» Archive for: September, 2016

14344876_1204216509620704_6979543680110075351_nAfter more than 52 years of war, the government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) signed a peace agreement on September 26. This Sunday, 2 October, the people of Colombia must decide if they support it.

Facing a unique opportunity, Colombian youth is playing a very important role, Colombian youth is playing a very important role. This article by Lina María Jaramillo, originally posted by Transconflict on September 30, 2016, is an interesting reading about youth Colombians ‘Yes’ movement. 

The author notes that in Colombia “civil society groups, many of them led by young people, are keeping their distance from political parties and political leaders, activating their own movements and campaigns to promote peace and reconciliation. The young people involved in these movements realise that peacebuilding is their generation’s challenge. They accept that there is uncertainty and risk involved in accepting the peace agreements. But for them any peace is better than no peace, any uncertainty better than a future with guns, guerillas and war”.


Sí me la juego: I am in, Peace my Friend, Peace Youth, The Youth for Yes movement  “are a sample of the vibrant civil society that is growing around the plebiscite vote. Youth are celebrating the opportunity for peace, convincing others of how positively peace could transform Colombia and rallying people to go out and vote.”

 To learn more about these movements read the complete article please click here.

Date: 9 – 10 November 2016d880x320

Place: The Hague, the Netherlands.

Facing contemporary challenges like terrorism, cyber-attacks and hybrid warfare requires dialogue and collaboration within academia, as well as between academia and other stakeholders in the public and private sector.

But what security issues or challenges to focus on? who should take the lead, from what perspective and what is the added value of collaboration between private and public actors? Find answers to these and other questions during the International Conference ‘Who determines the security (research) agenda’, organized by the Institute of Security and Global Affairs of Leiden University

The Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA) focuses on multidisciplinary research and education within the international scientific field of security studies.

For more information about the speakers, schedule and registration please visit the event’s website.  


Italy’s Jihadists in Syria: The Case of Maria Giulia Sergio (“Lady Jihad”)
Article by Dr. Francesco Marone, posted originally at International Center for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) on 28 September 2016. 
“As is well-known, today the danger of so-called “foreign fighters” in Syria and Iraq has ranked high on the agenda. In this regard, Italy represents an interesting national case (…) There is relatively little public information on Italy’s jihadists in Syria and Iraq. However, the case of Maria Giulia Sergio, nicknamed “Lady Jihad” by Italian media, is well-known and deserves attention.”
By examining the case of Sergio, the author sheds light on some of the particularities concerning Italy’s jihadists, including the role of foreign recruitment networks and the prevalence of individual pathways of radicalisation.


“Territorial Peace and Land Grabbing in Colombia”

Article by Lyda Fernanda Forero and Danilo Urrea originally posted at The Transnational Institute (TNI) website on 30 September 2016.

According to the authors, the end of Colombia’s armed conflict will not mean real peace if the neoliberal status quo persists. The peoples of Colombia have real solutions to the country’s environmental and social problems. In their opinion, there are two antagonistic views of peace, justice and the future Colombia in the country: “pax neoliberal” led by the government, and Colombian people’s narrative of peace. Interesting article that should be read with caution. To read the complete article please click here


“The Santos administration has manufactured and popularized the idea that peace is equivalent to the subjugation of insurgent groups. It has tried to define peace as the result of the negotiations with the FARC guerrilla (…) Diametrically opposed to the government’s idea of peace, organised peoples are building a narrative of peace as equivalent to social and environmental justice. In this narrative, the abandonment of arms by the agents of the conflict is but one step in the process to build a country with dignity, and not the end point nor an indication that the process has been consolidated.”

This report by PAX provides a unique overview of the manner in which armed conflict and the arms trade reinforce each other in the Horn of Africa. It deals with the security situation and the arms trade between 2010 and 2015 in Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda.pax-report-horn-of-africa-armed-and-insecure-cover135

A large number of people in the Horn of Africa have grown up in the midst of armed conflict. The abundance of weapons in the region and the constant influx of new arms play a large role in these conflicts. 

The report suggests that in order to significantly reduce levels of armed violence, governments in the Horn of Africa must shift from a focus on ‘national security’ to prioritizing ‘human security’.

This is to “improve the wider security perception by ensuring basic socio-economic preconditions such as personal and food security, an accessible labour market, as well as education and health systems (…) With so many people in the region used to armed conflict and major violence, it is imperative that efforts be made to better control the trade of arms, thereby preventing lethal instruments from ending up in the hands of those violating human rights or involved in war crimes.”

summary of the report is available. See also the complete report Armed and insecure

Are you Interested in youth and peacebuilding?Unknown-1

The United Network of Young Peacebuilders (UNOY Peacebuilders)  has two internship positions available at its secretariat in The Hague: Advocacy and Communications Office and Network Officer.

At UNOY, young people have the opportunity to gain work experience in the field of peacebuilding, join an international team, develop new skills and connect with youth and organisations around the world. If you are interested apply as soon as possible by sending your CV and a letter stating your motivation to info@unoy.org. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. For more information visit UNOY website

poster-medEach year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The UN General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.

The Day’s theme for 2016 is “The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace.” Check out videos by youth from around the globe on how the Goals can help build peace

To celebrate The Hague will host the Just Peace Festival during the week of 21 to 25 September. You can take your pick from a number of activities such as running events, debates, concerts, tours and (photo) exhibitions. For information about the program visit the Just Peace website.  



Conciliation Resources is sharing 12 building blocks for peace, which are essential approaches to prevent violence, resolve conflicts and promote peaceful societies. To find out more about it click here.

Life jacket graveyard

Category: News

21 Sep 2016

160919113838-parliament-4-exlarge-169At the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants on September 19th in New York, the governments of 193 countries adopted key commitments to safeguard those on the move, which became known as the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants. The declaration expresses the political will of world leaders to save lives, protect rights and share responsibility on a global scale.

The same day volunteers arrived in London’s Parliament Square to construct a “life jacket graveyard” as a reminder of the plight facing refugees. Over 2,500 lifejackets worn by refugees during crossings from Turkey to the Greek island of Chios were laid out, including 625 that had been used by children.




Category: Events

19 Sep 2016

Turning weapons into instruments

Date:  21 to 25 September, from 11:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Disarm is a sonic art installation, where you can see the power of transformation in action. Mexican artist Pedro Reyes turned 6.700 firearms into musical instruments. The firearms were confiscated by the Mexican government in Ciudad Juarez during the long lasting war on drugs. The strong message of this exposition shows that peace can be promoted by changing the purpose of objects and thoughts.


This is only one of the events taking place in The Hague during the Just Peace Festival, from 21 to 25 September 2016.

The six senses for peace

Category: Events

19 Sep 2016

Date: September 21 at 18:30ht13-mgxy8m1nefhtjeh4iizimh6hjc5ftr4pqziys5ybou

Place: Humanity House

In areas of conflict but also at home, conflict lead to new problems such as migration and radicalization. A  lot remains to be done.

Of course we could just wait for the big international organizations like the UN to solve the problem, hoping that another 70 years will do the trick. But how about exploring new solutions and viewpoints together in the Hague? What if we were to look at the solutions differently? Could it set peace and justice in motion? In this interactive event, speakers will use one of the six senses, eyes, tongue, nose, ears, mind and body to overcome challenges and contribute to peace. And they challenge original minds like you from within and beyond the field of peace and justice to contribute to the conversation.

To join the dialogue register here, or follow it live stream.

International Institute of Social Studies

Conflict and Peace Studies is a specialization within the Human Rights, Gender and Conflict Studies MA Major in Development Studies. This blog provides a platform for discussion for researchers, students and others interested in this field of studies. The blog is administered by the Conflict and Peace Studies teaching team.

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