Conference Reports

“International Seminar on Security and Justice for Indigenous Women in Guatemala,” Guatemala City, Guatemala, 29-30 November 2012

The report that follows is the direct result of organizational and advocacy efforts by Luz Mendez, Brisna Caxaj and their team in Guatemala City and Melina Lito of UN-based Global Action to Prevent War and Armed Conflict (GAPW). The organizers’ goal to put together and host an assessment and planning workshop that brought together indigenous and other voices from Guatemalan civil society as well as officials from the government, UN women and other international agencies was successfully achieved.

The full report is available here.

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“Timely Response to the Threat of Mass Atrocities: Implementing the Responsibility to Protect’s Third Pillar,” New York, NY, June 13-16, 2012

In June 2012, Global Action and its co-sponsors - the World Federation of UN Associations (WFUNA), the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect (ICRtoP), and the World Federalist Movement of Canada — convened a four-day event at UN Headquarters designed to explore complementary aspects of tools, capacities and mandates related to the implementation-orientation ‘third pillar’ of the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) norm. The goal was to examine how RtoP implementation can and should embrace a range of regional contexts, relate to diverse mandates within the UN Secretariat and beyond, and embrace robust capacities with a special emphasis on prevention.

The full conference report is available here.

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“Fortaleciendo los compromisos para combatir el tráfico ilícito de armas pequeñas y ligeras,” Quito, Ecuador, December 12-13, 2011

The workshop organized in Quito in December 2011 by the government of Ecuador in association with Global Action (GAPW) focused on the problem of illicit small arms in a manner that was part assessment and part leadership development. The Andean region has been a focus of intense activity on small arms by some key actors who were, gratefully, part of the implementation team for this workshop. Both the Geneva-based Small Arms Survey (SAS) and the Lima-based United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLiREC) have already offered a menu of specific, robust programming designed to inform and inspire activity on illicit small arms (see attached schedule of work). This programming has been designed to create opportunities for Andean governments to use the authority they have earned in this area to guide international policy and influence national and regional action in other global sectors.

For a full conference report, including recommendations and summary of discussions, please click here.

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The UN’s Evolving Responsibility to Protect Civilians from Atrocity Crimes

May 23-25, 2011 | Vienna, Austria

For three days in May, a diverse group of UN representatives, government officials, NGO leaders and young practitioners in the genocide prevention and civilian protection fields gathered in Vienna to explore “New Capacities to Address the Threat of Atrocity Crimes.”

While the specific focus was on the proposal for a UN Emergency Peace Service (UNEPS), a range of atrocity crimes responses were investigated - including early warning mechanisms and more robust diplomatic processes — with a clear priority to prevent such crimes.

This was the first of a three-part engagement in mid-2011 by UN-based Global Action to Prevent War (GAPW), with subsequent events organized by the World Federation of UN Associations in Nairobi (June) and by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung in Berlin (July). In each context, participants affirmed the need to fill the UN toolbox with reliable capacities that can address the threat of atrocity crimes quickly and effectively. But as recent events in Libya have demonstrated, at least for most of the participants in Vienna, the most effective response to the threat of atrocity crimes is the one where no military response proves necessary.

The full report is available here.

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The Impact of World Order Values: A Workshop and Article Launch

January 28, 2011 | New York, NY

077Once considered Utopian, the five core World Order Values have found their way into common use in a wide range of contemporary human security policies and practices at the UN and beyond. While there is some contention about the importance of having more robust forms of global governance, there is little debate about the relevance of world order values to all who work in settings where the peace and well-being of communities and nations are a core objective.

For four hours on January 28, a group of diverse and well-known scholars and policy advocates representing different sectors of the ‘word order’ agenda came together to examine the deep and direct impact of world order values on their teaching and research, policy and practice. The panels discussed tangible activities and outcomes that have inspired their own and subsequent generations to think more expansively, negotiate more successfully and act with more integrity towards a more peaceful, sustainable, abundant and respectful world.

This discussion took place in a larger context, that of honoring the legacy of the late Randall Forsberg, co-founder of the GAPW project. Part of this honoring involved the launch (with commentary from GAPW) of an article originally written by Randall and Alex Carlin, and recently updated by Carlin, entitled: “US Military Spending: Hundreds of Billions for Foreign Wars- How Much for Self Defense?” The central contention of the article, that a shockingly small portion of our military budget is actually allocated for the defense of national territory, is as relevant today as when the original article was penned in 1999.

Click here for the full WOMP program.

Click here for the speaker biographies.

Click here for a tribute to Randall Forsberg from Professor Saul Mendlovitz and Ambassador Jonathan Dean.

Click here for the 2010 updated article, “US Military Spending…” by Alex Carlin.

Click here for an introductory statement (and photo) about Randall Forsberg from Alex Carlin.

Click here for the GAPW introduction to the 2010 update.

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UNEPS in Context: Third Pillar Tools

December 7-8, 2010 | 866 UN Plaza, New York, NY

img_1227For two days, a diverse group of diplomats, academics and civil society leaders came together to focus energy on the tools and capacities needed to fully implement state and international community obligations under the Responsibility to Protect.   There was general agreement that the responsibility to address the threat or existence of atrocity crimes in specific national contexts requires more attention to the international community’s ‘toolbox’ – from early warning mechanisms to standing, integrated, rapid-response, peacekeeping capacity – that must be developed in order to give appropriate, practical weight to the norms and values that guide the international system’s commitment to protect civilians from gross violence. Participants represented diverse agencies, nationalities and issues, all united in a desire to end the threat of atrocity crimes that ravage families and communities.  The tools under review – especially our proposal for a UN Emergency Peace Service (UNEPS) – all require technical sophistication, viable political strategies and abundant trustbuilding with diplomats and the communities where atrocity crimes are most likely to threaten and such response tools are most likely to be deployed.

The workshop discussions were based on multiple civilian protection/R2P/UNEPS resources, many of which are available through Global Action to Prevent War (GAPW) on request at coordinator[at]globalactionpw.org.  More specifically, the workshop was punctuated by the launch of two new texts, the first of which was “Healing the Wounds: Speech, Identity and Reconciliation in Rwanda and Beyond,” from the Human Rights and Genocide Clinic at the Benjamin Cardozo School and Law and GAPW.  In addition, a team of UNEPS affiliates based at Rutgers University Law School shared their ‘Draft Statute for the Formation and Operation of the United Nations Emergency Peace Service for the Prevention of Genocide and Crimes against Humanity.”

For the full conference report, please click here.img_1235

For the full list of participants, please click here.

For the conference program, please click here.

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Reaffirming Regional Disarmament Leadership in Uruguay

November 7-8, 2010 | Montevideo, Uruguay

This past November 7 and 8, Global Action was pleased to play an integral role in an extraordinary disarmament event co-sponsored by the Foreign Ministry of Uruguay and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung in Berlin and Montevideo.

The event brought together much of the leadership of the global disarmament community – Ambassador Sergio Duarte, High Representative of the UN Office of Disarmament Affairs; Ambassador Roberto Garcia Moritan of Argentina, president of the Preparatory Committee on the Arms Trade Treaty; Ambassador Libran Cabactulan of the Philippines, president of the 8th NPT review; Ambassador Gioconda Ubeda, Secretary-General of OPANAL and many more.

The event was a tribute to the increasing priority that MERCOSUR countries are giving to security concerns, the importance of the region as a source of the highest levels of disarmament leadership, the attractiveness of Uruguay as a convening country for regional disarmament concerns, and the high regard with which disarmament experts view the Uruguay delegation at the United Nations.

For the conference report,  please click here.

For Dr. Zuber’s opening remarks at the conference, please click here.

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Revitalizing the Conference on Disarmament

October 19, 2010 | 866 UN Plaza, New York, NY

In recognition of numerous diplomats and civil society leaders coming to New York for the First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung together with Global Action to Prevent War organized a panel to discuss the revitalization of the Conference on Disarmament. Volker Lehman, Policy Analyst for Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, made opening remarks.  He was followed by panelists H.E. Hilde Janne Skorpen, Ambassador for Disarmament Affairs from the Foreign Ministry of Norway, and Beatrice Fihn, Project Associate for Reaching Critical Will (RCW) in Geneva.  Moderator was Dr. Robert Zuber, Director of Global Action to Prevent War.

There was broad recognition of the urgency for reform of what some delegations still consider to be the sole multilateral disarmament negotiating body. There was also recognition of the need to organize many more discussions with diplomats and civil society to help ensure that the disarmament machinery of the United Nations is sufficient to address the many disarmament opportunities - on nuclear weapons, arms trade and small arms - currently available. To move forward on these opportunities towards the ultimate goal of general and complete disarmament, the international community needs to restructure the way the CD does its business or otherwise abandon it altogether.

For the full report, please click here.

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UNEPS in Context: Third Pillar Capacities and First Pillar Responses, December 7-8, 2010

For the full conference report, please click here.

For the full list of participants, please click here.

For the conference program, please click here.

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Three New Reports on Poverty: Highlighting Gender Inequality

September 17, 2010 | UN Headquarters, New York

A meeting convened during the lead-up to the MDG Review Summit, to be held next week during the 65th GA September 20 through 22, featured a discussion of three recent reports released on the state of global poverty. Individual reports were released by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), the UN Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), and the Chronic Poverty Research Centre. Although all reports are of great value, of particular interest to Global Action was Sarah Cook’s presentation on the report from UNRISD. This report highlights reducing gender inequalities as a redistributive and regulatory measure for reducing poverty.

The report states, “Over the past two to three decades there have been significant changes, many of them positive, in the social and economic status of women that have helped reduce gender inequalities. Such changes in women’s lives are associated with the social transformations that attend economic development.”

For a PDF version of the entire “Combating Poverty and Inequality: Structural Change, Social Policy and Politics” report from UNRISD, please click here.

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Integrating the UNEPS Proposal into Graduate Coursework

July 2010 | Sydney, Australia

One of our most talented and engaged partners, Annie Herro of Australia’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, convened a Model UN-style event in Sydney last month on ‘The UN and International Conflict Resolution” with fellow faculty members John Langmore and Wendy Lambourne. The focus of the event and its varied discussions was GAPW’s proposal for the establishment of a United Nations Emergency Peace Service (UNEPS). Forty students enrolled in Annie’s program, most with master’s degrees from departments such as International Studies, Human

Click here for access to Annie’s course outline.
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4th Biennial Meeting of States on Small Arms and Light Weapons| June 14-18, 2010

The 4th BMS provided the latest opportunity for the UN and its member states to assess efforts by the international community to curb illicit arms, reduce stockpiles and more effectively protect civilian populations impacted by criminality, insurgency and other misuses of small arms and light weapons. Global Action’s Dr. Robert Zuber attended BMS4 and wrote daily articles on the meetings. Click here to access the outcome document and here to access the Small Arms Monitor, where Dr. Zuber’s articles were published. Please click on the following links to download individual articles.

People’s Disarmament” -  June 14
Border Line” - June 15
Sharing the Load” - June 16
Dividing Lines” - June 17
Optional Protocols” - June 18
A Brief Reprise” - Final Remarks

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Clarifying Regional Human Security Priorities

San Jose, Costa Rica | April 20, 2010

costaricaUnder the able direction of Dr. Carlos Vargas, Global Action completed the latest in a series of workshops to inspire regional governments and civil society organizations to weigh in on key UN security priorities, including important events taking place in 2010.  Our Costa Rica workshop, “Clarifying Regional Human Security Priorities,” solicited thoughtful guidance from regional experts and policymakers on the development of collaborative, integrated human security policies that can inform, enrich and inspire upcoming General Assembly and Security Council deliberations.

A group of 28 participants from the Foreign Ministry of Costa Rica, the UN-mandated University for Peace and other universities and civil society organizations gathered at the beautiful home of former First Lady Karen Figueres to comment on regional needs in reference to four major events:  The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Review, the Biennial Meeting of States on Small Arms, the beginning of formal negotiations on an Arms Trade Treaty, and the 10th anniversary of Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.

Click here to download the final report.

Other workshop materials are also available to download: Welcoming Words by Former First Lady Karen Olsen de Figuere and presentations on Nuclear Weapons at the NPTSmall Arms and the Illegal Arms Trade, and Women, Peace and Security.

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Yaounde, Cameroon | February 18, 2010
Buea, Cameroon | February 20, 2010

Global Action to Prevent War (GAPW), in partnership with the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Foundation (LUKMEF) in Limbe, Cameroon and the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect (ICR2P) in New York, sponsored two workshops for military, government and civil society leaders in Cameroon and neighboring countries on prospects for improving civilian protection and human security within Central Africa.

Yaounde Workshop participants

Yaounde Workshop participants

These workshops represent the latest in our commitment to bring into regional settings the strategies, tools and norms debated within the international community to prevent and address atrocity crimes and other major threats to human security. We remain committed to doing what we can to ensure that the security needs and aspirations of diverse communities and constituencies are available to help influence global policy.

Led by Christian Tanyi of LUKMEF, and addressed by a range of regional leaders, including Voke Ighorodje, a consultant to the ICR2P from Nigeria, and Anne Nkwain Nsang, director of the UN Information Centre in Yaounde, participants looked at a range of issues impacting good governance, civilian-military relations, the role of women in peace processes, and prospects for more robust preventive and diplomatic efforts to address in their earliest stages atrocity crimes and other threats to human security. Attention was also given to new peacekeeping tools being developed for community, regional and international use, including our proposal for a United Nations Emergency Peace Service (UNEPS).

The second workshop was co-organized by Ben Oru at the University of Buea and is the first of what will be several university briefings on the promotion of civilian protection, human security and Responsibility to Protect (R2P) in the coming year.

Dr. Robert Zuber and Nico Halle

Dr. Robert Zuber and Nico Halle

Central Africa represents a challenging environment in which to organize, but it is also a region of hopeful new civil society influences alongside government and military officials who have become weary of armed conflict and are interested in connecting skills across professional contexts to enhance community and national security.

Elizabeth Bih and Anne Nkwain Nsang

Elizabeth Bih and Anne Nkwain Nsang

It is also a region where security issues are engaged holistically, where development priorities require progress on arms transfers and where dialogue across issues and professional sectors is desired and engaged with increasing seriousness.

GAPW hopes to sustain a long-term relationship with LUKMEF and the other institutional representatives who participated in our workshops, including government and military officials. We will encourage development of LUKMEF’s new regional center that will include advocacy on R2P and UNEPS, and we will also support efforts to create viable civil society-military collaborative training and discussion forums that can develop complementary skills and help overcome some of the mistrust across sectors.

Click here for more information about the workshop, its participants and anticipated outcome. Click here for the final report.

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UN Peace Building Commission 2010

The United Nations Peace Building Commission recently held a panel discussion on post-conflict development and what is essential to maintaining a sustainable peace. The panel made it clear that reinforcing peace building capacity had to be “done right and done right away”. Putting in place the proper support systems, such as clean water, electricity, and education can greatly lessen the chance of states returning to conflict. This preventive investment is key to creating an environment that is secure, using microfinance, south-south cooperation, and private sector investments that lead to resource mobilization. These different areas were spoken about at length by the three panelists.

Click here to read the rest of this report

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Madrid, Spain | February 2, 2010

GAPW was pleased and honored to be part of a seminar, organized by the Swiss Government and the Fundacion Cultura de Paz in Madrid, titled Resolution 1325: The Role of Women in Peacebuilding. Manuela Mesa, the director of CEIPAZ and a member of the GAPW executive committee, convened this important seminar.

1325

Sarah Masters, Gloria Guzman Orellana, Carmen Magallon, Carmela Buhler

Among the many extraordinary women presenters (pictured) were Sarah Masters, Women’s Network Coordinator for IANSA and a representative on the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security; Carmela Buhler, the new Gender Advisor for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Switzerland; Gloria Guzman Orellana from the Instituto de Estudios sobre Desarrollo y Cooperacion Internacional in El Salvador; and Carmen Magallon from the Fundacion SIP de Zaragoza.

Click here for the full seminar program.

Among the many helpful resources made available to seminar participants was the extraordinary “1325 Mujeres Tejiendo La Paz” edited by Manuela Mesa. This book will serve as a guide to our own collaborative publication on ‘Women’s Participation in Peace Processes’ to be released later this year.

Click here for more information about the book.

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Brasilia, Brazil | September 29, 2009

brazil-report-cover

This workshop was the second held by GAPW in 2009 (the other was in Jakarta in June) and is part of a series of workshops designed to highlight and asses regional perspectives on a wide variety of civilian protection and peacekeeping reform issues. The next in this series will take place in February 2010 in Yaoundé, Cameroon. During the day-long session, participants discussed Brazil’s rising influence at the UN, its upcoming responsibilities at the Security Council, its potential to take greater leadership on important civilian protection policies, and the region’s potential role in facilitating UN peacekeeping operations and the development of rapid-response peacekeeping tools. Government and NGO speakers also assessed Brazil’s role in MINUSTAH (current UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti) as a case study in defining regional security responsibilities, and also explored the feasibility of new UN-based peacekeeping capacities such as a UN Emergency Peace Service (UNEPS). For a full workshop agenda please click here. To download the Brazil Outcome Report, please click here. To download the Brazil Outcome Appendix (with program and participant list), please click here. As the Brazil Program file is quite large, a smaller text-only document without photos is available here. .......................................................................................................................................... UNEPS Draft Statute Workshop at Rutgers Law School A draft statute was compiled by Captain Stephen J. Bishop and Captain Edward L. Westfall with the participation and direction of Professor Saul H. Mendlovitz, Dag Hammarskjold Professor at Rutgers Law School in Newark NJ. Both Captain Bishop and Captain Westfall are graduates of West Point, served as command combat officers in Iraq and are presently enrolled at Rutgers Law School. Each will join the Judge Advocate General’s Corps upon graduation. Jonathan Dean, Kevin Clements, and Saul Mendlovitz

The Statute lays the legal foundation for a United Nations Emergency Peace Service to Prevent Genocide and Crimes against Humanity (UNEPS). Once reviewed by experts and put in final form, the statute will be offered to the member states of the United Nations to be adopted as a treaty.

The overall mission of UNEPS is to prevent and/or halt the commission of atrocity crimes and where possible apprehend individuals alleged to have engaged in such acts. There are six distinctive aspects to this service. First, it would be a standing, independent United Nations service permanently based at UN designated sites in three areas of the globe, including mobile field headquarters. Secondly, the service would be made up of individually recruited personnel from volunteers of all member states. Third, it would consist of 15,000 to 18,000 personnel carefully selected, expertly trained and coherently organized. Fourth, UNEPS would encompass civilian, police, judicial, and military capacities prepared to conduct multiple functions in diverse UN operations. Fifth, it would be a first-in, first-out service with a sixth month deployment limit in any single situation. Sixth, the service would be authorized and invoked by an appropriate United Nations organ.

In addition to the knowledge and experience of Captains Bishop and Westfall, including their study of various special force units of military organizations, the draft statute is based on three workshops organized by Global Action to Prevent War (GAPW) a transnational network of institutes, scholars, diplomats, military personnel and other civil society organizations. A redaction of their deliberation is available in the volume ‘A United Nations Emergency Peace Service,’ edited by Professor Robert C Johansen, director of the Joan Kroc Institute, at Notre Dame University.

The statute will eventually be distributed to all UN members and throughout the globe to governments including foreign offices, defense departments and legislatures. In addition, it will be sent to relevant civil society organizations and mass media. We invite readers to download the statute here, to read it carefully, and to email any comments and suggestions.

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2010 Disarmament Commission

The 2010 Disarmament Commission is in the second year of its three year cycle. The Commission adopted three agenda items last year: recommendations for achieving the objective of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation; elements of a draft declaration for the 2010s as the fourth disarmament decade; and practical confidence-building measures in the field of conventional weapons.

For the rest of Ryan Faello’s report, please click here.

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Convention on the Status of Women 2010

New York City | March 1-12

At this year’s Convention on the Status of Women, the Commission undertook a fifteen year-review of the Beijing Declaration with emphasis on sharing good practices and collaboration. Members of the Global Action team attended meetings and events during the Conference, on topics ranging from girls and armed violence to counter-terrorism.

Jenneth Macan Markar:
“In Harm’s Way: Girls in Settings of Endemic Armed Violence”
“The NGO Consultation on the 1325 Indicators Report”

Cristina Ayo:
“CORDAID: Impact of counter terrorism measures on women activist”
“INSTRAW: Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)”

Ryan Faello:
“Gender Based Violence in Post-Conflict Areas”
“The Political Implication of Congolese Women for Change and Good Governance in DRC”
“Violence Against Women in Post-Conflict Areas with a Focus on the Situation in Iraq”

Oumou Diallo:
“Democratic Governance and Women’s Rights”

Kavitha Suthanthiraraj Presents UNEPS Paper at ISA Annual Conference

For an online copy of ‘Trust and the Development of a United Nations Emergency Peace Service,’ click here.

New Orleans, LA, USA
February 2010

International Colloquium on Women’s Empowerment, Leadership Development, International Peace and Security

Monrovia, Liberia
March, 2009

Workshops on Security Sector Reform

Monrovia, Liberia
March, 2009

Commission on the Status of Women

New York, USA
March, 2009

“Nuclear Abolition, Climate Change and Our Cities’ Future”

Des Moines, Iowa, USA
October, 2008

Workshop on Women in Security

New York, USA
October, 2008

The Responsibility to Protect and UNEPS

Sydney, Australia
September, 2008

UNEPS Workshop in South Africa

Pretoria, South Africa
April-May, 2008

Workshop on the Eradication of Armed Conflict

Brisbane, Australia
February, 2008