Alumni News

Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation lecture

Tuesday 1 February 2011, 6.00pm

Once peace has broken out, there is a tendency by the international community to move on.  However, conflicts such as those in Northern Ireland, Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia develop from very long-standing memories of victimization and stereotypes, which extremists can play upon. The panel will discuss how historic grievances and potential conflict might be defused, with the help of international diplomacy.  Most of all, the speakers will address the difficult issue of how the necessarily lengthy process of peace-building in the aftermath of ethno-religious conflict can be sustained, given the 'short-termism' of national and international politics.

Opening Welcome:
Professor Jon Saunders (Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool)

Chair: Professor Marianne Elliott OBE FBA is Blair Chair and Director of The Institute of Irish Studies at Liverpool University. As a historian Professor Elliott is best known for her acclaimed biography Wolfe Tone: Prophet of Irish Independence (1989) and When God took Sides: Religion and Identity in Ireland – Unfinished History (2009).  In October 2000 she was awarded an OBE for services to Irish Studies and the Northern Ireland peace process.

President Martti Ahtisaari is a former President of Finland (1994-2000), a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and United Nations diplomat and mediator, noted for his international peace work. In October 2008 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize “for his efforts on several continents and over more than three decades, to resolve international conflicts”. He has played a prominent role in resolving conflicts in Namibia, Indonesia, Kosovo and Iraq, among other areas. In 2000 President Ahtisaari founded Crisis Management Initiative to help the international community improve its efforts in preventive diplomacy, peacemaking and post-conflict state building.

The Rt Hon Lord Owen CH FRCP (David Owen) was a member of the British parliament from 1966 to 1992. Under Labour Governments, he served as Navy Minister, Health Minister and Foreign Secretary. He was leader of the SDP from 1983 to 1990 and served as EU Peace negotiator in the former Yugoslavia from 1992 to 1995.  He was Chancellor of the University of Liverpool until 2009.

Francesc Vendrell is a Spanish diplomat who was Head of the Documentations Services of the United Nations General Secretariat in Europe and America from 1987 to 1992. He was the personal representative of the UN Secretary General of the United Nations in the peace processes in El Salvador and Nicaragua (1989-1991), Guatemala (1990-1992) and East Timor (1999). From 2000 to 2002 he headed the UN Special Mission to Afghanistan.

Dáithí O’Ceallaigh is an Irish diplomat whose career has spanned more than 35 years.  He held posts in Moscow, London, Belfast, New York, Finland and Estonia, before serving as Ambassador to London for 6 years from 2001. He retired from the Foreign Service in 2009 and is currently Director General of the Institute of International and European Affairs in Dublin. 

Attendance is FREE, but registration is required for this event.  To book your place, or for more information, please contact Dorothy Lynch, at the Institute of Irish Studies on or by calling +44 (0)151 794 3837 before Wednesday 26th January 2011.

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