Sunday, December 10, 2017

Professor Erin Baines Visits Belfast

In December 2017 Professor Erin Baines, Associate Professor at the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs (SPPGA) at the University of British Columbia, visited Belfast.

The purpose of the trip was to explore ongoing partnerships and also engage with Ulster University MSc, LLM and PhD students. Professor Baines offered two classes on focusing on her work in Uganda entitled "Children & Futurities" and a second research focused workshop entitled "De-colonial approaches to research on violence".

We also got some time to do some writing, and wider than this her and I outlined some future plans for joint co-operation and research. I look forward to continuing to work with her.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Launch of "John Hume: In His Own Words"

Brandon Hamber, Sean Farren, Pat Hume, Colm Eastwood, Malachy O'Neill
Great to be at the launch of  "John Hume: In His Own Words" edited by Seán Farren. The event was hosted by Four Courts Press in association with Ulster University. Pat Hume was the keynote speaker providing many useful and detailed insights into her and John Hume's work. I spoke about the importance of peace and Hume legacy.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Reflecting on Masculinities Through the Eye of the Needle

The Textile Language of Conflicts Exhibition launched today (6 November 2017) at the Magee Campus, Ulster University. The exhibition was curated by Roberta Bacic and organised by Professor Robinson. I gave the keynote address at the opening entitled "Reflecting on Masculinities Through the Eye of the Needle". The talk can be listened to below.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Peace, Economics and Education Discussion

Tom O’Neill, Marty Meehan, Brandon Hamber,  Adrian Johnson (IFI)
Great session this morning focusing on Peace, Economics and Education with Marty Meehan, former Congressman and now President of University of Massachusetts Lowell. Also fantastic to see Tom O’Neill and Adrian Johnson (IFI) supporters of INCORE. The event was part of the Donegal County Council Tip O'Neill Diaspora Awards.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Kofi Annan Foundation Reconciliation Study

Kofi Annan Opening the Symposium
In 2017 Interpeace and the Kofi Annan Foundation launched a joint project on reconciliation that aims to contribute to the current debates on reconciliation by identifying innovations and lessons that can inspire national and international actors engaged or willing to engage in reconciliation efforts, as well as shedding light on how such efforts can best be supported by international actors. Grainne Kelly and myself were contracted by the Kofi Annan Foundation to write a case study for the large research project, as well as contribute to a high-level symposium convened by Mr Kofi Annan aimed at capturing lessons on experiences of reconciliation and provide guidelines on how to design and implement reconciliation processes. Over 2017 Grainne Kelly and I worked on research to inform their report (high level interviews with policymakers). A draft Northern Ireland case study was submitted to the Kofi Annan Foundation in the summer of 2017 and then presented to a high-level symposium in October 2017 in Bogota, Colombia. Kofi Annan opened the symposium on reconciliation in Bogota, Colombia. Grainne Kelly presented her and my research on reconciliation and its challenges in Northern Ireland. You can see more about the event here: http://www.kofiannanfoundation.org/building-lasting-peace/reconciliation-symposium/

Saturday, September 30, 2017

29th Annual Nobel Peace Prize

Recently I spoke at the 29th Annual Nobel Peace Prize Forum (September 2017) at Augsburg University in Minneapolis. At the Forum he presented the paper "Cultivating Peace: An Exploration of the Role of Nature-Based Activities in Conflict Transformation". This was a joint paper by myself, Alistair Little and Wilhelm Verwoerd. Little and Verwoerd belong to ‘Beyond Walls’ which organised ‘the Journey through Conflict’ process in the framework of ‘Sustainable Peace Network’.


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Women, Peace and Security Oversight Group

Yesterday I was lucky enough to attended a meeting of the Women, Peace and Security Oversight Group in Dublin discussing Ireland's National Action Plan. I spoke on issues of masculinity and inclusion in women, peace and security agenda. The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Conveney, attended for some of the time [Photos from Irish Foreign Ministry Twitter] #wpsireland


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Reconciliation in Northern Ireland

My with Grainne Kelly continued in 2017 focused on the concept of reconciliation. In 2017 they spoke at two high-level events in Northern Ireland. The first with The Executive Office and staff as they consider the role of reconciliation in the draft Programme for Government and Together: Building a United Community (TBUC). They participants and delivered the keynote address at a further seminar at the “Together: Building a United Community Engagement Forum” on 15 June 2017, with the Executive Office (TEO) and over 160 community practitioners, policymakers and academics that took place at the Girdwood Community Hub.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Resilience to Conflict: Integrated, Granular Measure

It was a pleasure hosting the Seminar "Resilience to Conflict - A New, Integrated, Granular Measure" by Dr David Backer (University of Maryland) working with community partners Healing Through Remembering on 25 May 2017. The seminar explored the issue of resilience, an important topic in peacebuilding and international development.The seminar was part of a new formal partnership between Ulster University and the University of Maryland. Watch the seminar below.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Refugee Law Project Summer Institute

In Mid-May 2017 I visited Uganda again as part of the Summer Institute focusing on “Men’s and Women’s Relations in Coercive Settings” (17-19 May 2017) hosted by the Refugee Law Project (RLP) and in War Partnership (CSiW). As part of the event I participated in a 2-day long workshops run by RLP and partners with men who were former combatants/abducted during the Northern Uganda war to learn from their experiences. The second part of the event was a more open conference focusing on women’s and men’s experiences of forced relationships in wartime. I am most gratfeul to Dr Chris Dolan and Professor Erin Baines for the opportunity to attend, learned a fortune.
Some of the Refugee Law Project staff

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

9th International Conference of Museums for Peace


The 9th International Conference of Museums for Peace was held in Belfast (10-13, April 2017). The International Network of Museums for Peace (INMP) is a global network of peace museums, peace gardens and other peace related sites, centres and institutions that share the aim to cultivate a global culture of peace. The conference theme was “Cities as Living Museums for Peace” and highlighted Belfast’s social and political transformation from a divided, troubled city to a one which models peace consciousness through post-conflict healing and reconciliation. The 9th International Conference of Museums for Peace was hosted by Ulster University, with the support of Visit Belfast. I gave the keynote address with Dr Elizabeth Crooke, Ulster University. Hopefully we will get around to publishing it some time soon.

9th International Conference of Museums for Peace Participants at Belfast City Hall

Friday, March 31, 2017

Sierra Leone People's Planning Process

The Sierra Leone Delegation
In March 2017 a delegation from Sierra Leone including the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Maya Kai Kai, visited Belfast. The visit was the result of my visit to Sierra Leone in February 2016 on invitation of Catalyst for Peace (operational US Foundation) and Fambul Tok a local NGO. The trip focused on observing the work of Fambul Tok. Fambul Tok (meaning "family talk") is a community ritual process that takes place at bonfires in which reconciliation between victims and perpetrators of political violence takes place (see http://www.fambultok.org).  When the Ebola crisis hit, the same networks were used for post-war reconciliation were transformed into health prevention networks. Then in the last two years the networks have continued to develop, and have morphed into a local governance processes called the “People’s Planning Process”. Fambul Tok have run this new peace and development process in 3 regions. Through the trip I was invited to be an advisor to and Fambul Tok, as they set out to mainstream the process with government. As part of this process, funded and supported by Catalyst for Peace, Ulster University hosted a delegation from Sierra Leone including the Minister of Land and Rural Development, MPs, a major, local council members and various civil society representatives in Belfast in April 2017 to discuss the inclusive local governance and peacebuilding process unfolding in Sierra Leone.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Northern Ireland’s Lessons for Israeli-Palestinian Peace

Spoke recently at a conference in Washington DC focusing on “Northern Ireland’s Lessons for Israeli-Palestinian Peace” held at the US Institute for Peace, 13 March 2017. This event also included Dr Adrian Johnston (IFI). More here http://buff.ly/2mFbfR0.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Radio Clip: Students Visit Stormont after 2017 Election

A report from BBC Good Morning Ulster on a visit of INCORE Ulster University MSc and HECUA students visit to Stormont shortly after the 2017 election.