7th NERPS Webinar: Initiative for Peace in South Sudan: Insights from the Work of the Community of Sant’Egidio

18 March 2021 (Thursday) 10:00-11:00 AM (JST)

About the Webinar

On January 20, 2020, the Government of the Republic of South Sudan and the South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance (SSOMA) signed the Rome Declaration. It was one of the successful steps revitalizing the hopes for peace in South Sudan in the context of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS). Three more agreements followed and new meetings are scheduled.

Pope Francis modeled his longing for peace by kissing the feet of the President of South Sudan, Mr. Salva Kiir Mayardit, and the Vice Presidents Riek Machar, James Wani Igga, Taban Deng Gai, and Rebecca Nyandeng De Mabior Garang in the Vatican on April 11, 2019 (see here). The Community of Sant’Egidio has built on the responses to the Pope’s public peace invitation by negotiating the entrance of the South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance (SSOMA) into the process and pursuing peace further (see here, here, and here). As both the Pope and the Community of Sant’Egidio have noted, peace in South Sudan is good for the whole world. Achieving peace, however, is an incredibly difficult task that does not just start or end at a negotiating table. To achieve peace in South Sudan it will take a sustained commitment from the South Sudanese, the international community, religious leaders, and civil society actors.

Violent acts are extremely dangerous in any setting but they are particularly relevant in the fragile and volatile endeavor of South Sudan where war has been the norm for many years in many communities. The Sant’Egidio Foundation for Peace and Dialogue is exploring the collaboration with the Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict, and Complexity (AC4) at Columbia University and others to facilitate the emergence of local capacity for monitoring and local engagement.

About the Speakers

Andrea Bartoli (Speaker)

Dr. Andrea Bartoli is the President of the Sant’Egidio Foundation for Peace and Dialogue. He works primarily on peacemaking and genocide prevention. He is a member of the Steering Group of the Global Action Against Mass Atrocity Crimes, a member of the Global Steering Committee chaired by the United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, and a member of the UNHCR Multireligious Council of Leaders. He has been involved in the Catholic Peacebuilding Network since its founding. He has been a member of the Community of Sant’Egidio since 1970. He was its Representative to the UN and the USG (1992-2018). He was the Convener of the Genocide Prevention Advisory Network; the Dean of the School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University and of the School of Diplomacy at Seton Hall University. He was also the Founding Director of the Center for International Conflict Resolution at Columbia University. He is a Visiting Fellow at AC4, Columbia University.

Mari Katayanagi (Discussant)

Prof. Katayanagi teaches at both International Peace and Coexistence Programme (IPC Programme), Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences; and Department of Integrated Global Studies, Faculty of Integrated Arts and Sciences, Hiroshima University. She is the Director of the IPC Programme and also Vice Director of the Centre for Peace, Hiroshima University. She spent about ten years in the Balkans as a practitioner in the peace field. She served a UN peacekeeping operation in the 1990s, and the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina as a political advisor from 2004 to 2009. Her earlier positions also include senior research fellow at the JICA Research Institute, Tokyo; and First Secretary of the Embassy of Japan in Bosnia and Herzegovina. She received an LLM in international human rights law from Essex University, U.K., and a PhD in law from Warwick University, U.K. Her research interests are peacebuilding, conflict transformation and international law.

About the NERPS Webinar Series

The Network for Education and Research on Peace and Sustainability (NERPS) at Hiroshima University in Japan is hosting a series of webinars on the relationship between peace and sustainability in the context of environmental, socio-political, economic, and technological transformations. This series is situated within the urgent need to deal with the implications of global change, including the COVID-19 pandemic, for peace and sustainability. The webinar sessions serve as a platform for rethinking and updating the current discourse on peace and sustainability amidst these global challenges and transformations. Leading experts will discuss the role of resources, digital technologies, migration, governance, and education in peacebuilding, conflict mitigation, humanitarian aid, and capacity-building, among other components that contribute to the achievement of the Sustainability Development Goals, particularly that of Goal 16 on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.

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