On the 20th anniversary year of the Good Friday Agreement, The University of Chicago and Queen's University Belfast bring together international leaders to discuss experiences of violent conflict and strategies for peace building.
The University of Chicago and Queen's University Belfast have announced that Bertie Ahern, Former Taoiseach, Republic of Ireland and Lord David Trimble, PC, Former First Minister, Northern Ireland will join as conference panelists at Global Conflict | The Human Impact in Belfast, Northern Ireland on Thursday, August 23 and Friday, August 24.
Global Conflict | The Human Impact – convened by The Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts at The University of Chicago and the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice at Queen's University Belfast – aims to promote the ongoing discussion, understanding and resolution of global conflicts, while contributing to the advancement of a global society more at peace.
As two leading voices in Northern Ireland's peace building, Mr Ahern and Lord Trimble will offer Global Conflict | The Human Impact firsthand accounts and distinctive perspectives of the Good Friday Agreement and the lessons learned in the two decades since. In Mr Ahern's first term as Taoiseach, he played a vital role in successfully negotiating the peace agreement and establishing a framework for power-sharing in Northern Ireland after 30 years of violence. These negotiations, however, wouldn't have been possible without the involvement of Lord Trimble, who soon after his election as head of the Ulster Unionist Party, agreed to take part in the "all-party" peace talks and demonstrated willingness to work towards lasting peace.
In addition to Mr Ahern and Lord Trimble, it was announced that the two-day conference will include the presentation of two special video messages. The first video message will be given by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, who has served in that position since January 2017. A second video message will be delivered by Hazim Avdal, an Iraqi refugee whose undergraduate education at The University of Chicago is being sponsored by the Clooney Foundation for Justice, helmed by George and Amal Clooney. Mr Avdal's story was featured earlier this year on David Letterman's popular Netflix series, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. The Most Reverend Noel Treanor, Bishop, Down and Connor, Ireland will also join as a speaker. Mr Ahern, Mr Trimble and Bishop Treanor join other international leaders such as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, former US Senator George J. Mitchell, former US Assistant Secretary of State Anne C Richard and CEO of Concern Worldwide Dominic MacSorley, all of whom were first announced in June 2018.
The conference agenda incorporates the academic strength and excellence of two leading institutions while bringing together scholars, leaders and practitioners to address the human cost of violent conflict by identifying important lessons for conflict resolution through academic research and experience. Confirmed participants for Global Conflict | The Human Impact include:
Bertie Ahern, Former Taoiseach, Republic of Ireland (1997–2008)
Muzoon Almellehan, Goodwill Ambassador, UNICEF
Dr Jeannie Annan, Senior Research Associate, The Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts, The University of Chicago
Senior Director for Research and Evaluation, the International Rescue Committee
Father Gary Donegan, Director, Peace and Reconciliation, the Passionist Order
Talks Chair, North Belfast Community Resolution Panel
David Donoghue, Former Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations
Lyse Doucet, Chief International Correspondent, BBC
Professor Richard English, Distinguished Professorial Fellow, the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice, Queen's University Belfast
Pro-Vice Chancellor, Queen's University Belfast
Author, Armed Struggle: The History of the IRA
Reverend Harold Good, Recipient, World Methodist Peace Award (2007)
Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, The UN Refugee Agency
Sergio Jaramillo Caro, Former High Commissioner of Peace, Colombia (2012–2016)
Dominic MacSorley, Chief Executive Officer, Concern Worldwide
Monica McWilliams, Co-Founder, Northern Ireland Women's Coalition
Chief Commissioner, Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (2005–2010)
Emeritus Professor, Transitional Justice Institute, Ulster University
Senator George J. Mitchell, Inaugural United States Special Envoy for Northern Ireland (1995–1998)
Independent Chairman, Northern Ireland Peace Talks
United States Special Envoy to the Middle East (2009–2011)
Dr Fiona Murphy, Research Fellow, the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice, Queen's University Belfast
Honorable Anne C Richard, Former US Assistant Secretary of State, Population, Refugees & Migration (2012–2017)
Former Vice President of Government Relations and Advocacy, International Rescue Committee (2004–2012)
Professor James Robinson, Institute Director, The Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts, The University of Chicago
The Reverend Dr Richard L Pearson, Professor of Global Conflict Studies and University Professor, The University of Chicago
Co-author, Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty
Maria Teresa Ronderos, Director, Open Society Program on Independent Journalism
Sanj Srikanthan, Acting Senior Vice President and Executive Director for Europe, the International Rescue Committee
The Most Reverend Noel Treanor, Bishop, Down and Connor, Ireland
Lord David Trimble, PC, Former First Minister, Northern Ireland (1998–2002)
Former Leader, the Ulster Unionist Party (1995–2005)
For more information regarding Global Conflict | The Human Impact or if interested in attending the conference, please visit www.globalconflict2018.org. Limited seating is available to the public.
For more information about The University of Chicago and The Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts please visit: thepearsoninstitute.org. Additional information regarding Queen's University Belfast and the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice can be found here: https://www.qub.ac.uk/
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