For the last eight years, the annual PeaceCon conference has offered a dynamic platform for frontline peacebuilders, policymakers, philanthropists, and private sector and civil society leaders working at the nexus of peacebuilding, security, and development to engage in meaningful dialogue and develop substantive plans for action. This year’s conference—with the theme “Pandemics, Peace, and Justice: Shaping What Comes Next”—will explore the relationship between justice and peacebuilding in the context of COVID-19 and the worldwide reckoning over systemic injustice and racism.

Plenary Session

Afternoon Keynote

With the move to an entirely virtual format, PeaceCon 2020 aimed to attract an even more diverse set of voices, expertise, and ideas from across the world. Sessions went beyond exploring the problems and challenged participants to put forward differing points of view and distill learning outcomes into pragmatic solutions.

USIP, in partnership with the Alliance for Peacebuilding, kickstarted PeaceCon 2020 with a high-level keynote and panel discussion on December 7, 2020. The discussion addressed the relationship between COVID-19, conflict, and fragility, and considered strategies for the international community to address the peace and security implications of the pandemic. Following a series of breakout sessions hosted by the Alliance for Peacebuilding, participants re-joined USIP for a fireside chat with Darren Walker, the president of the Ford Foundation.

Agenda 

9:00am – 10:30am: AfP-USIP Plenary Session

  • Welcome Remarks
    • Lise Grande
      President & CEO, U.S. Institute of Peace
    • Uzra Zeya
      President, Alliance for Peacebuilding
    • Julia Roig
      Chair, Board of Directors, Alliance for Peacebuilding
  • Keynote Address
    • Senator Chris Coons (D-DE)
      U.S. Senator from Delaware 
  • High Level Panel: COVID and Fragility: Risks and Recovery
    • Paige Alexander
      CEO, The Carter Center
    • David Beasley
      Executive Director, World Food Programme
    • Tjada D’Oyen McKenna
      CEO, Mercy Corps
    • Ambassador Mark Green
      Executive Director, McCain Institute
    • Dr. Joseph Hewitt, moderator
      Vice President for Policy, Learning & Strategy, U.S. Institute of Peace

4:00pm – 5:00pm: Afternoon Keynote: Fireside Chat with Darren Walker

  • Darren Walker
    President, Ford Foundation
  • Uzra Zeyamoderator
    President, Alliance for Peacebuilding

To learn more about and register for the concurrent breakout sessions and workshops on Day 1 and additional content on Days 2 and 3, please visit the AfP conference website

Latest Publications

11 Things to Know: Afghanistan on the Eve of Withdrawal

11 Things to Know: Afghanistan on the Eve of Withdrawal

Thursday, June 17, 2021

By: Andrew Wilder; Scott Worden

U.S. and NATO troops are rapidly executing President Biden’s policy of a complete withdrawal of American troops and contactors supporting the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) by a deadline of September 11. Based on the rate of progress, the last American soldier could depart before the end of July. The decision to withdraw without a cease-fire or a framework for a political agreement between the Taliban and the government caught Afghans and regional countries by surprise. The Taliban have capitalized on the moment to seize dozens of districts and project an air of confidence and victory.  

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace Processes; Fragility & Resilience

Donald Jensen on the Biden-Putin Summit

Donald Jensen on the Biden-Putin Summit

Thursday, June 17, 2021

By: Donald N. Jensen, Ph.D.

Despite numerous points of tension, Presidents Biden and Putin characterized this week’s meeting in positive terms. Now, “the administration is trying to decide to what extent to cooperate with the Kremlin … and to what extent to push back,” said USIP’s Donald Jensen ahead of the summit.

Type: Podcast

Global Policy

Why Ethiopia’s 2021 Elections Matter

Why Ethiopia’s 2021 Elections Matter

Thursday, June 17, 2021

By: Aly Verjee; Terrence Lyons

Facing numerous technical difficulties, the National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) delayed parliamentary elections from June 5 to June 21, postponing the vote for the second time. Some major opposition parties are boycotting, and no voting will take place in civil war hit Tigray or in several other areas facing insecurity. Elsewhere, deficiencies in election administration have meant voting has already been postponed in many constituencies, and some of the logistical arrangements to underpin the vote are still to be implemented. Although there are risks of electoral violence, any incidents are unlikely to be especially significant in a context of high levels of ongoing political violence.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance; Electoral Violence

Can the ‘New Normalizers’ Advance Israeli-Palestinian Peace?

Can the ‘New Normalizers’ Advance Israeli-Palestinian Peace?

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

By: Ambassador Hesham Youssef

The recent outbreak of Israeli-Palestinian violence raised renewed discussion on how Arab states that inked normalization agreements with Israel in 2020 can advance peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The “new normalizers” (UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco) may be weighing the pros and cons of heavily involving themselves in efforts to resolve this protracted conflict but should not dismiss the opportunity. They can and should play a more proactive and constructive role, which would enhance regional stability and prosperity and advance the normalizers’ own interests. It will be up to the international community, the Palestinians and regional stakeholders to bring them into the peacemaking fold.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace Processes

Central Asia’s Growing Internet Carries New Risks of Violence

Central Asia’s Growing Internet Carries New Risks of Violence

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

By: Rafal Rohozinski; Robert Muggah

The “Great Game” has returned to Central Asia, but with a digital twist. Where once the British and Russian empires competed over lucrative trade routes and territorial influence, today the region is at the geopolitical and ideological confluence between competing visions of internet governance. China, Russia, Europe and the United States are all seeking to shape the region’s technology environment. What happens in Central Asia will have profound implications for the five countries of the region and the future of civic freedoms and digital rights more widely. 

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Violent Extremism; Democracy & Governance

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