2023 Annual Policy Conference Program

Preventing and Stopping Violence: Effective Actions to Curtail Conflict

Tuesday, Sept. 26 Virtual & In-person, Rm 4007, FSS, University of Ottawa, Ottawa

10:00 EDT       Welcome & Introduction by Roy Culpeper, Chair

10:30              A Peaceful World by 2030

Paul Rogers, Emeritus Professor of Peace Studies, Bradford University, UK

Moderated by Roy Culpeper, Chair G78

With global marginalisation, increasing military spending, and, above all, the accelerating impact of climate breakdown, the coming years have to involve a fundamental change in our thinking on security.   We need to put far greater emphasis on human and common security instead of excessive reliance on state-centred approaches which put too much emphasis on military approaches.   We need to move to a fairer and sustainable world through environmental and economic reform. This can either be forced on us by an unstable and deeply troubled global environment or we can recognise the urgency of the change needed and be well on our way to a more peaceful world by 2030.

12:00              Lunch

13:00              Charting a Path to Peace in the Midst of Escalating War & Militarisation

Kai Brand-Jacobsen, President & Director of the Department of Peace Operations of PATRIR, Romania

Moderated by Ruby Dagher, Chair of the Peace and Security Working Group, G78

The number of wars in the world has roughly doubled over the course of the last 10 years. Military budgets globally are growing. The number of military bases and operationally deployed nuclear weapons has escalated significantly. While an incredible breadth of experience in peacebuilding, preventing violence, and addressing conflicts effectively has developed over the past 30 years, today we see governments cutting back on funding and support to peacebuilding and effective approaches and strategies to dealing with conflicts, and instead escalating armed interventions and war. In this talk, Kai Brand-Jacobsen will draw upon more than 25 years’ experience working on the ground in mediation and peace processes and engaging with governments, the United Nations, and organizations around the world, to map out both the scale of the challenges that face us, and a realistic road map and practical actions for how we can move from war and worsening tensions and confrontations, to evidence-based and effective approaches to dealing with conflicts, preventing violence, and building just and sustainable peace.

14:30              Break

15:00              Science and Secrets of Ending Violent Crime

Irvin Waller, Professor, Criminology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ottawa; Author.

Moderated by Evelyn Voigt

Violent crime tragically ruins lives and communities, yet we know how to stop it and help victims. Governments agree on how to get results at the United Nations but do not act locally. The book, Science and Secrets of Ending Violent Crime is the result of a lifetime career working to get violence prevention science applied and frustration with too many preventable tragedies. Irvin Waller explains the proven solutions that tackle the causes of violence and ways to persuade politicians to buy in to invest in the appropriate solutions. Investing in effective violence prevention is more affordable and successful than policymakers think; a modest equivalent of 10 percent of what they spend on police, courts, and corrections will do it and often before the next election! Violence prevention is achievable because voters, contrary to what the media tells us, want much more than reaction, they want prevention.

Wednesday, Sept. 27 Virtual/online

10:30              Northern Ireland – A Successful Peace Story

Sean Byrne, Professor, Peace & Conflict Studies, University of Manitoba

John McGarry, Professor, Political Studies; Canada Research Chair in Nationalism & Democracy, Queen’s University

Moderated by Jill Carr-Harris

Northern Ireland represented one of the world’s most protracted zones of conflict.  Nonetheless, the protagonists were able, with the help of many others, to find a path to end the systematic violence and to begin building measures to prevent its re-emergence.  Yet the conflict continues to drive a wedge between both communities.  Why is this the case? This panel will analyse the peace process and extract lessons that could be beneficial to other conflicts.

13:00              Columbia: Successes in a Challenging Environment

Cesar Jaramillo, Moderator / Discussant – Executive Director, Project Ploughshares

Profesor Dr. Luis Bernardo Díaz Gamboa – Professor, Universidad Pedagógica y Tecnológica de Colombia (UPTC)

Hon. Senator Sandra Ramírez Lobo Silva – Elected to the Senate of Colombia for the Commons party in 2018: former combatant in the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)

Dr. Alicia Cabezudo – Professor Emeritus at the School of Education UNR – Universidad National de Rosario and the UNESCO Chair on Culture of Peace and Human Rights of the National University of Buenos Aires (To be Confirmed)

“Colombia is forging ahead in its total peace policy, rooted in its implementation of the Final Agreement with the former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army  (FARC-EP), despite facing multiple challenges, the Special Representative for the country told the Security Council today.” (https://press.un.org/en/2023/sc15255.doc.htm).

Guests will discuss both the challenges to achieving “Total Peace” in Colombia and what is being proposed in the struggle to implement the multidimensional package of initiatives promoted by the President and Vice President of Colombia.  Part of this “package” is to create a Ministry of Peace as an integral component of the government.

15:00              Addressing the Roots of Conflict in Africa

Isaac Asume Osuoka, Fellow in Residence, Global and International Studies, Carleton University

Lina Aburas-Awadalla, Doctoral Candidate, International Development & Global Studies, University of Ottawa

Moderated by Ruby Dagher, Chair Peace and Security Working Group, G78

Conflict in the Sahel region emerges from the legacies of colonialism, international development malpractices, and the devastating impact of climate change. The panel will address how civic intervention can help by strengthening popular participation and local government accountability to meet the challenges of mass displacement and climate adaptation.

Thursday, Sept. 28 Virtual/online

10:30              The Faith Factor: Positive Intervention or Perilous Intrusion

Audrey Kitagawa, President/Founder of the International Academy for Multicultural Cooperation

Rabbi Kliel Rose, Congregation Etz Chayim, Winnipeg

Dr. Peter Petkoff, Director of Religion, Law and International Relations Programme, Regents Park College, Oxford and Brunel Law School, UK

Edward Channer, Conflict and Social Cohesion Advisor, Islamic Relief Worldwide, UK 

Moderated by Rev. Dr. Karen Hamilton, CCC

It is the rare conflict in which religion plays no role, explicit or implicit. From the barrios of Latin America, across East Asia, woven into the fabric of West Asia; from the Horn to the Cape in Africa, from Puna to the Punjab, some iteration of religion is inevitably implicated. Europe’s wars have all too often proved to be religious wars. To “Guns, Germs, and Steel” might be added, God.  Yet regardless of the expressed dreams of some secular utopian visionaries, religion persists.

From world religions and spiritualities spring global ethics, philosophies of human rights, and the rudiments of an empathic civilization. More than 80% of the Earth’s people profess a faith. This multifaith and multinational panel will probe religion’s possible role(s) in peacebuilding and the resolution of conflict, as well as religion’s fractious and destabilizing history of sowing discord.

13:00              Beyond Fragile Ground: New Peacebuilding Architectures for Today and the Future: Findings from PeaceCon2023

Jessica BaumgardnerZuzik Deputy Executive Director, Alliance for Peacebuilding.

Liz Hume, Executive Director, Alliance for Peacebuilding

Megan Corrado, Director – Policy & Advocacy, Alliance for Peacebuilding

Moderated by Sylvie Lemieux, Co-Chair CNANW

The Alliance for Peacebuilding (AfP) held their major annual conference, PeaceCon2023: Beyond Fragile Ground: New Peacebuilding Architectures for Today and the Future May 3-5, 2023. The conference had more than 100 presentations across a broad spectrum of topics – from research, policy & advocacy, tech for peace, and peacebuilding narratives, to interreligious peacebuilding, and so much more. PeaceCon 2023 convened at a time of extraordinary global turbulence. The number of compounding crises facing the field is unprecedented. To move forward in the face of such complexity and uncertainty, the peacebuilding field and its partners must ensure that recent wins are robustly resourced and implemented and provide a firm foundation on which to build more effective, sustainable solutions to increasing fragility and conflict. But will this be enough? Unprecedented times often call for unprecedented measures. How the field evolves to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow will determine future success. Jessica Baumgardner-Zuzik and colleagues will provide a summary of some of the findings that emerged from this conference that shed light on effective strategies and actions that will prevent and curtail violent conflict.

15:00              Health and Peacebuilding: Lessons from the Field

Moderator and Speaker, Neil Arya, Medical Doctor, Scholar in Residence, Faculty of Science, University of Waterloo

Barry Levy, physician, epidemiologist, Adjunct Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine

Kaveh Khoshnood, Associate Professor, Yale School of Public Health

Friederike Bubenzer, Peacebuilding Consultant

Peace and health perspectives and work can complement each other. By examining concepts, competencies, determinants, indicators, and real-world examples of the interrelationships and interlinkages between peace/war/violence and health/disease/illness, the panel will examine the critical analysis of integrated peace and health paradigms and delve into the effects of conflict on health and the practice of healthcare; and subsequently the use of health-based concepts and practice to transform conflict.

Friday, Sept. 29 Virtual/online

10:30              The Future of UN Peacebuilding – a New Vision: Preventing and Fighting Fires

Bob Berg, Distinguished Fellow, Stimson Centre

Richard Ponzio, Director, Global Governance, Justice & Security, Stimson Centre

Moderated by Sylvie Lemieux, Co-Chair CNANW

The world has become less peaceful, challenging the adequacy of the whole peacebuilding system. The presenters offer proposals to enhance the effectiveness of peacebuilding, peacekeeping, and conflict prevention. They propose an ambitious proposal for an International Fund for Peacebuilding to support long-term institution and capacity-building to enable countries and their peoples to manage emerging threats to their peace. 

13:00              Peace Professionalism: The Time Has Come

Dr. Philip Onguny, Associate Professor of Conflict Studies, Saint Paul University in Ottawa

Dr. Nathan Funk, Associate Professor of Conflict Studies, Saint Paul University in Ottawa

Evelyn Voigt, Board Director, Civilian Peace Service Canada.

Kai Brand-Jacobsen, (Discussant) President & Director of the Department of Peace Operations of PATRIR, Romania

Moderated by Adrian Harewood, Associate Professor, School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University

Peace practitioners are often seen as well-meaning amateurs, idealistic, and marginally effective.  They do not have a seat at decision-making tables.  This must change. Effective conflict prevention and resolution require peace professionals with appropriate knowledge, values, and competencies to be in decision-making positions globally.  Seasoned peace practitioners will highlight examples of successful peace strategies and practices.  In addition, the key elements of a SSHRC-funded Peace Professionalism project will be discussed.

Monday, Oct. 2 Virtual/online  

13:00              Conference Conclusions & Recommendations

An opportunity for participants to propose and comment on key messages and recommendations emerging from the conference presentations and discussions.  The final key messages and recommendations will be the centerpiece of the conference report and will be the basis for future advocacy work on this theme by the Group of 78.

14:30              Conference Close