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York welcomes world humanitarian leaders for annual summer school

Posted on 18 July 2014

Senior humanitarian practitioners from around the world are gathering in York to discuss international conflicts and reflect on peace transition.

The fifth annual Advanced Course on Conflict, Crisis and Transition is jointly organised by the Post-war Reconstruction and Development Unit (PRDU) and the Oversea’s Development Institute’s (ODI) Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG).  Running between 16 and 23 July, issues discussed will include the conflicts in Syria, Somalia and Burma.

Led by Professor Sultan Barakat, Chairman of the PRDU, and Dr Sara Pantuliano, Director of the HPG, course participants will reflect on the political, strategic and operational challenges of nurturing transition from conflict to stability and peace. The course will combine lectures from distinguished academics and practitioners with small group discussions and exercises.

Dr Kenneth Bush, PRDU’s Executive Director, said: “Every year, the crises brewing around the world crash through the university walls, into this environment where we are trying to genuinely bring together ideas and action in post-war transition.  Aside from informing our teaching and research agenda, in my view, the course is a modest contribution to the social responsibility of every university – in particular the social justice agenda.”

Professor Sultan Barakat said:  “Now, in its fifth year, the York Advanced Course on Conflict, Crisis and Transitions has become an established and well-respected event on the agenda of policy makers and practitioners involved in post-war recovery around the world.”

International speakers contributing to this year’s course include: Nobel co-laureate Rae McGrath; Francesc Vandrell, Mission Director of Mercy Corps Syria; Dr Martin Barber, former Director of the United Nations Mine Action Service and former Chief of Policy Development and Advocacy in the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA); Dr Olivier Bangerter, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs in Switzerland; Andy Carl, Executive Director of Conciliation Resources; Dr Radwan Ziadeh, Executive Director of the Syrian Centre for Political and Strategic Studies; and Dr Vesna Matovic, Head of Training and Learning at International Alert, among others.

Humanitarian experts attending the course include: Dr Robin McNeill Love, Head of the Royal Navy Medical Service; Andrew Mace, former British Ambassador to Kingdom of Cambodia; Nisha Iswaran, Senior Consultant for the British and New Zealand Governments, working in Libya, Afghanistan and Sub-Saharan Africa; and Benedikt Huerzeler, Advisor to the Executive Director of the Asian Development Bank for Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland.

The course runs until Wednesday 23 July in the Ron Cooke Hub, Heslington East, University of York.

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