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Conferences - Wednesday, June 11, 2008

IPI Launches Task Force on Inter- and Intra-state Armed Conflict

On June 11th-12th, representatives of United Nations member states and academic experts gathered at the Greentree Estate on Long Island for the opening plenary meeting of IPI’s “Task Force Two: Inter- and Intra-state Armed Conflict.”

Following “Task Force One: Transnational Security Challenges,” Task Force Two will focus specifically on armed conflict between and within states. Featuring four roundtables to be held during June and July, Task Force Two will cover peace operations; mediation and peace processes; peacebuilding; and, lastly, conflict prevention and the responsibility to protect.

The opening plenary meeting allowed participants to guide the content of subsequent roundtable discussions, which will combine to shape actionable recommendations for strengthening the capacity of the international community––specifically the United Nations––to tackle complex multilayered challenges. IPI President Terje Rød-Larsen opened the two-day meeting, which was chaired by co-chairs H.E. Abdullah M. Alsaidi, Permanent Representative of Yemen to the UN, H.E. John McNee, Permanent representative of Canada to the UN, and H.E. R.M. Marty M. Natalegawa, Permanent Representative of Indonesia to the UN.

Prior to Ambassador Alsaidi’s appointment to the position of Yemeni Permanent Representative to the UN in 2002, he served as his country’s Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1999 onwards. Among other roles within the Yemeni government, Amb. Alsaidi served as a member of the National Arbitration Committee with Eritrea in 1996 and, in 1995, he served as Counselor in the Office of the Foreign Minister.

Ambassador McNee was appointed as Canada’s Permanent Representative to the UN in 2006. The Ambassador joined his country’s Department of External Affairs in 1978 and, in that capacity served in Spain, the United Kingdom, and Israel. He was Canada’s Ambassador to Syria from 1993-1997 and, at the same time served as envoy to Lebanon until 1995. Immediately prior to his joining the UN as Canadian Permanent Representative, Ambassador McNee was Canada’s Ambassador to Belgium.

Ambassador Natalegawa has served as Indonesia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York since September 2007. Prior to that, from 2005, Amb. Natalegawa served as Indonesian Ambassador to the Court of St. James following spells as Chief of Staff in the Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and as the Director General for ASEAN Cooperation in the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Following the Mr. Rød-Larsen’s welcome and the introduction of the chairs, the participants discussed in sequential sessions each of the main issues related to armed conflict, with each session chaired by a Permanent Representative to the UN or IPI senior staff member. Free-flowing, substantive discussion was encouraged among participants and generated much material for the forthcoming Task Force Two roundtables.
The meeting concluded with closing remarks by Professor Dirk Salomons, Columbia University, Edward Luck, Senior Vice President and Director of Studies at IPI, and Ambassador Alsaidi, who each highlighted the crosscutting themes of the days’ meetings.

Convener:
H.E. Mr. Terje Rød-Larsen
President, International Peace Institute

Co-chairs:
H.E. Mr. John McNee
Permanent representative of Canada to the UN

H.E. R.M. Marty M. Natalegawa
Permanent Representative of Indonesia to the UN

H.E. Mr. Abdullah M. Alsaidi
Permanent Representative of Yemen to the UN

Discussants:
Mr. Salman Ahmed
Visiting Research Scholar, Princeton University

Dr. Michael W. Doyle
Harold Brown Professor of International Affairs,
Law and Political Science, Columbia University

Mr. William G. O’Neill
Independent Lawyer/Consultant

Dr. Dirk Salomons
Director of the Humanitarian Affairs Program, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University

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