Thursday, July 14, 2016

Just Governance for Human Security Day Two Report

 

The second day of Just Governance for Human Security conference gave participants the opportunity to begin their day with an early morning reflection. This space is provided every morning for those who wish to carve out a time in their schedule to reflect, process, get inspired.

Prior to the morning plenary, one of the Caux scholars, an academic programme for young people run by Caux-Initiatives of Change Foundation, told their story to those in the house at ‘The Human Factor.’ This time was set aside to hear from a young man sharing his story of his family fleeing from Burundi, becoming a refugee at the age of one. As a child, he was recruited to become a child soldier, before seeking asylum in the USA with his family. This story set the tone of the rest of the day as participants entered into deep, honest conversation with one another.

 

 

Plenary: The Challenge of Migration

Matthias Stieffel, founder of Interpeace based in Geneva chaired the conference’s opening plenary on The Challenge of Migration. Whilst moderating, he shared on the need for a shift in civil society’s focus towards the root causes of migration suggesting that, “crises might also be opportunities and there are several practical ways to act on these opportunities.”

David Chikvaidze, the Chef de Cabinet of the Director General, at the UN Office at Geneva, (originally from Georgia) pointed out that we all see what the problems are and how they are or are not adequately addressed. He encouraged us to put these problems into context, suggesting that migration is actually just a normal process. The problems that we face today are to a great extent because “superpowers are trying to score points on each other,” rather than working together.

Amal al-Jabouri, an Iraqi activist and Human Rights lawyer and Founder of Arab Human Rights Academy discussed the reality that humanity might not find solutions today but we can raise some issues. She mentioned that “civil society has neither weapons nor money but it does have a voice and it is raising it against extremism.” She closed by touching on the failure of good governance in Iraq and the Middle East.

Daphrose Ntarataze Barampama, President, Creators of Peace International, originally from Burundi, currently living in Switzerland explained the use of women’s peace circles used in conflict and post-conflict societies, providing a space to talk, to listen, to identify problems, and find solutions. When sharing her perspective on the challenge of migration, she advised on the reality of human security stating, “there is no peace without bread, no bread without peace – and no development without both.”

Noemi Mena, a media researcher in migration, from Spain emphasized the importance of listening to the silent voices. She opened by stating, “Europe is panicking about this refugee crisis, but is this crisis really in Europe?” She challenged the participants on why Europe only started talking about this when it arrived on their doorstep.” There is a need to also discuss the millions of internally displaced peoples (IDPs) around the world and the root causes of them leaving their homes. 

 

 
Workshops

Innovations in food security with Ed Mabaya and Krisztina Tihanyi began by sharing, 'we know what needs to be done about food security, but what needs to be done is not happening.' There was a call for farmers to receive education, better tools, and innovative strategies on storage techniques to keep the food that they have produced, better connecting knowledge and distribution so African can feed itself. Mr Mabaya is one of the top 42 African innovators, find out more about his work with Seed at The African Seed Access Index (TASAIndex) here.

The skills of negotiation with Paul Gutteridge started out by exploring 'tips' and 'tricks' in the art of negotiation. Strong negotiation skills are hugely advantageous throughout one’s life, from the courts to traveling an airport. These skills largely rest on your ability to back up your words with physical actions that exude openness, honesty, and confidence, which then fosters trust and increases the other party’s desire to react cooperatively and reach agreement.

Environmental migration with Kristin Weis discussed climate change and environmental issues as driving forces behind refugees, displaced persons as well as force and voluntary migrants due to sustainability challenges in our ecosystem. She explained that environmental migration occurs as a result of hazards, disasters, resource stress, insecurity and degradation. 

Turkish-Armenian dialogue with Rebecca Jimenez and Nejteh Bodrounian began by discussing the Armenian genocide and looking at the historical context between the two states. At the dialogue, a diverse representation of participants agreed that the most important step towards a betterment of Armenian-Turkish relationship should be a dual-acknowledgement of history, through peaceful recognition of the past and reconciliation of civil societies of two people groups.

East European challenges with Angela Starovoytova facilitated a time of storytelling, hearing from individual participants who have experiened challenges in areas of Eastern Europe. Several representatives shared stories about their personal encounters during the Maidan revolution in Ukraine, peacebuildling, dialogue facilitation, addressing corruption, and looking at the geopolitical situation of the region.

Find out more about the Red/Blue partnering excercise with John Carlisle

 

Evening Programme

We ended the evening an a selection of storytelling, also known as the human library. We had five participants share personal stories of change, forgiveness, overcoming, peacebuilding, and trust. From Ukraine, Egypt, USA, and India, these individuals exposed their hearts to participants from around the world, seeking to spark thoughts towards change in their own lives. Following the storytelling programme, participants had the option of watching the film An African Answer, providing viewings in both English and French.

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