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Conferences - Monday, May 05, 2008

Seminar at Tarrytown Estate Addresses International Responses to Armed Conflict and State Fragility

IPI’s annual New York Seminar, this year entitled “Improving the International Response to Armed Conflict and State Fragility,” took place at the Tarrytown Estate on May 5th-8th. Focusing on prevention, mediation, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding, the event attracted around sixty invited guests who took part in a series of panel discussions featuring experts from the academic, UN, and NGO communities geared toward examining, analyzing, and improving the response of the international community to weak and failing states. Over the course of the three-day event, keynote speeches were made by Ali Jalali, professor at the National Defense University and former Afghan Foreign Minister, and Margaret Vogt, Deputy Director, Africa 1 Division of the UN Department of Political Affairs.

Opened by IPI President Terje Rød-Larsen, the first full day of the seminar allowed each of the three panels to address one challenge inherent in conflict-affected and fragile situations that cuts across the range of tools used by the international community. Following the panel discussions, participants joined breakout groups which fostered greater participation and brainstorming on the four main “tools” available to the international community: peacemaking/mediation, peace operations, peacebuilding, and prevention/the responsibility to protect.

The second day of the seminar, opened by panel chair Ebenezer Appreku, Legal Adviser to the Permanent Mission of Ghana to the United Nations, addressed how the international community could strengthen its response to state fragility with a particular emphasis on addressing the challenges highlighted on the first day. Similarly, the day’s panel sessions were followed by a reconvening of the breakout groups to discuss and follow up on the second day’s events.

Chaired by Johan Løvald, Permanent Representative of Norway to the United Nations, the final day’s plenary report afforded participants the opportunity to discuss the challenges tackled in greater depth as they related to the processes of state- and peace-building, and to debate new strategies to further strengthen international responses.

IPI’s New York Seminars have been held annually since 1996 and are dedicated to the particular needs of the New York-based diplomatic community working in or around the United Nations.

To download the meeting report, click here.

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