Yesterday Professor Hamber attended a meeting of the Women, Peace and Security Oversight Group in Dublin discussing Ireland’s National Action Plan. He spoke on issues of masculinity and inclusion in women, peace and security agenda. The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Conveney, attended for some of the time [Photos from Irish Foreign Ministry Twitter] #wpsireland
Professor Hamber and Grainne Kelly continued to work on the concept of reconciliation. In 2017 they spoke at two high-level events in Northern Ireland. The first with The Executive Office and staff as they consider the role of reconciliation in the draft Programme for Government and Together: Building a United Community (TBUC). They participants and delivered the keynote address at a further seminar at the “Together: Building a United Community Engagement Forum” on 15 June 2017, with the Executive Office (TEO) and over 160 community practitioners, policymakers and academics that took place at the Girdwood Community Hub.
Professor Hamber hosted the Seminar “Resilience to Conflict – A New, Integrated, Granular Measure” by Dr David Backer (University of Maryland) working with community partners Healing Through Remembering on 25 May 2017. The seminar explored the issue of resilience, an important topic in peacebuilding and international development.The seminar was part of a new formal partnership between Ulster University and the University of Maryland. Watch the seminar below.
In Mid-May 2017 Professor Hamber visited Uganda again as part of the Summer Institute focusing on “Men’s and Women’s Relations in Coercive Settings” (17-19 May 2017) hosted by the Refugee Law Project (RLP) and in War Partnership (CSiW). As part of the event Professor Hamber participated in a 2-day long workshops run by RLP and partners with men who were former combatants/abducted during the Northern Uganda war to learn from their experiences. The second part of the event was a more open conference focusing on women’s and men’s experiences of forced relationships in wartime.
The 9th International Conference of Museums for Peace was held in Belfast (10-13, April 2017). The International Network of Museums for Peace (INMP) is a global network of peace museums, peace gardens and other peace related sites, centres and institutions that share the aim to cultivate a global culture of peace. The conference theme was “Cities as Living Museums for Peace” and highlighted Belfast’s social and political transformation from a divided, troubled city to a one which models peace consciousness through post-conflict healing and reconciliation. The 9th International Conference of Museums for Peace was hosted by Ulster University, with the support of Visit Belfast. Professor Hamber, with community partners, helped develop the agenda of the global meeting and also gave the keynote address with Dr Elizabeth Crooke, Ulster University.
In March 2017 a delegation from Sierra Leone including the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Maya Kai Kai, visited Belfast. The visit was the result of Professor Hamber visiting Sierra Leone in February 2016 on invitation of Catalyst for Peace (operational US Foundation) and Fambul Tok a local NGO. The trip focused on observing the work of Fambul Tok. Fambul Tok (meaning “family talk”) is a community ritual process that takes place at bonfires in which reconciliation between victims and perpetrators of political violence takes place (see http://www.fambultok.org). When the Ebola crisis hit, the same networks were used for post-war reconciliation were transformed into health prevention networks. Then in the last two years the networks have continued to develop, and have morphed into a local governance processes called the “People’s Planning Process”. Fambul Tok have run this new peace and development process in 3 regions. Through the trip Professor Hamber was invited to be an advisor to and Fambul Tok, as they set out to mainstream the process with government. As part of this process, Professor Hamber, funded and supported by Catalyst for Peace, hosted a delegation from Sierra Leone including the Minister of Land and Rural Development, MPs, a major, local council members and various civil society representatives in Belfast in April 2017 to discuss the inclusive local governance and peacebuilding process unfolding in Sierra Leone.
Professor Hamber spoke at a conference in Washington DC focusing on “Northern Ireland’s Lessons for Israeli-Palestinian Peace” held at the US Institute for Peace, 13 March 2017. This event also included Dr Adrian Johnston (IFI). More here http://buff.ly/2mFbfR0.