Geneva Peace Talks 2015

It's time for peace!

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The theme of the 2015 Geneva Peace Talks was “It’s Time For Peace!“.

In light of daily news headlines about war and violent conflict, the Geneva Peace Talks 2015 highlighted the urgency to support peace efforts around the world. The Geneva Peace Talks looked back on past peace efforts, learn more about ongoing initiatives and draw conclusions for the future of peacebuilding. Speakers shared innovative ways to strengthen peace and prevent violent conflict – now and in the future.

Speakers came from violent and divided environments and have diverse backgrounds such as science, art, business, and more. They shared their personal stories of peace and how they are making a difference in peacebuilding efforts.

The Geneva Peace Talks is a public event organized on the occasion of the International Day of Peace in a partnership between the United Nations Office at Geneva, Interpeace and the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform.

Location: Palais des Nations
Date: 18/09/2015
Time : 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm


Alexia Bonato and Isabelle Zakman

Alexia and Isabelle are part of the Geneva Red Cross, the local branch of the Swiss Red Cross that works closely with underprivileged children, migrants and the elderly. Alexia is the Youth Coordinator and Isabelle is an active volunteer outside of her studies at the Faculty of Translation and Interpretation at the University of Geneva. They will share their experience on dealing with local conflict on a daily basis and the importance of peace at home.

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Ebba Åkerman

Ebba ran into one of her students on a train and asked him whether he enjoyed living in her country. She found his ambivalent answer deeply disturbing. It became clear to her that most of her students lived in immigrant neighborhoods and had virtually no contact with native Swedes. This motivated Ebba to create United Invitations, a Swedish platform that promotes inclusion of immigrants in European societies. The idea inspired dinners in which she hosted immigrants and longtime Swedish residents who came to know each other, and is fast becoming a movement.

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Eliezer Rabinovici

Eliezer Rabinovici is Professor of Particle Physics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His research is in theoretical quantum field theory and string theory. The latter explores the phases of gauge theory and gravity, including the physics of black holes and singularities. Professor Rabinovici is Chair of the Israeli Committee for High Energy Physics and of SESAME, the Synchrotron-Light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East, of which he is also a founder. He has also directed the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Hebrew University and has chaired the Racah Institute of Physics.

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Greg Boyle

Father Greg is an American Jesuit priest. He is the founder and director of Homeboy Industries and former pastor of Dolores Mission Church. Homeboy Industries began when a concerned group of Angelenos, led by Father Gregory Boyle, asked a simple question: “Can we improve the health and safety of our community through jobs and education rather than through suppression and incarceration?” Today, Homeboy Industries is recognized as the largest and most successful gang intervention and re-entry program in the world, and has become a national model. Father Greg is the author of a New York Times bestselling book; 'Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion'.

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Helena Puig Larrauri

Helena co-founded Build Up, a social enterprise working at the intersection of technology, civic engagement and peacebuilding. She has worked on technology-enabled programs to promote peace in many countries including Sudan, South Sudan, Libya, Cyprus, Zimbabwe, Nepal, Somalia and Iraq. She is a co-organizer of Build Peace (an international conference on technology and peacebuilding) and sits on the Board of Advisors of International Alert and the Standby Task Force.

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Linley Constant and Giulio Valente

Linley is a young Mauritian author, composer and performer, and music enthusiast with extensive stage experience. He joined the Ecole des musiques actuelles et des technologies musicales (ETM) to perfect his skills. Giulio is a 19-year-old singer and guitarist, and student in pre-professional track at the ETM. He is a member of the rock band "Lack of Space" and defines himself as an incorrigible dreamer and artistic creator.

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Marina Peter

Marina fell in love with Sudan "by coincidence" 29 years ago. Being a teacher of German and history, trained in intercultural education, she knew almost nothing about the country, except that it had "hot weather and refugees". But getting a job with the development agency of the Protestant Church in Germany was the beginning of a learning experience that would make her one of the most recognized ecumenical experts on Sudan and South Sudan. Today she works with Bread for the World and chairs the Sudan and South Sudan Forum e. V.

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Rashad Ali

Rashad is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue and a Counter Terrorism practitioner. He works on deradicalisation initiatives alongside prisons, probation programmes, police and community groups. He is classically trained in Islamic theology and jurisprudence, as well as in Modern studies in Islam. He has read at Markfield Institute and taken courses at al-Azhar University, Cairo. He is an author of "A Guide to Refuting Jihadism" and of a chapter analyzing Hizb ut Tahrir ideology and strategy. His latest publication is entitled "Blasphemy, Charlie Hebdo, and the Freedom of Belief and Expression - The Paris attacks and the reactions."

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Rim Turkmani

Rim is a Senior Research Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) working on the war economy in Syria and the role of Syrian civil society in brokering peace and creating stability from the bottom up. She is the co-founder of the Syrian Civil Coalition that supports the role of Syrian civil society in peace and democratic transitions. She is a member of the Syrian peacebuilding advisory group and took part in the Moscow 2 talks between the Syrian government and Syrian opposition and civil society.

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Sean Altshuler and Tyler Wolf

Sean and Tyler are the co-founders of Time-Peace, a watch and lifestyle brand aimed at helping people change their perception of time so they can stop worrying and start 'Being'. Founded on the philosophy of embracing the present moment, the Time-Peace symbol is an integration of four universal principles that can help anyone live in the Now and create a foundation for peace.

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Antonio Dovizio and Tareke Bhrane

Lieutenant Antonio Dovizio from the Italian Navy just finished his mission on the Offshore Patrol Vessel ITS VEGA, where he served as Commanding Officer. The Ship has been involved in Mare Nostrum Operation, Frontex Joint Operation Triton, Mare Sicuro Operation and the Sicily Channel patrol operation. During Antonio’s mission, ITS VEGA has been involved in several Search and Rescue Operations, rescuing more than 5400 migrants in the Mediterranean sea. Tareke was born in Eritrea but fled at age 17 to avoid forced military conscription for life. He faced death, violence and imprisonment while crossing Sudan and Libya, and his first attempt to cross the Mediterranean was rejected. At the end of 2005, Tareke reached Sicily, and has since dedicated himself to helping others who have had to flee unbearable situations. He lives in Rome where he helps to asylum seekers and is president of the 3rd of October Committee, a non-profit dedicated to gaining national and European recognition for migrants who die at sea.

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Michael Møller

Michael Møller has over 35 years of experience as an international civil servant in the United Nations. He began his career in 1979 with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and worked with UNHCR in different capacities in New York, Iran, Mexico, Haiti and Geneva.

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Séverin Yao Kouamé

Séverin Kouamé, PhD in sociology and research professor at the University of Bouaké, founded and coordinates the local Interpeace team named Indigo Côte d'Ivoire. An exceptional facilitator working closely with the Ivorian population, his efforts are directed at community reconciliation in the country. According to him, it is the inclusive and participatory approach to which he was introduced that has positively impacted his initially pessimistic view of peacebuilding initiatives. He has come to realize that "peace is possible if you know how to bring it about."

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Watch full event

Please use the link below to watch the full-length video of the Geneva Peace Talks.

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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.