On 26 January 2018, I had the honour and pleasure of hosting Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Kailash Satyarthi for Vesalius College's Annual "Human RIghts and Global Advocacy Lecture". In his talk "The Road from Local Activism to the Nobel Peace Prize", Kailash Satyarthi was invited to reflect on his inspiring work and career of tackling the issue of child slavery, trafficking and human rights violations. For more info, please click here.
On 24 August 2016, Vesalius College and the Norwegian Institute for International Affairs (NUPI) co-convene an international expert workshop on "Rising Powers and Peacebuilding: Innovative Approaches to Preventing Conflict and Sustaining Peace". The workshop will provide an opportunity to debate the results of an international research project on distinctive approaches of BRICS countries on peacebuilding and the implications for Western organisations, countries and approaches.
On the occasion of International Day of Peacekeepers on 6th June 2016, I had the pleasure and honour to co-organize with the United Nations Regional Information Centre, the UN Liaison Office for Peace and Security (UNLOPS) and the European External Action Service a debate on the Past, present and future of UN Peacekeeping. The debate was based on the findings of our Oxford Handbook of UN Peacekeeping Operations and drew an active crowd of diplomats, policy-makers, academics, students and the general public. Co-panelists included Rory Keane (Head of UN Liaison Office for Peace and Security in Brussels) and Clara Ganslandt (European External Action Service - dealing with UN-EU partnership in peacekeeping).
2-Day Practitioner-Scholar Workshop co-organized by Vesalius College - Georgetown University: Peace and Security Studies
From 11 - 12 May 2016, I had the pleasure of co-organizing with Ambassador Ken Yalowitz and Craig Zelizer (Program for Conflict Resolutions, Georgetown University) an intense two-day workshop to bridge perspectives and experiences from practitioners and scholars in the field of peace and security studies. The workshop brought together 40 policy-makers (from NATO, the EU, UN, national ministries, the US , Belgian and Swedish militaries and NGOs) as well as European and US scholars to debate the gaps and communalities in the areas of transatlantic approaches to major security threats, practitioner-scholar dialogue and between the disciplines of peace and security studies.
The workshop served as a kick-off event for a wider research network co-lead by Vesalius College and Georgetown University on bridging the scholar-practitioner divide.
In January 2015, I co-organized with Karen E. Smith (LSE) and my co-editor Gjovalin Macaj (University of Oxford) a workshop on the European Union as a Diplomatic Actor at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Speakers included Michael H. Smith (Loughborough/Warwick University), Federica Bicchi (LSE) and as keynote speaker Fernando Andresen Guimaraes (Head of Russia Division, European External Action Service and Adjunct Professor for European and Global Diplomacy at Vesalius College). What Workshop also functioned as the book launch of our edited volume The European Union as a Diplomatic Actor (2015), to which, inter alia, Karen Smith, Mike Smith and Fernando Guimaraes contributed chapters.
Regional Diplomatic Consultations (Europe) for the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations (HIPPO)
On 20 February 2015, I had the pleasure and honour to co-organize with our GGI team, two think tank partners and the UN HIPPO Secretariat the diplomatic European regional consultations of the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations established by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and led by Nobel Peace Laureate Jose Ramos Horta.
The Secretary-General established the Panel in October 2014 to undertake an assessment of the state of UN peace operations, and the emerging needs of the future. The review included both peacekeeping operations and special political missions. The Panel included 17 members with a wide range of experience and expertise.
As part of its assessment, the Panel engaged with Member States, academics, think tanks and civil society in various regions of the world, including Europe. The European consultation, co-organized by GGI, together with the UN Liaison Office for Peace and Security and the Center for International Peace Operations (ZIF, Berlin), was held on 20 February at the Egmont Palace, Place du Petit Sablon, 8, Brussels. Six panel members were present and engaged in the discussions, as were representatives from more than 40 member states.
The main purpose of the consultations were to:
The opening speech was given by Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, followed by three panels and exchanges with representatives of over 40 member states.
I was asked to provide input on the issue of European contributions to UN Peacekeeping in the field of military and policing. I focused in my input on the importance of rapid reaction (with lessons learned from SHIRBRIG) Inter-Organisational Capacity-Building, Security Sector Reform and the need for a wider European debate on the improvements of United Nations Command and Control (C2).
Click below to open the Background Document circulated during the Consultations.
Official Programme of the Consultations
GGI-Transparency International Civil Society Roundtable: Strengthening Civil Society and Legislative Oversight in the realm of defence
On 18 October 2013, I had the honour of co-organizing with Transparency International and with the institutional support of the Global Governance Institute a civil society roundtable that focused on the issue of legislative oversight of defence issues (particularly, but not exclusively related to procurement and corruption). The event brought together Members of the European Parliament, TI and GGI experts and remarkable members of the NGO and civil society community.
The workshop featured also small group discussions of TI's Corruption Index in the defence sector as well as wider discussions on the implications of corruption in the global arms trade.
Morning Session: Presentation & Discussion of the GI Report & Lecture by Andrew Feinstein
09:30 - 09:40 Welcome and refreshments & Welcome Remarks
- Mark Pyman (Director, TI Defence and Security Programme)
- Joachim Koops (Director, GGI & Professor IES-VUB)
09:40 - 10:00 Corruption in the Defence Sector Q&A
10:00 - 10:20 Challenges to Parliamentarians Fighting Corruption in Defence: The Experience of South Africa
Andrew Feinstein, Former Member of Congress, South Africa & Author of "The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade
10:20 - 10:45 The Government Defence Anti-Corruption Index (GI) and ‘Watchdogs’ including Q&A
10:45 - 11:15 Implications of Transparency for Global Security Governance
Joachim Koops, Director GGI & Professor of Political Science, VUB)
11:15 - 11:30 Coffee Break
Small Group Discussions
11:30 – 12:00 Participants' Group Discussion of Watchdogs findings, tools and actions
12:00 - 12:45 Small groups report back and other participants respond – fishbowl format with 5 minute introductions by Mark Pyman (focus on report actions) and Andrew Feinstein (focus on implementing tools)
12:45 – 13:15 Lunch
13:15 - 13:45 Plenary discussion: Towards a European approach to stronger legislative oversight, transparency and governance - Challenges and Opportunities
Daniel Fiott, Doctoral Researcher, Institute for European Studies
13:45 – 14:00 Conclusions, and introduction to next steps in research / potential research workshop and network
On 25 March 2013, Fernando Cavalcante, Giulia Tercovich and myself convened (with the institutional support of Vesalius College and the Global Governance Institute) in cooperation with the United Nation's Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) an international high-level conference and workshop, entitled “United Nations – EU Cooperation in Peacebuilding”. The event focused on the current state of – and prospects for – collaboration between the United Nations and the European Union in peacebuilding. The event featured speeches from representatives of the UN, EU, UK DFID, ICG, EPLO and UNDP, among others. It was a huge success, with attendance from representatives of member state governments, the EU, UN, and leading international peacebuilding NGOs and consultancies.
You can download the programme with the list of speakers below (PDF Format).
On 26 April 2012, Daniel Fiott (Madariage Foundation, now IES), Robert Zuber (Global Action to Prevent War) and myself co-organized a day-long international conference in cooperation with the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect, the Madariaga Foundation, the Global Action to Prevent War and the Global Governance Institute and with support from the UN Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide. The conference examined the challenges, limitations and effectiveness of actual implementation issues related to the responsibility to protect norm.
The keynote speech was given by MEP Franziska Brantner (now Member of the German Parliament) and some excellent discussions emerged with input from UN, EU, NGO academic representatives. The event drew a crowd of approx. 100 representatives and the discussions served for a wide range of further publications, such as Daniel's and my The Responsibility to Protect and the Third Pillar: Legitimacy and Operationalization, Palgrave Macmillan.
Click here for the Programme
Click here of the List of Participants
Responsibility to Protect, Responsibility to Rebuild: Lessons from Libya (with CEPS, GGI, Vesalius College)
In Apri 2012, I organized an expert workshop on the Responsibility to Protect and the Responsibility to Rebuild in relation to major lessons learned from Libya. Speakers included Daniel Fiott (IES), Dr Hylke Dijkstra (Maastricht), Robert Zuber (Global Action to Prevent War) and Jolyon Howorth (Yale University).
You can read a brief workshop report, HERE.