The geopolitics of five conflicts will be analysed during an international conference which will be supporting the promotion of negotiated agreements. It will take place in Trinity College, Dublin on 24 and 25 May.
Military solutions to contemporary conflicts have increased human suffering and divisions between communities. The militarisation of these regions has resulted only in reinforcing the conflicts and the threat to democracy.
In order to avoid this human drama and promote dialogue, the ‘Locally and Globally: The geopolitics of peace and conflict in Columbia, Palestine, Kurdistan, Sri Lanka and Northern Ireland’ conference was born, which will advance the search for negotiations to current armed conflicts.
Thus, during the conference, the devastating effects of military solutions will be analysed through case studies. Amongst these will be the dramatic human consequences unleashed after the military attack against the Tamil people which ended the civil war in Sri Lanka at the beginning of 2009, along with the current Palestinian situation.
In addition to studying cases from military conflicts with disastrous consequences, the conference will also present examples of cases where dialogue between equals has found a solution to the problem.
In this manner, it will examine the peace process in Northern Ireland, which “without being perfect,” has demonstrated the potential for dialogue and political solutions in adverse circumstances due to the fact that during this process, the political parties were subject to the same conditions and treated with equality.
The conference will also tackle how governments and security forces have been supported by world powers to adopt military actions instead of negotiating.
In the words of the organisers, “the conference will be a valuable space for experts to exchange experiences and viewpoints, in order to allow participants from different countries to gain a wider perspective and allow them to learn from each other.”
Attendants and sessions
The first session, on 24 May, will consist of a public conference in which experts from the chosen countries will participate: Leylah Zana, Kurdish MP in Turkey; Rohitha Bashana Abyewardena, representative of Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka; David Landy, an activist for Palestine; and a Columbian speaker still to be confirmed.
Also, confirmation is expected that the president of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, is to give the inaugural speech at the conference .
On 25 May the second session will be held which will consist of a seminar in which topics including the following will be examined: “Lessons from Northern Ireland and Palestine”, “The role of the UN and EU”, “The means and the conflict, the search for alternative methods”, “Demilitarization and expansion of democratic space”, “Human rights and freedom of expression”.
The first session will take place in the Burke Theatre of Trinity College, whilst the second will be held in the School of Ecumenical Studies.
The conference has been organised by the School of Ecumenical Studies of Trinity College, Dublin, the School of Law and Government of Dublin City University, The Irish Forum for Peace in Sri Lanka, the Grupo Raíces, Grúpa Fréamhacha, Columbian Solidarity in Ireland, Kurdish Solidarity Group in Ireland, Latin American Solidarity Centre, Dublin Trocaire and Justice for Columbia, Irish Section.
(Translated by: Emma Harris – firstname.lastname@example.org)