Opening Keynote
The Path to Ending Conflicts: Prospects and Pitfalls

Khalil E. Jahshan
Executive Director, Arab Center Washington DC

H.E. Amatalalim Alsoswa
Former Yemeni Minister of Human Rights; Former Yemeni Ambassador to Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands; Former UN Assistant Secretary-General, Assistant Administrator of UNDP, and Director of its Regional Bureau for Arab States

Addressing the Root Causes of Conflict in the Arab World

Noura Erakat
Assistant Professor, School of Integrative Studies, George Mason University

Mehran Kamrava
Professor and Director of Center for International and Regional Studies, Georgetown University – Qatar

Rami G. Khouri
Professor of Journalism and Public Policy and Senior Fellow, American University of Beirut

Sarah Leah Whitson
Executive Director, Middle East and North Africa Division, Human Rights Watch

Imad K. Harb – Moderator
Director of Research and Analysis, Arab Center Washington DC

About the conference:

The Arab world has been the site of emerging or raging conflicts in recent years. Some of them show signs of winding down, others have no end in sight, and new ones continue to arise. Yet, mainstream rhetoric and international policy conversations maintain a narrow focus on the conflicts themselves and on ad hoc policies, thus ignoring the root causes and broader societal development.

Arab Center Washington DC’s mission includes a commitment to peaceful resolutions to conflicts as well as to human rights, democracy, and human development. To that end, ACW is pleased to dedicate its third annual conference to the study of “The Arab World Beyond Conflict.” The conference will focus on exploring paths to ending strife across the region as well as address important issues in Arab societies beyond the narrow typical lens of conflict.

Conference Photos

Conference Agenda

8:30 AM Registration and Breakfast

9:00 AM Welcome and Introductions
   
  Khalil E. Jahshan
Executive Director
Arab Center Washington DC

9:15 AM Opening Keynote – The Path to Ending Conflicts: Prospects and Pitfalls
   
  H.E. Amatalalim Alsoswa
Former Yemeni Minister of Human Rights
Former Yemeni Ambassador to Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands
Former UN Assistant Secretary-General, Assistant Administrator of UNDP, and Director of its Regional Bureau for Arab States

10:15 AM Break

10:30 AM Addressing the Root Causes of Conflict in the Arab World
   
   
Noura Erakat
Assistant Professor
George Mason University
Mehran Kamrava
Professor and Director of Center for International and Regional Studies
Georgetown University – Qatar
   
Rami Khouri
Professor of Journalism and Public Policy and Senior Fellow
American University of Beirut
Sarah Leah Whitson
Executive Director, Middle East and North Africa Division
Human Rights Watch
   
Imad K. Harb – Moderator
Director of Research and Analysis
Arab Center Washington DC
   
  Panelists will discuss the roots of conflicts in the Arab world, including internal factors such as authoritarianism, economic and political marginalization, and human rights abuses in addition to regional, international, and geopolitical dynamics. Tools and pathways to resolving current conflicts as well as preventing future ones will be presented, while examining case studies from Arab countries.

12:15 PM Luncheon Keynote Conversation – Rebuilding the Middle East: US Policy in a Contentious Region
   
  The Honorable Thomas R. Pickering
Vice Chairman, Hills and Company
Former US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs
Former US Ambassador to the United Nations, Russia, India, Israel, and Jordan

2:00 PM State-Building in the Arab World: Future Prospects
   
   
Noha Aboueldahab
Visiting Fellow
Brookings Doha Center
Sultan Barakat
Director and Professor
Conflict Management and Humanitarian Action Program
Doha Institute for Graduate Studies
   
Robert Malley
President
International Crisis Group
Bessma Momani
Professor, University of Waterloo;
Balsillie School of International Affairs Senior Fellow, Centre for International Governance Innovation
   
Vivian Salama – Moderator
White House Reporter
Wall Street Journal
   
  This panel focuses on rebuilding Arab states as a path to ending conflicts. Speakers will discuss institution building, reforming governments and constitutions, implementing measures of transitional justice and reconciliation, and realizing the rule of law, economic development, and reconstruction efforts in the post-conflict era.

3:15 PM Break

3:30 PM Beyond Sectarianization: Toward Inclusive Citizenship in Arab Societies
   
   
Linda Bishai
Director of Research, Evaluation, and Learning
American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative
Daniel Brumberg
Associate Professor, Georgetown University;
Nonresident Senior Fellow, Arab Center Washington DC
   
Shadi Hamid
Senior Fellow – Foreign Policy
Brookings Institution
Marwan Kabalan
Chief of the Policy Analysis Unit
Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies, Doha
   
Sherine Tadros – Moderator
Head of the New York (UN) Office
Amnesty International
   
  Panelists will explore models of inclusion in Arab society and governance, with special attention to ethnic and religious groups, political parties and affiliations, the youth demographic, and women. They will address the importance of equal rights and opportunities, personal freedoms, and political participation as well as building equitable institutions and promoting a culture of pluralism and inclusive citizenship.

4:50 PM Closing Remarks
   
  Tamara Kharroub
Assistant Executive Director and Senior Fellow
Arab Center Washington DC

5:00 PM Adjournment