Syria- Six Years On: From Destruction to Reconstruction Wednesday April 5th - Thursday April 6th, 2017
Time: 8:00- 18:30
EuroCSE Syria Conference Statement
Raise Grievances, Eradicate Extremism and Make Peace
The European Centre for the Study of Extremism, Cambridge (EuroCSE) aims to engage a global audience on one of the most central issues of our time, namely the problems in Syria. Our international conference will be held on 5th-6th April 2017. We aim to promote responsible and enlightened discussion between academics, practitioners (professionals, such as psychologists, sociologists and economists), politicians and policy makers, in an effort to generate clear and compassionate approaches to solve these challenging problems. We have brought together a world-class group of experts to collate a body of knowledge so that we are equipped to address this complex crisis.
This incredible opportunity to be a part of resolving the repeated cycles of violence that exist in Syria, and examine the ways in which these aspects affect the international purview, offers a unique space for analysing how we can best improve well-being and effect positive adaptations between the areas of practice, policy development and evaluation within society, to improve stability and overall global health.
Compassion-driven leadership is at the heart of our endeavours. EuroCSE envisions the possibility of open thinking, and facilitates communication to resolve senseless cycles of violence and other associated problems, in an effort to promulgate good will toward positively reversing suffering, and replacing it with sustainable and meaningful tolerance.
Our title for this conference is: Syria – Six Years On: From Destruction to Reconstruction. Our focal point for discussion is the Syrian Arab Republic and the widespread destruction across the country due to war. We are working with multidisciplinary expertise to find sustainable approaches to healing these problems.
There is a need to reconstruct Syria as a nation (physically and psychologically) and work towards dialogue, fostering tolerance and reconciliation, and resolve the trauma across the country and within the region, which is necessary for working towards peace.
EuroCSE is an academic research centre, comprised of renowned psychologists, professionals and academics. We believe that peace can and will be achieved even between those of differing perspectives. Mediation is necessary in conflict resolution and as intellectuals we feel responsible for our societies and believe that our conferences are a form of Track Two Diplomacy.
Almost 50 speakers will be speaking at a two-day conference discussing national, regional and international dimensions of this ongoing conflict. Hence, in front of academics, diplomats, media and other professionals, the conference will consist of ten thematic panels. Within these panels, academics and experts in various fields of study will present their papers, which will be followed by critical discussion and engagement. We seek to promote an atmosphere conducive for deep conflict resolution. It is through inclusiveness and compassionate discussion and critical analysis that reconciliation and peace will be achieved in Syria, and indeed elsewhere in the world. The high-profile international conference will host a diverse audience from across the globe. We learn from the reconciliation experience of senior figures such as our patron Lord Dr Eames in the Irish case. Last December we held in Cambridge a conference on Turkey, in which opposing views were represented, and despite initial reluctance and disbelief, this opened up a dialogue.
Raising grievance is part of a healing process. This conference, however, is about resolving extremism, avoiding reactionary politics and propaganda, and therefore it is about establishing mature responsible dialogue, understanding, fostering tolerance and paving a way for reconciliation and peace. Everybody involved in this discourse cares about and is emotionally invested in Syria and its fate. Our conference provides an important platform for responsible diplomacy with the goal of resolution of war and healing distress. Syria needs reconstruction, reconciliation and peace; we believe that our first Patron and Keynote speaker at the conference The Rt. Rev. and Rt. Honorable, Baron of Oystermouth, Lord Dr Rowan Williams, Master of Magdalene College is best placed to advocate for peace in Syria and to facilitate this evolving dialogue for peace.
Dr Makram Khoury-Machool
The European Centre for the Study of Extremism, Cambridge (EuroCSE) will be hosting a two-day international conference on Syria in April 2017 [05-06.04.17], to mark six years of ongoing conflict.
The on-going war on Syria- which developed into a global conflict, has entered its sixth consecutive year. The once economically self-reliant and pluralistic Levantine society- the Syrian Arab Republic- is now at the forefront of an international conflagration, with hundreds of thousands dead and millions of Syrian refugees dispersed across the world. A significant portion of Syria’s population is now suffering from starvation and malnutrition. Syria is now at the centre of an international crisis, with rival global and regional players lined up on opposing sides, backing surrogate forces within Syria’s borders.
Before 2011, the sovereign, secular state of Syria was a relatively prosperous country, where health and education was free to all and the population attained a high level of literacy. Syria's ancient civilisation, culture and diverse heritage was proudly displayed across the country, swelling with tourism and constructive dialogue was promoted amongst varied communities and spiritual leaders.
The downward spiral from growth and prosperity to destruction and depravation, means the future of Syria is now an international responsibility. Civil society, especially in the West, must engage in Syria's future in a more profound and productive manner. The re-construction of Syria requires new approaches to move beyond the divisions that have contributed to prolonging the war, with the aim of destroying the very fabric of Syrian society.
Six years on, it seems that the beginning of the end of the war has just begun. This conference is thus not only timely and imperative, but it also seeks to kick start the creation of effective dialogue, by promoting national reconciliation across Syria.
Call for Papers:THE FINAL CALL FOR PAPERS- DEADLINE EXTENDED TO 06.03.17 23:59. EuroCSE will be accepting 300-500 word abstracts (in Word Format) regarding the conflict in Syria based on the topics provided below. The abstracts must be submittedno later than Monday the 6th of March, 2017 23:59. Abstracts should be submitted to: firstname.lastname@example.org, Subject: Syria Conference- Abstract Submission
Please provide: Your FULL NAME, CONTACT DETAILS, including a comprehensive Curriculum Vitae (CV)/Resume to be submitted for consideration.
Defining Conflict: War on Syria? War in Syria? Civil War? War of Words? Proxy War? Religious or Sectarian War? Syria & the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) States; Relations: The Syrian Arab Republic; the Russian Federation & the Islamic Republic of Iran; Relations: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; the State of Qatar; the Republic of Turkey; Relations: NATO Countries Uni or Bi- Polar World Order? The United States vs the Russian Federation; The Refugee Crisis; Syria & the European Union; Medical Situation, Doctors, Hospitals; Reconstruction in Syria; The Military Industrial Complex; The Role of Media & Art in the Syria Conflict; Opposition Forces- Inter-Rebel Conflict; ISIS/ISIL/Al-Qaeda; Role of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s); The Syrian Kurdish Files; Cost of Sanctions on Syria- Justified or Unjustified? Third Party State Funding of Non-State Armed Groups; Development work in Syria; Syria’s Natural Resources; The Role of International Law; Syria, Iran & the Nuclear Deal; The Role of the State of Israel in Syria; Palestine & Syria 2011-2017; The MENA 2011-2017 & Syria; Syria’s Archaeological Treasures, Peace-building or Peace-sabotage? The Role of Ceasefires
Thursday December 8th, 2016
Turkey Conference, UK 2016- Rationale
The geo-strategic position of Turkey plays a crucial role on the international platform, functioning as not only the crossroads between Europe and Asia, but also as a core member of the NATO alliance. Regionally, it neighbours eight countries, sharing a border with different regimes: Iran, Armenia and the Azerbaijani exclave Nakhchivan to the east; Georgia to the northeast; Bulgaria to the northwest; Greece to the west, and Iraq and Syria to the south.
With its fast growing economy, military strength and its ability to maintain diverse diplomatic and economic relationships, Turkey has steadily gained recognition as a regional power. It has played a critical part in working to stabilise the diaspora from Syria and refugees within the region. However, the continued conflict in Syria, Iraq, and Palestine has in particular brought Turkey to the limelight of the international community. With the growing rise of extremist insurgents in the region, the stability of world peace is ever more threatened and has raised beyond control the challenge to secure regional and international stability. Turkey plays a much more critical role in the maintenance of world peace than it ever has in its entire history.
Resolving extremism is a global challenge, with the year 2016 signifying an ever-increasing rise in links to terrorist attacks that have claimed responsibility from the United States to Somalia, France to Iraq, and from Pakistan to Turkey. The recent military revolt attempt against the government took place at a pivotal period in world affairs. However, the challenge is not to respond to these problems by antagonising and thus escalating the cycle of reactive politics. It is thus imperative to address these developments in the region, as they collectively concern Turkey's domestic and foreign policy. The conference will initiate and introduce a major conversation and opportunity to critically observe how these stressors interact, by bringing various elements together in an interactive, historical, contemporary and international framework. Our goal is to both better understand these complex issues and work towards innovative, sustainable solutions.
Topics that shall be covered in this conference include: understanding the relationship between the current Syrian refugee crisis and its possible implications on Turkey; Turkey’s evolving system of governance; conceptualising and examining the relationships between relevant factors and the rise in terrorist activity; the fears of and possible continued rise in jihadist insurgents; the policy towards Turkey's minorities; and the foundations of Turkish-Russian rapprochement. The conference seeks to follow up with critical workshops for diplomatic and cooperative engagement in international relations, to compassionately evolve a clear agreed approach to preventatively address these impactful issues.
Image Credit: "City Lights of Africa, Europe & the Middle East" NASA Earth Observatory image by Robert Simmon, using Suomi NPP VIIRS data provided courtesy of Chris Elvidge (NOAA National Geophysical Data Center). Part of Visible Earth: Blue Marble Collection.