Peace Picks March 24 – 28

Very late (we usually publish by Sunday), and entirely my fault:

1. Iran Through a European Lens

Monday, March 24 | 10am

Atlantic Council, 12th Floor (West Tower); 1030 15th Street, NW


The Atlantic Council’s Iran Task Force invites you to a conversation with Marietje Schaake, member of the European Parliament and expert on Internet freedom, human rights, and Iran. Schaake recently visited Iran with a European Parliament delegation to address critical issues including the nuclear program and human rights concerns. Schaake will share insights from her visit and provide a European perspective on diplomacy with Iran.


2. Obama’s Trip to Reassure Riyadh: Mission Impossible?

Monday, March 24 | 12pm – 1pm

5th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center; 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW


President Obama’s mission in visiting Saudi Arabia at the end of March is to reassure King Abdullah of America’s commitment to the Saudi kingdom. But with so many uncertainties in ongoing U.S. negotiations with Iran, Israel, and the Palestinians and serious differences between the two over the civil wars in Syria and Iraq, the question is will President Obama succeed?

David Ottaway, Senior Scholar
Middle East Specialist and Former Washington Post Correspondent

The event will be webcast here


3. The Revolution will not be Tweeted: Attacks to Social Media and the Internet in Venezuela, Ecuador and Argentina

Tuesday, March 25| 11:30am – 1pm

Freedom House, 4th Floor; 1301 Connecticut Avenue NW


From Twitter shutdowns to account hackings, Venezuela’s government has sought to stop news about massive protests and ongoing repression from going viral in one of Latin America’s most wired societies. In Ecuador, President Correa has taken his attacks against journalists online, ratcheting up harassment against bloggers seeking to expose corruption. In Argentina and elsewhere, internet service providers struggle to maintain autonomy from governments that seek to impose greater regulations. Please join Freedom House to discuss a growing wave of internet restrictions in Latin America and identify solutions to protect online freedoms and freedom of expression in the region. The discussion will be in Spanish with simultaneous translation.

Carlos Correa, Executive Director, Espacio Público, Venezuela

Mauricio Alarcón, Project Director, Fundamedios

Hernán Verdaguer, Director of Regulatory Affairs, Grupo Clarín

Moderated by
Daniel Calingaert, Executive Vice President, Freedom House


4. Turkey’s Election Year

Tuesday, March 25 | 12pm – 1:30pm

The SETA Foundation; Suite 1106, 1025 Connecticut Ave NW


Turkey is entering an election cycle with three upcoming races. Municipal elections on March 30th and the presidential election in August will be followed by parliamentary elections in 2015. The outcome of the local elections at the end of this month may not bring much surprise, but it will determine the ruling AK Party’s presidential candidate. As the country went through a tense year in 2013 with critical developments due to the Kurdish peace process, Gezi Park events and the AK Party-Gulen split, Turkey’s upcoming elections will have far-reaching consequences for the political future of the country.

Ambassador James F. Jeffrey, Philip Solondz Distinguished Fellow, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Erol Cebeci, Executive Director, SETA Foundation at Washington, DC

Moderated by
Kadir Ustun, Research Director, SETA Foundation at Washington, DC


5. India Decides 2014: Assessing the Elections and Beyond

Tuesday, March 25 | 2:30pm – 5pm

Carnegie Endowment, 1779 Massachusetts Ave. NW


The forthcoming Indian general election, scheduled to begin in mid-April, will be arguably the country’s most critical vote since 1977. An electorate of nearly 815 million heads to the polls in the midst of a stagnant economy, a rapidly changing regional security environment, increasing urbanization and a burgeoning youth population. The precise character and makeup of India’s next governing coalition will play a critical role in determining India’s future trajectory on all of these fronts.

The Carnegie South Asia Program will host a discussion of the key themes surrounding India’s 2014 election and its aftermath. Results from a unique recent survey of voter attitudes will also be presented at the event.

Milan Vaishnav is an associate in the South Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he coordinates Carnegie’s India Decides 2014 initiative.

George Perkovich is vice president for studies and director of the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Ravi Agrawal will start as CNN International’s New Delhi Bureau Chief on April 1, 2014.

Devesh Kapur is director of the Center for Advanced Study of India at the University of Pennsylvania and nonresident fellow at the Center for Global Development.

Rajiv Lall is the founder of Lok Foundation and executive chairman of Infrastructure Development Finance Company Ltd.

Arvind Subramanian is the Dennis Weatherstone senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and senior fellow at the Center for Global Development.

Ashley J. Tellis is a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace specializing in international security, defense, and Asian strategic issues.


6. The Future of the Justice System in Guatemala: Risks for Defending Human Rights

Tuesday, March 25 | 4pm

Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL); Suite 401, 1630 Connecticut Ave., NW

The Guatemalan Human Rights Convergence, the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), The Guatemalan Human Rights Commission (GHRC), the Due Process and Law Foundation (DPLF), and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)

Francisco Soto, Center for Legal Action on Human Rights

Iduvina Hernández, Security in Democracy

Jorge Santos, International Center for Human Rights Investigations

Édgar Pérez, Human Rights Law Firm


7. Transatlantic Solutions to Government Surveillance

Tuesday, March 25 | 12:15 – 1:45pm

New America Foundation, 1899 L Street NW Suite 400


Last year, revelations about the National Security Agency’s digital surveillance created a breach of trust between the United States and close international allies. European citizens, in Germany in particular, remain concerned about the state and scope of both NSA activity as well as the online spying activity of their own governments.

An individual’s right to privacy is now outside the power of a single nation state to protect. As the globalization of communications continues, increased international coordination between governments is needed in order for trust to be restored and individuals to feel secure online. What is the path forward?

Join this event co-sponsored by New America’s Open Technology Institute and the Heinrich Boell Foundation as we seek to start the discussion, “how do we modernize international privacy policy to account for the power of digital surveillance?”

The event will feature European elected officials and political leaders who are working to improve privacy laws, both in Germany and the E.U.  They will provide updates on their work as well as share thoughts on how transatlantic dialogue could be structured and what international solutions to the problem of government surveillance could look like.

Konstantin von Notz, Member of German Parliament

Jan Philipp Albrecht, Member of European Parliament

Malte Spitz, Member of the Federal Party Council of the German Green Party

Moderated by
Kevin Bankston, Policy Director; New America’s Open Technology Institute

The event will be webcast here


8. Iran, the Next Five Years: Change or More of the Same?

Wednesday, March 26 | 9am – 11am

5th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center; 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW


Bernard Hourcade
, Global Fellow
Senior Research Fellow Emeritus, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris, France

Bijan Khajehpour
Managing Partner, Atieh International

Roberto Toscano
Former Public Policy Scholar, Wilson Center; President, Intercultura Foundation; Former Italian Ambassador to India, 2008-2010; Former Italian Ambassador to Iran, 2003-2008

Robin Wright, USIP-Wilson Center Distinguished Scholar
Journalist and Author/Editor of eight books, most recently editor of “The Islamists Are Coming: Who They Really Are”

Shaul Bakhash
Clarence J. Robinson Professor of History, George Mason University


9. Assessing Libya’s Transition

Wednesday, March 26 | 12pm – 1:30pm

Carnegie Endowment, 1779 Massachusetts Ave NW


Three years after the start of the uprisings that led to the ousting of leader Muammar el-Qaddafi, Libyan efforts to build a stable, cohesive, democratic state have faced repeated setbacks.

At this challenging moment in the country’s transition, MEI is pleased to host experts David Mack (The Middle East Institute), Karim Mezran (Atlantic Council) and Fred Wehrey (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace) for a discussion on Libya. They’ll be addressing the political and security conditions in Libya, steps needed to address the political chaos and divisions afflicting the country, and what more the international community can do to support Libya’s troubled reform process. Charles Dunne (Freedom House) will moderate the discussion. 

A light lunch will be served at this event. Please also note that this event is located at the Carnegie Endowment building, not MEI.


10. China Reality Check Series: China’s Human Rights Diplomacy

Friday, March 28 | 10:30am – 12pm

Center for Strategic and International Studies, Second Floor Conference Room; 1616 Rhode Island Avenue, NW


International reaction to the suppression of student and worker protests in the spring of 1989 compelled China to defend its human rights record. After initially rejecting criticism and even discussion of its record, China adopted a more nuanced approach to ward off the threat of economic sanctions, in particular the removal of its Most Favored Nation status in the United States. The approach included a more robust involvement with the United Nations Human Rights Council, engaging Western critics in bilateral human rights dialogues and consultations, and releasing large numbers of prisoners jailed for their involvement in the 1989 protests and earlier Democracy Wall activities. John Kamm, who has been involved in the release of hundreds of prisoners over a period of nearly 25 years, examines the course of China’s human rights diplomacy, and assesses its future direction in a world where China is now an economic and political superpower.

John Kamm
Founder, The Dui Hua Foundation

Moderated by
Christopher Johnson
Senior Advisor and Freeman Chair in China Studies, Center for Strategic and International Studies


11. A History of the Iraqi Crisis: France, the United States, and Iraq, 1991-2003

Friday, March 28 | 2pm – 4pm

6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center; 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW


Please join us at the Wilson Center for a discussion on Frédéric Bozo’s new book, A History of the Iraqi Crisis: France, the United States, and Iraq, 1991-2003 (Historie secrète de la crise irakienne: La France, leq Etats-Unis et l’Irak 1991-2003)

In March 2003, the United States and Great Britain invaded Iraq to put an end to the regime of Saddam Hussein, their bête noire since the 1991 Gulf War. The war was launched without a UN mandate and based on the erroneous claim that Iraq retained WMD, following a diplomatic crisis that peaked in the weeks leading up to it. France, under President Jacques Chirac and Foreign minister Dominique de Villepin, spectacularly opposed the U.S. and the UK, leading a global coalition against the war that also included Germany and Russia.

Based on exclusive French archival sources and numerous interviews with former officials in both countries, Frédéric Bozo retraces the history of the international crisis that culminated in the 2003 Iraqi conflict. His book shows how and why the Iraqi crisis led to a confrontation between the two oldest allies of the West of an intensity unprecedented since the time of General de Gaulle, and to deep divisions within Europe, the Atlantic Alliance, and the international community as a whole. The Franco-American narrative provides a unique prism through which the U.S. road to war can be better understood.

The presentation will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Samuel Wells and John Prados.

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