Events at USIP
Faith and Fragile States - Political Stability and Religious Freedom

Faith and Fragile States - Political Stability and Religious Freedom

July 27, 2018

Religion influences both peace and conflict worldwide. Violent extremism is often framed in religious terms, and religious discrimination continues to increase as both a driver and symptom of conflict. But, religion drives peace and coexistence as well and religious actors are essential for advancing religious freedom. Efforts to engage religious actors in countering violent extremism (CVE) and interfaith peacebuilding must take this dichotomy into account.

Perpetrators of violence in the name of a religion often target vulnerable religious minorities, resulting in increased discrimination, social hostility and extremist behavior. This discussion explores how policymakers and practitioners can engage religious actors in CVE efforts in ways that ensure protection and the advancement of international religious freedom.

 

Opening Remarks:

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), Former U.S. Representative from Virginia

Tony Garrastazu, Senior Director, Center for Global Impact, International Republican Institute

 

Panelists:

Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah, President, Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies

Humera Khan, President, Muflehun

Oliver Wilcox, Deputy Director, Countering Violent Extremism, Bureau of Counterterrorism, U.S. Department of State

Rev. Prof. Fadi Daou, Chair and CEO, Adyan Foundation, Professor, Holy Spirit University of Kaslik

Moderator: Nancy Lindborg, President, U.S. Institute of Peace

Senator Joni Ernst Discusses U.S. Policy Options in Post-ISIS Iraq

Senator Joni Ernst Discusses U.S. Policy Options in Post-ISIS Iraq

July 26, 2018

On Thursday, July 26, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) joined the U.S. Institute of Peace to give remarks on U.S. policy options in Iraq in the post-ISIS era. She discussed the protection of religious minority groups and offered her perspective on Iranian influence in the country and region.

Senator Ernst is the first female combat veteran to serve in the U.S. Senate, having retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard. She serves as the Chairwoman of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee.

Speakers:
Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA)
U.S. Senator from Iowa

Nancy Lindborg, moderator
President, U.S. Institute of Peace

South Sudan - From Independence to Civil War

South Sudan - From Independence to Civil War

July 19, 2018

South Sudan’s civil war is one of the most brutal and destructive conflicts of the 21st century. Could the war have been prevented? Could some of the atrocities and misery caused by the war have been avoided?  On July 19 the U.S. Institute of Peace and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum's Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide hosted a discussion on what lessons should be learned from U.S. policy toward South Sudan in the years leading up to and during the civil war.

Speakers:
Ambassador Donald Booth
Former U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan

Kate Almquist Knopf
Director, Africa Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University

Joshua Meservey
Senior Policy Analyst, Africa and the Middle East, The Heritage Foundation

Jon Temin
Visiting Fellow, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum's Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide and Africa Director, Freedom House

Mike Yaffe, welcoming remarks
Vice President, Middle East and Africa Center, U.S. Institute of Peace

Aly Verjee, moderator
Visiting Expert, United States Institute of Peace

Will Pakistan’s Youth be a Boom or Bust for its Democracy?

Will Pakistan’s Youth be a Boom or Bust for its Democracy?

July 19, 2018

With over 44 percent of new voters between the ages of 18 and 35, Pakistan’s youth will play an important role in the upcoming elections and influence the future of the country’s democracy. To harness the power of Pakistan’s youth, a recent UNDP Human Development Report argues for a national focus on youth empowerment through education, employment, and meaningful engagement. According to the report, youth will prove to be a dividend or a serious challenge to the country, depending on how Pakistan invests in their development. To positively impact that policy, youth must be empowered and engaged.

Speakers:
Sahar Khan
Visiting Research Fellow, CATO Institute

Dr. Adil Najam
Dean, Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University

Pir Zubair Shah
Freelance Journalist

Jumaina Siddiqui, Moderator
Senior Program Officer, Asia Center, U.S. Institute of Peace

Wildlife Poaching and Trafficking - Combating a Source of Terrorist Funding

Wildlife Poaching and Trafficking - Combating a Source of Terrorist Funding

July 17, 2018

Illegal wildlife poaching and trafficking has destabilized local communities and devastated elephant, rhino, and endangered species populations across Africa. High demand for wildlife products in Asia has driven this surge in poaching and trafficking, threatening the future of these species. Illegal trade in protected wildlife is worth an estimated $7 to $10 billion.  This figure places wildlife trafficking among the most lucrative criminal activities worldwide, rivaling the illegal trade in drugs and arms in size and scope. The United States, with support from Congress, has been at the forefront of this push, through legislation like the Congo Basin Forest Partnership Act of 2004 and the END Wildlife Trafficking Act of 2016.

Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, will discuss key successes, challenges, and next steps for U.S. policymakers.

Speakers:
Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA)
U.S. Representative from California

Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE)
U.S. Senator from Delaware

Nancy Lindborg
President, U.S. Institute of Peace

Senator Jeff Merkley on Violence and Humanitarian Response in Africa

Senator Jeff Merkley on Violence and Humanitarian Response in Africa

July 11, 2018

Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) recently returned from a five-country visit to Somalia, South Sudan, Djibouti, Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to assess the region’s humanitarian crises while seeking to better understand their root causes. He held over 35 meetings with civil society, refugees living in camps, aid workers, government officials, and U.N. peacekeepers. During his visit, it became clear to Senator Merkley that U.S. diplomatic leadership, development aid, and humanitarian response are critical to addressing the root causes of conflict, climate change and corruption.

Speakers:
Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
U.S. Senator from Oregon

Nancy Lindborg, Moderator
President, U.S. Institute of Peace

A Year in the Life of a Peace Teacher

A Year in the Life of a Peace Teacher

July 10, 2018

At a time when violent international conflict and the threat of extremism loom large, four high school teachers in Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, and Florida have spent the last year taking part in a U.S. Institute of Peace program to help their students gain the knowledge, skills and perspectives they need to work toward a more peaceful world.

Three of USIP’s 2017 Peace Teachers will share how they advanced their students’ understanding of conflict and the possibilities of peace in ways that aligned with their existing curriculum. Their stories will reveal how students from very different communities across the U.S. make sense of the world and what they were inspired to do over the past year as part of this USIP program.

Participants:
Nancy Lindborg, Welcoming Remarks
President, U.S. Institute of Peace

Megan Chabalowski, Introductions
Program Officer, Public Education, U.S. Institute of Peace

Joanne Leedom-Ackerman, Moderator
American novelist, short story writer and journalist, and Member, International Advisory Council, U.S. Institute of Peace

Amy Cameron
Grandview High School, Grandview, MO

Ezra Shearer
Sentinel High School, Missoula, MT

Maria Zelaya
Eastside High School, Gainesville, FL