Queen’s Institute for Conflict Transformation’s Spring Festival of Events, 22 April-28 May – Featuring Senator George Mitchell and Baroness Nuala O’Loan

spring festivalQueen’s University’s Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice’s (ISCTSJ) Spring Festival of Events gets underway tomorrow with Senator George Mitchell delivering the third annual Harri Holkeri Lecture on ‘Reflections on Brokering Peace in Divided Societies.’

The former US Senator is best known in these parts for his role in chairing the Northern Ireland peace talks that produced the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement. He also served as Chancellor of Queen’s from 1999 to 2009.

The lecture is in the Great Hall in the Lanyon Building at 5 pm, but is by invitation only. Questions and answers will be facilitated by the BBC’s William Crawley.

The Harri Holkeri Lecture Series was launched in 2013 to honour the role played by the late Finish Prime Minister in the Northern Ireland peace process and in forging the Belfast Agreement together with Senator Mitchell and John de Chastelain.

The Festival concludes with a Lecture and Q&A with Baroness Nuala O’Loan on “Dealing with the Past,” on Thursday 28 May, 2-4 pm in the Canada Room of the Lanyon Building. This event is free and open to the public but requires registration.

All other events in the Festival are free and open to the public, though it is advisable to RSVP to all events. You can view the programme here, including RSVP information and fuller descriptions of each event than are provided below:

Conference on “1325 Women and Peacebuilding” 27-28 April, Old Staff Common Room

A conference to mark 15 years since UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women and Peacebuilding. The keynote address will be given by Inna Michaeli on the “UNSCR 1325 in Israel – The Occupation as an Epistemological Challenge.’

Film Screening and Post-Film Discussion, “I Came to Testify,” 13 May, 4.30 pm, Old Staff Common Room

“I Came to Testify” tells the story of how 16 women who were imprisoned by Serb-led forces took to the witness stand in an international court of law, resulting in a verdict that led to new international laws about sexual violence in war.

The film will be introduced by Dr Maria Deiana, a Research Fellow in the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy.

“Peace-Making in an Age of Terror: In Conversation with Michael Semple,” 14 May, 12.30 pm, Old Staff Common Room

Michael Semple will engage in discussion with Julia Paul on his practitioner and scholarly experience on humanitarian assistance and conflict resolution in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He is currently a visiting scholar at ISCTSJ and an advisor to policy makers on Afghanistan, particularly on engaging with the Taliban.

“The state of Kurdistan and the State of Kurdistan – Lecture and Discussion with Prof Brendan O’Leary,” 19 May, 1 pm, Old Staff Common Room

Prof O’Leary, the Lauder Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania, will combine elements of his academic and political advisory work in his presentation and discussion. He has published 19 books, the latest of which is How to Get out of Iraq with Integrity, and also has researched and advised on Northern Ireland.

Conference on “(In)Security in Conflict and the Everyday,” 27 May, 9.30am-6 pm, Elmwood Building

QUB’s “Reshaping Security in Conflict and Beyond: Critical Perspectives Interdisciplinary Research Group” will host this conference on how security relates to global and regional conflicts and the securitisation of everyday life. The keynote speakers are Mark Duffield, Professor of Development Politics at the University of Bristol, and Rema Hammami, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Birzeit University in the West Bank.

Lecture on “Dealing with the Past” by Baroness Nuala O’Loan, 28 May, 2-4 pm, Canada Room, Lanyon Building

Baroness O’Loan will reflect on her long experience as a lawyer, Police Ombudsman and champion of justice, addressing the difficulties that “dealing with the past” poses for post-conflict societies and making recommendations for how it might be managed.

  • Dan

    I see comments were also censored on this thread about Queens. Not a good couple of days for free speech.

    I hope any plans to revive that conflict centre at the Maze are now laid to rest for good.

  • tmitch57

    Harri Holkeri should be remembered not only for his role on the Mitchell Commission in Northern Ireland but for his major role in helping to transition Namibia from South African occupation to independence. Holkeri played a much more significant role in Namibia than he did in Northern Ireland where he was the least important of the three main international figures involved in the mediation effort.