Thursday 01 April 2010

International Conference
Conflict Prevention and Resolution: the Role of Cultural Relations
Tuesday, March 02, 2010 – Bibliothèque Solvay
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 Conflict Prevention and Resolution: the Role of Cultural Relations

International Conference

2 March 2010, Bibliothèque Solvay

Why culture matters
09.30 – 10.00

Introductory Remarks by Giles Merritt, Director, Security & Defence Agenda

Clashes of culture, related to religious beliefs, ethnicity or different values often lie at the root of security problems. Can a better understanding of these fundamental issues hold the key to conflict prevention, as well as peacemaking and peacekeeping? How best can Western forces and political leaders develop more sensitive cultural antennae in security hotspots?



Martin Davidson, Chief Executive, British Council

Martin Howard, Assistant Secretary General for Operations, NATO



Shada Islam, Journalist and Senior Programme Executive, European Policy Centre


Cultural relations in conflict – case studies
10.00 – 11.30

Successful uses of cultural relations in conflict zones over the last 10 years have not received much media attention. This testimonial and lessons-learned session features actors in the field and tries to identify best practice in inter-cultural dialogue and understanding in conflict areas. Case studies/testimonials will be delivered from recent and current conflict areas, including Afghanistan, The Balkans and Africa. A live video link with Kabul will enable local speakers to participate in the debate.

Brigadier Hamza Visca, Joint Staff Post-conflict Reconstruction, Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Hewod Aziz Jan, Afghan student
George Gachara, co-Founder, Picha Mtaani, Kenya and British Council Global Changemaker
Oliver Urquhart Irvine, Cultural Property Manager, British Library

Yar Mohammad, Chairman, English Teachers’ Association Afghanistan, Kabul University (via video link)
Professor John Sugden, Director, International ‘Football4Peace’ programme

Bjorn Maes, Artistic Coordinator Southern Africa, Africalia

Anand Naidoo, Al-Jazeera English

Coffee break
11.30 – 12.00

Civ-mil cooperation: designing a cultural approach
12.00- 13.00

Now that NATO has a more comprehensive approach to the planning and conduct of its operations, and is reviewing its Strategic Concept, what concrete steps need to be taken to ensure military training includes greater cultural awareness? Can improved civilian-military dialogue and a better understanding of the role of cultural relations improve security policy? What new approaches should be developed to help both civilian and military personnel in the field to bring a greater cultural dimension to their missions?

Ilana Bet-El, Political Analyst
Catherine Fieschi, Director, Counterpoint, British Council
Colonel Per Mikkelsen, Deputy Branch Chief Joint Operations, NATO
Marietje Schaake, Member of the European Parliament

Anand Naidoo, Al-Jazeera English

Networking Lunch
13.00 – 14.00

Download the programme here.

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