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September

Let's talk peace!

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The Geneva Peace Talks 2014 under the theme  “Let’s Talk Peace!” highlighted how communication tools, techniques, and channels can contribute to resolving conflict. Speakers reflected on how they have personally overcome the challenges of communication in their involvements in peacebuilding, communications, peace negotiations, as well as discussions with perpetrators of violence and underrepresented groups to build lasting peace. Coming from violent and divided environments as well as backgrounds in science, art, business, and more, speakers shared their personal stories of peace and how communication has made a difference in their peacebuilding efforts. The Geneva Peace Talks is a public event organized on the occasion of the International Day of Peace in a partnership between the United Nations Office at Geneva, Interpeace and the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform.

Location: Palais des Nations
Date: 19/09/2014
Time: 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm

Speakers

Andrew Brookes

Andrew is a retired United Nations interpreter. He studied Arabic and Persian at Cambridge University and lived and worked in Iran and Oman for many years before joining the UN as a translator. With the UN, he was based first in New York, then in Vienna, Nairobi and Geneva. Apart from many conferences, his work has taken him on peacekeeping missions to Nicaragua and Iraq, and on human rights missions to countries as different from each other as his own United Kingdom and the Central African Republic.

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Doris Barreto

Doris is a Venezuelan peacebuilder. Her various experiences have enabled her to bring different local community members together. Through her involvement in “Fe y Alegria”, she reached out to impoverished and excluded people so as to enable them to better integrate and participate in Venezuelan society. Doris has also been involved in reducing armed violence. Doris strives to develop partnerships and works alongside other institutions in Venezuela in order to promote social activities for different community groups. Doris is also pursuing her peacebuilding activities by working in a community center in Catuche.

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Gunilla von Hall

Gunilla is a Swedish foreign correspondent and journalist for the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper in Geneva. Gunilla has covered conflict around the globe including in Iraq, Bosnia, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Based in Geneva for more than 20 years, her topics range from humanitarian issues, international politics to health and world trade. She has a bi-weekly column in Svenska Dagbladet about international affairs. Gunilla has been published in the Swedish anthology "The War & The Truth" and her stories have been selected for "Good Swedish Journalism." She was President of the United Nations Correspondent's Association in Geneva (ACANU) from 2011 until 2013.

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Jean "Plantu" Plantureux

Plantu moved to Brussels to attend drawing lessons at Ecole Saint-Luc founded by Hergé. In 1972 he joined the newspaper Le Monde with a first cartoon on the Vietnam War. He won the “Rare Document Award” at the Angers Festival du Scoop for managing to the signatures of Yasser Arafat and Shimon Peres on the same drawing. In 2006 Plantu turned the wish he shared with Kofi Annan into reality – a large number of cartoonists were brought together and the initiative Cartooning for Peace finally saw the light of day. To date, 130 cartoonists from all over the world have joined the initiative.

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Jeremy Brickhill

Jeremy is a peace mediator with a broad range of experience in security transitions and post-conflict processes in African countries.
He has participated in several ceasefire mediation processes for both African governments and rebel movements. He is currently the Director of the Zimbabwe Peace and Security Programme in Harare, Zimbabwe, which aims to contribute to the effective and sustainable modernization and transformation of the security sector in Zimbabwe. His Peace Talk will focus on how parties to a conflict come together and communicate during peace negotiations.

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Judson Webb, Kjersti Webb and Nik Dahlstrom

Judson is an independent American actor, writer, producer and director who has worked in both the theatre and film industries for over 20 years. Kjersti, an accomplished performer, also comes from a theatrical background. Nik has worked as a freelance artistic director, educator and children’s writer. Based in Sweden, Judson, Kjersti and Nik are currently working for Initiatives of Change, organizing events which combine their theatre skills with peacebuilding.

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Monica McWilliams

Professor of Women’s Studies in the Transnational Justice Institute at the University of Ulster, Monica played an instrumental role in the Multi-Party Peace Talks, which led to the Good Friday Agreement. She co-founded a political party, the Northern Ireland Women's Coalition, which was successfully elected to the peace negotiations. Monica is a former Member of the Legislative Assembly and served as Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission. Her work focuses on domestic violence, human security and the role of women in peace processes.

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Rafael

Rafael is a member of a Salvadoran gang. He has been facilitating dialogue that was initiated between the two main gangs in El Salvador in March 2012. As part of the commitment of the gangs to build peace in El Salvador, Rafael is working to reduce violence in his country.

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Randa Kassis

Randa is a Franco-Syrian politician. She is the Founder and President of the Movement for a Pluralistic Society. A few months after the revolt broke out in Syria, Randa became the President of the Secular Syrian Coalition and occupied this position until 2012. She was a member of the National Syrian Council but was excluded after her repeated warnings about the increasing number of Islamists within the ranks of the Syrian opposition. She is now a leading commentator on the Syrian conflict and will speak about the value of effectively communicating tolerance in multi-ethnic societies.

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Susan Guerra and Ines Daccord

Susan is a teacher at the junior high school in Sécheron, Geneva and trains students to mediate conflicts in pairs. Ines, who was previously her student at Sécheron, now mediates conflicts between other students. She is now a student at the Sismondi High School. Ines and Susan will reflect on the mediation programme at the Sécheron school.

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Eman Mohammed and Mati Milstein

Breaking barriers and cultural taboos in a conservative culture, Eman is Gaza’s only female photojournalist. Mati is an Israeli Jewish photojournalist who has been working in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel since 1998. Together, these two photojournalists shed light on how people on either side of the conflict have dealt with war in their everyday lives. Both photojournalists have their photos appearing in a wide range of international outlets including Le Monde, the Washington Post and Haaretz.

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Geneva

Geneva, Switzerland, has been viewed by the world as tolerant, neutral, and peaceful for centuries. The 24 constituent agencies of the United Nations, 250 NGOs, and variety of private sector actors have become known as International Geneva.

International Geneva is at the heart of a global discussion which seeks to improve international governance mechanisms. The unique combination of stakeholders fosters a network of actors on crosscutting themes such as peacebuilding. Unparalleled synergies emerge as a result of these platforms, creating new spaces for policy innovation across different institutions and sectors. Moreover, Geneva’s vast infrastructure enables it to host key conferences such as on the occasion of the International Day of Peace on 21 September. All these attributes attest to the city’s role as a global hub for issues that can be resolved through multilateral diplomacy.

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