Today the Commission for Victims and Survivors of Northern Ireland (CVSNI) and Ulster University (INCORE & TJI) launched the Advocacy Services Report focusing on advocacy and dealing with the past. The report was authored by Dr Maire Braniff, Professor Brandon Hamber, Dr Catherine O’Rourke, Dr Philip McCready and Dr John Bell.
The Report found that while the needs of victims and survivors are not homogenous there are core principles that underpin effective service provision. Essentially they should be victim-led, build trust, not create dependency, be compassionate and empathetic and value the lived experience and perspective of the individual. The groups offering advocacy were led by such principles. Further provision for dealing with the past should draw on and learn from the scale, diversity and experience of advocacy practice to date.
Equally, however, our research found that this was challenging work. There was unanimity amongst all service users and service providers that the biggest challenge was the systemic delay and the slow nature of legacy investigation and information recovery. The biggest scope for improvement in advocacy services was the accessibility of information and more streamlined and quicker responses from statutory agencies.
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.
On 8 November 2019, the Chair worked with the BBC Rewind team to launch on the Magee Campus the Ten Chapters Of The Northern Ireland Troubles’. The Ten Chapters, produced by the BBC Rewind editorial and technology team, is an online, multi-media series of episodes covering the conflict in Northern Ireland from the 1950s to the 1990s. As part of the launch a workshop was run with 14-22 year olds from the City.
The Ten Chapters of the Northern Ireland Troubles can be accessed here.
The BBC project came about as a result of discussions with the INCORE/CAIN project teams at Ulster University and Queen’s University Belfast, and as part of the tripartite agreement between the BBC and the academic institutions. The CAIN team identified ten broad themes which the BBC’s Rewind team researched then curated and compiled videos and imagery from BBC News NI’s newly-digitised archive. Where appropriate, stills and video from other broadcasters have been incorporated. Designed primarily for those aged 14 and older, the resource can be used in addition to academic resources. It was created independently by the BBC in line with its editorial guidelines and was reviewed for historical accuracy by INCORE/Ulster University academics.
Below is a copy of Dr Arun Gandhi’s, grandson of Mohandas K. “Mahatma” Gandhi, lecture entitled “Building a Culture of Peace: Lessons from my Grandfather”. Dr Gandhi delivered the lecture at the Great Hall on the Magee Campus as part of the launch of the John Hume and Thomas P. O’Neill Chair in Peace. The lecture was part supported by the Smyth Memorial lecture fund, and it is anticipated that the Smyth Memorial lecture will be an annual event hosted by the Chair.
The Chair was officially launched today 23 June 2016. This afforded a great opportunity to host Dr Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mohandas K. “Mahatma” Gandhi. Dr Gandhi delivered at the Great Hall on the Magee Campus an inspiring speech on peace and non-violence, as well as sharing the lessons he learned while growing up in his grandfather’s home in South Africa. The visit was the first headline event to be hosted by the Chair, and served as a fitting and moving launch. During his visit Dr Gandhi also met with Ulster University students and staff and the Clinton Summer School at INCORE’s participants, as well as community leaders as part of an IFI hosted seminar. The lecture was also part supported by the Smyth Memorial lecture fund, and it is anticipated that the Smyth Memorial lecture will be an annual event hosted by the Chair.
He was born in South Africa and currently lives in Belfast. In South Africa he trained as a Clinical Psychologist at the University of the Witwatersrand and holds a Ph.D. from the Ulster University. Prior to moving to Northern Ireland, he co-ordinated the Transition and Reconciliation Unit at the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation in Johannesburg. He co-ordinated the Centre’s work focusing on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
He was a visiting Tip O Neill Fellow in Peace Studies at INCORE in 1997/1998. He was also the recipient of the Rockefeller Resident Fellowship (1996) and was a visiting fellow at the Centre for the Study of Violence in Sao Paulo, Brazil. In 2010-2013 he was a Mellon Distinguished Visiting Scholar at University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. He has been awarded The Paul Harris medal for contributions to peace by Rotary (2013), and was listed as one of the Top 100: The most influential people in armed violence reduction by the Action on Armed Violence Network (2013/2014).
He has consulted to a range of community groups, policy initiatives and government bodies in Northern Ireland and South Africa. He has undertaken consulting and research work, and participated in various peace and reconciliation initiatives in Liberia, Mozambique, Bosnia, the Basque Country and Sierra Leone, among others.
He has lectured and taught widely, including, on the International Trauma Studies Programme at Colombia University, New York and the Post-War and Reconstruction Unit, University of York; and at the University of Ulster.
He has written extensively on the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the psychological implications of political violence, and the process of transition, masculinity and reconciliation in South Africa, Northern Ireland and abroad.