IPI HomeEventsConferencesRefugees and the Regional Dynamics of Peacebuilding

 

print print  |  share share back back

Conferences - Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Refugees and the Regional Dynamics of Peacebuilding

While refugees can stretch the capacities of hosting countries, their presence can also have beneficial effects. An IPI seminar on May 4th focused on these effects and the experiences of refugee-hosting countries—a departure from the majority of research on refugees that explores the experiences of refugees themselves, or their repatriation and its effects on the country of origin.

As a few speakers at the seminar noted, refugees who receive appropriate training in exile can use those skills to help build peace when they return home. Yet they can also act as spoilers to peace if they are politicized while in exile, or if they are repatriated too early.

One presenter urged, “We must build on the benefits refugees can have. They can create markets… [spark] the development of infrastructure, and if they can work, contribute to the labor market.”  

The seminar, co-hosted by IPI and the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, brought together over forty representatives from the Trudeau Foundation and IPI, diplomats, academics, and policy experts from the UN and NGO communities for the discussion, which also focused on the experiences of refugee-hosting countries; regional approaches to managing refugee returns and reintegration; and peacebuilding strategies to refugee situations.

The seminar was held under the Chatham House rule of nonattribution. A meeting report will be published by IPI in the next few months.

The seminar was preceded by an evening reception on May 3rd, which featured keynote remarks by Ambassador Martin Palouš of the Czech Republic on the nexus between refugee situations and peacebuilding.

In his remarks, Ambassador Palouš commended the progress the UN has made in recent years in developing peacebuilding strategies, but noted that more coordinated responses between and within different organizations would strengthen efforts to create sustainable peace in the midst of refugee situations.

 Download the meeting note

Download the agenda

Speakers and Panelists

Opening Remarks:
Dr. Edward C. Luck, Senior Vice President for Research and Programs, International Peace Institute
Dr. Pierre-Gerlier Forest, President, The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation

Panel I
Chair: Ambassador Robert Fowler, Former Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations, 2008 Trudeau Mentor
Panelists:
Joel Charny, Vice President, Policy, Refugees International
Sarah Kamal, The London School of Economics and Political Science, 2007 Trudeau Scholar
• Stanlake J.T.M. Samkange, Representative and Country Director, UN World Food Programme, Uganda Country Office

Panel II
Chair: Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada, 2008 Trudeau Mentor
Panelists:
Dr. James Milner, Carleton University, 2003 Trudeau Scholar
Dr. Sarah Kenyon Lischer, Associate Professor of Political Science, Wake Forest University
• Dr. Jeff Crisp, Head of Policy Development and Evaluation, UNHCR (Geneva)

Panel III
Chair: Judy Cheng-Hopkins, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support, PBSO
Panelists:
• Udo Janz, Director, UNHCR (New York)
Dr. Carolyn Makinson, Executive Director, Women’s Refugee Commission
Stan Nkwain, Deputy Director of the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, UNDP

Closing Session
Chairs:
Carolyn McAskie, Former Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support, 2009 Trudeau Mentor
Dr. Edward C. Luck, Senior Vice President for Research and Programs, International Peace Institute

The Global Observatory

Defying Spain, Catalans Vote for Independence, But What’s Next?
The unofficial Catalan referendum has raised several questions about Catalonia’s future and its relationship with Madrid.

Key Global Events to Watch in November
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.

2014 Top 10 Issues to Watch in Peace & Security: The Global Arena
A list of ten key issues to watch that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2014, compiled by IPI's Francesco Mancini.

The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.

Recent Events

November 05, 2014
Top-Down Governance Hurts Women, Youth Participation
Governments in the Sahel and Maghreb are still using top-down approaches to governance that make it hard for women and youth to have a say in public life, even though their participation can help their governments’ struggle against instability and extremism.

November 03, 2014
Apakan on Ukraine: "To Be Present Is Important"
On November 3rd, IPI’s Vienna office hosted Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan, Chief Monitor of the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

November 03, 2014
Enhancing Women's Share in Peace and Security
“We did not want to make war safe for women; we wanted to end war for everyone,” Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury said, recalling the goal of a new resolution he introduced as president of the Security Council in the year 2000.

View More