WORKSHOPS - Winter 2013
Esther Brimmer: President Obama and the United Nations
How the Obama administration has re-oriented U.S. foreign policy toward the UN over the last 5 years
When: 10 January, 9.30-11 am
Where: H-1220 - Concordia University, 1455 Maisonneuve Blvd W.
Esther Brimmer, former Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, will speak about her experience working for the Obama administration with regards to the United Nations.
She is currently the J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Professor of International Affairs at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University.
Dr. Brimmer's career includes serving at the U.S. Department of State three times, most recently as the Assistant Secretary for International Organization Affairs in from April 2009 to June 2013. She was a member of the Policy Planning Staff from 1999-2001 and from 1993-1995 was special assistant to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs.
This event is organized by the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies, Concordia University's Political Science Department and the U.S. Consulate in Montreal.
Registration is mandatory
Google Hangout On Air “Using Tech To Fight Atrocities”
Over the past decade, technology and social media platforms have grown at a rapid space, encouraging individuals and organizations to look for technology-based ways to combat human rights violations. Social media platforms are increasingly used to monitor conflicts and violence targeting civilians around the world. How can state, non-state actors, civil society group but also potential victims use social media platforms to build political will for mass atrocity prevention? In what ways can new technologies be used to monitor human rights violations and mass atrocity crimes? What are the challenges and barriers?
As part of the Digital Mass Atrocity Prevention Lab (DMAPLab), MIGS is hosting an online panel discussion on the use of social media and other technologies to detect and prevent mass atrocity crimes. The panel titled “Using Tech to Fight Atrocities?” includes speakers Christopher Tuckwood (The Sentinel Project), Akshaya Kumar (The Enough Project), Nathaniel Raymond (Signal Program on Human Security and Technology at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative), and will be moderated by Kyle Matthews (Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies.
Join us on November 27th at 12:00pm for this important in-depth conversation.
Christopher Tuckwood is the executive director and co-founder of the Sentinel Project for Genocide Prevention, a Toronto-based NGO dedicated to assisting communities at risk of mass atrocities worldwide. The Sentinel Project does this through the innovative use of technology and direct cooperation with threatened communities. Christopher has a BA in medieval history from the University of Waterloo and an MA in disaster and emergency management from York University. His research and professional interests include early warning, prediction markets, intelligence analysis, technology development, and non-violent resistance to atrocities. He is also an occasional speaker and writer on these topics and currently teaches a training course on using technology in the defence of human rights.
Akshaya Kumar is the Sudan and South Sudan Policy Analyst for the Enough Project. Prior to coming to Enough, Akshaya was a Law Fellow at the Public International Law and Policy Group, or PILPG, where she served as a legal adviser to the government of the Republic of South Sudan. While at PILPG, Akshaya also supported the efforts of the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement -North to secure humanitarian aid access for war-affected populations in South Kordofan and Blue Nile. Akshaya has previously worked in South Sudan as a population based researcher for UNHCR and the ILO and also spent time in Uganda working for a local access to justice organization. While in law school, Akshaya interned with the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, UN Women and the International Committee of the Red Cross's legal delegation to the United Nations. Akshaya holds a J.D. from Columbia Law School, an LLM with distinction in Human Rights, Conflict, and Justice from the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies and a B.A. from the George Washington University's Elliott School.
Nathaniel Raymond is the Director of the Signal Program on Human Security and Technology at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. He has over a decade of experience as a human rights investigator specializing in civilian protection during complex humanitarian disasters, the treatment of prisoners in national security settings, and crimes of war. Nathaniel led the Satellite Sentinel Project’s (SSP) day-to-day collection and analysis of satellite imagery and other information to produce SSP’s reports on the human security situation in Sudan. In February, 2012, he was the lead author of the first article to call for comprehensive ethics and technical standards for the use of information communication technologies to "map" humanitarian disasters and human security emergencies. Raymond was a 2010 Rockwood Leadership Institute National Security and Human Rights Reform Fellow. Before joining HHI, Raymond served as Director of the Campaign Against Torture at Physicians for Human Rights, as well as lead investigator into the alleged 2001 Dasht-e-Leili massacre in Northern Afghanistan. He was lead author of the 2010 report Experiments in Torture: Human Subject Research and Evidence of Experimentation in the “Enhanced” Interrogation Program. From 2002 through 2006, Raymond served in a variety of capacities with Oxfam America, including interim Communications Coordinator for the seven country response by Oxfam International to the 2004 South Asian tsunami. Raymond served in the field with Oxfam America as a communications advisor for humanitarian response in Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, and the Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina. He graduated Drew University with a B.A. with honors in Religious studies and a minor in Asian studies.
Kyle Matthews is the Senior Deputy Director of the Will to Intervene Project at the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies, Concordia University. He is co-author of the book Mobilizing the Will to Intervene: Leadership to prevent Mass Atrocities and has advised members of Parliament on issues related to international peace and security. He joined MIGS after more than five years of diplomatic service at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. During that time, he was posted to the Southern Caucasus (Tbilisi), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kinshasa) and Switzerland (Geneva). He previously worked for CARE Canada in Albania and later at its headquarters in Ottawa, where he managed various humanitarian response initiatives and peace-building projects in Afghanistan, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East
Behind Egypt's Revolution: A Human Rights Perspective
Speaker: Carol Gray
McConnel Library Building 1400 de Maisonneuve W., 10th Floor, LB 1014.00
Attorney Carol Gray, a Fulbright Visiting Research Scholar at Loyola College for Diversity and Sustainability, will speak about what she witnessed in Tahrir Square during the Egyptian Revolution and about the oral history she conducted of one of Egypt's leading human rights organizations. Attorney Gray will discuss the deep-rooted challenges to human rights in Egypt: the 30+ year State of Emergency; mass detentions, including administrative detentions for many years; extensive use of military tribunals; the use of torture and surveillance by the Egyptian police; and the powerful role of the Egyptian military.
Attorney Carol J. Gray is a Fulbright Research Scholar at Loyola College for Diversity and Sustainability at Montreal’s Concordia University. Attorney Gray received a B.A. from Wesleyan University, a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law, an L.L.M. (Masters in Advocacy) from Georgetown University Law Center where she was a Prettyman Fellow, and a diploma in International Human Rights Law from American University in Cairo where she was a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholar. A former public defender in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, Attorney Gray also worked with a nonprofit representing inmates on Georgia’s Death Row as a fellow with the National Association for Public Interest Law. She has taught at Hampshire College, Western New England School of Law, and Greenfield Community College, courses including: The Legal Implications of the War on Terror; Capital Punishment Law and Litigation; International Criminal Justice; Torture; International Politics, The Politics of the Middle East and a range of criminal justice courses.
Attorney Gray’s Fulbright research is based on the oral history she conducted of one of Egypt’s leading human rights organizations. This research, funded with a grant from American University in Cairo, consists of more than 100 hours of interviews with human rights lawyers, activists, journalists, students, professors and those working for Egyptian human rights NGO’s.
U.S. Cold War development and the genocide in Guatemala:
What’s the connection?
Speaker: Barbara Bottini-Havrillay
25th October 2013
McConnel Library Building 1400 de Maisonneuve W., 10th Floor, LB 1014.00
During the Cold War, the indigenous population in Guatemala suffered unimaginable exploitation and terror. Similar to Nazi Germany, it was the strong internal racism, nationalism and Eugenics that allowed for numerous state massacres in Guatemala. In 1980s, nearly 250,000 Guatemalans (93% Maya) were brutally displaced or killed at the hand of the Guatemalan state. These widespread human rights violations committed against the Guatemalan civilian populace were categorized as genocide in 1999 under the international law; article II of the 1948 United Nations Convention on Prevention and Punishment of Genocide. The ideological pre-conditions for the 1980s violence in Guatemala were broad and included even seemingly innocent peacetime activities.
In the early 1960s, as part of the US Cold war strategy in Latin America, US President Kennedy began development aid program officially known as Alliance for Progress. This program provided funding for development projects such as road building designed to open up new frontiers for colonization. Studies have been done on whether this US sponsored project was effective, corrupt or led to environmental degradation; however we have yet to see how these material processes might have helped to create the ideological conditions for counterinsurgent violence as the civil war in Guatemala turned into genocide.
Coming from a family directly affected by the violence of Cold War, Barbara developed passion for human rights at a young age. Rutgers University Valedictorian fluent in five languages, she has worked and volunteered on three different continents. Recently, Barbara returned from Guatemala where she was conducting archival research for her current Master’s project titled “Transnational politics of road building in Cold War Guatemala.” In this project, Barbara hopes to identify possible connections between US Cold war development and the genocide in Guatemala.
The Situation in Syria:
What is next? And what are the consequences?
Friday Sept. 20th
John Molson School of Business, MB 3.270
1450 Guy Street, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3h 0A1
Afra Jalabi, Member of the Opposition Syrian Council
Khadouja Mellouli, Oxfam Quebec - Middle East Program
Stefan Winter, UQAM, Professor History, Syria Specialist
Afra Jalabi is a Montreal-based writer. Member of the Syrian National Council. Member of the Executive Committee on the Day After Project and NGO. Before the Syrian revolution she was a signatory in the Damascus Declaration. Jalabi is also a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Law and Religion at Hamline University, and worked as columnist in the Arab Press for last 12 years. She has a B.A in anthropology and political science from McGill University, a master’s degree in journalism from Carleton University and is currently a PhD Candidate at Concordia University in Montreal in Religious Studies. As a frequent lecturer on issue related to Islam and the Middle East, and recently more specifically with a focus on Syria, she has appeared in Arab, American and Canadian media including Aljazeera, Orient, CBC, BBC, PBS and CTV.
Khadouja Melloulis is in charge of the Oxfam Quebec MENA project. Mellouli is a development specialist with a professional experience that covers the fields of Human Rights, Gender equity. Mellouli has skills in community assessments and community awareness raising and is familiar with participatory and gender approaches in development. She also has experience as a trainer in women’s right and gender mainstreaming, with solid experience in NGO management; research; Income generating projects in rural areas in the MENA region.
Stefan Winter is professor of Middle East history at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM) specializing in the history of Shi'ism. He holds a Master's degree in political science from the University of Erlangen, where he submitted a thesis on the religious legitimization of the Hafiz al-Asad regime, as well as a PhD in history from the University of Chicago. His book "The Shiites of Lebanon under Ottoman Rule" was published by Cambridge University Press in 2010. Stefan spent numerous years living in Syria, most recently while on sabbatical leave in Aleppo in 2011, where he was witness to the beginning of the revolt. He is currently completing a history of the 'Alawi community from the medieval through the Ottoman and French mandate period.