Geneva Peace Talks 2013

What does peace mean to you?

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The first-ever Geneva Peace Talks was held on 20 September 2013 at the Palais des Nations, the United Nations Office at Geneva. The event was co-organized by the United Nations Office at Geneva, Interpeace and the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform. It featured speakers who discussed the theme “What does peace mean to you?” They related their own personal stories about their involvement in peacebuilding, dispute resolution, or violence reduction, emphasizing how their engagement shaped their own understanding of peace. Speakers looked at what peace meant within their own lives and aimed to trigger reflection among the audience.

Location: Palais des Nations
Date: 20/09/2013
Time : 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm


Christopher Vakkur

Christopher Vakkur is a Swiss-American student in his final year at the International School of Geneva, Campus des Nations.

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Conradin "Kwacakworo" Perner

Conradin "Kwacakworo" Perner is a former Professor of French Literature at the University of Kisangani and the University of Khartoum. He spent over 15 years in South Sudan as an ethnographic field-researcher and has worked with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

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Dennis McNamara

Dennis McNamara is a Senior Humanitarian Advisor at the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue in Geneva with experience in practicing private law. In addition, he has several decades of humanitarian experience with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations in Asia and Africa.

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Dimitar Andonov

Dimitar Andonov is Market Operations Manager at The Coca-Cola Company responsible for Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Macedonia. Leading diverse teams with members from various Balkan nations, he compares and contrasts life in a multi-ethnic region to working in one of the most inclusive multinational corporations, The Coca-Cola Company.

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Fatuma Abdulkadir Adan

Fatuma Abdulkadir Adan is the Founder and Director of the Horn of Africa Development Initiative and a law graduate from Moi University. Her organization has implemented various development projects in Kenya with an emphasis on youth living in conflict-affected areas.

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George Kohlrieser

George Kohlrieser is an internationally recognized expert on leadership and a Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behaviour at the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Lausanne. Additionally, he is a police psychologist and former hostage negotiator who has worked in over 100 countries across five continents.

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James Suah Shilue

James Suah Shilue is the Director of Interpeace's partner in Liberia, the Platform for Dialogue and Peace (P4DP). He has returned to his home country after the end of the civil war to play a central role in rebuilding peace. With over 20 years of professional experience, Jimmy, as he is called, is working to fulfill what he feels is a moral obligation to make Liberia a peaceful place for all Liberians.

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Jeremy Lack

Jeremy Lack is an attorney and an expert in alternative dispute resolution specialized in international disputes. He is the cofounder of Neuroawareness Consulting Services, an organization that creates bridges between neuroscience and other fields of practice to improve their effectiveness.

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Léa Narjoud

Léa Narjoud is a French-Colombian student at the Jeanne d'Arc secondary school in Gex, France. Elected student representative in three consecutive years, she is also a member of the Red Cross and the godmother of a child from Mali through the Grain de Sable organization.

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Antoine Laham

Antoine Laham is a member of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and has provided expertise on peace processes in Iraq, Lebanon, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Palestine. He is also the co-founder of the Swiss Association for Euro-Arab-Muslim Dialogue (ASDEAM) that aims to open up free space for thinking and dialogue on cultural and political issues.

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Noam Shuster

Noam Shuster is a peacebuilder and Communications Officer of the Interpeace initiative in Israel, Base for Discussion (B4D). She is the recipient of the Davis Peace Award for her peacebuilding work. Growing up in the only community in Israel where Israelis and Palestinians choose to live together in equality and respect, she now engages marginalized groups who are excluded in the peace process.

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Geneva, Switzerland, has been viewed by the world as tolerant, neutral, and peaceful for centuries. The 24 constituent agencies of the United Nations, 250 NGOs, and variety of private sector actors have become known as International Geneva.

International Geneva is at the heart of a global discussion which seeks to improve international governance mechanisms. The unique combination of stakeholders fosters a network of actors on crosscutting themes such as peacebuilding. Unparalleled synergies emerge as a result of these platforms, creating new spaces for policy innovation across different institutions and sectors. Moreover, Geneva’s vast infrastructure enables it to host key conferences such as on the occasion of the International Day of Peace on 21 September. All these attributes attest to the city’s role as a global hub for issues that can be resolved through multilateral diplomacy.