Ethnic And Religious Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding: 2014 ICERM 1st Annual International Conference

Register for the 2014 ICERM 1st Annual International Conference On Ethnic And Religious Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding

Important Updates:

  • Please note that the date of the Conference has been changed to Wednesday, October 1, 2014. We discovered that some religious groups observe Friday as a holiday, and because of that, we want to give everybody the opportunity to participate in the Conference by doing it on Wednesday, October 1, 2014.
  • The registration fee for the 2014 ICERM International Conference has been reduced in order to accommodate everybody. We want to give you the opportunity to participate in this conference. You can now register at a reduced fee. Please also note that the seating capacity for this event is limited. Seats are given out on a first-come, first-serve basis. Buy your ticket now to reserve a seat.

The International Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation is pleased to announce its 

1st   Annual International Conference On Ethnic And Religious Conflict Resolution And Peacebuilding 

Theme:  The Advantages of Ethnic & Religious Identity in Conflict Mediation and                  

             Peacebuilding

Venue: 136 East 39th Street

             Between Lexington Avenue and 3rd Avenue

             New York, NY 10016, USA 

Date:    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Time:     9am – 5pm

«Peace has a chance when despite history, despite politics, despite ethnicity or faith, and despite hardship, people learn to tap into their own cultural ethos of cooperation – Dr. Dianna Wuagneux»

«Peace has a chance when despite history, despite politics, despite ethnicity or faith, and despite hardship, people learn to tap into their own cultural ethos of cooperation – Dr. Dianna Wuagneux»

Conference Synopsis

For our First Annual International Conference, we have chosen the theme: The Advantagesof Ethnic & Religious Identity in Conflict Mediation and Peacebuilding. Too often, differences in ethnicity and faith traditions are seen as a drawback to the peace process. It is time to turn these assumptions around and rediscover the benefits that these differences offer. It is our contention that societies made up of an amalgamation of ethnicities and faith traditions offer largely unexplored assets to the policy makers, donor & humanitarian agencies, and mediation practitioners working to assist them.

It is the purpose of this conference to inspire new thinking, stimulate ideas, inquiry, and dialogue & share anecdotal and empirical accounts, which will introduce and support evidence of the numerous advantages that multi-ethnic & multi-faith populations offer to facilitate peace and advance social/economic well-being.

All peoples have within their histories and customs practices designed to improve the health and cohesion of the community. All have rites, rituals and beliefs that shore up and maintain adaptive social relationships that include mutual obligations and responsibilities. All have tenets, ethics and boundaries establishing what is right, what is just, and what is honorable, which govern interpersonal and business relations. Throughout time, it has been these personal and shared doctrines that have cultivated the cooperation and collaboration necessary to have a better quality of life, promote innovation, build economies, nurture the arts, as well as foster advances in science, medicine, technology, civil society, and law.

How can we identify and utilize the most beneficial aspects of these shared and individual beliefs, doctrines, principles and codes of conduct to mediate and mitigate conflict, stabilize relations, and move toward reconciliation between cultures and across borders?

Which practices offer the greatest promise of success, and how/where/when/ under what circumstances are they best applied? What are the advantages of diversity in ethnicity, religion and culture to improving & sustaining of economies? How do/can these contributions become tools for compromise, cooperation & reconciliation?

2014 ICERM 1st International Conference: Request for Proposals

Policymakers and donor agencies have fallen into the habit, especially during the last several decades, to look at ethnically and religiously diverse populations, especially when they occur in failed states or nations in transition, as being at a disadvantage. Too often, it is assumed that social conflict naturally occurs, or is exacerbated by these differences, without looking more deeply at these relationships.

ICERM invites papers for presentation and publication that support a shift from the focus on ethnic and religious differences and their disadvantages, to finding and utilizing the advantages of culturally diverse populations. The goal is to help one another discover and make the most of what these populations have to offer in terms of mitigating conflict, advancing peace, and strengthening economies for the betterment of all. Preferred papers will include modern examples with an emphasis on practical application.

Proposal Guidelines

Proposals should include an abstract not to exceed 800 words in length, which describes the substance of the paper in relation to conference theme, the title of the paper, biographies of the author(s), and any affiliated agency, organization, or institution. All proposals should be sent to the Conference Review Committee by email:conference@icermediation.org. Abstracts will undergo a double blind peer review. Accepted proposals will be notified by Friday, May 30, 2014. Accepted authors should submit complete papers by Monday, June 30, 2014. Accepted papers will be published in the conference proceedings. We look forward to reading your proposals.

Registration

Registration for the ICERM 1st Annual International Conference is done online.


Register Online for the
ICERM 1st Annual International Conference

Letters of Invitation

If requested, the ICERM Office will provide a letter of invitation if doing so will help participants gain permission from their professional bodies, procure travel funds, or obtain a visa. Consulates and embassies often need a lot of time to process a visa request; therefore we suggest participants request a letter of invitation at the earliest convenience. To request a letter of invitation, e-mail the ICERM at conference(at)icermediation.org. Please include the full name, postal, and e-mail address of each individual requesting a letter of invitation. Be sure to also include the organization, agency, embassy or consulate to which the letter should be addressed.  Letters of invitation will be e-mailed to the requesting individual, NOT to the embassy or consulate. Please allow up to five (5) business days for processing your request.

Certificates of Attendance

Certificates of attendance will be available for all pre-registered attendees.

Presentations

All presenters will be allowed 20 sessions with an additional 10 minutes for questions & discussion. The Session Chair will determine the order of presentations and, if time permits, facilitate discussion questions following the presentations.

ICERM will provide an LCD projector, screen, and laptop computer. Please plan to arrive a few minutes before your session to check the equipment and allow time for AV technician support in the instance of a technical difficulty.

Presenter Requirements

Tips for Presentation Slides

  • Allow at least one (1) minute per slide
  • Avoid text-dense slides
  • Use graphics, tables, and graphs
  • Use light text on a dark background
  • Speak clearly, be engaging
  • Practice your speaking time in advance, so you can be sure that your info & materials are appropriate for the time allotted.

All presenters must agree to adhere to the presenter policies and deadlines, including:

  • Confirm intention to present your accepted abstract by Monday, June 30, 2014.  Confirmation is completed via email.
  • Any minor updates or edits to your abstract must be received before Monday, June 30, 2014.  Changes made to abstracts after this date will not be reflected in the Conference Proceedings.
  • Register for the Conference by July 31, 2014Presenters that do not preregister for the conference will have their presentations withdrawn from the program.

Cancellation and Presenter Replacement

Presenters that are unable to present may authorize co-author(s) to serve as presenter provided they notify ICERM. All presentation cancellations must be received in writing before Monday, September 1, 2014.

Cancellation Policy

ICERM reserves the right to cancel any event due to lack of enrollment or other factors. In the event of a cancellation, registered participants will be notified by e-mail in advance.

Cancellation Fees

All registration cancellations by participants must be received in writing and all refunds will be paid after the conclusion of the conference. Registration cancellations received prior to Monday, September 1, 2014 will be charged an administration fee of $15.00. Cancellations received after this date will not be eligible for a refund. Cancellation notices should be directed to the ICERM Office by email: conference(at)icermediation.org.

Witness to Transformation: My years at the United Nations

Witness to Transformation: My years at the United Nations

Witness to Transformation: My years at the United Nations, Ambassador Shola Omoregie's new memoir.

Witness to Transformation: My years at the United Nations, Ambassador Shola Omoregie’s new memoir.

Click here to listen to the review of “Witness to Transformation: My years at the United Nations”.

ICERM Radio Book Review Program, March 13, 2014.

Host: Chavie Brumer.

Guest and Author: Ambassador Shola Omoregie.

We are happy to announce the review of “Witness to Transformation: My years at the United Nations”, a candid and illuminating memoir written by Ambassador Shola Omoregie, Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Africa Peace Support, and Former Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Guinea- Bissau and Head of the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNOGBIS).

In this detailed, candid and illuminating memoir, Witness to Transformation: My years at the United Nations, Ambassador Shola Omoregie sheds light on a personal journey from childhood in Nigeria, through professional transition in the Nigerian Foreign Service to his eventual elevation as a top United Nations official. Ambassador Omoregie recounts the story of his youth with verve, sharing anecdotes of his birth in a polygamous home and of growing up in the homes of his maternal grandfather and uncle. He offers personal and direct accounts of the influence of the Nigerian civil war on his life, including many dangerous encounters when he was mistaken for a rebel soldier.

Former Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in Guinea-Bissau and Head of the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNOGBIS) from 2006 - 2008

Former Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in Guinea-Bissau and Head of the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNOGBIS) from 2006 – 2008

Ambassador Omoregie highlights his transition from service in the Nigerian Foreign Service to the United Nations where he served for more than three decades. As the Resident Representative of the United Nations Commissioner for Namibia in Botswana and later in Angola, culminating in his appointment as the Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Peace Building Support Office in Guinea-Bissau, where he was entrusted with the responsibility of managing critical United Nations peace-building efforts. He boldly addresses the many peculiar challenges and limitations of working in a multinational setting and navigating the many associated ordeals, including leading the international community efforts to stabilize the volatile situation in Guinea-Bissau. He examines the extraordinary powers exerted by certain major countries within the Organization and deftly examines the practical implications of the structure of the international system on the internal workings of the United Nations Security Council.

The memoir provides glimpses from the vantage point of someone who had seen action in the Front Line States in Southern Africa; of being at the heart of the United Nations Secretariat in New York at a critical time, including personally witnessing the inner dynamics of the Security Council; and of leading critical field assignments in Angola, Botswana and Guinea-Bissau, while also undertaking United Nations Ad Hoc assignments. It also offers lessons learned from his direct experiences as a United Nations expert and as a consultant for the African Union, to which he provided technical and political expertise during the establishment of its Peace and Security Council. This contribution, therefore, comes from someone who has observed developments at close quarters at the international level, including the transformation in the Security Council following the end of the Cold War.

This fascinating multi-disciplinary memoir will be of special interest to policy makers, students on a broad range of academic disciplines and others with interest in, and committed to multilateral diplomacy in a multifaceted international system.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Amb. Omoregie with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moonSHOLA JONATHAN OMOREGIE is founder and Chief Operating Officer of Africa Peace Support, LLC, an international political and security consulting firm with headquarters in New York. A retired career diplomat, Ambassador Omoregie had extensive experience spanning over three decades at the United Nations where he was an expert in Security Council affairs and peace operations. He retired from the United Nations after serving as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Guinea Bissau. Ambassador Omoregie was also a long-serving member of the Nigerian Foreign Service where he rose to the rank of ambassador. He served at various Nigerian diplomatic missions, including Beijing in China and London and Liverpool in the United Kingdom, where he was the Area Officer. He was educated at the University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria, where he earned a B.SC (Honors) in psychology. Born on 12 December 1946 in Benin City, Nigeria, he is married and has six children.

More information about Ambassador Shola Omoregie and his book, “Witness to Transformation: My years at the United Nations” is found on this website: http://www.africapeacesupport.com/.

The Hour of Sunlight: One Palestinian’s Journey from Prisoner to Peacemaker

The Hour of Sunlight: One Palestinian’s Journey from Prisoner to Peacemaker

The Hour of Sunlight: One Palestinian's Journey from Prisoner to Peacemaker “, an award winning book written by Sami Al Jundi and Jen Marlowe.

The Hour of Sunlight: One Palestinian’s Journey from Prisoner to Peacemaker “, an award winning book written by Sami Al Jundi and Jen Marlowe.

Click here to listen to the review of “The Hour of Sunlight: One Palestinian’s Journey from Prisoner to Peacemaker”.

ICERM Radio Book Review Program, March 9, 2014.

Host: Maurice Q. Robinson, Esq., PHR.

Guest and Author: Jen Marlowe.

We are thrilled to announce the review of “The Hour of Sunlight: One Palestinian’s Journey from Prisoner to Peacemaker”, an award winning book written by Sami Al Jundi and Jen Marlowe.

Synopsis of The Hour of Sunlight:

As a teenager, Sami Al Jundi had one ambition: overthrowing Israeli occupation. With two friends he formed a militant cell and began building a bomb to use against the Israeli police. But their plans were derailed when the bomb exploded prematurely, killing one of his friends. Sami was sentenced to ten years in prison.

The Hour of Sunlight describes Sami’s extraordinary metamorphosis from a militant to a passionate advocate of nonviolence and peaceful reconciliation. Born to a family of Palestinian refugees in the Old City of Jerusalem, Sami was only five years old when Israeli soldiers took over his home after the 1967 war. His family began life again as refugees in another part of the Old City. In moving detail Sami describes how these and other realities (and indignities) of his early years caused his radicalization.

Following his arrest, Sami was bound and tortured for weeks by the Israeli General Security Service before beginning his ten-year prison sentence. Ironically, it was in an Israeli jail that his personal transformation began: Sami was welcomed into a highly organized, democratic community of political prisoners who required that members of their cell read, engage in political discourse on topics ranging from global revolutions to Russian literature.

In the prison library, Sami found a book on Mahatma Gandhi. He was struck by one story in particular—a Hindu man who had murdered a Muslim baby came to Gandhi seeking repentance. Gandhi told him that there was one way that he could find peace again; he must raise a Muslim orphan for twenty years. It took two decades to build a life, Sami reflected, but only seconds to destroy one.

Sami left prison still determined to fight for his people’s rights—but with a very different notion of how to undertake that struggle. He discovered the Palestinian Center for the Study of Nonviolence, and later became supervisor of an Israeli-Palestinian coexistence center in Jerusalem. He kept his faith in reconciliation alive through the most difficult times, remaining determined to inspire a new generation to follow the path of peace and nonviolence.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jen Marlowe is a Seattle-based award-winning author/documentary filmmaker/playwright and human rights activist.

Jen Marlowe is a Seattle-based award-winning author/documentary filmmaker/playwright and human rights activist.

Jen Marlowe is a Seattle-based award-winning author/documentary filmmaker/playwright and human rights activist. Jen began her professional life working at Seattle Children’s Theatre; from 1994-2000, she did youth theatre work in Seattle, using theatre as a platform for students to tell their stories. Jen lived and worked in Jerusalem from 2000-2004, using some of these same techniques to engage in dialogue-based conflict resolution with Palestinian and Israeli teenagers. Jen also did conflict resolution work with youth in Afghanistan, Cyprus, India, Pakistan and Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was while working with youth in conflict areas that she first picked up a video camera—at that time, in order to record messages being exchanged between Israeli and Palestinian youth. As the youth themselves pushed the video dialogue project to more complex realms, Jen began to explore the idea of how film can be used, not only as a tool of dialogue, but also as a tool of activism. In 2004, with colleagues Adam Shapiro and Aisha Bain, Jen traveled to Northern Darfur and Eastern Chad to make the award-winning documentary film Darfur Diaries: Message from Home and wrote the accompanying book Darfur Diaries: Stories of Survival (Nation

Books, 2006). Darfur Diaries was included in the 2007 edition of the Best American Non-Required Reading, edited by Dave Eggers.

Jen Marlowe

Jen Marlowe

Jen’s second feature-length award-winning documentary is called Rebuilding Hope: Sudan’s Lost Boys Return HomeRebuilding Hope follows three Sudanese-American young men on their first homecoming trip back to Sudan, to discover whether their homes and families survived the civil war and to build a school, drill wells and bring medical supplies to their villages in Sudan. Jen’s second book, calledThe Hour of Sunlight: One Palestinian’s Journey from Prisoner to Peacemaker (Nation Books, 2011), is co-authored with and tells the story of Sami Al Jundi, a Palestinian man who spent ten years in Israeli prison for being involved in militant anti-occupation activities as a youth and who has spent the last two decades of his life working towards nonviolence and peaceful reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians.The Hour of Sunlight was the winner of the London-based Middle East Monitor’s Palestine Book Award in 2012. Jen is also the playwright of There is a Field. The play, which addresses issues faced by Palestinian citizens of Israel, launched globally in October 2010, marking the ten-year anniversary of Black October. Jen’s third award-winning documentary film, One Family in Gaza profiles one family’s experience during and after the 2009 assault on the Gaza Strip. Jen’s most recent book is I Am Troy Davis (Haymarket Books, 2013), written with Martina Davis-Correia, the sister of innocent death row prisoner Troy Davis whose execution in 2011 stirred world-wide protest and condemnation due to his strong case of innocence. Jen is currently working on a documentary fllm about the pro-democracy uprising in Bahrain. She has also recently filmed in Honduras and Brazil for the human rights organization Frontline Defenders. Jen’s articles about Palestine/Israel, Sudan, Bahrain and the death penalty can be found at The Nation,ProgressiveWorldfocus.orgTomdispatch.comYes!, Colorlines and Massachusetts Review. Jen has been the recipient of grants, residencies and fellowships from the Pultizer Center on Crisis Reportingthe Nation Institute Investigative Fund,the Dorot FoundationSeattle’s Office of Arts & Cultural AffairsHedgebrook, and the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace & Justice.

More information about “The Hour of Sunlight” and Jen Marlowe is found on this website: http://www.donkeysaddle.org/.

Dominican Republic – Haiti Relations

Dominican Republic – Haiti Relations

Click here to listen to the Panel Discussion Broadcast on the Dominican Republic – Haiti Relations.

This show was hosted on the ICERM Radio program, “Let’s Talk About It“. 

Date: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 8:00 pm in Eastern Time, New York.

Host: Tziporah Pronman

The Panelists discussed the emerging conflicts between the two neighboring countries in the island and practical ways to prevent and manage similar conflicts in the future. Central to this Panel discussion broadcast is the Dominican Republic’s Constitutional Court ruling on the question of “Citizenship rights to Dominicans born primarily of Haitian immigrant parents in the Dominican Republic”.

Featured Experts:

Professor Silvio Torres-Saillant, Founder of the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute and Professor in the English Department, Syracuse University

Professor Silvio Torres-Saillant, Founder of the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute and Professor in the English Department, Syracuse University

Silvio Torres-Saillant, Ph.D.

Silvio Torres-Saillant, Professor in the English Department, formerly headed the Latino-Latin American Studies Program in the College of Arts and Sciences. He co-founded La Casita Cultural Center, an organization opened in the Near West Side of the City of Syracuse with the mission to create bridges of communication, collaboration, and exchange linking Syracuse University with the Latino population of the city and promoting the Hispanic heritages of Central New York. He serves in the core team of DK (Democratizing Knowledge), an initiative supported by the Chancellor’s Leadership Projects that promotes strategies for decolonizing the academy, and in the Syracuse University chapter of The Future of Minority Studies, a nationwide consortium of scholars working on efforts to foreground the ways of knowing and bodies of knowledge subjugated by the colonial transaction. He completed a two-year term as William P. Tolley Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Humanities.

Professor Torres-Saillant came to Syracuse after having founded the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute, a prestigious interdisciplinary research unit located in the City College of New York. He had his first full-time faculty position in the English Department of Hostos Community College, CUNY, and has held visiting appointments at Amherst College, Harvard University, the University of Cartagena, and the San Andrés campus of Colombia’s Universidad Nacional.

Torres-Saillant has served in the Delegate Assembly of the MLA, has chaired the MLA Committee on the Literatures of Peoples of Color in the United States and Canada and the selection committee for MLA Prize in Latino and Latina/Chicano and Chicana Literary and Cultural Studies, has served in the selection committee for the Senior Fulbright Scholar Program in Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean, has formed part of the Board of Directors of the New York Council for the Humanities, inter alia. A member of the Editorial Board of the University of Houston’s Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage Project, he serves as Associate Editor of Latino Studies (Palgrave) and has edited the New World Studies Series for the University of Virginia Press.

Jocelyn McCalla, Human Rights Expert and Founder of the Haitian Studies Association

Jocelyn McCalla, Human Rights Expert and Founder of the Haitian Studies Association

Jocelyn McCalla

Jocelyn McCalla served as Executive Director of the National Coalition for Haitian Rights, and of the New Jersey Immigration Policy Network. He is a founder of the Haitian Studies Association and has served on the Board of the National Immigration Forum, the NY Immigration Coalition, and the Advisory Board of Human Rights Watch/Americas. Mr. McCalla has long campaigned in favor of human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Haiti, and for the rights of Haitians abroad. He consults regularly with a wide range of leaders, governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations of various ideological persuasions and interests. Mr. McCalla was born in Haiti and resides in the United States.

 

Misunderstood Myanmar – An Introspective Study Of A Southeast Asian State In Transition

Misunderstood Myanmar – A Review of Dr Koh Kim Seng’s Book

Misunderstood Myanmar – An Introspective Study Of A Southeast Asian State In Transition Publisher: Dr Koh Kim Seng,  February 2011, 284 pages

Misunderstood Myanmar – An Introspective Study Of A Southeast Asian State In Transition
Publisher: Dr Koh Kim Seng,
February 2011, 284 pages

Click here to listen to the review of “Misunderstood Myanmar – An Introspective Study Of A Southeast Asian State In Transition”

ICERM Radio Book Review Program, February 13, 2014.

Host: Chavie Brumer.

Guest and Author: Dr Koh Kim Seng.

We are happy to announce the review of “Misunderstood Myanmar – An Introspective Study Of A Southeast Asian State In Transition”. Listen to the untold stories about Myanmar as Dr. Koh Seng talks about his extensive field work in Myanmar, and reports on his close encounters with the military Junta, and with business and bureaucratic elites.

From the Book Reviewer:

The book, “Misunderstood Myanmar – An Introspective Study Of A Southeast Asian State In Transition,” written by Dr. Koh Kim Seng, is a multi-dimensional exploration of Myanmar’s fundamental issues underlying the world’s negative view of the country and is based on the author’s interviews with key governmental and military leaders, as well as on his first-hand knowledge of the country.  Dr. Koh clearly highlights the deep impact of British colonization on the current social, economic and political problems, as well as the effects of Myanmar’s entrenched ethnocentricity, Theravada Buddhist religion and culture on its problematic governmental structure.  Also discussed are the roles of the military, as well as the conflicts that the ethnic minorities face, allowing for more clarity on the difficulties the country has in finding both internal and external resolution. This book is a kaleidoscope of Myanmar’s past and present, shedding more light on its mysteries and enables the world to see its future possibilities.

From the Publisher:

The story of Myanmar revealed here is most unusual and runs counter to received wisdom and orthodoxy. The book is the product of the author’s extensive field work in Myanmar, and reports on his close encounters with the military Junta, and with business and bureaucratic elites. The work is an ‘introspective’ study because it reveals and respects the opinions, beliefs and strategies of these elites in an open minded approach that gives full scope to their alternative version of history.

Those who have even a passing familiarity with Myanmar will know that the Myanmar Government is exceedingly wary of letting any information out and that it guards its sovereignty and independence most jealously refusing to let any outside parties into its decision making processes. It is this very cloistered nature of the regime that has led to a dearth of ‘inside information’ which has stumped many a student of Myanmar whether academic scholar or correspondent or political analyst. The result has been a failure to understand Myanmar’s exceptional and intransigent response to the protests, exhortations and impositions of the US led ‘international community’ more particularly the latter’s ‘democracy and human rights’ agenda. Thus for example, there has come about a wide spread perception that the Junta elites are ‘corrupt and repressive’, that the Myanmar state is a pariah state, and that whatever development is taking place is merely ‘cosmetic’. The Myanmar generals are often made out to be uneducated and stupid, as in the comment (recently repeated by Aung San Suu Kyi (ASSK) that ‘putting four generals together will not add up to a standard three education’, and that for decision making one has to go to the astrologers, etc, ignoring that many of the top brass have been schooled and trained in some of the leading institutions in the UK, the US and elsewhere.

This book argues that to understand the vicissitudes of Myanmar’s recent history and the behavior of its generals one has to grasp the dynamic interaction (struggle even) between, on one hand, its external environment (milieu exterieur), including the disgruntled diaspora alongside the US led international community, and on the other, the internal environment (milieu interieur) consisting of the generals’ ideological orientation in politics and economics which, the author argues, exceptionally, still draws from a well of adverse colonial experiences and betrayals, as well as from religion and culture. ‘Exceptionally’ because unlike other developing states Myanmar has been isolated from the international world  for so long that those same internal factors have crystallized and come to take on a significance which, arguably,  exceeds the role played by history, culture and religion in other parts of the world.

Dr Koh Kim Seng Author, "Misunderstood Myanmar – An Introspective Study Of A Southeast Asian State In Transition"

Dr Koh Kim Seng
Author, “Misunderstood Myanmar – An Introspective Study Of A Southeast Asian State In Transition”

Thanks to his very extended quanxi networks amongst the Myanmar junta, the author has succeeded in teasing out the causes of the Myanmar Government’s reluctance to rapid developmental change and democratization, its philosophical and buddhistic take on the country’s postwar slide from pre-eminence to ignominy in the developmental world, and its post ‒ 1988 “conflagration-resolve” to gradually take steps to regain its “Paradise Lost”, taking advantage of  present forces of regionalization  and geo-strategic hegemonic shifts. Whether this strategy succeeds thereby improving the lives of 53 million people depends much on how the clash between the international community’s “Prejudice” and the Junta’s “Pride” will be handled. Will there be “constructive engagement” rather than “obstructive dismissal”? It is to foster “constructive engagement” for the benefit of the protagonists in the drama that this book has been written.

The book is available at leading book distributors – http://www.marymartin.com or directly from the following address:

Marplan Pte Ltd, 51 Thomson Road, 181B Goldhill Centre, Singapore 307627.                                     Email: marplan(at)singnet.com.sg.

 

Ethnic and Religious Conflicts in South Sudan, the CAR, the DRC and Nigeria: Encouraging Aspects within the Chaos

Ethnic and Religious Conflicts in South Sudan, the CAR, the DRC and Nigeria: Encouraging Aspects within the Chaos

World Ethnic GroupsClick here to listen to the Panel Discussion Broadcast on Ethnic and Religious Conflicts in South Sudan, the CAR, the DRC and Nigeria: Encouraging Aspects within the Chaos.

This Panel Discussion Broadcast was hosted on the ICERM Radio program, “Let’s Talk About It“. 

 

Date: Thursday, January 16 2014 at 7:30 pm in EST, New York.

Panel Discussion Moderator: Dr. Dianna Wuagneux.

Experts / Panelists:

  • Mr. Modem Lawson-Betum
  • Prof. John Mukum Mbaku
  • Ambassador Shola J. Omoregie
  • Chris Agiri JN Esq
  • Prof. René Lemarchand

WORLD RELIGIONSEvery community, whether village or nation, is an expression of the consciousness of that community in that place and time. This consciousness affects the communities’ identity, perspectives, and so their interaction with each other and the outside world.

This week, we are honored to have an exceptional panel of experts whose knowledge and expertise can help bring a deeper understanding of the individual and collective consciousness at work breeding & feeding conflict in South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, and Nigeria.

Within the chaos, even in the direst situations, there are adaptive strategies at play. There is an emergent thinking that is working; there are individuals and budding paradigms that hold promise.

In the next hour, we hope to gain new insights into that which offers us hope & inspires optimism for Africa.

Overarching questions: Where do these healthy strategies emerge from? What can we do to foster these ideas? Support these individuals? Nurture these adaptive paradigms?

Experts / Panelists

Long-serving diplomat from Togo, and a former Senior Political Adviser and Head of West Africa Team at the United Nations Department of Political Affairs, New York.

Long-serving diplomat from Togo, and a former Senior Political Adviser and Head of West Africa Team at the United Nations Department of Political Affairs, New York.

Mr. Modem Lawson-Betum

Modem Lawson-Betum is a former long-serving diplomat from Togo, and a former Senior Political Adviser and Head of West Africa Team at the United Nations Department of Political Affairs. He served the Universal Organization for nearly twenty years, in various capacities and assignments, including participation in UN peacekeeping missions in Somalia, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast); as well as in UN-supported peace-building and mediation efforts in Guinea Bissau, Guinea, The Gambia and Côte d’Ivoire.  Before separating from the UN, he served from November 2011 to September 2012 as Principal Adviser at the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA). Abyei is a tiny disputed area located on the border between Sudan and South Sudan. Under the UN Security Council resolution 1990 of 27 June 2011, UNISFA was mandated to assist the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan in implementing their 20 June 2011 Agreement which was meant to help find a suitable solution to their territorial dispute over Abyei.

Presidential Distinguished Professor of Economics & Willard L. Eccles Professor of Economics and John S. Hinckley Fellow at Weber State University, Ogden, Utah and a Nonresident Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C.

Presidential Distinguished Professor of Economics & Willard L. Eccles Professor of Economics and John S. Hinckley Fellow at Weber State University, Ogden, Utah and a Nonresident Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C.

Prof. John Mukum Mbaku

John Mukum Mbakuis Presidential Distinguished Professor of Economics & Willard L. Eccles Professor of Economics and John S. Hinckley Fellow at Weber State University, Ogden, Utah, and former (1986-2007) Associate Editor (Africa), Journal of Third World Studies. He is also a Nonresident Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C. and an Attorney and Counselor at Law, licensed to practice in the Supreme Court of the State of Utah and the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah. He received the Ph.D. (economics) from the University of Georgia and the J.D. (law) and the Graduate Certificate in Natural Resources and Environmental Law from the S. J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the Utah State Bar, Davis County (Utah) Bar Association, Utah Minority Bar Association, Southern Economic Association, Association of Third World Studies, Association of Private Enterprise Education, and a Resource Person for the Nairobi (Kenya)-based, African Economic Research Consortium. His research interests are in public choice, constitutional political economy, sustainable development, law and development, international human rights, intellectual property, rights of indigenous groups, trade integration, and institutional reforms in Africa. He has published quite prodigiously in many of the aforementioned areas in the form of books, articles and book chapters. His most recent books are Culture and Customs of Cameroon (Greenwood Press, 2005); Multiparty Democracy and Political Change: Constraints to Democratization in Africa (Africa World Press, 2006), co-edited with Julius Omozuanvbo Ihonvbere; and Corruption in Africa: Causes, Consequences, and Cleanups (Lexington Books, 2010).

Amb. Shola J. OmoregieAmbassador Shola J. Omoregie

Ambassador Shola J. Omoregie is the former Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in Guinea-Bissau and Head of the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNOGBIS) from 2006 – 2008. He is founder and President of Africa Peace Support, LLC, an international consulting firm. He retired from the United Nations in December 2008, having had a dedicated and distinguished service at the United Nations Secretariat spanning over three decades – 1978 – 2008.  From 1978 – 1983, he served in Botswana as the first Resident Representative of the United Nations Commissioner for Namibia. He subsequently served in various capacities at the United Nations, including as Representative of the United Nations Commissioner for Namibia in Angola (1988-1990); Secretary of the UN Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (1992-1994); and Chief of Branch of the UN Security Council Charter Research Branch. He is the author of a new book, Witness to Transformation – My Years at the United Nations and publisher of Africa Peace and Security Monitor, a quarterly political and security analytical newsletter.

Director General and Founder of The Flag Foundation of Nigeria

Director General and Founder of The Flag Foundation of Nigeria

Chris Agiri JN Esq

Chris Agiri is the Director General and Founder of The Flag Foundation of Nigeria. With deep sense of patriotism and Nigerian nationalism, he believes that Nigerian national flag is the best object to be used in attracting the attention of Nigerians to wake up and answer the solemn call of nation building. A graduate of philosophy from the University of Lagos, Chris also holds Diploma Certificates in Marketing and Banking & Finance from UNILAG and a professional Diploma from The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply Management of Nigeria. Mr Agiri is most likely the only Nigerian internationally recognized Vexillologist. [Vexillology, is the historical and sciencific study of flags and banners. It is concerned with research into the origin, meaning and significance of flags throughout the millennia right down to the present day]. He is presently a Law Student with NOUN. He sits on the Board of several companies and organizations.

Emeritus Professor of Political Science at the University of Florida and Distinguished Expert on the history and politics of the Great Lakes region of Central Africa

Emeritus Professor of Political Science at the University of Florida and Distinguished Expert on the history and politics of the Great Lakes region of Central Africa

Prof. René Lemarchand

René Lemarchand is Emeritus Professor of Political Science at the University of Florida. He has written extensively on the history and politics of the Great Lakes region of Central Africa. His book on RWANDA AND BURUNDI (1970), received the Herskovits Award from the African Studies Association. His latest works include THE DYNAMICS OF VIOLENCE IN CENTRAL AFRICA (2009) and an edited volume on FORGOTTEN GENOCIDES: OBLIVION, DENIAL AND MEMORY (2012). He served as regional advisor on governance and democracy with USAID, first in Abidjan (1992-1996) and then in Accra (1996-1998). He served as visiting lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley, Brown University, Smith College, Concordia University (Montreal) and the Universities of Helsinki, Copenhagen, Bordeaux and Antwerp.

 

ICERM New Year Message from the Chairman of the Board

New Year Message from the Chairman of the Board, 2013-14
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Esteemed ICERM Members,

With the closing of the year comes a time for reflection, celebration & promise.
We reflect upon our purpose, celebrate our achievements, & enjoy the promise of bettering our service by learning from the good works that our mission inspires.

That which we give our energy to by way of our thoughts, words and actions, comes back to us in kind. And so, by the nature of our shared intentions, interests, and ideals, we find ourselves joined together for a common purpose. Like the early days of any endeavor, this year has been spent learning our way, gaining knowledge, and testing the waters. As the annual report will reflect, while we are still at the beginning of our journey, a great deal of ground has been covered and an astonishing array of and initiatives have been embarked upon. All of which continues to guide our development and inform our plans for the future.

At no other time of year do so many people pause and consider their fellow man and the shared needs of the human family. So, it is fitting that at the dawn of a New Year that we renew our commitment to one another, to our mission, and to those in need, knowing that our potential is limited only by the boundaries of our collective experience, the insight and ingenuity we bring to bear, and the time that we are willing to invest.

In the coming months, we will continue to make ourselves available to those caught in the crossfire of violent conflict, to victims of such through no fault of their own, and to those who choose to harm one another driven by the hate born of misunderstanding. And, we will continue to share available information and useful tools to those who are committed to helping themselves and others by way of our growing library, databases, courses, online book reviews, radio broadcasts, seminars, conferences and consultation.

This is no small task, and the ICERM of 2014 will require our combined skills and talents if we are to dedicate the level of effort that such a vital mission deserves. I offer my sincere gratitude to each of you for the work that you have provided in 2013; your joint accomplishments speak for themselves.  By benefit of the vision, inspiration, and compassion each of you are able to bring, we can expect great strides in the days ahead.

My sincerest good wishes to you and yours in the New Year & a prayer for peace.

Dianna Wuagneux, Ph.D.

Chair, Board of Directors

International Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation

New York, NY

http://www.icermediation.org/

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