Geneva Peace Talks Goes Digital 2020

Shaping Peace

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Shaping Peace


The 8th edition of the Geneva Peace Talks will be held on Monday 21 September 2020, the International Day of Peace. This year, the Geneva Peace Talks goes digital and will be livestreamed from Geneva.

The central theme for 2020 is Shaping Peace. In these unprecedented times of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Geneva Peace Talks aims to highlight our interconnectedness as what happens in one part of the planet impacts people around the world. The pandemic has unveiled deep systems of inequality, privilege, and injustice prevalent in societies around the world. We are now challenged to reflect on how we can shape our world and what we want our new “normal” to look like.

The Geneva Peace Talks is a public event brought to you by the United Nations Office at GenevaInterpeace and the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform, the Swiss Government and Salesforce to celebrate the International Day of Peace.

The event will be livestreamed in English. Videos will be available with French subtitles shortly after the event. 

Location: Livestreamed Online
Date: 21/09/2020
Time : 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm

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António Guterres

António Guterres, the ninth Secretary-General of the United Nations, took office on 1st January 2017. Prior to his appointment as Secretary-General, Mr. Guterres served as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from June 2005 to December 2015, heading one of the world’s foremost humanitarian organizations during some of the most serious displacement crises in decades. Before joining UNHCR, Mr. Guterres spent more than 20 years in government and public service. He served as prime minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002, during which time he was heavily involved in the international effort to resolve the crisis in East Timor. Mr. Guterres was elected to the Portuguese Parliament in 1976 where he served as a member for 17 years. During that time, he chaired the Parliamentary Committee for Economy, Finance and Planning, and later the Parliamentary Committee for Territorial Administration, Municipalities and Environment. He was also leader of his party’s parliamentary group. From 1981 to 1983, Mr. Guterres was a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, where he chaired the Committee on Demography, Migration and Refugees. Mr. Guterres was born in Lisbon in 1949 and graduated from the Instituto Superior Técnico with a degree in engineering.

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Tatiana Valovaya

Tatiana Valovaya is the 13th Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva (UN Geneva) and the first woman to occupy this position. Ms. Valovaya has more than 35 years of experience in public service, diplomacy and journalism. She began her career in 1983 in the editorial office of the Economic Gazette in Moscow, first as a correspondent, then as deputy editor of the Department of World Economy. In 1989, Ms. Valovaya joined the Permanent Mission of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to the European union (EU), where she served as Third Secretary. She then became Second Secretary of the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the EU, until 1994. During her diplomatic career, she was in charge of the financial and economic cooperation issues. From 1995 to 1997, Ms. Valovaya worked at the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation, where she was responsible for relations with the statutory bodies of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). She then served as Head of the Monetary and Financial Policy Directorate at the Ministry for the CIS. From 1999 to 2012 Ms. Valovaya worked in the Government administration of the Russian Federation as Deputy Director and then Director of the Department of International Cooperation. Ms. Valovaya joined the Eurasian Economic Commission in 2012 as a Member of the Board (Minister) responsible for integration and macro-economic issues. In 1980, Ms. Valovaya graduated from the Faculty of International Economic Relations of the Moscow Finance Institute. She holds the scientific degree of Candidate of Economic Sciences (1st doctoral level scientific degree and the degree of Doctor of Economic Sciences from the Financial Academy under the Government of the Russian Federation).

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Ahmed Abdullahi

Ahmed Abdullahi is a Somali-Canadian born in Mogadishu, Somalia. He has been working in the Somali context since 2011 in the humanitarian, stabilization, and peacebuilding fields. Ahmed has obtained a Master Degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from the UK. He is currently the Country coordinator for Interpeace and the chair of the peacebuilding working group with Somalia NGO Consortium.

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Estelle Baroung Hughes

Estelle Baroung Hughes is the director of the NGO Africa Learning International focused on SDG 4 (Quality Education for All) in Africa and a teacher currently working at the International School of Geneva. She is also a blogger and a musician. As a Cameroonian citizen, Estelle is passionate about the cultural wealth of her 250 languages country. The focus of her NGO is to honour the diversity of African nations by supporting culturally responsive education on the continent. As an educator, Estelle specializes in international education. She is a teacher, a researcher, and an educational coach. Her motto is 'changing the world by inspiring one student, one teacher and one school community at a time.'

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Inua Ellams

Born in Nigeria, Inua Ellams is a poet, playwright & performer, graphic artist & designer and founder of: The Midnight Run (an arts-filled, night-time, urban walking experience.) The Rhythm and Poetry Party (The R.A.P Party) which celebrates poetry & hip hop, and Poetry + Film / Hack (P+F/H) which celebrates Poetry & Film. Across his work, Identity, Displacement & Destiny are reoccurring themes in which he also tries to mix the old with the new: traditional West African oral storytelling with contemporary poetics, paint with pixel, texture with vector. His books are published by Flipped Eye, Akashic, Nine Arches & Oberon.

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Taimani Emerald

Taimani Emerald of Emerald Creative is a creative intuitive specializing in emotive photography, heart-led design & connected illustration. Her shop, Illustrious by Emerald Creative showcases her unique artistic voice to create illustrations that teach a message of kindness & anti-racism to people & children of all ages, from 6-60. She has committed to changing the world of anti-racist education & the community has rallied to support her, sending over 600 prints to local schools this year.

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Luís Figo

Luís Figo is a former professional football player from Portugal and is regarded as one of the greatest players of his generation. He was born on 04 November 1972 in Lisbon where he started his football career playing with the local youth team Sporting CP. He later played as a midfielder for Barcelona, Real Madrid and Inter Milan before retiring in 2009. He won 127 caps for the Portugal national team, the 2000 Ballon d'Or and was named 2001 FIFA World Player of the Year. Luís Figo is very engaged in different social initiatives, for example as a Goodwill Ambassador for the Stop Tuberculosis Partnership and supporting a “Zero Malaria Starts with Me” campaign. In 2003, he founded the private, non-profit Luís Figo Foundation to help disadvantaged children with social programmes and projects. In 2018, he participated in a charity football match “Match for Solidarity” organized by the United Nations Office at Geneva and the UEFA to raise funds for children with disabilities.

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Adiba Qasim

Adiba Qasim is from Sinjar district northern Iraq. Adiba, a Yazidi survivor, started working with humanitarian NGOs and international media. Working as a humanitarian and a freelancer journalist, Adiba seeks to give voice to the stories of Yazidi women and children who survived the ISIS massacre. Adiba has worked extensively on the cases of child soldiers who have been brainwashed and recruited by ISIS after they were kidnaped in August 2014. In 2016 and 2017, she closely followed and covered the military actions leading to the liberation of cities of Mosul and Sinjar. Currently Adiba is a refugee in Switzerland, a Young Leader in Foreign and Security Policy with global fellowship initiative at the GCSP “Geneva Centre for Security Policy” and a Student in international relations at the University of Geneva.

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Ron Smith

Dr. Ron C. Smith is an Oakland, California native with 20 years of experience in the education field. In his role, Ron has overseen more than $50M in investments, strengthened and built partnerships with school districts across the US and Europe, and leads Salesforce's global Circle the Schools volunteering program. Ron Smith is a lifelong educator with a desire and drive to improve the lives of young people. Guiding his work is the belief that to improve their outcomes we must look at how we address all aspects of their world, as we prepare them for the journey that awaits them. This includes supporting them to understand where they can have meaningful impact on their community and helping them build the bridges for those who will follow.

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Roberta Ventura

Roberta Ventura left her twenty-year career in Investment Banking and Asset Management in 2016, to run the Social Enterprise she founded, SEP Jordan, on a full-time basis. SEP Jordan is a fashion and lifestyle brand, which blends Italian style with the finest Middle-Eastern craftsmanship, which she set up to bring back dignity and pride to refugee camps. The SEP Jordan boutique in Carouge carries a full selection of the embroidery creations from Jerash camp. SEP Jordan’s mission is to bring thousands of refugees above the poverty line, thanks to their own skill and talent, through employment. Roberta is a strong believer and advocate of refugees’ right to employment, education and empowerment – the key instruments to reach confidence, determination and self-sufficiency.

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Scott M. Weber

Scott M. Weber is a French and American specialist in peacebuilding and conflict prevention and is the President of Interpeace, an international organization for peacebuilding. Prior to his appointment to the role of President on 1 July 2018, Scott served as Director-General of the organization from 2005-2018, providing direction to the organization and overseeing its operations, partnerships and budget. As President, Scott is responsible for strategy, positioning and resource mobilization to grow the organization’s impact, influence and reach. Prior to joining Interpeace, Scott worked at the United Nations, in the Office of the United Nations Director-General in Geneva (UNOG) and in disaster preparedness. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations, Economics and Russian from Georgetown University and Certificates of Executive Education in Leadership from Harvard University’s JFK School of Government and Oxford University’s Saïd Business School.

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Sunaina Bambra

Sunaina Bambra is a post-graduate student in development policy from the Graduate Institute, Geneva. Sunaina currently works at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees as a policy intern, where she coordinates COVID-19 response with the TVET team. Prior to her post-graduate degree, Sunaina worked as a Teach for India fellow for two years and was a catalyst in bringing gender-inclusive educational framework to marginalised communities of New Delhi. Sunaina enjoys dynamic discussions on gender and kyriarchy, and believes that the ubiquity of peace can be discerned when institutions adopt an intersectional approach in their processes.

Sarah Noble

Sarah Noble has held leadership positions at a number of international organisations focused on peacebuilding, humanitarian issues, and media. Passionate about international relations, peace promotion, and story-telling, she is co-founder and Curator of the Peace Talks at Interpeace, where she has held a number of positions including Special Assistant, Chief of Staff, and Director of Global Engagement. She has overseen the 17 editions of the Peace Talks that have taken place in more than 7 countries with over 6,200 attendees and 140 speakers. Sarah also serves as Director of External Relations at The New Humanitarian, a non-profit newsroom that puts quality, independent journalism at the service of the millions of people affected by humanitarian crises around the world.


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