- Please note that the date of the Conference has been changed to Wednesday, October 1, 2014. We discovered that some religious groups observe Friday as a holiday, and because of that, we want to give everybody the opportunity to participate in the Conference by doing it on Wednesday, October 1, 2014.
- The registration fee for the 2014 ICERM International Conference has been reduced in order to accommodate everybody. We want to give you the opportunity to participate in this conference. You can now register at a reduced fee. Please also note that the seating capacity for this event is limited. Seats are given out on a first-come, first-serve basis. Buy your ticket now to reserve a seat.
The International Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation is pleased to announce its
1st ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE
Ethnic and Religious Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding
Venue: 136 East 39th Street
Between Lexington Avenue and 3rd Avenue
New York, NY 10016, USA
Date: Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Time: 9am – 5pm
Keynote Speaker: Ambassador Suzan Johnson Cook
3rd Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom for the United States of America.
The Advantages of Ethnic & Religious Identity in Conflict Mediation and Peacebuilding
“Peace has a chance when despite history, despite politics, despite ethnicity or faith, and despite hardship, people learn to tap into their own cultural ethos of cooperation.” – Dr. Dianna Wuagneux
We recognize this to be a crucial moment in history, a time to step up and ensure that our children and grandchildren do not have to suffer through the horrors of war or genocide in all of their guises. It falls to all of us to open the doors to dialogue, to come to truly know one another, and to accept that in so doing, we can take the first tentative steps toward a world that can work for everyone.
And so we begin by working from where we are by revealing the assets available to us. The religious and ethnic differences long blamed for hatred and intolerance are taken out into the light where the advantages that they offer, the connections between us that they make apparent and the opportunities for healthy relations they support are affirmed. Our strength and promise are based on this foundation.
We appreciate the burden of the schedule that your responsibilities maintain, yet hope that you will be able to join us and bring your invaluable insights to this event.
The 21st century continues to experience waves of ethnic and religious violence making it one of the most devastating threats to peace, political stabilization, economic growth and security in our world. These conflicts have killed and maimed tens of thousands and displaced hundreds of thousands, planting the seed for even greater violence in the future.
For our First Annual International Conference, we have chosen the theme: The Advantages of Ethnic & Religious Identity in Conflict Mediation and Peacebuilding. Too often, differences in ethnicity and faith traditions are seen as a drawback to the peace process. It is time to turn these assumptions around and rediscover the benefits that these differences offer. It is our contention that societies made up of an amalgamation of ethnicities and faith traditions offer largely unexplored assets to the policy makers, donor & humanitarian agencies, and mediation practitioners working to assist them.
Policymakers and donor agencies have fallen into the habit, especially during the last several decades, to look at ethnically and religiously diverse populations, especially when they occur in failed states or nations in transition, as being at a disadvantage. Too often, it is assumed that social conflict naturally occurs, or is exacerbated by these differences, without looking more deeply at these relationships.
This conference is, therefore, aimed at introducing a positive look at ethnic and religious groups and their roles in conflict resolution and peacebuilding. Papers for presentation at this conference and the publication thereafter will support a shift from the focus on ethnic and religious differences and their disadvantages, to finding and utilizing the commonalities and advantages of culturally diverse populations. The goal is to help one another discover and make the most of what these populations have to offer in terms of mitigating conflict, advancing peace, and strengthening economies for the betterment of all.
It is the purpose of this conference to help us get to know one another and see our connections & commonalities in a way that has not been made available in the past; to inspire new thinking, stimulate ideas, inquiry, and dialogue & share anecdotal and empirical accounts, which will introduce and support evidence of the numerous advantages that multi-ethnic & multi-faith populations offer to facilitate peace and advance social/economic well-being.
Speakers and Presenters:
Letters of Invitation
If requested, the ICERM Office will provide a letter of invitation if doing so will help participants gain permission from their professional bodies, procure travel funds, or obtain a visa. Consulates and embassies often need a lot of time to process a visa request; therefore we suggest participants request a letter of invitation at the earliest convenience. To request a letter of invitation, e-mail the ICERM at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the full name, postal, and e-mail address of each individual requesting a letter of invitation. Be sure to also include the organization, agency, embassy or consulate to which the letter should be addressed. Letters of invitation will be e-mailed to the requesting individual, NOT to the embassy or consulate. Please allow up to five (5) business days for processing your request.
Certificates of Attendance
Certificates of attendance will be available for all pre-registered attendees.