CENTER FOR JUSTICE AND PEACEBUILDING
CJP & THE
EASTERN MENNONITE UNIVERSITY
CJP, UN Are Complementary
J. Daryl Byler, JD, Executive Director
With the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding marking its 20th anniversary in 2014, this issue of Peacebuilder has allowed us to reflect on the complementary journeys of CJP and of the United Nations in seeking to discover and address the roots of violent conflict, rather than simply working to transform ongoing destructive and intractable conflicts. In this journey, our faculty, staff, students and alumni have enjoyed close collaboration with many UN agencies, often consulting or receiving grant money through the UN’s commendable partnership with a multiplicity of NGOs and civil society organizations. Here is an example from early in CJP’s history: One of the founding faculty members of CJP, Vernon Jantzi, taught in Nairobi in 1996 at a UNICEF-sponsored peace education program. Two of those in that UNICEF training, John Katunga (MA ’05) and Khadija Ossoble Ali (MA ’01) were inspired to enroll in CJP a few years later. John now directs peacebuilding and justice work in East Africa for Catholic Relief Services. After studying at CJP, Khadija returned to her native country of Somalia to serve in high-level roles in its transitional government from 2000 to 2002. She then came back to the United States and earned a doctorate in conflict analysis and resolution at George Mason University, with a dissertation on the role of political leadership in post-conflict peacebuilding processes in transitional societies. She encouraged Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who is now the democratically elected president of Somalia, to attend the 2001 session of our Summer Peacebuilding Institute. Today Mr. Mohamud’s government is the focus of intensive support by the UN to enable it to become stable. This is just one example of the overlapping roles of CJP and UN agencies, where we all support the work of each other. As Kumar Anuraj Jha says on page 16, it’s important to be humble in this field and to recognize that none of us has all the answers. Thankfully, our signposts for the global journey to peace are getting better. The UN can rightfully feel proud that no new world war has broken out since its founding in 1945. But the number of refugees and displaced people worldwide has never been higher, a sign of how far we still have to go as a world in preventing widespread suffering, rather than simply easing its effects. Let us join hands and continue to sow the seeds for living in peace. And, let us not forget to engage in personally restorative practices, as we do this difficult work. People who care about healing the world’s wounds should not feel embarrassed by their own need to stay healthy.
J. Daryl Byler, JD, Executive Director
PHOTO by Jon Lindsey Kolb
CENTER FOR JUSTICE AND PEACEBUILDING
PEACEBUILDER is published two times a year by Eastern Mennonite University, with the collaboration of its development office: Kirk L. Shisler, vice president for advancement; Phil Helmuth, executive director of development; Phoebe Kilby, CJP associate director of development. Loren E. Swartzendruber President Fred Kniss Provost J. Daryl Byler CJP Executive Director
EASTERN MENNONITE UNIVERSITY
Guide to the UN's Workings
Sam Doe: Child's Death to Today
CJP Strengths Brought to UN
Pondering Theory-Practice Gap
Bonnie Price Lofton Editor
Andrew Jenner Writer
Women Defying Dangers for Peace
Jon Styer Designer/Photographer J. Daryl Byler Jayne Docherty Kathy Smith Lindsay Martin Styer CJP Management Team Lora Steiner CJP Admissions/Marketing For more information or address changes, contact: Center for Justice and Peacebuilding Eastern Mennonite University 1200 Park Road Harrisonburg VA 22802 firstname.lastname@example.org 540-432-4000 www.emu.edu/cjp Contents ÂŠ 2013 Eastern Mennonite University. Cover Sam Gbaydee Doe, MA '98, near the UN Secretariat buildling in New York City, where he works for the United Nations Development Programme as Policy Advisor and Team Leader in the Policy and Planning Division within the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery. Photo by Jon Styer.
Alumni Supporting UN in Africa
Hizkias Assefa: Years of Wisdom
Importance of Self-Care
Michael Shank: Building Bridges
Sowing Seeds of Peace in Yemen
People of CJP
Byler, Docherty at Helm Now
............................................................................................32 Printed on recycled paper.
The Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP) is rooted in Anabaptist-Christian theology and life, characterized by values and traditions that include nonviolence, right relationships and just community. CJP educates a global community of peacebuilders through the integration of practice, theory and research. CJP is based at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and offers a master's-level degree and certificate, as well as non-degree training through its Summer Peacebuilding Institute. Donations to CJP are tax-deductible and support the program, the university that houses it, scholarships for peace and justice students, and other essentials. Visit www.emu.edu/cjp for more information.
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WE, THE PEOPLE, OF THE UNITED NATIONS
Peacebuilder’s Little Guide to the Workings of the UN
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THE UNITED NATIONS
❑ The UN system is comprised of well-educated, well-intentioned servants of humanity who deserve support and thanks for their efforts to move the world toward peace and well-being for all of its inhabitants.
- or -
❑ The UN system is ineffective, bloated with over-paid bureaucrats who have little to show for the billions of dollars they spend every year. Which narrative do you prefer? Which have you heard the most often? When Peacebuilder magazine checked with a sampling of alumni of the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP) who now work within the UN system, or who once did, the answer that emerged was this: Both narratives are true. The UN system is staffed by well-intentioned, highly qualified people, and it is not as effective as it could be. It’s an imperfect system, reflecting the reality of functioning in a complex, difficult world. But if the United Nations didn’t exist, it would have to be invented. With today’s global interconnections, we must have ways of interacting beyond one nation to another, of holding each other accountable, and of helping each other through crises. And that’s what the UN system tries to do, and often succeeds in doing, despite its shortcomings. Dozens of members of the CJP family have worked with, or inside, the UN system. The founding principles of CJP – that people can learn and share the skills, knowledge and selfawareness necessary for fostering justice and peace – fit well with United Nations work. The bulk of this Peacebuilder is devoted to the reflections and contributions of CJP-linked people who have experienced the UN system as insiders or as close collaborators. We’ll quickly review the founding of the United Nations before taking a glancing look at what the massive UN system does well amid the conundrums it faces. In this journey, we’ll draw heavily on an excellent booklet published by Oxford University Press in 2008, The United Nations – A Very Short Introduction by Jussi M. Hanhimäki.
PHOTO by Jon Styer
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HOWARD ZEHR, PHD, & VERNON JANTZI, PHD // Zehr is “distinguished professor” of restorative justice, a pioneer in international restorative justice field; author, co-author or editor of about 22 books pertaining to restorative justice // Zehr's bestselling Little Book of Restorative Justice (over 110,000 sold) was cited as a reference in Handbook on Restorative Justice Programmes, published in 2006 by UN Office on Drugs and Crime following UN conferences in 2000, 2002 and 2005. // Former CJP director Vernon Jantzi served on Working Party of Restorative Justice, a major resource at UN Congresses on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in 2000 and 2005. WPRJ drafted basic principles on restorative justice adopted by UN Economic and Social Council. // Jantzi, professor emeritus of sociology, now works for Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR).
CARL STAUFFER, PHD // Assistant professor of justice studies and co-director of EMU’s Zehr Institute for Restorative Justice // As regional peace adviser in Southern Africa for Mennonite Central Committee, 2000-09, Stauffer was associated with peace accords, community-police forums, truth and reconciliation initiatives, and local community development structures, often interacting with UN agencies involved with post-conflict stability. // The UN Secretary General’s 2004 Report on The Rule of Law and Transitional Justice in Conflict and Post-conflict Societies defines transitional justice as “the full range of processes and mechanisms associated with a society’s attempts to come to terms with a legacy of large-scale past abuses, in order to ensure accountability, serve justice and achieve reconciliation.” // Stauffer elaborated on this theme in his “Restorative Interventions for Postwar Nations,” a chapter published in Restorative Justice Today – Practical Applications (Sage Publications, 2012).
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LISA SCHIRCH, PHD // Research professor // Director of human security at the Alliance for Peacebuilding // Senior advisor to “People Building Peace” conference held at UN headquarters in 2005, encompassing about 1,000 civil society peacebuilding delegates from 119 countries. // Evaluator for the UN Peacebuilding Support Office to advise on grantmaking to support women in peacebuilding in 2011. // Facilitated UNDP meeting in Fiji between military, government and civil society groups. // Consultant to UNDP in 2012 to develop strategy for UNDP to fit into new UN Peacebuilding Architecture // “The UN is central to the success of peacebuilding in many countries. UNDP has an opportunity to provide the link between short-term humanitarian response in the midst of a crisis and longer term support for building the foundations of peace. UNDP is also one of the few institutions that is positioned to bring together civil society, governments, international NGOs and donors to work together to support strategic peacebuilding.”
BARRY HART, PHD // Professor of trauma, identity and conflict studies, former CJP academic dean // At 2005 “People Building Peace” conference held at UN headquarters, developed and led three-day workshop on trauma healing in post-war contexts. //Has conducted workshops on psychosocial trauma recovery and reconciliation in Northern Ireland, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Burundi and among Rwandan refugees in Tanzania. // Lived and worked for years in Balkans, launching trauma and conflict transformation programs for schools, communities, religious leaders. // Collaborated with UNICEF personnel in Liberia to create the Kukatonen (We Are One) Peace Theatre, along with a manual of the same title, centered on these themes: understanding conflict, active listening, conflict resolution, reconciliation and trauma healing. // Developed a training manual Za Damire I Nemire (For Peace and Not for Peace: Opening the Door to Nonviolence) for UNICEF while in Croatia. // Collaborated with UN humanitarian and relief agencies when working in Liberia, Tanzania and the Balkans.
PHOTOS by Jon Styer, Howard Zehr, and Lindsey Kolb
THE UNITED NATIONS
In the beginning, there was World War I Almost 20 million people died between 1914 and 1918 in the worst war the world had ever known. U.S. President Woodrow Wilson and others reacted to the carnage by embracing the idea of a “league of nations” which would settle conflicts before they escalated into wars. Wilson told a joint session of the U.S. Congress in 1919 that such a league would be a “guaranty against the things which have just come near bringing the whole structure of civilization into ruin.” This league would not merely “secure the peace of the world,” it would be “used for cooperation in any international matter,” said Wilson. Narrow, national politics intervened – as they would henceforth – and the U.S. Senate refused to ratify the Versailles peace treaty that founded the League of Nations. In the absence of U.S. cooperation and that of other key players in the following years, the League’s impact was limited. It nevertheless took some actions from its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, that showed the possibilities for its post WWII successor, the United Nations. It settled territorial disputes between Finland and Sweden, Germany and Poland, and Iraq and Turkey. It dealt with a refugee crisis in Russia. It gave rise to the Permanent Court of International Justice. But the League had an imbalanced structure that continues to plague today’s UN – decision-making was dominated by certain nations, namely the victors from WWI (with the exception of the United States). And the League had no power of its own to stop aggressor-nations, whether by agreed-upon economic sanctions or by military means. The outbreak of World War II marked the utter failure of the League.
In the aftermath of the Second World War If WWI was terrible, WWII was horrifically worse, claiming the lives of more than three times the number of military and civilian people as WWI. Again, it was a U.S. president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, who pushed for the creation of an international organization to be, in fact and not just in words, a guarantor of peace. [A]s earlier, the basic dilemmas and conundrums had not changed: How to balance national sovereignty and international idealism? How to reconcile the imbalances between countries over power and influence, over resources and commitments? How, in other words, could one draft a charter that would recognize and effectively deal with the sheer fact that some countries were, in effect, more equal than others? (Hanhimäki, 15) The answer was to entice the then-most-powerful nations into being players in the proposed organization – and into staying in the game – by giving them permanent seats at the top of the organization, with each having veto power over decisions. To this day, 68 years since the founding of the United Nations in 1945, the five victorious powers from WWII – China, France, Great Britain, the United States and Russia – occupy permanent seats on the UN’s Security Council, with each being able to block a decision by exercising a veto that cannot be overridden. For example, the inability of key players on the Security Council to
agree on ways to support peace in Syria has blocked any effective UN role in Syria, except for chemical weapons dismantling. Similarly the UN was helpless when the United States ignored France’s, Russia’s and China’s dismay and unilaterally led an invasion of Iraq in 2003. The Security Council is now enlarged by 10 members, elected by the general UN membership to two-year terms, but these 10 do not have the veto power or staying power of the “Permanent Five,” dubbed the P-5.
Which part does what in the UN system? There's no simple way of explaining the complexity of the United Nations and its “system” or “family of organizations,” but in the next dozen paragraphs we'll make a try. The UN began in 1945 with these six components (all beginning with “The”):
1. General Assembly, consisting of representatives from the
UN’s member nations who deliberate policies, then make recommendations and decisions. Basically, it’s the UN version of the U.S. Congress or British-style parliaments, but with less legislative impact since the UN is a voluntary association.
2. Security Council, as described above. 3. Economic and Social Council (or ECOSOC), responsible
today for some 70% of the human and financial resources of the UN system, including 14 specialized agencies, nine “functional” commissions, and five regional commissions.
4. Secretariat, today made up of 43,000 civil servants who staff
duty stations around the world and perform the day-to-day work of the United Nations, including administering peacekeeping operations, surveying economic and social trends, and preparing studies on human rights. Basically, the Secretariat services the four other organs on this list (not counting the Trusteeship Council) and administers the programs and policies invoked by them.
5. International Court of Justice. 6. Trusteeship Council, whose historical reason for existence has disappeared, leaving it without a purpose.
The UN system has grown exponentially beyond the 1940s-era United Nations to encompass more than 50 affiliated organizations – known as programs, funds, and specialized agencies – with their own memberships, leaderships, and budget processes. For example, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization – almost always simply called UNESCO – is a legally independent organization that is affiliated with the United Nations through a negotiated agreement. Its chief executive meets twice a year with the executives of 28 other UN-affiliated organizations, including the World Trade Organization, World Bank and International Monetary Fund. This group is called the Chief Executives Board for Coordination and is chaired by the SecretaryGeneral of the United Nations. In contrast to the “specialized agencies” like UNESCO with its structural independence, the "funds," “programs,” “departments,” peacebuilder ■ 5 emu.edu/cjp
DAVID BRUBAKER, MBA, PHD // Associate professor of organizational studies, co-author of The Little Book of Healthy Organizations. // Hired by UNICEF-Mozambique for peace education and conflict resolution trainings immediately after peace accord signed in 1992. // On joint project of Mennonite Central Committee and World Council of Churches, interacted with UNHCR staff at Benako refugee camp in Tanzania in 1994. // Applauds UN for work on human development, women’s rights, indigenous rights, and awareness of environmental perils. But adds: “The UN’s basic structure hasn’t changed since it was founded 68 years ago. Healthy organizations need to undergo a structural review process every three to five years to ensure that their structure is still meeting their mission and objectives.” // "My main issue is with the UN Security Council, where the veto power of the five permanent members often blocks meaningful international action, as seen in the cases of Israel and Syria."
RON KRAYBILL, PHD // Founding faculty member of CJP (’76 graduate of sister college, Goshen), current Senior Advisor on Peacebuilding and Development United Nations, assigned by UNDP to Philippines, previously assigned to Lesotho // Supports peace process in Mindanao. // Worked behind scenes, 2009-13, to nurture peaceful elections in Lesotho. // Supported process led by Lesotho heads of churches, working with gridlocked parliament to negotiate electoral agreement among political parties to pursue free and fair elections. // Effort yielded Lesotho’s first free, fair and peaceful election since independence in 1966. // Facilitated visit to Lesotho of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who oversaw signing of political pledge that committed parties to respect laws and accept outcome of election. // “Mediation, facilitation and process design lie at the heart of almost all that I do; I strengthen human capacities to respond constructively to conflict.”
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CATHERINE BARNES, PHD // Associate professor of strategic peacebuilding and public policy // Has been engaged with UN since the early 1990s, when helped conduct trainings in conflict analysis and resolution for diplomats and staff. // Regularly involved in policy dialogue in the UN on peace processes, especially how to increase public participation for inclusive and comprehensive settlements and effective use of sanctions, incentives and conditionality. // Served as advisor during 2002-05 to Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict and participated in UN discussions on roles of civil society in preventing armed conflict and building peace. // Helped design and facilitate 2005 conference on this theme at UN headquarters in NYC, which involved about 1,000 people from civil society, governments and IGOs from around the world, including CJP alumni, faculty, staff, and partners.
PAULETTE MOORE, MA ’09 // Associate professor of the practice of media arts and peacebuilding // As MA student, did practicum with Community Development Gender Equality and Children, an agency within UNHCR. There created a blog – itbeginswithme.wordpress.com – launched on International Women’s Day in March 2009. // Next, as UNHCR consultant, worked on films in Kenya’s Kakuma refugee camp, along with a blog, in collaboration with a young woman filmmaker in that camp named Kate Ofwano, who is now in film school in Geneva. // Moore recalls leaving career in corporate media to become more invested in community. "I didn’t want to keep being the kind of person who would helicopter in somewhere, do something, and helicopter back out," as she thought UN personnel often did. // Experience at UNHCR made her aware of a third way: “To partner with people who I really, really trust. Big organizations and community-based work aren’t necessarily exclusive.”
THE UNITED NATIONS
and “commissions” (among other descriptors) of the United Nations are usually an integral part of the mother organization headquartered in New York City. They carry out the policies established by the General Assembly and Security Council. (For some well-known operations that do peace-specific work in collaboration with CJP personnel, see page 11). For a visual overview, locate the eight-color, 14-box chart titled “The United Nations System” posted at www.un.org. Another handy resource is “What We Do: UN Agencies, Funds and Programs” at www.unfoundation.org. It outlines the betterknown components of the UN system. A word to those who might wish to work within this system: there isn’t a centralized application process; you’ll need to search for each unit’s specific hiring requirements and procedures and be prepared to compete against many – perhaps hundreds – who are multilingual with graduate degrees. The UN system performs work that almost everyone would agree is laudable – from supporting basic research aimed at improving food production to raising literacy levels around the world – but the United Nations’ foundational purpose of maintaining international peace resides largely with the Security Council. No use of international sanctions, no peacekeeping operation, no significant steps for peaceful resolution of a major conflict, can be undertaken without Security Council approval.
Stemming the flood of suffering and dying people When massive loss of life looms, whether from natural disasters or war, the UN system is positioned to intervene, if welcomed (or at least permitted) by the host state. For natural disasters, the aid typically comes quickly. For massive deaths due to human conflict, United Nations intervention gets stymied by political considerations, resulting in ineffectiveness and delay, as occurred in the Rwandan genocide of 1994. Peacekeeping operations typically get funded by developed nations, using personnel drawn from less-developed nations. This is why the UN’s “blue helmets” or “blue berets” are disproportionately from Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Jordan and countries making up the African Union. The Security Council also largely shapes the work of the General Assembly, which is supposed to be where democracy comes to the fore on the international level. Yes, all 193 members of the UN have one vote in the General Assembly. But, no, they can’t override any Security Council decisions. Only the Security Council can pass binding resolutions, though the General Assembly can, and does regularly, pass non-binding resolutions that at least have a moral impact. The entire UN system is coordinated by its Secretary-General, currently Ban Ki-Moon of South Korea, who gets into that position only if recommended by the Security Council. Money flows into the UN system in two ways, via: (1) an assessment, like a tax, based on a country’s gross national income relative to other countries and (2) voluntary contributions. The UN’s peacekeeping operations are funded through the assessment,
with a surcharge paid by members of the P-5 group. Voluntary contributions from nations and other sources (e.g., the European Union and development banks) make up at least part of the budgets of many important organs, such as the UNDP, UNICEF, UNHCR and WFO (acronyms defined at the bottom of p. 11), as well as UNESCO, World Health Organization, and Food and Agriculture Organization. Nine countries account for roughly three-quarters of the operating budget of the United Nations: the United States, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Canada, Spain and China. The United States is the single largest contributor at 22%, but collectively, the European Union countries contribute the lion’s share of the UN’s budget, roughly 35%. In 2011, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said it needed $3.5 billion – its largest request ever – to meet the needs of the world’s growing numbers of refugees and displaced persons. It received $2.18 billion. The biggest forced movements of humans today are in Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, Sudan (and South Sudan), Democratic Republic of the Congo, Myanmar, Colombia, and Mali. The world has 15.4 million recognized refugees – equivalent to everyone living in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco becoming refugees simultaneously – plus twice that many displaced within their own countries. “These truly are alarming numbers,” said UNHCR head António Guterres, upon releasing a report in June 2013. “They reflect individual suffering on a huge scale and they reflect the difficulties of the international community in preventing conflicts [editor’s emphasis] and promoting timely solutions for them.” In mid-2013, nearly 97,000 uniformed UN personnel were conducting peacekeeping, truce supervision, or stabilization work in 16 areas, including Afghanistan, Mali, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Darfur, Sudan, Liberia, Haiti, Lebanon, and the border of India and Pakistan, Their budget was $7.57 billion, the largest single outflow of UN dollars for anything. (Yet this is miniscule, relative to the military budgets of developed nations like France and the United States.)
Dramatic jump in peacekeeping A dramatic increase in UN peacekeeping operations followed a 1992 “Agenda for Peace,” nurtured by then-Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali. The policy document was endorsed at a meeting of heads of state convened by the Security Council. It defined four consecutive stages to prevent or control conflicts: preventive diplomacy, peacemaking, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding (i.e., identifying and supporting ways to help strengthen and solidify peace in order to avoid future conflict). For the first time ever, the Agenda for Peace implied that the UN did not necessarily require the consent of all parties in the conflict to intervene. One of the early success cases of the Agenda for Peace was in Mozambique, where between 1992 and 1994, about 6,000 UN peacekeepers helped oversee its transition from a state of civil war to democratic elections. peacebuilder ■ 7 emu.edu/cjp
AMY KNORR, MA ’ 09 // CJP practice coordinator // Worked and lived in Haiti for 7.5 years total // Worked with UNDP “disarmament, demobilization and reintegration”program 2006-07, on team to reintegrate gang members into society, often using stipends, vocational training, and cash to start small businesses. // Didn’t work – community members were fearful; program heightened conflict rather than transformed it – i.e., it was not “conflict sensitive.” // UN workers were required to wear bullet-proof vests and helmets, circulating with armed escorts when in dangerous urban areas. “This sent an uncomfortable message – were the UN workers’ lives more important than the Haitians’?’’ // With the UNDP at that time, “relationship-building and trust weren’t really there. There were civil society groups in existence in the communities where this project was working. But the UNDP didn’t work directly with these groups. They created new ones that conformed to the vision they’d dreamed up for the project – without the input of local groups that knew what things were really like.” // The UNDP had $14 million to spend in this Haitian case: “The UN has a huge potential to reach many stakeholders, but attention must be given to conflict analysis.”
ALI GOHAR, MA ’02 // Founding director Just Peace Initiatives (JPI) in Pakistan // Was commissioner, 1987-2001, on UNHCR-funded project for 258 Afghan refugee camps, concentrating on community development, peacebuilding, drug use and HIV/AIDS, the plight of street children. // Has partnered with UNDP, UNICEF, UNHCR and UNFPA to address humanitarian situations – when much of Pakistan was affected by devastating flooding; when 50 primary schools in Bajur Tribal Agency needed clean water and sanitation facilities; when four areas were assisted in restoring their livelihoods, building community-based infrastructure, and improving their governance. // With UNICEF funding, JPI now working on two unprecedented projects on social cohesion and resilience in three areas – SWAT, DIR, and Bajur. // With UNFPA funding, JPI addressing gender-based violence cases through alternative dispute resolution in camps housing large numbers of host-community and internally displaced peoples.
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The balance sheet for UN peacekeeping in the 1990s, however, was mostly negative, with its disastrous failure to stabilize Somalia – festering to this day – and to prevent ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia and in Rwanda. Obviously, the foundational reason for the United Nations – being a guarantor of peace – is far from being achieved. “The basic problems for the UN as the overseer of international security was and remains simple: how to deal with conflicts – be they between or within states – without offending the national sovereignty of its member states [editor’s emphasis],” writes Jussi M. Hanhimäki, a native of Finland who is professor of international history and politics at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. From the beginning the UN recognized the economic roots of much violent conflict, putting these words in its charter: “to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples.” This statement reflected awareness that the global Great Depression after WWI, coupled with the punitive reparations imposed on WWI’s losers, incubated the aggressive ultranationalism that resulted in the next world war. Efforts to alleviate poverty around the world, however, have been confounded (in part) by different nations’ political and economic ideologies. The United States, for instance, has always promoted global capitalism as the best way for all countries in the world to develop. But is it? If other modes of development were better in certain situations, would the UN system have room to explore them under its current funding and leadership system? Doug Hostetter, a 1966 graduate of EMU who directs Mennonite Central Committee’s UN Office, has observed over the last five years growing involvement by global corporations in UN discussions. Viewed in the most positive light, this corporate involvement – often in the form of underwriting the costs of conferences and participating in them – shows private-public cooperation to address some of the world’s most intractable problems. Viewed in terms of vested interests, however (as Hostetter says he views matters), the corporations are mainly interested in maximizing their profits, regardless of the impact on the most vulnerable in the world.
Unwieldy structure affects its functioning As mentioned earlier, the UN system consists of more than 50 organizations and entities, labeled by dozens of acronyms, with the majority beginning with “UN” or “W” for “World,” plus ones like ECOSOC, FAO, GATT, IAEA, ICJ, ILO, IMF, ITU, MSC, OHCHR and ONUC. Excluding the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, the UN system has about 83,000 on its payroll, most of them working out of offices or “duty stations” around the globe. The single largest chunk of employees is within the Secretariat, headquartered in New York City. Secretariat employees also work from office centers in Addis Ababa, Bangkok, Beirut, Geneva, Nairobi, Santiago and Vienna.
THE UNITED NATIONS
Annual expenditures in the entire UN system, excluding the banking entities, topped $41.5 billion in 2011, according to the UN Chief Executives Board for Coordination. Compensation varies within the system, but at the United Nations itself, salary scales (found at the “pay and benefits” section of careers.un.org) for two sample locations – New York City and Addis Abba, Ethiopia – currently range from a minimum of $77,338 for entry-level professionals to a maximum of $203,620 for senior-level professionals, including cost of living adjustments for these locations. Rent subsidies, allowances for dependents, grants for children’s schooling, extra pay for hardship and hazardous work are routinely granted in addition to salaries. In 2005, then Secretary-General Kofi Annan sought to strengthen the Secretariat’s office of internal oversight in order “to review all mandates older than five years to see whether the activities concerned are still genuinely needed or whether the resources assigned to them can be reallocated in response to new and emerging challenges.” This is just one example of many initiatives in recent decades aimed at streamlining the United Nations, some of them successful. “There is no point in mincing words,” writes Jussi M. Hanhimäki. “The UN is a structural monstrosity, a conglomeration of organizations, divisions, bodies and secretariats, all with their distinctive acronyms that few can ever imagine being able to master.” He notes that “the UN has a tendency not to reform but to build new structures on top of already existing ones,” causing limited resources to be “squandered due to lack of operational coherence.” Development aid in particular is subject to “duplication and overlap [that] have reduced efficiency and increased administrative costs within the UN and its sister organizations,” such as the World Bank, says Hanhimäki.
Contributions 'undervalued' Everett Ressler, a 1970 graduate of EMU, draws a different conclusion from his 40 years in international development and humanitarian work. “The UN functions as a crucible in which people from all countries strive to work together for the common good, including the resolution of differences,” he says. “What has surprised me is not that there are challenges and disappointments but that so much continues to be achieved despite them. The limited but unique role of the UN is often wrongly portrayed, and its contributions are undervalued.” (Ressler retired from UNICEF in 2008 after 14 years of what he describes as “building capacities to prepare and respond more effectively in crisis situations.”) Turning to the peace field: building a peaceful world has been at the UN’s heart since it was founded, garnering its agencies or people Nobel Peace Prizes in 1945, 1954, 1957, 1961, 1965, 1969, 1981, 1988, 2001, and 2005. The 1992 Agenda for Peace was endorsed at the Security Council level. In the summer of 2005, the first “people building peace” conference was held at the UN headquarters in New York City. This conference attracted about 1,000 delegates from 119 countries,
including 15 CJP students and several who are currently CJP professors, Catherine Barnes, Barry Hart, and Lisa Schirch. Sitting together in the majestic Grand Assembly room, Hart and Schirch reported being thrilled to see many CJP graduates, partners and colleagues from around the world. In 2006 the UN formed a Peacebuilding Commission, charged with coordinating the efforts of multiple actors, including UN agencies and international donors, in stabilizing post-conflict countries. Currently on the stabilization list are Burundi, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, and the Central African Republic. The Commission has a budget titled the Peacebuilding Fund from which it disperses about $100 million annually for activities and projects aimed at preventing these countries from relapsing into conflict.
UN's role in post-conflict Burundi and the "responsibility to protect" Burundi, for example, was one of the first countries receiving support from the Peacebuilding Fund, with an initial allocation of $35 million in 2007 aimed at “making the hard-won peace in Burundi irreversible,” said Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, referring to the end of a decade of civil war in the mid-2000s. The UN has remained in Burundi ever since, supporting security sector and justice system reforms, radical improvement in governance and human rights, and improved living conditions. Yet the path to peace remains perilous in Burundi, as Peacebuilder recently learned from Jean-Claude Nkundwa, a CJP graduate student who did research in his home country in the summer of 2013. As a teenager in Burundi in the early 1990s, Nkundwa witnessed genocidal killings and lost family members to ethnic cleansing. In an article posted at insightonconflict.org (dated Oct. 23, 2013), Nkundwa described what he saw during his recent visit: muzzled dissent, the fostering of militant youth groups by the ruling regime, and discrimination against out-of-power ethnic and regional groups. He said President Nkurunziza, serving a second five-year term after being elected in 2005 and re-elected in 2010, has disregarded human rights and rule of law (including, it appears, the law barring him from running for election again). But the last thing Nkundwa wants is for the UN to give up, as if Burundi were hopeless. On the contrary, he says: The international community needs to play a more proactive role right now. It must assert itself and pressure the Burundian government to create political space to allow the opposition to operate without intimidation and harassment. The international indifference to the war in Rwanda in 1994 led to the genocide of one million people. Surely, there are some lessons learned, and the international community should not repeat the same mistakes in Burundi. Realize, though, that the UN is operating in Burundi with the permission of its ruling regime. This long-standing dilemma of the UN’s – i.e., that it is supposed to be a servant of its membernations, almost regardless of what the leadership of a particular nation is doing – began to be addressed in the early 2000s with a series of formal discussions on whether each state has a “responsipeacebuilder ■ 9 emu.edu/cjp
bility to protect” its people. In 2005, the UN members agreed that each of them has a responsibility to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity. (It's dubbed the “R2P” principle.) And, when states fail to do this, the international community has the right and responsibility to act in a “timely and decisive manner” – through the UN Security Council and in accordance with the UN Charter – to protect the people facing these crimes. This principle has since been invoked in the cases of Libya (controversially), Côte d’Ivoire, South Sudan, and Yemen.
Why we need the UN system
The goals are worthy, but how to implement them?
1. Articulates important objectives for the world. It thus raises
Activities that the UN system undertakes without fail, year in and year out, are convene conferences, issue reports, and make heartfelt declarations on what the world needs to do to move closer to most people’s desire for justice, peace, and prosperity (or at least a chance at decent survival) for all. Terminology has changed over the years at the United Nations. “Human security” is the latest term referring to the right of people to live in safety and dignity and earn their livelihood – which, of course, is what long-standing UN units concerned with poverty reduction, education, health, agriculture, peace, and so forth have been trying to do for decades. The Millennium Development Goals, declared under former Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2000 to guide the UN through 2015, called for eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, universal primary education, gender equality, better health, environmental sustainability, and “a global partnership for development.” “We have to connect the dots [between] climate change, [the] food crisis, water scarcity, energy shortages and women’s empowerment as well as global health issues,” says Annan’s successor, Ban Ki-Moon. “These are all interconnected issues.” Except for the emphasis on environmental sustainability, Annan’s and Ban’s stated aspirations for a better world can be found in the 1945 UN Charter, its 1948 Declaration of Human Rights, and its 1966 International Bill of Human Rights. It’s the implementation of these grand goals that continues to bedevil the UN system. Look at the work of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, for example. In a given week, it may hold meetings on: who is using torture for what purposes; the rights of indigenous people in the face of gold prospecting, lumbering, ranching, and drilling for oil; abuses endured by women in the Middle East and Africa; and legal protections that developed countries should extend to their migrant workers. Yet, to the dismay of its staff no doubt, the human rights commission is basically toothless. It can make recommendations; it can try to shame entities into making changes. But it lacks implementation tools. As for peace work, when is the Security Council going to respond to early signs of an impending conflict and authorize preventive measures before it’s a full-fledged crisis, with tens- or hundreds-of-thousands or millions dead? 10
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Despite the weaknesses of the UN system, it is the place in which the world places its hopes when the going gets really tough. Every day the UN system directly helps millions of people, at the comparatively modest cost of about $6 annually for each of the world’s inhabitants. A 2010 poll by the United Nations Foundation and Better World Campaign found that a strong majority of Americans support the UN system and its efforts to end global poverty, provide humanitarian relief after disasters, and lay the groundwork for peace around the world. Specifically, the UN system: consciousness everywhere on issues like the abuse of girls and women and the rights of indigenous peoples.
2. Feeds the hungry and houses the homeless when they are
recognized as groups of displaced people or refugees from conflict, abuse, or natural disaster. Tries to get them back to their homeplaces whenever it can.
3. Dispatches well-qualified advisors – in almost any
humanitarian, educational, cultural, security, governance, or developmental field you can name – in response to invitations by governments. Designates UNESCO World Heritage sites.
4. Issues educational materials and underwrites trainings that are especially valued by governments that have few resources.
5. Acts as a moral counterweight to reprehensible acts around the world, calling individuals and governments to be accountable.
6. Sponsors cross-national biomedical, environmental, and
scientific initiatives aimed at reducing preventable diseases and improving living standards.
7. Remains the only globally recognized organization that aspires
to recognize and uphold the rights and needs of one and all, mediating between those who come into conflict. As such, it is an essential instrument for global peace. In a June 2013 interview,* UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said: My answer to those who criticize the UN is that the UN is as strong as the member states want it to be. The UN is a reflection of the world as it is, whether you like it or not. Democracy is not everywhere, human rights violations take place, wars and huge inequalities exist. But if we forget the UN Charter, if we forget the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, if we forget what our work and the world should be, then we have failed. My job as well as yours at the Alliance for Peacebuilding is to reduce the gap between the world as it is and the world as it should be. It is relevant for the UN and for the Alliance for Peacebuilding. This is what we are fighting for, every day. — Bonnie Price Lofton, MA '04, DLitt * Jan Eliasson was interviewed by Melanie Greenberg, Alliance for Peacebuilding’s president and chief executive officer. CJP research professor Lisa Schirch is also with the Alliance as its director of human security.
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HIND YOUSSEF GHORAYEB, MA ’06 // Field security coordination officer, for the UN Department of Safety and Security in Lebanon since early 2011. ODELYA GERTEL KRAYBILL, MA ’06 // Doctoral student at Lesley University (Boston) in trauma therapy. Worked as trauma therapist and trainer for UNFPA in Lesotho and as UN stress counselor, 2010-13.
MANAS GHANEM, MA ’06 // Project Development Officer, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), now based in London, England // Native of Syria employed by UNHCR, 2006-11, delivering direct support to refugees and displaced peoples due to violent conflict in such countries as Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Kuwait, Libya, Tunisia, and Yemen. // “My work now [beginning in 2012] is more of coordination of private sector fundraising in support of various operations around the world, because most of the operations are underfunded, and refugees and displaced are in dire need of every support, even if little.” // “UNHCR is present in every conflict area to help, with dedicated and passionate staff.” // “The agency does not have a political mandate to
influence political peacemaking. But I see it as one of the most effective peacemakers on the ground, with its efforts to reduce the suffering and to call the international community to show compassion and participate in sharing the burden of helping.” // “Often when I am in the middle of something problematic, I find myself recalling CJP classes or a discussion with a CJP professor regarding organizations, theory, human rights, practices in conflict transformation, mediation and restorative justice.” // “Most importantly, I remember STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience) – I try to always find ways to take care of myself and to recall that self-care is important, if I am to help others.”
Key UN Activities, Individuals, Covered In This Peacebuilder
UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME (UNDP) // On the ground in 177 countries, UNDP is the UN’s global development network, focusing on the challenges of democratic governance, poverty reduction, crisis prevention and recovery, energy and environment, and HIV/AIDS. UNDP also coordinates national and international efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals aimed at poverty reduction. UNDP publishes the annual Human Development Report.
The majority of the 32 CJP-linked persons covered in this Peacebuilder have worked with United Nations programs that have specific peace or humanitarian relief agendas – six of the 32 have worked with UNICEF (United Nations children’s program), 11 have worked with the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), and seven with UNHCR (United Nations refugee program). The following descriptions are borrowed from the UN Foundation at www. unfoundation.org: UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN'S FUND (UNICEF) // UNICEF provides long-term humanitarian and development assistance to children and mothers. UNICEF initiatives have included polio immunization for 5.5 million children in Angola, helping girls enroll and stay in school in 34 African countries, and reintegrating child soldiers in Sierra Leone into civil society. UNICEF employees, partners, and contributors linked to CJP: David Brubaker, Ali Gohar, Barry Hart, Moussa Ntambara, Doreen Ruto, Gopar Tapkida.
UNDP employees, partners and contributors linked to CJP: Sam Gbaydee Doe, Ali Gohar, Amy Knorr, Ron Kraybill, Moussa Ntambara, Anne Nyambura, Devanand Ramiah, Monica Rijal, Lisa Schirch, and members of CJP’s Women’s Peacebuilding Leadership Program. OFFICE OF THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES (UNHCR) // Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, UNHCR protects refugees worldwide and facilitates their return home or resettlement. UNHCR is working on the ground in over 116 countries, helping 20.8 million persons in areas including Lebanon, Darfur, southern Sudan, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
PHOTO courtesy Manas Ghanem
HEMLATA RAI, MA ’04 // Program analyst in the Resident Coordinator’s Office in Kathmandu, working on strategic management of the UN Peace Fund for Nepal since November 2010. MONICA RIJAL, MA ’07 // Began UN career in 2007 as a political affairs officer of the UN Mission in Nepal during period of moving from civil war to peace. Remained in various UN offices, including UN Peace Fund, until May 2012, except for five-month stint at UNDP’s Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (focused on Arab states) at NYC headquarters. Now assigned by the UNDP to Myanmar as an “early recovery specialist.” THUSHARA SAMARAWICKRAMA, GRAD. CERT. ’06 // Political affairs officer, based in NYC, with the Al-Qaida/Taliban Sanctions Monitoring Team, Department of Political Affairs within the Secretariat.
UNHCR employees, partners, and contributors linked to CJP: David Brubaker, Manas Ghanem, Ali Gohar, Amy Marsico, Paulette Moore, François Traore, Michael Shank. UP TO THREE CJP PEOPLE HAVE BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH EACH OF THESE UN COMPONENTS: African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) – Abou Ag Ahiyoya // Department of Political Affairs, through its Security Council Affairs Division (SCAD) – Thushara Samarawickrama // Department for Safety and Security (DSS) – Hind Ghorayeb (Lebanon) // Economic & Social Council (ECOSOC) – Catherine Barnes, Lisa Schirch, Vernon Jantzi // Mission in South Sudan (UMSS) – Fred Yiga // Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict – Kumar Anuraj Jha // Office to the African Union (UNOAU) – Kamal Uddin Tipu // Peacebuilding Fund (UNPBF) – Hemlata Rai (Nepal), Nat Walker (Liberia) // Population Fund – Ali Gohar, Odelya Gertel Kraybill // Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) – Amy Knorr // World Food Program (WFP) – Ilaria Dettori
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SAM DOE'S AMAZING JOURNEY This would be a good one for a storybook on heroic peacebuilders. The path of Sam Gbaydee Doe to peace work started with being an undergrad in Liberia heading toward a banking career; through to being a semi-starved refugee; then to studying at Eastern Mennonite University (for his MA in conflict transformation) and Bradford University in the U.K. (for a PhD); co-founding the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding; finally working for the UN in Liberia, Fiji, Thailand and Sri Lanka; ending up in NYC, helping craft policies that may affect millions in the 177 countries where the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) works.
All in 20 years. Somewhere along the way, Doe married, became a father, and eventually sent his firstborn to EMU for her bachelor’s degree (she’s now in medical school). And, perhaps most remarkable of all, friends and colleagues say he’s stayed the same “Sam”: almost as skinny as he was when he first landed in the USA, wishing Americans knew that squirrels on campus spell FOOD when you’re starving; good-humored but dead serious about why he’s doing his work (to prevent and relieve suffering); down-to-earth, the opposite of arrogant; really smart, though he doesn’t make others feel stupid; and centered in his Christian faith, which seemingly keeps him from getting cynical and discouraged.
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A child killed by adult madness Did we mention that Sam Doe is courageously compassionate? When You Are the Peacebuilder, a 2001 spiral-bound book coedited by Doe and published by CJP, contains this snippet of one of his experiences during the long years of civil war in Liberia: By July 1990 we had gone without food for nearly three months and were hiding under beds and between concrete corners most of the day. One day there was a temporary cease-fire and I decided to take a walk, just to flex my muscles. While walking around this slum community, I came across a young boy, lying under the eaves of a public school. I remember his face like it was yesterday. He was just skin and bones. I stood over him for quite a while. His mouth was open. Flies were feeding on his saliva. In a surreal moment, I raced to a nearby community to find something edible. I found some popcorn being sold for fifty cents. I bought some and dashed back to this child. I stooped over him, slipped a few pieces of the popcorn into his mouth, and waited anxiously to see him chew the popcorn and regain his strength. “Chew your popcorn, you innocent child.” I said to myself, “God has answered your prayer.” About ten minutes passed by but his little mouth remained frozen. PHOTO by Jon Styer
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It must have been half an hour later when, with a last rush of energy, he opened his eyes wide and looked at me. Our eyes locked. He shook his head, and closed his eyes. After several minutes, his movements slowed and eventually stopped. The child had given up the ghost. I began to cry profusely. I asked myself, “How many children like you are dying right now throughout this country? How many have been swallowed in the madness of adults?” I made a pledge to that boy, that I would work for peace so that children could live.… I have never turned my back on the promise I made to that nameless and faceless child.
Unwelcome report on Sri Lanka In the longest UN assignment that Doe has yet held – 2007 to 2010 – he was the “development and reconciliation advisor” for the UN office that was coordinating all the work being done in Sri Lanka, as its war was grinding to a bloody finale in May 2009. Reassigned to New York, Doe was one of nine UN advisors and experts behind a 2011 report that detailed “credible allegations” on the part of the Sri Lankan government during the final stages of that country’s war, including: “(i) killing of civilians through widespread shelling; (ii) shelling of hospitals and humanitarian objects; (iii) denial of humanitarian assistance; (iv) human rights violations suffered by victims and survivors of the conflict…; and (v) human rights violations outside the conflict zone, including against the media and other critics of the Government.” The report spoke of the need for the victorious Sri Lankan government to recognize the root causes of the long-standing struggle waged by the Tamils, an ethnic minority group in Sri Lanka, and it called for a “genuine commitment to a political solution that recognizes Sri Lanka’s ethnic diversity and the full and inclusive citizenship of all of its people.” As can be imagined, the Sri Lankan government did not welcome this report, even though it also detailed human rights abuses by the Tamil fighters. The UN itself did not come out glowing in this report, since it failed to protect Sri Lankan citizens, who died by the tens of thousands during the final year of warfare. As just one example, the UN was unable to halt the government’s shelling of UN food distribution centers and of Red Cross ships picking up survivors from beaches. Reading between the lines, you’ll see that Doe and many other UN workers were not safe in Sri Lanka during this period. To this day, especially following publication of the UN report on Sri Lanka, Doe thinks it “inadvisable” for him to visit Sri Lanka.
On the road, trying to stay grounded Doe’s job title today is long and complex, as most UN titles are: Policy Advisor and Team Leader, Policy and Planning Division, Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, United Nations Development Programme. He is also the co-leader of the UNDP’s resilience-building agenda. In late October 2013, Doe was in Jordan, assessing the situation of Syrian refugees and its impact on the future prospects of all peoples in the region, especially those in neighboring Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, and Lebanon. Before that, he was in Panama where he focused on violence
prevention in Latin America, and in Indonesia and TimorLeste (post-conflict situations) gaining an understanding of the resilience they must develop to deal with climate change, natural disasters, and conflicts. In Senegal and the Sahel region, stricken by drought, he joined other experts to explore ways to support resilience at the individual, household and larger societal level. Doe also is in regular contact with the EU in Brussels to garner support for the UNDP’s crisis prevention and recovery work. Doe does not stick to tidy conference rooms. He seeks out the feelings and thoughts of average people, especially those who are refugees and displaced. “It’s important not to become disconnected – one needs to go and find out for oneself,” he says. “Policies must have a human face. Occasionally I try to bring victims to speak at the UN [headquarters]. There’s no point in writing big policies in New York if they don’t affect lives on the ground.”
Inspired by generosity to Syrian refugees Twenty-four hours after returning from assessing the Syrian refugee crisis this fall, Doe focused on the awe and gratitude he felt for the sacrificial efforts by countries surrounding Syria to help its people. “Turkey alone is running over 20 refugee camps on its territory,” Doe told Peacebuilder. “Turkey is spending $40 million every 24 hours – forty million dollars each day – to feed the refugees from Syria. They have spent $2 billion in the last 18 months, without receiving any help from anywhere. I’ve never seen this level of generosity anywhere else in the world; it touched me to the core.” Jordan, too, has spent close to $1.5 billion of its own funds, asking its citizens to tighten their belts to help the refugees. “Jordan cut back on the bread and water passed out to its own soldiers in order to use it to give to the refugees, and the soldiers understood and didn’t complain,” said Doe. “They see that their kinsmen are in trouble, and they want to help.” Lebanon has poured $1.2 billion into refugee support. Doe knows that these countries can’t keep this up. “It’s only moral and humane that other countries in the world complement the support that Syria’s neighbors are providing.” The UN’s refugee group has less than 50% of the funds it needs to address the Syrian crisis, Doe adds. But, in the long run, “we can’t just keep shipping packets of food to these people. We have to find permanent solutions.” Such solutions are far beyond Doe’s hands, and yet his reports will merge with those of others and turn into on-the-ground help somehow. At least that is what keeps Doe working hard and finding reasons to be optimistic, day in and day out. Like most UN employees, Doe mainly works out of the public eye. In the fine print, one can see that he was consulted for a major 2012 report titled Governance for Peace: Securing the Social Contract, issued by the UNDP-Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery. Once a year, Doe teaches "Conflict-Sensitive Development and Peacebuilding" as a volunteer professor at EMU’s Summer Peacebuilding Institute. For him, being in the calm of Harrisonburg, surrounded by motivated students eager to play their roles as peacebuilders, is the ultimate break. — Bonnie Price Lofton peacebuilder ■ 13 emu.edu/cjp
Minority Refugee to UN Official Devanand Ramiah, MA ’02, grew up in a refugee camp as a member of a displaced minority group in war-torn Sri Lanka and now carries significant responsibility in the Secretariat of the United Nations in New York City. (He is also a CJP advisor, as a member of its board of reference.) His journey with the United Nations began soon after receiving his master’s degree as a Fulbright Scholar at CJP. Ramiah joined the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in late 2002 as a peace and development analyst in his home country, as it moved toward a bloody end to its civil war in 2009. In 2010, the UNDP shifted Ramiah to its headquarters in New York City, where he started as the conflict and prevention 14
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specialist for Asia and the Pacific and is now a team leader for the UNDP’s bureau for crisis prevention and recovery. Walking toward his office in the Secretariat building diagonally across First Avenue from UN headquarters, Ramiah pointed at door after door and named some of the countries represented by his colleagues: Egypt, Somalia, Gambia, Colombia, Finland, Canada, Kenya and Serbia. During an elevator ride, warm pleasantries were exchanged and visitors introduced. … All of which lent support to Ramiah’s characterization of his colleagues as being committed, hard-working people who do an amazing job of working well together despite cultural, linguistic, and religious differences. In a speech to attendees at EMU's 2012 Summer Peacebuilding Institute (SPI), he assured them "you are in the right place," and encouraged them to master written English, if they had not done so already. He said he felt ambivalent about native speakers of other languages, like himself, having to embrace English for formal communication, but in UN circles where employees have hundreds of native languages, a shared language is necessary.
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Devanand Ramiah, MA ’02, travels frequently to countries in Asia and the Pacific region in his role as a team leader for the UNDP’s bureau for crisis and recovery.
Among the lessons Ramiah offered from his UN work are: 1. Relationships are essential both for sustaining oneself as a peacebuilder and for doing the work of building peace. He advised his SPI audience to use the CJP network for feedback and support. And he stressed the importance of remembering the humanity and needs in each person, no matter how much one disagrees with his or her actions and viewpoints. 2. Conflict analysis and conflict sensitivity are critical in this field. Doing a proper analysis at the front end, based on being sensitive to ways in which conflicts might be sparked or worsened, before planning interventions is in keeping with the “first do no harm” principle, and it allows one to identify and build upon peacebuilding work that is already on the ground. 3. Bridging the divide between theory and practice. Ramiah noted that UN personnel struggle with bridging the gap between great projects on paper that aren’t implementable in reality. “Are there capacities on the ground to implement this project?” is a question that always needs to be answered. “Sometimes we design a space craft and give it to a bicycle shop to implement,” Ramiah PHOTOS by Jon Styer
said wryly. CJP, however, does a good job of showing how to bridge the gap, he added. 4. Genuine change comes from those who own it. The international community too often takes a “tool kit” approach, bringing in the same set of tools to each setting, rather than recognizing and working with the actual capacity of people in a given setting. 5. Systemic change requires some trained peacebuilders to work within large bureaucratic structures such as the UN, but there is also the occupational hazard of settling into being the “quintessential bureaucrat and becoming arrogantly egotistical without realizing it.” When UN officials travel around the world, they are often kept “in a bubble” with armed protection against assaults. Ramiah offered two remedies: (1) returning to work in the field, at the grassroots, at regular intervals; (2) making a point to step back, to think, to reflect, to ask sympathetic outsiders, “Am I – are we in my group – on the right track?” — Bonnie Price Lofton peacebuilder ■ 15 emu.edu/cjp
Not Easy To Put Theories Into Practice When Kumar Anuraj Jha returned home to Nepal with an MA in conflict transformation in 2007, he was hired as a child protection advisor by the United Nations Mission in Nepal. The decade-long armed conflict between government forces and Maoist fighters had officially ended a year earlier, while Jha was midway through his graduate studies as a Fulbright Scholar at EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP). But the tough part of returning Nepal to some semblance of normality had just begun. Jha found himself responsible for the social re-integration of the Maoists’ 3,000 child soldiers (i.e., those under age 18) slated for release under the 2006 Comprehensive Peace Accord. To Jha’s surprise, many of these youthful soldiers didn’t want to be freed. “They didn’t see it the way the international community did – they wanted to stay with the Maoists; it was a source of identity and pride for them,” said Jha. In hindsight, Jha wishes the UN had been able to have access to the child soldiers long before the Maoists released them into civilian life. With more time, he and his colleagues might have been able to address their concerns. As it was, Jha's team was under pressure – other aspects of the peace process hinged on the release of the child soldiers – so they had to push the young people into deciding among 40 UNsponsored options, including training in a healthcare profession, starting small businesses with micro-loans, and vocational training (to be, for example, electricians or cooks). Jha thinks the reintegration package was one of the most comprehensive that the UN has ever put together, but the years of child soldiering had not prepared these young people to be receptive to what they were being offered.
Every action has unintended consequences Six years later, sitting in a spacious waterfront room used for informal conversations at UN headquarters in New York City, Jha ponders the gap between the ideal application of peacebuilding principles and the realities that peace practitioners often face. “There is no action that does not have unintended consequences, no matter what you do and how well intentioned you are,” says Jha, who moved in 2010 from Nepal to NYC, where he now works on issues related to children and armed conflict, with a focus on Africa.*1“The UN’s efforts to free and rehabilitate child soldiers in Nepal were perceived as coercive by many of the * Situated within the Secretariat, Kumar Anuraj Jha’s official title is Programme Officer for the Office of the Under Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict.
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Kumar Anuraj Jha, MA ’07, worked with a UN team addressing the needs of former child soldiers in Nepal before moving to UN headquarters, where he focuses on issues related to children and armed conflict in Africa. Here he is chatting in the delegate lounge on the second floor of the main UN building.
soldiers – causing them to feel unsettled and full of anxiety.” Jha looks burdened by this memory, adding: “It’s a struggle to put theories into practice. You try to make the best choice at that time, at that moment. The peace process will never be perfect.” Jha derives satisfaction from interactions with his colleagues, whom he describes as highly intelligent, multilingual people from around the world, who often bring special expertise to their UN work. But he adds that the overall system tends to be characterized by a “culture of competitiveness,” based on jostling for funding, authority and responsibilities. Reflecting on his CJP years, Jha says he values the theoretical frameworks he gained, giving him an ability to analyze conflicts
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and to identify what part of a theory is useful and applicable in a given situation. “I’m better able to look at a situation and make sense of it.” Jha says CJP’s emphasis on building and bridging relationships in any situation is one of his biggest take-aways; he credits “the culture and values of Mennonites” for inculcating a particular style of leadership in himself and other graduates.
Likes Mennonite way of empowering others “CJP taught us to be self-reflective and to recognize that it’s never one person who has transformed something – hundreds of people contribute. And the more you acknowledge that and expand the
circle, the better the outcome will be.” In the Mennonite tradition, he says, “the emphasis is on enabling others, empowering others, encouraging others.” He adds that students sense Mennonites promote and teach peacebuilding because of their long-standing values, not just for professional reasons. (Jha, a Hindu, is married to a 2010 CJP graduate, Jill Landis, a Mennonite. They have two daughters.) “It’s distressing for me to see people who act as if they have all the answers. It’s harmful. It’s very difficult to do this peacebuilding work in a way that isn’t damaging. The need to be humble, that’s one of the most important lessons I got at CJP.” — Bonnie Price Lofton PHOTO by Jon Styer
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The Somali cohort in the 2013-15 Women's Peacebuilding Leadership Program (left to right): Amina Abdulkadir, Nimo Somo, Nimo Farah, Rukiya A. Aligab, Hinda Hassan.
Defying Dangers, Women Take Leadership Roles It was a quiet Wednesday on June 19, just five days past the closing session of the 2013 Summer Peacebuilding Institute, when word came of an organized attack on the United Nations Development Programme office in Mogadishu, Somalia. Jan Jenner, MA ’99, director of the Women’s Peacebuilding Leadership Program at CJP, immediately typed these words in an email subject line – “How are you? You and your colleagues are in our prayers!” – and sent it to two of her program participants, Muslim women employed by the UNDP who had been assigned to that Mogadishu office. One of the women turned out not to be in Mogadishu, but the other was there. She hid from the al-Shabab attackers and survived the assault, which took the lives of 11, plus all seven of the suicide-style attackers. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of Somalia, a country receiving massive UN support to recover economically and politically after 22 years of warfare and no functioning government, chooses his words carefully amid frequent terrorist attacks aimed at himself and other targets believed to represent stability. While condemning the attacks and comforting the survivors, Mohmaud keeps attention focused on Somalia’s “roadmap to peace” – better education, health care, job creation, and democratic institutions, inclusive of all ethnicities, with full participation of both genders. (Mohamud took three classes in EMU’s 2001 Summer Peacebuilding Institute.) Being a peacebuilder of any gender in Africa, but especially a woman peacebuilder, is not a cushy line of work. 18
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Yet African women are increasingly rising to the challenge. Tecla Wanjala, MA ’03, was the first woman in the world to lead a national truth and reconciliation process. She started as vice chair of Kenya’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission when it was formed in 2008 in the wake of massive election-sparked violence. She served as acting chair when the chairman, a former ambassador, needed to step aside for two years. The commission had a mandate to address what happened in Kenya between 1963 and 2008 in regard to gross violations of human rights, economic crimes, illegal acquisition of public land, marginalization of communities, ethnic violence, and related issues that continue to plague Kenya. The resulting report, presented to President Uhuru Kenyatta in May 2013, catalogued a lamentable history of serious human rights violations, from patterns of abuse during British colonial rule to those of each government since independence. Bringing these abuses to light and implicating people who are powerful to this day took courage by Wanjala and her fellow commissioners.
Doreen Ruto: STAR expert in Kenya The June 2013 terrorist attack on the UN compound in Somalia – followed by one in late September by the same al-Shabab on Westgate, a major shopping mall in Nairobi – aroused painful memories in Doreen Ruto, MA ’06. When the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi was attacked in 1998, 240 Kenyans died, many working in the Teachers Service Commission building adjacent to the embassy. Ruto’s husband was among the deceased. Ruto decided she could succumb to bitterness and despair – she was left a single mother with two young children – or she could equip herself to address violence nonviolently. So she found her way to CJP, bringing her sons with her. (The older one, Richy Bikko, is a 2011 graduate of EMU.) Today Ruto is the director of Daima Initiatives for Peace and Development in Kenya, a nationally focused nongovernmental organization she launched in 2010. Her first project, using a UNICEF grant, was “Education for Peace,” aimed at making PHOTO by Bonnie Price Lofton
THE UNITED NATIONS the voices of young Kenyans heard. For a year and a half, Ruto spent a week with representatives from each of the 47 counties in Kenya, training them how to recognize, tap and foster students' peace aspirations and skills. Next, with backing from Mennonite Central Committee, Ruto started “Justice that Heals,” which employs STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience) methodologies. As a certified STAR trainer, Ruto has been holding workshops for a multiplicity of people traumatized by the Westgate attack: first responders in the security forces, Red Cross staffers, survivors and their caregivers, and media personnel who covered the attack. She is also teaching counselors and religious leaders the skills and strategies they need to foster resilience in their communities. Her STAR work takes her throughout East Africa and the Great Lakes region. In October 2013, for example, she gave a presentation at the headquarters of the African Union in Ethiopia on how unhealed trauma leads to cycles of violence. During the height of massive and deadly violence that marked the 2007-08 electoral period in Kenya, Ruto linked up with other peace practitioners, notably George Wachira (then with the Nairobi Peace Initiative, now working for the UNDP in New York), to form Concerned Citizens for Peace. In their first meeting, about 10 of the 60 persons in the room had a history linking them to CJP and thus to each other. The Concerned Citizens for Peace decided to circulate peace messages – “choose peace and not violence” and “let’s give dialogue a chance” – via cooperating cell phone companies and mass media. They put up a website featuring ways out of the conflict. Meanwhile, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and leaders from other African countries poured into Kenya to try to stop the violence from escalating and to bring the parties to the negotiating table. Annan invited Hizkias Assefa, a founding father of CJP who teaches each year at SPI, to join the international team as a mediation expert. (See Assefa’s story on page 24.) Today, Ruto credits Annan not only for leading a crucial and delicate mediation process, but for remaining engaged in the years between 2008 and the next election in 2013, which was conducted in comparative peace. “Kofi Annan kept checking on us, monitoring us. He made sure that the agreements worked out by the mediation he led were being implemented. He gave us hope, visiting our country, working with us through this five-year period. He even rebuked our national leaders when he felt they were not living up to the agreement they agreed to.”
Anne Nyambura: Large challenges in Sudan Things come in large doses at the UNDP’s Darfur Community Peace and Stability Fund (DCPSF), ambitiously tasked with building peace in a five-state region in western Sudan where war, disease and starvation have killed up to a half million people since 2003 and displaced another 2.9 million. Its funding during the current budgetary cycle, 2011-15, is at $40 million, of which $20 million has already been parceled out to fund 27 projects run by 26 partner organizations, including other UN agencies plus international and Sudanese NGOs. And the list of challenges is long, including the many logistical issues of coordinating an undertaking of such scope amid a persistent
For Doreen Ruto, MA ’06, the journey to being a professional peacebuilder in East Africa began when she lost her husband in a terrorist bombing in Nairobi in 1998.
lack of security throughout much of the region. In this sort of context, where the work of peacebuilding itself can serve as a new source of conflict, peacebuilding theory that informs “conflict-sensitive” approaches becomes important, said Anne Nyambura, MA ’06, a peacebuilding specialist with the DCPSF. But moving from theory to reality in Darfur can be easier said than done. “The practice … of [using] scientific methods in conflict assessments and analysis is not always possible,” she says. “Carrying out surveys and utilization of questionnaires is always met with many challenges, ranging from lack of security to logistical issues.” To work around this, Nyambura and her DCPSF colleagues have organized workshops for their partner organizations to plan strategies for carrying out conflict-sensitive peacebuilding work across Darfur. In 2012, says Nyambura, this process allowed DCPSF and its partners to identify two major conflicts to focus on: (1) land and water disputes between livestock herders and farmers; (2) land ownership and occupation conflicts pertaining to internally displaced persons. As indicators of practical successes, Nyambura points to the reopening of some roads and markets, expanding trade between groups previously in conflict, and examples of new approaches being used to resolve land conflicts between farmers and livestock herders, such as "buffer farms" along routes used by herders and land donated for cooperative tilling by women from two groups that had been at odds with each other. — Bonnie Price Lofton and Andrew Jenner
PHOTO by Jon Styer
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Fred Yiga, MA ’06, feels “we are on the right track with police development in South Sudan.” If this track eventually leads to stability in South Sudan, Yiga will deserve considerable credit as the UN police commissioner for the UN Mission in South Sudan.
Alumni Support UN's Efforts in African Conflicts Decades ago, when international conflicts tended to be between neighboring countries, the United Nations’ approach to peacekeeping was primarily focused on observation and reporting. The blue-helmeted peacekeepers would sit peering through telescopes, trying to make sure people on either side of the border behaved. Since the end of the Cold War, however, wars between sovereign states have increasingly been replaced by conflict within nations, often with meddling from proxy players. In the absence of functioning state institutions, UN peacekeeping missions have taken an increasingly hands-on role in these countries, expanding the scopes of their missions to include development, peacebuilding and state-building efforts, often in partnership with other organizations and agencies. Since the early 1990s in particular, peacebuilding and development have assumed greater importance throughout the UN system, beyond military-style peacekeeping activities. As a police planning advisor with the UN Office to the African Union, Kamal Uddin Tipu, MA ’04, represents one facet of the new, broader approach to peacebuilding being employed by the United Nations everywhere, but especially in Africa, where the majority of its multidimensional peacekeeping missions are. Working closely with the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Tipu helps the organization plan the policing components of its peacekeeping missions across Africa. While Tipu provides the AU with his expertise as a police officer, he has 20
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Kamal Uddin Tipu, MA ’04, a senior police official from Pakistan, is police planning advisor with the UN Office to the African Union.
colleagues who address more than a dozen related areas, including elections monitoring, military and civilian logistics, medicine, mediation, mine action and other structures necessary for sustainable peace after violent conflict has ended in a country. “You have to go into all these areas to resolve conflict,” says Tipu, a deputy inspector general of police in Pakistan now deputized to the UN.
Police in support of stable governance In South Sudan, which gained independence in 2011 after decades of civil war within Sudan, Fred Yiga, MA ’06, is also working to establish a functioning police force in a country almost devoid of state institutions when it became independent. “The greatest casualties in South Sudan’s conflict were the institutions of governance,” says Yiga, an assistant inspector general of police in Uganda now serving as the UN police commissioner for the UN Mission in South Sudan. “Their frameworks and the whole notion of governance culture must be started from scratch.” And so Yiga has begun doing just that, establishing police officer screening and payroll policies, conducting a needs assessment PHOTOS courtesy Fred Yiga, EMU (for Tipu's), and Francois Traore
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François Traore, MA ’11 (in plaid shirt, beside woman in foreground), worked 2011-12 in Guinea as a UNHCR national program officer.
to guide planning for training and funding priorities, and developing policing models and programs such as police-community relations committees. “There is a lot of hope that we are on the right track with police development in South Sudan,” continues Yiga, who anticipates the country having a well-trained and professionalized police force with influence in the wider region within five years. “We will definitely succeed!”
Developing a transitional justice process Though it has not fallen into full-blown civil war like so many other African nations, Guinea has nonetheless been plagued by repeated violent conflicts over the past several decades. In southeastern Guinea, where François Traore, MA ’11, has worked as a human rights national program officer for the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, the roots of these conflicts were the usual suspects like land disputes between farmers and livestock herders, or unequal access to natural resource revenues. Often, these conflicts have been exacerbated by ethnic and religious differences between the opposing parties. Drawing on CJP’s “holistic approach” to conflict transformation and his study of restorative justice, Traore worked to develop a transitional justice process in this region of Guinea based on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission model pioneered in South Africa. (Former CJP professor Ron Kraybill was involved in South Africa’s truth-and-reconciliation program at its conceptual stage, as was current professor and CJP alumnus Carl Stauffer, who lived and did peace work in South Africa from 1994 until he came to teach at CJP in 2010.) In addition to the cultural, religious and economic aspects
“If there’s no UN, what else do we have?” of these conflicts, generational divides within these communities have eroded their traditional conflict resolution methods. In the past, Traore said, elders from opposing sides used an animal sacrifice, shared a meal, and performed oath-taking rituals to resolve or prevent conflicts. Younger people in these communities, however, view such practices as outdated and irrelevant to modern life and problems – adding another layer of complexity to the violence in the region. “Understanding these dynamics and linking them to the conflicts they generate requires a strong peacebuilding theory,” says Traore, who left the UNHCHR in 2012 for a position with the USAID Mission in Guinea and Sierra Leone. The multi-disciplinary nature of his studies at CJP, he says, has allowed him to play a leadership role in developing a transitional justice component to a nationwide reconciliation process planned for the near future.
Community-based early warning systems Just across the border in Liberia, Nat Walker, MA ’10, is leading the development of an early warning and early response (EWER) network to respond to conflicts in communities across the country. This first entailed establishing community-based EWER networks, linking local peace committees with a network of responders that includes civil society groups, UN agencies and peacebuilder ■ 21 emu.edu/cjp
Nat Walker, MA ’10 (second from left), is collaborating with UN agencies in Liberia to develop an early warning and early response network, including "rapid response centers" in several cities, to identify and address conflicts before they become violent.
Liberian government agencies. Now, Walker is setting up “rapid response centers” in the cities of Gbarnga, Zwedru and Harper. These centers figure into a larger, countrywide peacebuilding and reconciliation program supported by the UN Peacebuilding Fund and the Liberian government. “Linking the current EWER initiative with the bigger, UNsupported justice and security framework in the country is critical to maintaining peace and security in Liberia, especially as the UN mission draws down its military strength,” he says. Walker is a long-term consultant on the project with Humanity United, an American NGO which is working in partnership with the Liberian Peacebuilding Office, the UN Peacebuilding Fund, and other governmental and NGO partners. The communitylevel conflict monitoring and response systems, Walker says, play an important role in Liberia, where state security institutions are weak or absent entirely. Walker says his experience at CJP, combining “critical peacebuilding theories” and “sound practice-based education,” have given him a grasp of conflict-sensitive development and organizational development skills, enabling him lead the conceptualization and development of EWER networks in Liberia. Once conflicts or potential conflicts are identified and reported by EWER personnel, Walker says, response activities include formulation of policy recommendations, advocacy campaigns led by civil society organizations, and community-level mediation and dialogue led by members of the community. Incidents and the responses are later analyzed to improve the community’s ability to address future conflicts. “[This means] local conflicts are dealt with before they escalate
to disrupt community and national peace,” says Walker. EWER is by no means unique to Liberia. Working for Mennonite Central Committee, Gopar Tapkida, MA ’11, nurtured into existence a similar system in Nigeria, the Emergency Preparedness and Response Team, supported by 10 organizations, encompassing Muslims, Catholics, Evangelicals, women’s groups, the Red Cross, UNICEF and others committed to promoting nonviolence and peacebuilding. Team members covering 175 states use text messages to confer with each other about possible threats and rumors of attacks.
PHOTO courtesy Nat Walker
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Need to build peace from bottom up In Darfur, Sudan, Moussa Ntambara, MA ’02, spent two years, through the summer of 2013, as a manager with the UNDP's Darfur Community Peace and Stability Fund. He oversaw around $10 million annually in funding provided to other UN agencies and NGOs working on grassroots peacebuilding projects in all five states of Darfur, where inter- and intra-community conflicts arose over issues such as access to natural resources. Ntambara supervised teams of specialists and monitors who oversaw work in the field and provided technical assistance, project quality review, and feedback on project implementation. “My major role, as it relates to my education in peacebuilding, consisted in the development of engagement for peace strategies, identification of entry points, key actors and factors identification, peacebuilding methodologies and guidance on approaches,” says Ntambara, who now works in Bamako, Mali, as head of child protection for UNICEF. Abou Ag Ahiyoya, MA ’12, a former chief superintendent of police in Bamako, Mali, was one of the leaders of the civilian
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Abou Ag Ahiyoya, MA ’12, is intimately familiar with the dynamics of the current violent conflict in Mali, both because it is his home country and because he has held high-level police positions in that country, as well as in Darfur (the latter with the UN’s African Mission).
police force dispatched to the Darfur area of Sudan by the African Union from 2005 to 2007. For a while, Ahiyoya was the acting chief of police operations under the African Union, serving a vast refugee population and supervising almost 1,000 officers from about 25 African countries. Toward the end of his tour of duty in Darfur, he worked as a member of the transition team preparing for the UN’s African Mission in Darfur. In Darfur, Ahiyoya dealt with killings, rapes, and other crimes on a daily basis. He saw children growing up without families, and tens of thousands without real homes. “I witnessed the consequences of war – I don’t want this to happen to any community or country,” he recalled in a 2011 interview at EMU. By 2008, Ahiyoya was deputy director of the national police academy in Mali and the director of the UN’s training program for police and peacekeepers within the Ecole de maintien de la paix in Mali. He also was a consultant and facilitator at the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre in Canada. When Ahiyoya was earning his CJP master’s degree as a Fulbright Scholar during 2010-12, his heart was heavy with the knowledge that his country was spiraling into bloody chaos, without the international community seeming to care. As he feared then, the situation has worsened over the last several years. Belated intervention by the military of France on Jan. 11, 2013, did not bring peace to Mali. Now there is a UN-supported “stabilization mission” comprising more than 10,000 military person-
nel and 1,440 police, plus staff providing humanitarian assistance, but they are trying to operate in a dangerous, volatile situation. “The AQMI [Saharan fighters inspired by al-Qaeda] are recruiting lots of our youths because they don’t have jobs,” Ahiyoya told Peacebuilder in an interview published in the spring-summer 2011 issue. “We need to address the causes of terrorism and solve problems from the bottom up.”
UN is cumbersome, but irreplaceable Sometimes the UN system is criticized for being a large, confusing bureaucracy that is hard for those outside of its structures to understand. As an example, the DCPSF (the UN program Ntambara worked for in Darfur, beneath the UNDP's umbrella) partners with numerous other agencies and organizations, including UNAMID in Darfur, itself a specific collaboration between the United Nations and the African Union, which is known as UNOAU, where Kamal Udin Tipu serves as a police planning advisor. As confusing as the system may seem, Tipu says the United Nations nevertheless has “been very active in keeping peace” around the world, and is refining, improving and strengthening its approach to peacebuilding by addressing the root causes of conflict rather than simply intervening in violent conflict. And, he says, consider the alternative: “If there’s no UN, what else do we have?” — Andrew Jenner PHOTO by Jon Styer
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After five post-graduate degrees and 30 years as a high-level mediator, Assefa says this is what he knows for sure . . .
Compassion Should Be Our Starting Point The reason Hizkias Assefa has two law degrees, two master’s degrees, and one doctorate is not because he loves living buried in university libraries. It’s because he had to leave his home country of Ethiopia when his friends and relatives were being killed or imprisoned during the Derg’s 13-year military dictatorship. He got to the United States on a student visa in 1973 and kept plowing through a succession of degrees while his parents were telling him: “Stay out. Stay where you are, or you will be killed.” Assefa was able to return safely to Ethiopia in the early 1990s. By then he was married to a U.S. citizen, with two daughters. In hindsight, Assefa treasures the breadth and depth of his formal graduate studies – law, economics, public management, and international affairs. “The more I learned, the more it whet my appetite to learn more,” he told Peacebuilder. “I realized the benefit of this broad background when writing my dissertation. Every discipline gave me a different lens for looking at conflict and peace, and it was most useful to integrate them together and come up with a multi-disciplinary approach.” Before coming to the United States, Assefa practiced law briefly in Ethiopia. “There was not a lot of integrity in the profession. It was competitive, and I felt like I was a hired hand for the elite. I felt co-opted into the system.” Later in Chicago, when he again was part of a law firm, he felt the same discomfort. “The lack of integrity wasn’t as blatant as it had been in the Ethiopian judicial system – it wasn’t as crude – but it was there.” These experiences weren’t a waste – he believes studying and practicing law sharpened his analytical capacity and enriched his later work in the peace field. Assefa turned to economics, earning a master’s degree in the field, in an attempt to understand poverty. He found economists have “fantastic ideas” – “great insights” – but offered little in terms of addressing poverty. If one tries to understand “economics without politics, it’s like clapping with one hand,” he says. “You need to understand politics to understand the role of power in economic systems.” Outside of formal graduate programs, Assefa has delved deeply into psychology, philosophy and religion, subjects he needed to “put it all together.” As the “icing on the cake,” Assefa turned to studying peace and conflict transformation, plus practicing in the 24
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Professor Hizkias Assefa (right) with former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2008 in Kaliguni, Kenya: “We were strategizing mediation during the post-election violence,” recalls Assefa.
Assefa worked amid soldiers in an impromptu mediation in 2006, addressing a confrontation between the Lord’s Resistance Army and the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army on the South Sudan border.
field, for 30 years now.1* “The kind of knowledge needed to be a peacemaker is not easy to define – I feel it more than I can talk about it. I think we have to start by reclaiming our humanity. Who are we as human beings? What is our place in the universe? What is life itself?” he asks. “Human beings are not separate from everything in our environment. We cannot treat our environment as a group of objects to be used as we wish. We are part of an interdependent whole. If we can come to recognize this reality – that our survival, our wellbeing, derives from the healthiness of this interdependence – our attitude will change towards other humans, indeed towards all life * From his base in Nairobi, Kenya, Hizkias Assefa, LLB, LLM, MA, MPA, PhD, has been a mediator and facilitator of reconciliation processes for decades, functioning amid civil wars and humanitarian crises in Africa, Latin America and Asia. He has worked as an attorney and a consultant on conflict resolution and peacebuilding matters in association with the United Nations, European Union and international and national NGOs. Assefa was a founding faculty member of the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding and has taught in its Summer Peacebuilding Institute every year since 1994.
PHOTOS courtesy Hizkias Assefa
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In the company of “Blue Berets” – peacekeeping soldiers under the authority of the United Nations – Hizkias Assefa arrives in Ithuri in the Eastern Congo for the start of a mediation process in 2009.
and every aspect of living in this world.” As Assefa gropes for words to describe the lack of awareness among humans about their place in the web of life, he explains that the English language limits his ability to articulate his feelings on this subject. “I am writing a book in Amharic now – though I stopped using it [his native language] 40 years ago – because it lets me touch on ideas that I can’t explain in English well. It lets me be less inhibited, less apologetic for exploring [in his book] the non-cognitive aspects of life and being that go beyond regular social science academic discourse. “Some of what I want to say is beyond the intellect – in fact relying on the intellect alone can become a hindrance. It is part of the problem with discourse in the Global North: the main framework is intellectual, with very little room for the affective and spiritual.” Assefa says there is wisdom in the perception of some indigenous elders that the so-called developed North tends to function as an immature child within the family of humankind, acting impulsively and without much self-reflection. “I hope the family will survive the growing-up stage of the child,” Assefa says wryly, adding that socio-economic and military practices of the so-called developed world underlie much suffering in the world today.
When Assefa feels tempted to succumb to despair, he calls to mind miraculous, heart-to-heart moments, like a time in 2006 when he was one of two with whom Joseph Kony agreed to meet in a remote area of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Kony, known to have used tens of thousands of children as soldiers and sex-slaves, had been indicted the previous year by the UN’s International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity. “After being lured into the bush, we were surrounded by armed people. I thought we were being kidnapped,” says Assefa. But when he finally met Kony face-to-face and spoke gently with him, Kony met Assefa’s eyes and said, “I never knew my father. Can I call you my father?” The question touched Assefa to his core – not that it diminished the enormity of the harm that Kony had set in motion for millions. “I felt moved to see a flicker of humanity and vulnerability in this incredibly cruel and overtly invincible human being,” says Assefa. “It made me realize that compassion ought to be the starting point for peacework. The work of peacemaking is to nurture these little glimpses, however faint, and bring them out so that they can shine more and light up the darkness in our humanity.” — Bonnie Price Lofton peacebuilder ■ 25 emu.edu/cjp
Coaching Staff, Relieving Stress, Improving Work Where there is a food emergency, agencies like the UN World Food Programme rightly devote the majority of their time, resources and attention to those suffering directly from a food shortage. But paying no mind at all to the needs of staff working for a relief agency like the WFP, says Ilaria Dettori, is a recipe for burnout and organizational ineffectiveness over the long term. “Working in this field is an enormous personal challenge for everyone,” said Dettori, policy and programs staffing coordinator at the WFP’s headquarters in Rome, Italy. “The main challenge for this work is reconciling it with personal life and living in difficult environments, having to move your family around the world, having to leave your family in many situations.” Dettori, nearly finished with her MA specializing in organizational development, has spent considerable time in stressful work environments herself, including four years in Darfur, Sudan. She began that WFP assignment in 2005, the same year that she first attended the Summer Peacebuilding Institute at EMU. Ever since, Dettori has been chipping away at her graduate degree one summer at a time at the summer institute, while continuing to work for the WFP, the food relief agency in the UN system. While her initial goal at CJP was to study development and peacebuilding (she also worked in Burundi for CARE International at one point), her focus began to shift to the internal workings of development and peacebuilding organizations. “The core of the job is what we do in the field in the country offices, but I have come to realize how much internal organizational dynamics have an impact on how effective our work in the field is,” said Dettori. “If you haven’t got the right staff in the organization, you may have funds and great strategies, but the impact will be minimized.” A leadership class taught by David Brubaker, associate professor of organizational studies, was key to that realization, said Dettori. (A brief on David Brubaker can be found on page 6.) She shifted her work from the field in Darfur to the WFP’s Rome headquarters in 2009. There, Dettori’s main focus is career development for the WFP’s program staff, who comprise about a third of the organization’s 14,000 employees. Acting as an intermediary between WFP program officers and human resources, Dettori provides career advice, coaching and guidance to program staff on stressful field assignments. Without the right personnel functioning healthily, she said, the best strategies and plenty of funding won’t get an organization very far. Her attraction to CJP was both practical – by taking summer courses through SPI, she could continue working full-time – and based on the program’s reputation for being at the leading edge of its field. The experience so far has met every expectation: “Nearly
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Based at the Rome headquarters of the UN’s World Food Programme, Ilaria Dettori has been commuting to CJP to earn her master’s degree largely through attending classes offered at CJP’s Summer Peacebuilding Institute.
“UN work is difficult in terms of reconciling it with your personal life, living in difficult environments, and often moving your family around the world.” everything I’ve learned has been of real practical utility for me in my daily life as a person and as a professional,” she said, adding that “CJP has been a lot more than just acquiring technical knowledge.” Having shifted her focus from the more visible peacebuilding and development work carried out in the field by agencies like the WFP to the equally important behind-the-scenes work of organizational effectiveness, Dettori said CJP has valuable things to teach other large institutions. The subject of “conflict-sensitive” development and humanitarian work, which looks at minimizing the negative impact and maximizing the positive influence of this work on conflicts on the ground, has become an increasing priority for the WFP and elsewhere in the UN system, she said. By providing more people with practical and theoretical training in this area, she said CJP has the potential to play an influential role in improving the effectiveness of UN programs around the world. — Andrew Jenner
PHOTO courtesy Ilaria Dettori
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Bridging the Gap, UN to Capitol Hill In 2006, the United Nations General Assembly replaced its Commission on Human Rights – the organization’s main body dedicated to protection of human rights – with the reorganized and renamed UN Human Rights Council (HRC). As UN decisions and deliberations tend to be, it was a politically charged affair. Citing the HRC’s perceived antiIsrael bias, the George W. Bush administration announced that the United States would boycott the new organization. Michael Shank, then in-between earning his MA at CJP and his PhD in conflict analysis, was working with Citizens for Global Solutions, an NGO that promotes a cooperative, engaged U.S. foreign policy. Through a mutual acquaintance, he arranged for a meeting with Jan Eliasson, then the president of the UN General Assembly. After their discussion about American reluctance to participate in the HRC, Shank sent an out-of-the-blue email to Samantha Power, an advisor to then-Senator Barack Obama. Would the Senate Foreign Relations Committee consider inviting Eliasson and his staff to Washington to speak directly to Congress about the new human rights organization? Power responded quickly, and within days, Eliasson’s staff, including the author of the HRC resolution, appeared before Senate committee staff. They later also spoke with staff from the House of Representatives’ Committee on Foreign Affairs. While the United States continued its boycott of the HRC for the remainder of the Bush presidency (soon after President Obama took office, the U.S. changed course and joined the council), it was Shank’s first direct experience working to improve communication and cooperation between the United Nations and Capitol Hill. “That’s exactly what we’re doing now on Syria,” said Shank, when first reached by Peacebuilder in the fall of 2013. Now the director of foreign policy with the Friends Committee on National Legislation, Shank was working to dissuade the United States from launching air strikes, without UN or other international support, as a way of punishing Syria for its use of chemical weapons. (In an ironic twist, Samantha Power – now the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations – and President Obama were prominent advocates for American intervention, regardless of what the international community thought.) Again, Shank played the role of liaison, facilitating communication between members of Congress and various offices and people within the United Nations; he’d periodically done similar work in the intervening years, while working as an advisor to U.S. Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.). “The more lines of communication we have between
As director of foreign policy for the Friends Committee on National Legislation, Michael Shank, MA ’05, is a familiar person in policymaking circles for his commentaries in blogs and newspapers and interviews on TV and radio.
Congress and the UN, the better informed the members of Congress will be when they vote on military action,” said Shank in mid-September (2013), at a time when a unilateral American strike was still being debated. “Now is a really interesting time to observe whether or not America can participate in a morally and ethically centered conversation within the international community, and respect it.” Soon after that conversation, in the face of significant international and domestic pressure, the Obama administration backed off its threats of military action and allowed UN-led inspections, accompanied by pledges for the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons in the near future. Calling the outcome a “victory for diplomacy,” Shank nonetheless worries that the episode damaged his country’s reputation and relationships with the UN. But still, in the pragmatic sense, weapons inspectors from the UN, rather than American war planes, headed to Syria. “There will always be bureaucratic problems, and there will always be need for reform,” continued Shank, responding to the criticism that the UN can be bloated and dysfunctional. “I do think we need to, however, maintain a space within the international community that acts as a moral check and ensures international law and diplomacy first and foremost.” One of CJP’s strengths, Shank said, is its grasp of restorative processes and theories that help countries and communities recover from violent conflict. These, he added, are increasingly relevant to the work the UN does around the world, and makes CJP graduates “well-positioned to provide critical analysis and prescription when it comes to helping societies heal at the national level or local level.” — Andrew Jenner
PHOTO courtesy Michael Shank
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Grounding Yemen In Peace Concepts The news headlines from Yemen lately haven’t been pretty: bombings, shootings, insurgency, American drone strikes, dozens and dozens dead within the last few months alone. Far more have been killed in the unrest that has spread across the country since the Arab Spring in early 2011. In the absence of law and order across much of the country, several separatist movements remain active, and extremism appears to be on a continued rise. “We have a culture of solving conflict, in some cases, with violence,” said Abdulaziz Saeed, MA ’05, who has consulted on various peacebuilding projects with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other organizations in Yemen. “There is a need for conflict transformation in Yemen.” Now based in the capital city, Sanaa, with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation – with 57 member nations, the secondlargest international organization after the UN – Saeed has been working to bring peace to his troubled country since finishing his graduate work at CJP eight years ago. After his return to Yemen, Saeed spent six years working for the UK-based NGO, Islamic Relief Worldwide. During that time, one of his major accomplishments was the development of peacebuilding and conflict resolution workshops in 11 of Yemen’s 21 governorates, the country’s equivalent of states, where political disputes and conflicts over access to natural resources have led to violence. According to Saeed, more than 2,000 people have taken part in 70 different trainings, which were funded by the British, Dutch and German governments. Participants included tribal and community leaders, imams and staff from local NGOs, as well as judges, police officers, prosecutors and other officials from local and national government offices and ministries. Early in this process, a lack of good Arabic-language resources on the subject of conflict resolution presented Saeed with a challenge – one that he got around by writing a conflict resolution book of his own. He later wrote four booklets on negotiation, mediation, dialogue and reconciliation, as well as a training manual on the traditional Yemeni conflict resolution framework. Another challenge was finding the right trainers who understood conflict transformation and could base the workshops on Islamic values that support peacebuilding. After traveling widely, including visits to Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon, Saeed eventually found trainers who were capable of grounding their trainings in religious values and who – after some study and learning of their own – gained competence in the fundamentals of conflict transformation. After these workshops, an “impact network” was
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Abdulaziz Saeed, MA ’05, is the author of the three booklets pictured, plus one other, prepared for fellow citizens of Yemen.
established within each governorate, intended to provide communities with a new local resource to resolve conflicts nonviolently. A year later, Saeed and his colleagues checked back in with these impact networks to evaluate and learn from their various conflict resolution successes and failures. Representatives from the different governorates were asked to prepare presentations on their experiences, and then all met together to learn from each others’ experiences. Once some stability returns to Yemen and funding becomes available, Saeed hopes to provide a second round of more advanced trainings. He is also working on an ambitious plan to introduce conflict transformation principles into Yemeni elementary school curriculums and university coursework. An earlier peacebuilding project began soon after finishing his MA, when Saeed helped write the UNDP’s National Disaster Management Plan for Yemen. Here, he was able to include provisions for conflict transformation and trauma awareness training in the plan’s emergency and development programs. These, he said in an earlier communication with Peacebuilder magazine, were new concepts to others drafting the plan, requiring him to work hard to ensure their inclusion. Having since moved on to other NGO work, Saeed noted that the UN “has been talking for a long, long time” about peacebuilding but has yet to achieve much in the way of on-the-ground results. In a deeply impoverished country like Yemen, where water is scarce and food insecurity, unemployment and illiteracy are high, “[peacebuilding] has to be a tangible thing,” said Saeed. Better healthcare, education and clean drinking water projects have to accompany the trainings and the talk and the theory. — Andrew Jenner
PHOTOS courtesy Abdulaziz Saeed
THE UNITED NATIONS
AMY REBECCA MARSICO, MA ’09 // Manager of NYC-based stage productions; conflict and peacebuilding consultant // Presented arts-based approaches to peacebuilding to UN Interagency Framework Team for Preventive Action // Did practicum for her MA at UNHCR in the Community Development, Gender Equality and Children section. // Promoted AGDM (age, gender and diversity mainstreaming), whereby refugee women, men, boys and girls contribute to the design and implementation of programs, identify own protection risks, and participate in finding sustainable solutions. // Helped develop the Heightened Risk Identification Tool, a field tool used to identify refugees at risk. // “To be part of work that was engaging in long-term change processes – seeing refugees as active partners instead of passively waiting for a handout – was incredibly meaningful.”
People of CJP FACULTY & STAFF William (Bill) Goldberg, MA ‘01, Harrisonburg, Va., became the director of the Summer Peacebuilding Institute in the summer of 2013. He has worked for EMU for a total of 13 years. Carl Stauffer ‘85, MA ‘02, PhD, assistant professor for CJP, gave the keynote address at the 15th annual Urban Initiatives Conference in Milwaukee, Wis. on May 29. The conference theme was “Restorative Practices: Repairing Harm and Building Community.” Elaine Zook ‘75, MA ‘03, STAR program director, and Howard Zehr, EMU distinguished professor of restorative justice, presented at the Pikes Peak Restorative Justice Council Symposium on May 9-10 in Colorado Springs, Colo. Elaine presented on “Trauma and Restorative Justice” and Howard on “Shame and the Implication for Resorative Justice.” Together, they led discussion on high-risk victim-offender conferencing.
ALUMNI NOTES Wilbur (Will) Bontrager ‘69, MA ‘99, Shortsville, N.Y., was selected to receive the 2013 Community Service
for Peace Award by the Center for Dispute Settlement in Canandaigua, N.Y. The award is given to a local citizen who, by word and deed, has promoted the causes of peace and nonviolence, civility and conciliation. Will founded the Finger Lakes Restorative Justice Center in 2000, now named Partners in Restorative Initiatives, and currently serves on its advisory board. He also serves on the board of directors for the National Council of the Fellowship of Reconciliation and is active in his faith community’s Peace and Social Concerns Committee. Nathan Barge ‘84, MA ‘99, Harrisonburg, Va., works as a restorative justice consultant based in Harrisonburg, Va. He recently returned from three weeks of training with the Mennonite Churches in Paraguay. He has edited a Spanish manual PREVIO for training restorative justice facilitators in victim- offender conferencing. Nathan himself speaks Spanish, having spent 14 years working in Latin America with Mennonite Central Committee. He also volunteers with the Fairfield Center in Harrisonburg with their Restorative Justice Programs. Gilberto Pérez Jr. ‘94, Grad. Cert. ‘99, Goshen, Ind., is associate profes-
sor of social work at Goshen College. He was recently appointed as a Plan Commission member. In 2012 Gilberto launched Bienvenido Community Solution (BCS), LLC, a company that works with community-based organizations to implement the Bienvenido mental health curriculum. BCS also works at building bridges with immigrants and the host dominant culture. A recent initiative is bringing law enforcement and Latino immigrant congregations for trust-building and open conversation on community policing efforts. Finally, BCS is working with Indiana University School of Medicine to conduct a research study on discrimination and mental health in Latino youth. Fidele Lumeya, MA ‘00, Silver Spring, Md., is the executive director for Congolese American Council for Peace and Development. Laura Brenneman ‘96, MA ‘00, PhD, Champaign, Ill., is an academic and peace activist who teaches adjunct for both EMU and Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, as well as the University of Illinois, including a program in a local men’s prison. In addition to teaching and writing, she volunteers with restorative justice programs in
PHOTO by Jon Styer
her community. Previously, she was professor of religion and director of peace and conflict studies at Bluffton Univesity. Gopar Tapkida, MA ‘01, Zimbabwe, is pursuing a PhD through Africa International University in Kenya and has been assigned to Zimbabwe as the Mennonite Central Committee representative with his wife, Monica. Previously he was MCC’s regional peace adviser in West and Central Africa. Jonathan (Jon) Rudy, MA ‘01, Manheim, Pa., is currently teaching half time in the peace and conflict studies minor at Elizabethtown College in central Pennsylvania as the peacemaker in residence. He is working to connect the college with the University of Hargeisa in Somaliland. Jon continues to facilitate at the Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute in the Philippines. Kaushikee, MA ‘02, PhD, New Delhi, India, recently became an associate professor with the Nelson Mandela Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution. In August 2013, she published a simple reader on issues in peace and conflict for postgraduate students. She also authored “Gandhian Nonviolent Action: A Case Study of Aung San Suu Kyi’s Struggle in Myanmar” in the
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December issue of Gandhi Marg, a quarterly journal of the Gandhi Peace Foundation. Jae Young Lee, MA ‘03, Seoul, South Korea, founding director of the Korea Peacebuilding Institute and the Northeast Asia Regional Peacebuilding Institute, works as a peace educator, restorative justice practitioner, and mediation trainer. He is one of the first facilitators for the victim-offender reconciliation program in Korea, including at Seoul Family Court, and has conducted various trainings for school personnel, government officers, NGO activists, and organizations in Korea. In addition, Jae Young facilitates a mediation course at Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute in Philippines. Lam Oryem Cosmas, MA ‘04, Kampala, Uganda, led a training for county peace mobilizers from six counties of Jonlei in June 2012 with a project of the Sudan Council of Churches called “Peace from the Roots.” It was intended to organize church leaders, representatives of civil society groups, women leaders, and local administrators to form a cohesive group for engaging in transformative peacebuilding in their respective communities, between and among their neighbors. Rania Kharma, MA ‘04, Brussels, Belgium, is currently pursuing a master’s in European policies with the Institut d’études europeennes (Institute of European Studies) at the Université catholique de Louvain. The program provides skills and knowledge pertinent to the history and integration of the European Union and its system as a whole, especially with regard to economic integration. Seneviratne (Shyamika) Jayasundara-Smits, MA ‘04, PhD, Voorburg, the Netherlands, successfully defended her doctoral dissertation titled “In Pursuit of Hegemony: the Politics and State Building in Sri Lanka.” Susan Peacock, MA ‘04, Minneapolis, Minn., is the liaison for “sponsors coordinating travel seminars” in Bolivia, Cuba, Guatemala, and Mexico with the Center for Global Education. Prior to rejoining the staff in 2012, she worked at the National Academies’ Committee on Human Rights, the Washington Office on Latin America, the National Security Archive at George Washington University, and the Guatemala Human Rights Commission. Dianne Warren ‘94, MA ‘04, Buckeye, Ariz., earned her master’s in information resources and library science with a concentration in digital information management in 2012 and is now communication and training coordinator at the Family Involvement Center in Phoenix, Ariz. Among other tasks, Dianne coordinates communications outreach, trainings, and special events, including events to raise awareness
about children’s mental health and family-professional conferences. She updates the company website, creates a monthly newsletter, and has created a digital library of resources accessible from the center’s website. Jay A. Wittmeyer, MA ‘04, Elgin, Ill., executive director for Global Mission and Service for the Church of the Brethren, is the Church’s representative to the Board of Directors of Heifer International. Heifer International began as the Church of the Brethren’s Heifer Project, but is now independent of the church. Ashok Gladston Xavier, MA ‘04, PhD, was appointed dean of the Faculty of Arts at Loyola College, Chennai, India. As dean, Ashok will be able to facilitate joint research, along with promoting student and faculty exchange. Katherine (Katie) Resendiz, MA ‘05, Phoenix, Ariz., is program director of Training and Resources United to Stop Trafficking, a multidisciplinary effort to coordinate anti-trafficking efforts in Arizona and ultimately increase public awareness about the crisis as it relates to Arizona’s children. The program works to identify and collaborate with stakeholders, including key lawmakers, law enforcement, medical providers, educators, local and state government officials, business leaders, faith-based community groups, and non-profit providers and funders. Megan Scott, MA ‘05, Alexandria, Va., is a reentry advisor for Offender Aid and Restoration in Arlington, Va. She provides pre-release counseling and conflict resolution and anger management classes for individuals at local jails and the Coffeewood Correctional Facility. She hopes to begin reentry circles for families out of Coffeewood before the end 2013. Rosario (Charito) Calvachi-Mateyko, MA ‘06, Lewes, Del., a restorative justice consultant and trainer with the Latino Initiative on Restorative Justice, Inc., was appointed a member of the Delaware Heritage Commission by Governor Jack A. Markell on January 29, 2013. Additionally, Charito led training sessions on restorative justice at the Judicial School and the Instituto de la Protección de la Ninez in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, provided a three-day training session on trauma healing and resilience at the Foro de la Mujer por la Vida, a presentation on restorative justice to the family court judges and staff in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, and gave a four-hour seminar to the youth in three juvenile detention centers in February 2013. Judah Oudshoorn, MA ‘06, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, is a professor of community and criminal justice at Conestoga College, a sessional lecturer in peace and conflict studies at the University of Waterloo, a restorative
justice mediator with the Correctional Service of Canada, and a PhD student in social work at the Wilfrid Laurier University. His work centers on making justice systems more trauma informed and finding meaningful ways to hold men accountable who have used violence toward partners and children. Judah also reports that he likes hot coffee, cold beer, warm sunshine, and comfortable chairs, but most importantly, that he is a proud dad and husband. Brian Bloch, MA ‘07, Washington, D.C. area, has been the ombudsman at the U.S. Department of the Interior since the summer of 2011. He currently serves on the Board of the International Ombudsman Association and volunteers with ISKCONResolve, the integrated conflict management system for the Hare Krishna community. Jeff From, MA ’07, Berea, Ky., is associated with the Horizon Program in Ohio, which has graduated more than 700 inmates, with 90% of those released not returning to prison. The program, currently supported by a $125,000 grant from the state attorney general’s office, teaches inmates everything from computer skills and how to write a resume to how to end an argument. Leymah Gbowee, MA '07, Accra, Ghana, was the keynote speaker for the 2013 Ware Lecture on Peacemaking hosted by Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, Pa. She additionally spoke at Lancaster Mennonite High School (LMH) to a packed auditorium, sharing her own dreams as a 17-year-old in Liberia. She had this to say about the experience: "It's truly an honor to be [at LMH], in a space where there's so many young people who will go on to be the next generation of leaders." Leymah was a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011. Rina Kashyap, MA ‘07, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, is pursuing a PhD in human security about the “responsibility to protect” initiative. Rina is also teaching political science (international relations and political theory) and conflict transformation and peacebuilding (gender, violence and human rights, and conflict analysis) at the University of Delhi, Lady Shri Ram College in India. Godfrey Ntim, Grad. Cert. ‘07, Maputo, Mozambique, program coordinator for Counterpart International, is currently using peacebuilding methods and strategies to execute food security and resiliency development program activities. Thaddeus (Thad) Hicks, MA ‘08, Marysville, Ohio, a faculty member at Ohio Christian University, was instrumental in developing and launching a new law enforcement program
oriented more toward restorative than the usual criminal justice. He attributed his success to CJP and thanked professor Howard Zehr for introducing him to “this way of doing justice work!” Thad also acts as the editor-in-chief of the quarterly academic journal Trauma Healing. The journal focuses on the primary and secondary trauma of those working in professions connected to suffering, death, and dying. Alan Marr, MA ‘08, Victoria, Australia, is one of the pastors at St Kilda Baptist Church, a relatively small, but courageous congregation in inner-city Melbourne. St Kilda has developed a reputation for its commitment to supporting people on the margins of society and “[they] have a good time doing it!” As well as his commitment to the church, Alan has a part time mediation consultancy, working mainly in the nonprofit sector. He also chairs the Peace Commission of the Baptist World Alliance. Keith Lyndaker Schlabach ‘91, Grad. Cert. ‘08, Mount Rainier, Md., is the co-founder of PeaceGrooves, a project centered around the creation of alternative media, stories, and games that reflect an Anabaptist nonviolent perspective. Additionally, Keith writes a monthy column for PeaceSigns, the newsletter of the Mennonite Chuch USA’s Peace and Justice Support Network. Jacqueline (Jackie) Shock, MA ‘08, Pittsburgh, Pa., a mental heatlh therapist at Associates in Behavioral Diagnostics and Treatment, is a licensed clinical social worker in the state of Pennsylvania. Annette Lantz-Simmons, MA ‘09, Kansas City, Mo., executive director of Community Mediation Center, focuses on a three-pronged approach to mediation: (1) Prevention – conflict resolution and restorative justice training and processes for children and youth in schools, churches, and neighborhoods. (2) Education – interpersonal conflict resolution training, mediation training, circle facilitation training, restorative discipline for teachers and parents training, and neighborhood accountability board training. (3) Restoration – transformative mediation for families, neighbors, court cases, students, and divorcing or separating parents, victim-offender dialogue, and neighborhood accountability board facilitation. Jennifer Lynne, MA ‘09, Austin, Tex., is the director of thecontractproject, a conduit of resources and information for leadership and community development. Through facilitation, training, consulting, and assessment, she serves individuals, communities, and organizations seeking sustainable relationships and solutions. Mack Capehart Mulbah, MA ‘09, St. Paul, Minn., works as an independent
consultant for organizations engaged in transforming conflicts around the world. For the past three years, Mack has worked mostly with organizations and governments in West Africa (Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Liberia), promoting social justice, gender equality, and peaceful coexistence among youth. Grant Rissler, Grad. Cert. ‘09, Richmond, Va., is currently pursuing a PhD in public policy and administration at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va. His research focuses on immigration policy and as such, he is an associate at the Commonwealth Education Policy Institute. Additionally Grant serves as chair of the board of directors for Ten Thousand Villages - Richmond, is a member of the advisory council for Hope in the Cities, and is a member of the newsletter committee for Richmond Peace Education Center. Linda Swanson, MA ‘09, Warrenton, Va., has currently completed over 200 hours of training at the ADD Coach Academy and is in the process of completing the final requirements for graduation and certification. Her work so far has been with adults, though she hopes to begin coaching young people as well. Since graduating from CJP, Linda has not worked directly in the field of restorative justice, but hopes to combine it with her current work as a coach for adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Brenda Waugh, MA ‘09, Winchester, Va., has opened a new practice in Washington D.C., Brenda Waugh, Attorney at Law, L.C. She is active in the implementation of restorative justice practices in the Eastern Panhandle of Maryland, including victim-offender mediation and circle processes. Dawn Miller Sander, MA ‘10, Harrisonburg, Va., recently retired from her career of 20-plus years with AT&T in order to pursue her area of passion, addressing conflict within families and organizations using various tools, training, and dialogue. She currently leads Conflict Transformation Associates, LLC, an organization that provides comprehensive conflict and security management solutions. Dawn offers mediation, training, and ombudsman services. She credits CJP for providing her with the skillset she needs to provide such valuable services. Valerie Luna Serrels, MA ‘10, Harrisonburg, Va., is associate director of Kids vs Global Warming, with which she is working to strengthen the youth voice as key stakeholders in the climate crisis. Mary Beth Spinelli, MA ‘10, Ontario, N.Y., is a restorative practices coordinator at the Ibero-American Development Corporation (IADC), a local non-profit community development organization. Her position is a
combination of working with people in challenged neighborhoods and using conflict transformation to address local issues. IADC has been working with residents in a low-income, violenceprone neighborhood over the last eight years. Residents have said that their number one concern was drug sales on the streets and in the parks, especially marijuana. IADC built a coalition with a variety of local partners to address the issue and recently received funding. They are working with residents to protect victimized neighborhoods and engage sellers into restorative processes that offer them new opportunities for their lives.
gram coordinator for Saskatchewan Intercultural Association. She enjoys bringing a peacebuilding perspective to her work with newcomers to Saskatoon through coordinating programs, facilitating language classes, and assisting the organization’s “Equity and Anti-Racism Committee” with various workshops and events. Cheryl also facilitates a course for international graduate students through the University of Saskatchewan’s Language Centre and coordinates the “Language for Peace” project hosted by Mennonite Partners in China, which provides a network for language educators engaged in peacebuilding.
Pushpika Weerakoon, MA ‘10, Colombo, Sri Lanka, received the “Rotary International Avenues of Service Citation” award from the Rotary Club of Colombo Mid Town. Pushpi demonstrated support of the goals of Rotary through active participation in about 90% of projects in each of five avenues of service: club, vocational, community, international, and new generations. In June 2011, Pushpi was awarded the ‘”Rotary National Peace Award for building bridges across communities” given to a non-Rotarian for outstanding services for humanity. She is the coordinator of the National Reconciliation Secretariat at the Sri Lankan Presidential Secretariat and public relations chair and service director of Rotary Club of Colombo Mid Town.
Sandra Kienitz, MA ‘12, formerly of Harrisonburg, Va., is working in northern Mexico with communication, organizational development, planning, monitoring, and evaluation. She is northern program coordinator with Mennonite Central Committee.
Raad Amer, MA ‘11, Harrisonburg, Va., is the employment and matching grants specialist for Church World Service. He began in July 2012 after completing two months as a caseworker with Virginia Council of Churches. Muhammad Asadullah, MA ‘11, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, is the author of “Community Policing and Restorative Justice: Exploring Common Themes and Values,” published in both French and English in the summer issue of Justice Report, by the Canadian Criminal Justice Association. Ryan Beuthin, MA ‘11, Flint, Mich., is living an experiment in peacebuilding as a way of life. He and his family moved to one of America’s most dangerous cities and got a job running a community-oriented restaurant, Flint Crepe Company. He leverages restaurant resources for community development and change, and is part of a church working on racial reconciliation. Linda Herr, MA ‘11, along with her husband, James Wheeler ‘86, co-directed the MCC Egypt program from 2003-09 and are currently in Egypt leading a group of Lancaster Theological Seminary students on a cross-cultural experience. Cheryl Woelk, MA ‘11, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, is currently working as the LINC and literacy pro-
Lauren (Cole) Parke, MA ‘12, Barnstable, Mass., is an LGBTQ rights researcher with Political Research Associates, a small progressive think-tank located in Boston, Mass. She largely concentrates on tracking right-wing evangelical Christians in the U.S. and the role they play in exporting politicized homophobia and transphobia around the world. Through her research, Cole endeavors to support on-the-ground organizers and activists in developing more strategic approaches to the work of creating a safer and more just world for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people. Suraya Sadeed, MA ‘12, Fairfax, Va., gave a spring semester (’13) convocation talk “Peace Through Education” at Bridgewater College, Bridgewater, Va. Born and raised in Kabul, Afghanistan, Suraya, who returned to her homeland from the U.S. at the height of the Afghan Civil War in 1993, established the nonprofit organization, Help the Afghan Children, Inc. Since then, her efforts in providing humanitarian aid, medical care, education, and hope against seemingly insurmountable odds in some of the most inhospitable conditions imaginable, have directly benefited an estimated 1.7 million Afghan children and their families. She is also the author of Forbidden Lessons in a Kabul Guesthouse, which chronicles her story and efforts to educate Afghan women and children. Nathan Toews, MA ‘12, Bogota, Colombia, is an accompaniment worker with victims of sociopolitical violence with Mennonite Central Committee. His assignment is to develop and conduct research and evaluation initiatives for Inter-Church Coordination for Psychosocial Action. The organization is an initiative of the Brethren in Christ, Mennonite Brethren, and Mennonite Church denominations to assist churches in their efforts to provide
psychosocial and pastoral support to members in their church communities who are living in vulnerable situations. Jennifer (Jenn) Bricker, MA ‘13, SEM ‘13, a facilitator with Key Bridge Foundation Community Conferencing Program, now lives in Washington D.C. and works with a restorative justice program in neighboring Prince George’s County, Md., within the Department of Juvenile Services in the county courthouse. She continues to be interested in the intersection of restorative justice, trauma healing, and community building.
MARRIAGES Roxy Allen, MA ‘07, to Felix Mutinda, July 27, 2013. Jodi Read, MA ‘03, to Alicia Dueck, Sept. 22, 2013.
BIRTHS & ADOPTIONS Atieno Fisher, MA ‘99, and Shawn Bird, Washington, D.C., Silas Lochlan, Aug. 30, 2012. Jennifer ‘00, MA ’06, and Kerry Saner-Harvey, Grad. Cert. ‘05, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Newfoundland, Canada, Halid Robert, July 7, 2013 Amy, MA ‘02, monitoring coordinator for CJP, and Bart Czajkowski, Culpepper, Va., Peter William, Mar. 25, 2013. Tracey King-Ortega, MA ‘05, Managua, Nicaragua, twins, Ruby Amanda and Benjamin Desmond, July 31, 2013. Ryan, MA ‘11, and Jacqueline Beuthin, Flint, Mich., Starling Eliot, June 23, 2013. Raad, MA ’11, and Lauren Amer, Harrisonburg, Va., Jenna Lee, May 9, 2012. Claudia, Grad. Cert. ‘11, SEM ’11, and Jimmy Winter, Curitiba Parana, Brazil, Jayden, Sept. 17, 2013. Theodore, MA ‘13, and Sharmilla Peiris Sitther, Takoma Park, Md., Santhosh Jeevan Peiris Sitther, April 10, 2013.
The People of CJP section is compiled by Braydon Hoover in EMU's alumni office. Braydon relies heavily on information that arrives via the CJP alumni update form, found at the bottom of each graduate's individual entry at: emu.edu/now/peacebuilder/alumni Feel free to provide information directly to Braydon at braydon. email@example.com or at 540-432-4294. This section will appear annually in the fall-winter issue.
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Byler, Docherty Assume Helm of CJP/SPI/STAR CJP has moved into a new leadership era. J. Daryl Byler, JD, is its executive director, reporting to Provost Fred Kniss. Jayne Docherty, PhD, is CJP’s program director, reporting to Byler. Both Byler and Docherty are veteran peace practitioners, focused on conflict transformation and development efforts both domestically and abroad. Byler comes with extensive experience in leading nonprofits and Mennonite church initiatives, including fundraising. Docherty has extensive academic institutional experience, with teaching stints at three universities. Byler has directed programs for Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) in Washington D.C. and the Middle East. He came to EMU in July 2013 from Jordan where he had lived with his wife Cindy since 2007, both of them coordinating peacebuilding projects run by MCC’s local partners in Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Israel and Palestine. Byler recalls being impressed by the work of dozens of CJP alumni in the Middle East, noting how CJP “transformed the way they think about conflict and the way they have integrated the principles and experiences learned at EMU in the challenging Middle Eastern context.” As director of MCC’s Washington Office from 1994 to 2007, Byler met regularly with policymakers on Capitol Hill, the State Department and White House. Prior to that, he spent six years as a staff attorney in Meridian, Miss., while serving as senior pastor for Jubilee Mennonite Church, an interracial congregation. He came to EMU with significant fundraising experience, including leading a capital campaign for Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community. Byler holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia, where he also did graduate business coursework. He earned two degrees from EMU, an MA from the seminary in 1985 and a BA in business administration in 1979. On the CJP faculty since 2001, Docherty spent much of 200812 working with groups in Burma/Myanmar on supporting the transition from a military dictatorship to a more democratic form of governance. Prior to this, she helped the Institute for Peace and Justice Education at Lebanon’s American University to develop a summer peacebuilding training program for young leaders in that country. She has led workshops on peacebuilding topics in a dozen other countries. Docherty is continuing to teach quarter-time as professor of leadership and public policy at EMU. She has also taught at George Mason University and Columbia College in South Carolina. She earned her PhD at the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason and holds an undergraduate degree in religious studies and political science from Brown University. She studied theology at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Docherty is in the leadership of the Peace Appeal Founda32
Jayne Docherty, CJP's program director, and J. Daryl Byler, CJP's executive director, are expected to be a dynamic team, with Docherty providing internal leadership and Byler exercising overall leadership, including external relations with CJP's various constituencies.
tion, an organization that “supports peace and conflict resolution processes globally through inclusive, multi-track and multi-sector interventions designed to achieve agreed, fair and just outcomes.” She is an active member of the Association for Conflict Resolution, the International Peace Research Association, and the International Studies Association. Byler replaced Lynn Roth, who became the North American representative to Mennonite World Conference. In the new CJP leadership configuration, both the executive director and program director are three-quarter-time positions. “Daryl will be giving administrative leadership to CJP with a primary focus on building external relationships, networking with key university and external stakeholders, and developing resources for CJP’s growth and success,” said Provost Fred Kniss upon announcing Byler’s appointment. Concerning Docherty’s role as program director, she will “oversee the development, integration, funding, delivery and evaluation of CJP’s various programs,” said Kniss. “This includes the coordination of the academic and practice programs of CJP, and giving leadership to curriculum development.” — BPL PHOTO by Jon Styer
“We will sit together to dream, to develop our shared vision of a better future, and we will work it out together.” These are the words of CJP alumna Naw Kanyaw Paw from Myanmar, also known as Burma. When she offered these words to describe how she is working with the Karen people to find a peaceful resolution to their struggles with the government of Myanmar, she seemed to be speaking for many of our peacebuilding alumni.
The world needs more leaders working for peace and justice. Please help CJP educate, train and nurture promising new leaders.
Online: emu.edu/cjp/giving By check to EMU/CJP sent to: Development Office Eastern Mennonite University 1200 Park Road Harrisonburg VA 22802 For more information, contact: Phoebe Kilby, Office of Development 800-368-3383 firstname.lastname@example.org
Four reasons to support the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding:
Known world-wide for educating and developing effective leaders in conflict transformation, restorative justice, trauma healing and conflictsensitive development.
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Sows the seeds of peace in 120 countries through the work of faculty, staff, 465 graduates, and more than 7,800 trainees.
Join us in realizing our vision to develop leaders who will create a just, peaceful and secure world. peacebuilder ■ 33 emu.edu/cjp
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