On 29 March 2022, the Chair – with partners The John and Pat Hume Foundation, International Fund for Ireland (IFI), and Interpeace – hosted “Visions for Peace – Perspectives on Local and Global Youth Practice”.
Speakers addressed the questions: How do we engage young people in peacebuilding? What vision do our young people hold for a peaceful society? How does that influence what we prioritize when doing this work?
The event was Chaired by Professor Hamber with the following speakers:
Andy Hamilton is currently a Research Associate at Ulster University. He recently completed his PhD study titled Theorising Youth Sector Peacebuilding in Northern Ireland.
Eliška Jelínková is a Co-Director at the United Network of Young Peacebuilders and a co-chair of the Global Coalition on Youth Peace and Security.
Ali Altiok is a doctoral student in Peace Studies and Political Science at the University of Notre Dame. His research examines political inclusion and securitization of young people in the context of peacebuilding processes.
The seminar series is a partnership between Ulster University (INCORE, the Centre for Youth Research and Dialogue & TJI), The John and Pat Hume Foundation, John Hume and Thomas P. O’Neill Chair in Peace, International Fund for Ireland (IFI), and Interpeace.
The 3rd Youth, Peace & Security Seminar “Fire in the Belly: Lessons from young women peacebuilders from Somalia, Libya and Northern Ireland on inspiring leaders for peaceful change” was held on 1 October 2021. The full recording of the event is now available online.
The panel included:
Monica McWilliams: Emeritus Professor of Women’s Studies at the Transitional Justice Institute at Ulster University, Board member of the John and Pat Hume Foundation and a former Chairperson of Interpeace.
Hajer Sharief: A Libyan peace and human rights activist. She co-leads the work of the Together We Build It (TWBI) organization in Libya.
Ilwad Elman: A young female leader at the forefront of the Somali peace process. She co-founded the Elman Peace Centre and is an Advocate for the Kofi Annan Foundation.
Emma Johnston: A youth worker in NI, working with Youth Action Northern Ireland. She is a representative on Northern Ireland Women’s European Platform, the UK Joint Committee for women and the Irish NAP For Women Peace and Security.
The panel discussion is introduced by Professor Brandon Hamber, the John Hume and Thomas P. O’Neill Chair in Peace.
On 17 September 2021 The Chair was invited to participate in the Bridge for the Future Conference. The conference is held by the War Requiem Bridge to the Future Foundation in the Netherlands. At the event The Chair and Mpho Tutu, daughter of Archbishop Tutu, debate the topic of reconciliation.
You can now watch online the UTV short documentary “Up Close – Justice in Jeopardy?” which debates the current legacy proposals by the British Government.
Featuring the John Hume and Thomas P.O’Neill Chair in Peace Professor Brandon Hamber, Professor Louise Mallinder, Baroness Nuala O’Loan, Denis Bradley, Lord Richard Dannatt and Alan McBride from the WAVE Trauma Centre.
Amnesty International and Ulster University held a series of online events with experts and survivors to inform the investigation process in the Mother and Baby Homes and Magdalene Laundries during March and April 2021. The Chair spoke at the one of these public panels on 23 April 2021 to share lessons from transitional justice for the design of the inquiry. The recording is presented below.
The Chair is delighted to be help organise and launch the new Youth, Peace and Security Leadership Series. The seminar series will explore the positive contribution of youth to peace. Every 6-8 weeks, an online platform will be created for young leaders to share their experience from around the world.
The seminar series is a partnership between Ulster University (INCORE & TJI), The John and Pat Hume Foundation, John Hume and Thomas P. O’Neill Chair in Peace, International Fund for Ireland (IFI), and Interpeace.
Youth, Peace and Security Leadership Launch
The Youth, Peace and Security Leadership Series will be launched on 8 March 2021 with “The Missing Peace”, championing young people as positive contributors to peace, register here.
By way of background, 0n 9 December 2015, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) adopted Resolution 2250. The resolution is an important landmark for recognising the positive role young people can play in conflict and post-conflict settings. The UN Secretary-General commissioned Graeme Simpson to carry out a global study on youth and peacebuilding mandated by UNSCR 2250. The study was presented to the Security Council in April 2018 and to the UN General Assembly in September 2018. A key message of this report, and subsequent work, is to recognise and support young people as positive contributors to peace, moving away from a deficit model that sees young people as a threat to security.
To launch the series Graeme Simpson will share his experience from working not the report and subsequent processes. Speakers will include:
Graeme Simpson, Lead Author UN Independent Youth, Peace and Security Progress Study: “The Missing Peace”
Professor Mo Hume, Professor of Latin American Politics, University of Glasgow
Paddy Harte, Chairman, International Fund for Ireland
Chair: Professor Brandon Hamber, John Hume and Thomas P. O’Neill Chair in Peace at Ulster University
RSVP essential to receive the live stream link which will be sent 48 hours before the seminar, so please register here.
Graeme Simpson is the Principal Representative (NY) & Senior Peacebuilding Adviser, Interpeace, a global peacebuilding organization working in 20 conflict and immediate post-conflict zones around the world. He was appointed by the UN Secretary-General as the Lead Author of the Independent Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security: The Missing Peace. He is also an Adjunct Lecturer in Law at Columbia University School of Law in New York City, where he teaches a seminar on transitional justice and peacebuilding. Graeme has an LLB and a master’s in History from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. He was co-founder and Executive Director (1995-2005) of the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) in Johannesburg, SA.
Youth, Peace & Security Leadership Series
This dialogue was part of the new seminar series entitled Youth, Peace and Security Leadership Series. The seminar series explores the positive contribution of youth to peace. Every 6-8 weeks, an online platform will be created for young leaders to share their experience from around the world.
A dialogue was held on 16 December 2020 hosted by the Truth Commission for Colombia entitled “Let’s talk about coexistence and reconciliation”. This reflexive dialogue focused on the mandate of the Commission to promote coexistence and reconciliation. The dialogue sought to learn from international experience to overcome challenges and help strengthening the work of the Commission and its legacy in Colombia.
The dialogue was an online discussion between panelists which included Professor Hamber. The participants, based on their experiences, responded to guiding questions put forward by the moderator. Participants included Brandon Hamber (Northern Ireland); Sergio Jaramillo (Colombia); John Paul Lederach (USA); Elizabeth Lira (Chile) and Kimberly Theidon (USA, Colombia).
In his input Professor Hamber stressed how despite significant investment in relationship building work in Northern Ireland from the EU, IFI and Atlantic Philanthropies that has strengthened community relationships, opportunities have not always been maximised. This he argued was because community and political processes have been treated separately., Ongoing political division at the leadership level undermines community interventions. In addition, the vision for reconciliation has focused on limited co-existence that accepts social, educational and residential divisions or changing these issue marginally, rather than a more transformative approach. The has created a negative rather than positive peace in Northern Ireland.