Development & Alumni Relations Office 



GLOBAL CONFLICT | THE HUMAN IMPACT CONFERENCE CONCLUDES  

27 August 2018

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, hosted Global Conflict | The Human Impact conference at Queen’s (23-24 August).

Led by James Robinson, Institute Director, The Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts and Richard English, Distinguished Professorial Fellow, the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice at Queen's, the conference brought together an extensive and diverse panel of local and international speakers.

"As all nations grapple with the daunting challenges and the human toll of the greatest refugee crisis since World War II, the lessons learned from the Good Friday Agreement 20 years ago, and now Colombia in recent years, are profoundly relevant," said Professor English.

"We are proud to have partnered with the University of Chicago to bring this panel of remarkable speakers together in important conversation."

Coming exactly two decades after the Good Friday Agreement, and timed to coincide with the Papal visit to Ireland, the two-day conference at Queen’s offered an important opportunity to consider strategies for resolving violent conflict and reducing its catastrophic impact on people around the globe.

It was also an occasion to assess the lessons learned from the Northern Ireland peace agreement and the recent end of Colombia's 50-year war with the FARC as well as the daunting challenges and human toll of the world's current global refugee crisis; the largest population of displaced people since World War II.

The academic agenda drew upon the experiences of 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 Dominic MacSorley, CEO of Concern Worldwide. 

Gathering at Queen's, leading voices from around the world engaged in robust debate and discussed strategies that focused on reducing the prevalence of violent conflict and its tragic impact on people, especially families. Key content areas and panel discussions included:    

  • Northern Ireland: How peace was built
  • Colombia: The path to peace
  • Policy responses to the current global refugee crisis
  • Impact of the refugee crisis on individuals and families

Panel discussions highlighted evidenced-based research on various conflicts as well as first-person narrative accounts, and explored conflicts and humanitarian issues through the eyes of global leaders who are working on-the-ground to address these challenges.

 

The Conference was marked by insightful and thought-provoking keynote addresses from former US Senator George J. Mitchell, Sergio Jaramillo Caro, former High Commissioner of Peace in Colombia, and Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

 

"We strive to forge innovative approaches to understanding and resolving global conflicts, while learning from leaders who have achieved peace breakthroughs on the ground," said Daniel Diermeier, Provost of the University of Chicago.

 

"We will build upon the robust dialogue of Global Conflict | The Human Impact to further address today's most pressing humanitarian crises while exploring how research can better inform policy."

 

Other Conference participants included:

 

  • Bertie Ahern, Former Taoiseach, Republic of Ireland (1997-2008)
  • Muzoon Almellehan, Syrian Refugee, Goodwill Ambassador, UNICEF
  • 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
  • Professor Peter B. Finn, KSG, Principal, St. Mary's University College Belfast
  • Reverend Dr Harold Good, Recipient, World Methodist Peace Award (2007)
  • Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, The UN Refugee Agency
  • Professor Ian Greer, Vice-Chancellor, Queen's University Belfast
  • António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General
  • 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)
  • Professor James Robinson, Institute Director, The Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts, The University of Chicago
  • Yvette Shapiro, Journalist
  • Lord David Trimble, PC, Former First Minister, Northern Ireland (1998-2002)
  • President Robert J. Zimmer, President, The University of Chicago

 

For media enquiries regarding the Global Conflict | The Human Impact conference, please contact MediaInquiries@briancom.com

 

Caption: (L-R) Bertie Ahern, Father Gary Donegan, Reverend Dr Harold Good, Professor Monica McWilliams and Lord David Trimble.

 

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