saudi Arabia would have drastic implications for the United States, its economy, and the whole world.

The U.S. must plan ahead and develop pro-active, multi-layered preventive and responsive strategies to deal with political threats to the security of oil supply. These would combine intelligence, military, and diplomatic tools as well as outline domestic steps the United States should take in such a crisis. Please join our distinguished panel of experts as they discuss strategic threats to oil supply; policy options available to the United States and to the oil consuming and producing states; and examine lessons learned from other Heritage Foundation energy crisis simulation exercises.

More About the Speakers

Ariel Cohen , Ph.D.
Senior Research Fellow, The Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies, The Heritage Foundation

Bruce Everett, Ph.D.
Adjunct Associate Professor of International Business, The Fletcher School, Tufts University

Simon Henderson
Baker Fellow and Director, Gulf and Energy Policy Program, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Hosted By

David W. Kreutzer, Ph.D. David W. Kreutzer, Ph.D.Research Fellow in Energy Economics and Climate Change Read More

4.  The Consequences of Syria for Minorities in the Levant, Middle East Institute, noon-1 pm May 9



1761 N Street, NW

The Middle East Institute is proud to host journalist and author Jonathan C. Randal for a discussion about the impact of the conflict in Syria on neighboring Lebanon and its complicated religious and ethnic make-up.  A tired joke among Lebanese asks why their much-battered country has been spared most of the turmoil that has attended the Arab Spring and its often violent  ramifications elsewhere in the Middle East. The jest’s cynical answer: because Lebanon is automatically seeded for the finals.  Such gallows humor reflects fears Lebanon will end up footing the bill whether the Alawite regime prevails in Damascus or succumbs to the largely Sunni Syrian opposition. Once again, the region’s minorities feel threatened by outsiders’ geostrategic considerations pitting Iran and its Syrian and Hezbollah allies against the United States. Europe, and the Gulf monarchies. Will the Syria conflict, like so many earlier Middle East conflicts, end up undermining, the role and status of the Levant’s Christian and other minority communities? Randal will draw from his many decades covering Lebanon for the Washington Post and from his book about Lebanon’s civil war, Going All the Way: Christian Warlords, Israeli Adventurers and the War in Lebanon (1983, Viking Press) which has been reissued by Just World Books with an all-new preface as The Tragedy of Lebanon: Christian Warlords, Israeli Adventurers and American Bunglers.

 Bio: Jonathan C. Randal  began his long and distinguished career in journalism in Paris in 1957 as a stringer for United Press and Agence France-Presse.  He spent the next 40 plus years working as foreign correspondent for the Paris Herald, TIME,  The New York Times and for the Washington Post (from 1969 through 1998), where as senior foreign correspondent he reported from numerous war zones and covered conflict in sub-Saharan Africa,  Indochina, Eastern Europe  and the Middle East, including in Iran and Lebanon. He is the author of Going All the Way: Christian Warlords, Israeli Adventurers and the War in Lebanon (1983); After Such Knowledge, What Forgiveness? My Encounters With Kurdistan (1997); and Osama, The Making of a Terrorist (2004).
5. Iraq: Caught Between Dictatorship and Civil War, IISS, 2-3 pm May 9
© AFP/Getty Images

Speaker: Toby Dodge, Consulting Senior Fellow for the Middle East, IISS

Venue: IISS-US, 2121 K Street NW, Suite 801, Washington, DC        20037

Dr Dodge will discuss the future of Iraqi politics.

Dr Toby Dodge is Consulting Senior Fellow for the Middle East at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He is also a Reader in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Dr Dodge has carried out extensive research in Iraq both before and after regime change, and has advised senior government officials on Iraq. He holds a PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

This meeting will be moderated by Andrew Parasiliti, Executive Director, IISS-US and Corresponding Director, IISS-Middle East.

IISS-US events are for IISS members and direct invitees only. For more information, please contact or (202) 659-1490.

6. Will Democratic Governance Take Hold in the Middle East? IRI, 3-5 pm May 10

As democratic transitions continue in the Arab world, it is important to draw on the lessons in democratic governance from other countries in the region.  In Iraq, an increasingly accountable government has emerged in recent years, while Jordan’s mayors and municipalities have become more accountable to citizens but lack the financial and administrative independence from the government to advance true accountability and transparency.  The International Republican Institute (IRI) will host a discussion on the successes and challenges facing these countries and others, as well as implications of these efforts for the future of the Arab Spring.
For perspectives on the challenges and opportunities affecting the implementation of democratic governance in the Middle East, you are invited to attend IRI’s Democratic Governance Speakers Series, featuring a conversation with:
Marwan Muasher, Vice President for Studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and former senior official in the Jordanian government, who will address the state of democratic governance in the region;
Michele Dunne, Director of the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, who will discuss the current political situation and the lessons to be learned from the democratic transitions taking place; and
Khaled Huneifat, former mayor of Tafileh, Jordan, who will speak to the Jordanian experience in democratic governance.
Olin L. Wethington, Founder and Chairman of Wethington LLC and member of the Board of Directors of IRI will moderate the discussion.
7.  Peacebuilding 2.0: Managing Complexity and Working Across Silos, USIP, 9-12:15 May 11Peace as a concept is nearly universal in its appeal. Yet, despite the resources dedicated to its pursuit, stable peace remains elusive. There are complex and uncontrollable reasons for violent conflict, but the very system in which we operate contributes to the failure of reaching sustainable peace. Complex conflicts require solutions that are holistic, non-linear, and cumulative, rather than individual and disconnected. Peace is not possible if we continue to operate in a series of uncoordinated interventions.Instead, a systematic approach to peace requires the intentional linking of peacebuilding programs with efforts in democracy-building, human rights, health, education, development, and private sector initiatives. A wide range of actors, from development specialists to educators to national security experts, is increasingly aware of the need to build more holistic, non-linear, and synergistic, whole-of-community approaches, and is seeking to connect the silos.Please join us for a morning of discussions ranging from managing conflict in complex environments to lessons learned from USIP-funded projects. These special sessions, hosted at the United States Institute of Peace, are part of the 2012 Alliance for Peacebuilding’s Annual Conference and are free and open to the public. The Annual Conference will focus on new models for peacebuilding that works across disciplines in chaotic, fragile environments.


9:00 am | Identifying the Hallmarks of 21st Century Conflict and How to Manage Conflict in Complex, Chaotic, and Fragile Environments

  • Ambassador Rick Barton, Keynote Address
    Assistant Secretary of State for Conflict and Stabilization Operations
  • Robert Ricigliano, Introduction
    Board Chair, Alliance for Peacebuilding
  • Richard Solomon
    President, U.S. Institute of Peace
  • Melanie Greenberg
    President and CEO, Alliance for Peacebuilding
  • Pamela Aall
    Provost, Academy for International Conflict Management and Peacebuilding, U.S. Institute of Peace

10:00 am | Results of the USIP-funded Peacebuilding Mapping Project

  • Elena McCollim
    Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, University of San Diego
  • Necla Tschirgi
    Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, University of San Diego
  • Jeffrey Helsing, Discussant
    Dean of Curriculum, Academy for International Conflict Management and Peacebuilding, U.S. Institute of Peace

11:20 am | How Other Fields Manage Complexity — And What Peacebuilding Can Learn From Them

  • Bernard Amadei
    Founder, Engineers without Borders
  • Simon Twigger
    Department of Physiology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Daniel Chiu
    Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Office of the Secretary of Defense
  • Timothy Ehlinger
    Department of Biology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Sheldon Himelfarb, Moderator
    Director, Center of Innovation: Science, Technology and Peacebuilding,
    U.S. Institute of Peace
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