The U.S. Institute of Peace has long distinguished itself as one of Washington, DC’s premiere convening organizations, hosting global leaders, policy-makers, and practitioners as they offer practical solutions for the world’s most dangerous conflict zones. Events at USIP brings that convening power to your home, office or mobile device, with same-day audio from USIP events.
Pakistan Elections: What Now
August 8, 2018 | To discuss the outcome of the July 25 elections, the shape of the next government, and the complaints and challenges to the outcome, USIP held a conversation with senior representatives from Pakistan’s top three political parties (PTI, PML-N and the Pakistan Peoples Party) via Skype along with experts Daniel Markey and Moeed Yusuf in Washington, D.C.
Faith and Fragile States: Political Stability and Religious Freedom
July 27, 2018 | Religion influences both peace and conflict worldwide. Violent extremism is often framed in religious terms, and religious discrimination continues to increase as both a driver and symptom of conflict. But, religion drives peace and coexistence as well and religious actors are essential for advancing religious freedom. Efforts to engage religious actors in countering violent extremism (CVE) and interfaith peacebuilding must take this dichotomy into account.
Senator Joni Ernst to Discuss U.S. Policy Options in Post-ISIS Iraq
July 26, 2018 | U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) joined the U.S. Institute of Peace to give remarks on U.S. policy options in Iraq in the post-ISIS era. She discussed the protection of religious minority groups and offered her perspective on Iranian influence in the country and region.
South Sudan: From Independence to Civil War
July 19, 2018 | South Sudan’s civil war is one of the most brutal and destructive conflicts of the 21st century. Could the war have been prevented? Could some of the atrocities and misery caused by the war have been avoided? On July 19 the U.S. Institute of Peace and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum's Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide hosted a discussion on what lessons should be learned from U.S. policy toward South Sudan in the years leading up to and during the civil war.
Will Pakistan's Youth be a Boom or Bust for its Democracy?
July 18, 2018 | With over 44 percent of new voters between the ages of 18 and 35, Pakistan’s youth will play an important role in the upcoming elections and influence the future of the country’s democracy. To harness the power of Pakistan’s youth, a recent UNDP Human Development Report argues for a national focus on youth empowerment through education, employment, and meaningful engagement. According to the report, youth will prove to be a dividend or a serious challenge to the country, depending on how Pakistan invests in their development. To positively impact that policy, youth must be empowered and engaged.
Wildlife Poaching and Trafficking: Combating a Source of Terrorist Funding
July 17, 2018 | Illegal wildlife poaching and trafficking has destabilized local communities and devastated elephant, rhino, and endangered species populations across Africa. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, discussed key successes, challenges, and next steps for U.S. policymakers.
Senator Jeff Merkley on Violence and Humanitarian Response in Africa
July 11, 2018 | Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) recently returned from a five-country visit to Somalia, South Sudan, Djibouti, Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to assess the region’s humanitarian crises while seeking to better understand their root causes. He held over 35 meetings with civil society, refugees living in camps, aid workers, government officials, and U.N. peacekeepers. During his visit, it became clear to Senator Merkley that U.S. diplomatic leadership, development aid, and humanitarian response are critical to addressing the root causes of conflict, climate change and corruption.
A Conversation with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova
June 26, 2018 | Since the 2016 establishment of the government led by Prime Minister Filip, Moldova has enacted a series of important reforms to secure the country's Western-oriented development path. This conversation included a discussion of Moldova’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and its successful process of democratization in Eastern Europe. Prime Minister Filip’s cabinet ministers also commented on their portfolios.
Mapping the Role of Religion in Fragile States
June 26, 2018 | From Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani’s influence in the Iraqi elections to the involvement of religious actors in South Sudan’s peace process, the role of religion in conflict zones continues to dominate headlines. Field researchers and U.S. Institute of Peace experts came together on June 26 to present an approach for mapping the role of religious actors and institutions to better understand their legitimacy and influence in contributing to peace and conflict, exploring findings from three recent mappings from Libya, South Sudan, and Iraq based on work from the field.
The Long Search for Peace in Afghanistan
June 8, 2018 | This event features discussion about the practical steps for the search for peace in Afghanistan. This effort has moved to center stage in recent months following President Ashraf Ghani’s late February peace offer to the Taliban, a series of major international conferences that consolidated support for a peace deal, and a wave of pro-peace demonstrations across Afghanistan.
Sudan After the Sanctions
June 5, 2018 | The U.S.-Sudan relationship is at an historic juncture, with the prospect of a broader normalization of relations with the United States coinciding with economic and political turbulence in Sudan. Amid the goals of the U.S. engagement process, the demands of Sudanese citizens for a peaceful, better governed country remain unfulfilled. Join USIP on June 5 on Facebook Live to explore the findings of a recent report, “Sudan after Sanctions: Sudanese Views of Relations with the United States,” authored by USIP’s Aly Verjee, examining the perceptions and hopes of Sudanese citizens for future relations between Sudan and the United States.
Innovation and Technology in Rule of Law Programming
May 31, 2018 | Questions about the promises and dangers of technology have recently dominated headlines—but less often covered are the stories of practitioners and start-ups leveraging their know-how to build peace. On May 31, the Justice Sector Training, Research and Coordination Program and the U.S. Institute of Peace will host a symposium to tackle the difficult questions of how technology can be used to strengthen rule of law, security, community engagement, and relationships between states and the people they serve in developing and conflict-affected areas.
Countering Youth Engagement in Violence
May 24, 2018 | Violent extremism has become one of the major challenges to stability in fragile states, characterized by weak, non-inclusive institutions, and lack of economic opportunity. Youth are often perceived as particularly vulnerable to recruitment into extremist groups. The U.S. Institute of Peace has funded several impact evaluations of peacebuilding interventions over the last few years, including two rigorous evaluations of Mercy Corps’ youth programming in Afghanistan and Somalia aimed at reducing support for armed opposition groups.
Can Power-sharing Arrangements Deliver Peace?
May 24, 2018 | Power-sharing arrangements are often applied as a means to address conflict between two parties. But practitioners and policymakers alike agree that the foundation for such arrangements requires considerable strategy and planning, including articulating clear objectives and expectations. Under what conditions do power-sharing arrangements work? What are the key ingredients to help unity governments succeed? Do power-sharing arrangements build political trust by delivering to citizens?
Second Annual U.S.-Georgia Strategic Partnership Conference
May 23, 2018 | This year marks the centennial of Georgia’s independence and the establishment of the First Republic in 1918 and the 10th year since the Russian invasion of Georgia in 2008. Please join the U.S. Institute of Peace, Embassy of Georgia and the Heritage Foundation in welcoming The Honorable Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia, for the Second Annual U.S.-Georgia Strategic Partnership Conference. Renowned experts will explore the current state of regional affairs, focusing on the geopolitical interests of the United States and Georgia.
Data Democracy: People and Power in the Digital Age
May 22, 2018 | Nandan Nilekani is the co-founder of Infosys and former chairman of Aadhaar, India’s massive biometric identification system. Join the U.S. Institute of Peace, PeaceTech Lab and emerge85 for a discussion with Nilekani on India’s emerging data economy, which seeks to restore individuals’ control over their personal data while fueling public and private sector innovation. He will highlight India’s emerging data governance model, the Data Empowerment and Protection Architecture, which aims to safeguard private data while making it possible for citizens to safely share their information to access benefits like affordable credit and improved health care.
North Korea and the Fine Print of a Deal: A View from Congress
May 22, 2018 | Both Members of Congress and military veterans, Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Representative Steve Russell (R-OK), will examine the importance of the ongoing diplomatic effort with North Korea, possible outcomes of negotiations, and the role they hope Congress plays in the coming months at USIP’s third Bipartisan Congressional Dialogue on May 22.
After ISIS, Will Iraq's Elections be the Next Step to Stability?
May 21, 2018 | This discussion will focus on how Iraq’s leaders can overcome years of sectarian violence and find unity, as well as what a future alliance with the West may look like. The town hall debate features foreign policy experts Kenneth Pollack, from the American Enterprise Institute, the National Defense University’s Denise Natali, and USIP's Sarhang Hamasaeed, moderated by Joshua Johnson of the public radio program 1A.
Can Inclusive Peace Processes Work?
May 18, 2018 | Too often, peace processes only include dueling parties—leaving women; religious, indigenous, and ethnic groups; youth; and survivors of violence excluded from critical discussions that shape the future landscape of a country. Yet, sidelining their voices often results in a resurgence of conflict and fails to achieve comprehensive or sustainable peace. Join the U.S. Institute of Peace and Conciliation Resources for a discussion on overcoming challenges to inclusive peace processes and negotiated settlements.
War by Other Means
May 7, 2018 | Russia’s concerted disinformation campaign against the West is sowing confusion and distrust and undermining democratic institutions from Ukraine to the United States. Anne Applebaum—a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, thought leader and commentator on politics and foreign policy—and U.S. Institute of Peace Executive Vice President William Taylor will discuss the challenges to the West from Russian aggression and the weapons of disinformation and disruption, and what the United States and its allies need to do to respond.
Time for Action in the Western Balkans
May 4, 2018 | The Western Balkans—Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Albania, and Serbia—are re-emerging as a region of stagnation and instability due to poor governance, the influence of outside forces and tense relations between ethnic groups and neighboring states. A forthcoming report by the National Committee on American Foreign Policy and the EastWest Institute highlights the need for immediate, decisive action by the U.S. and the European Union to head off instability and possible violent strife.
Afghanistan in 2020: Is Peace Possible?
April 26, 2018 | The search for peace has become a central focus of Afghanistan policy in Washington and for Kabul. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani offered the Taliban constitutional reform and status as a legitimate political party in late February on the condition that the group makes peace. In recent months, the Taliban have also publicly offered talks with the United States and prominent Afghan powerbrokers, and high-profile peace demonstrations in conflict-torn Helmand province have spread across much of the country.
Aiding Afghanistan's Economy: Lessons from the U.S. Experience
April 19, 2018 | Since 2001, the United States and international donors have supported Afghanistan in its attempt to build a thriving private-sector economy. Despite 17 years of effort, progress has been mixed and much remains to be done. Please join USIP and the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) for a presentation and panel discussion on how the United States can improve its private-sector development and economic growth efforts in Afghanistan and in other states emerging from conflict.
Countering Illicit Funding: A Congressional Approach
April 17, 2018 | Criminal and terrorist networks are exploiting today’s innovative technologies for their own gain, posing a direct threat to U.S. security and global stability. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been used to facilitate financing for terrorist groups, including ISIS, and rogue nation-states like North Korea. How can the United States and the international financial system better counter these nefarious uses of cryptocurrency to improve security and reduce global conflict?
China and North Korea Conference: War and its Aftermath on the Korean Peninsula – What Role Could China Play?
April 17, 2018 | This panel discusses the contours of a potential conflict on the Korean Peninsula, to include U.S. operations, how China may respond, and opportunities for cooperation. Participants also examine Beijing’s role in shaping the post-war situation on the peninsula.
China and North Korea Conference: Ambassador Mark Lippert Keynote Address
April 17, 2018 | Ambassador Mark Lippert offers a keynote address that explores the dynamics and tensions of the historical relationship between China and North Korea, the potential impact of Korean reunification on China, and China’s role in a limited military conflict and its aftermath.
China and North Korea Conference: Would a Reunified Korea under South Korean Leadership be Positive or Negative for China?
April 17, 2018 | This panel assesses China’s position on the ideal end state for the Korean Peninsula and whether a reunified peninsula under South Korean leadership would be beneficial or detrimental to Chinese economic, political, and security interests given South Korean, Japanese and U.S. likely responses.
China and North Korea Conference: China and North Korea Relations
April 17, 2018 | This panel examines the historical China-North Korea relationship, changes in political and security relations, and role of past and present economic ties on the future of the bilateral relationship.
Colombia Peace Forum: Elections and Peace Processes in Colombia
April 16, 2018 | While threats of violence marred recent legislative campaigns in Colombia, the March 11 election was Colombia’s most peaceful in decades. Although the FARC’s new political party underperformed, its comprehensive demobilization was palpable and the National Liberation Army (ELN), the country’s second-largest rebel group, respected a temporary unilateral ceasefire. For the first time in 50 years, ballots were cast freely throughout the country and not a single incident of violence was recorded.
Fraught Terrain: Stabilizing Iraq and Syria After ISIS
April 3, 2018 | The role of the United States is seen as indispensable throughout the Middle East, and many are looking to understand new directions in U.S. policy in the region in the wake of the counter-ISIS military campaign. U.S. administration and military leaders will discuss the stakes, challenges and requirements of bringing stability to a region in which violence persists and gains against terrorists hang by a thread.
Entering the Post-ISIS Era: Iraq and Its Neighbors
April 3, 2018 | Beyond Iraq’s domestic post-ISIS challenges, the region is faced with continued conflict and instability, particularly in Syria. This panel will explore developments among Iraq’s neighbors amid continuing tensions in the region. Regional experts will discuss developments in Syria, Turkey, the Arab Gulf states, Iran and Russia and their impact on the region’s post-ISIS landscape.
A Pivotal Moment for Iraq
April 3, 2018 | Following Iraq’s defeat of ISIS, the country must manage a web of internal challenges and conflicts, many deepened by the war. As the country prepares for a critical national election, its social fabric is torn by sectarian tensions, the ongoing displacement of over 2 million citizens, and the Kurdistan region’s 2017 independence referendum. The economy is stagnant; corruption is pervasive. Yet Iraqi pride in the military victory against the ISIS extremists has increased nationalist sentiments in many communities. Many hope the victory and the country’s energy shifting into politics would enable positive change. So what is the path ahead? Experts will discuss Iraq’s recovery from ISIS and the country’s future.
Securing Their Roles: Women in Constitution-Making
March 29, 2018 | Women’s participation in drafting constitutions leads to more equitable legal frameworks and socially inclusive reforms, laying the groundwork for sustainable peace. Yet new research from Inclusive Security reveals that while 75 conflict-affected countries oversaw significant reform processes between 1995-2015, only one in five constitutional drafters in these environments have been women. Drawing on in-depth case studies, research, and personal experiences, panelists offer insights on how early action and alliance building have proven useful strategies for supporting and empowering women in constitution building in the future.
Human Rights: The Foundation for Peace
March 20, 2018 | As Co-Chairs of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL) and Rep. James P. McGovern (D-MA) play a leading role in advancing international human rights in Congress. The two Members of Congress will draw on their experiences promoting human rights in authoritarian and violent, conflict-affected countries at USIP’s Inaugural Bipartisan Congressional Dialogue on March 20, 2018.
Foreign Policy and Fragile States
March 19, 2018 | Seven years into a brutal civil war in Syria, we are reminded how fragile states can lead to regional instability, cause humanitarian crises and fall prey to extremist organizations, such as ISIS. Experts discuss the future of Syria and other failing and fragile states in a town hall for Public Radio International.
Signs of Hope for Afghan Peace Talks
March 9, 2018 | President Ghani’s announcement at last week’s Kabul Process Conference of a peace offer to the Taliban was a potential watershed in the Afghan peace process, and arguably the most forward-leaning plan for peace with the Taliban the Afghan government has ever put forward. Ambassador Alice Wells, the Senior Bureau Official in the Department of State’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, leads the Afghan peace effort for the U.S. government and has freshly returned from Afghanistan, where she attended the Kabul Process Conference. Listen to Ambassador Wells speak on the significance of these events, the U.S. government’s potential response, and the outlook for Afghan peace going forward.
How Film Captures the Role of Women in War and Peace
March 8, 2018 | Ten years ago, the film Pray the Devil Back to Hell premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, where it won the award for Best Documentary for its powerful depiction of the nonviolent women’s movement that helped bring an end to Liberia’s bloody civil war. Since its release, producers and directors have taken up the challenge to tell the stories of the often-invisible lives of women in conflict – producing stories in countries like Bosnia, Libya, Afghanistan, Colombia, Pakistan and Rwanda. These films have brought forward women’s critical voices to the stories of war and peace, and amplified the global agenda of Women, Peace and Security.
Inaugural Nelson Mandela Lecture
February 28, 2018 | The U.S. Institute of Peace is honoring Nelson Mandela’s life, work, and passion for peace by establishing the Nelson Mandela Lecture series. His deep commitment to peace continues to inspire our work and imbues us with a spirit of hope that it is possible to overcome all obstacles standing in the way of a better world. As Mandela said, “To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” Please join us for the online event hosted by USIP Chair Stephen J. Hadley and President Nancy Lindborg.
Religion and Countering Violent Extremism
January 17, 2018 | For a world in which more than 80 percent of people identify themselves as religious, the role of religious leaders, ideas, and institutions is critical to countering the many strains of violent extremism. On January 17 USIP held a discussion of the latest trends in policy and practice around the intersection of religion and its role in preventing and countering violent extremism.
U.N. Peacekeeping is Vital – and so is its Reform
December 6, 2017 | United Nations peacekeeping operations are vital to global stability, with over 100,000 troops and police deployed to 15 missions, serving 125 million people across the world. On Dec. 6, the U.N. undersecretary-general for peacekeeping operations, Jean Pierre Lacroix, and a group of experts discussed what reforms are planned, and what obstacles they face.
Turmoil Across the Middle East – What Does it Mean?
December 5, 2017 | In the past few weeks, the Islamic State (ISIS) “caliphate” has collapsed. Syria’s Assad regime all but formally won the six-year war, a consolidation of Iranian and Russian influence. Saudi Arabia purged parts of its royal family. Lebanon’s prime minister abruptly resigned. Iraq’s Kurds voted for independence, triggering a confrontation with Baghdad. Years of U.S. and international engagement has failed to politically and physically rebuild fractured countries, and the very viability of states like Iraq and Syria has been challenged. Where is the region headed, and what are the U.S. roles amid this tumult? At USIP, distinguished Middle East analysts explored where the region is headed, and the U.S. roles amid this tumult.
Is Diplomacy Possible with North Korea
December 1, 2017 | North Korea and the United States have offered signals of openness to diplomacy. But how real is that possibility? Leading experts on North Korea and nuclear proliferation gathered at USIP to discuss this urgent question.
How to Help Vulnerable States Prevent Their Own Crises
November 30, 2017 | The European Union recently has added a new priority to its foreign and defense policies: Help countries vulnerable to crisis build their resilience against catastrophic events, notably violent conflict, which has uprooted 65 million people worldwide. On November 30, USIP gathered U.S., European and World Bank officials to discuss how governments and international organizations can better coordinate the implementation of this broad new approach to halting violent conflicts.
Raqqa After the Islamic State – Governance and Challenges in Post-ISIS Syria
November 29, 2017 | On November 29, the U.S. Institute of Peace held a discussion on the complex governance challenges in Raqqa and how the United States and the international community can constructively address them.
Iraqi Vice President Al-Nujaifi on His Nation’s Post-ISIS Future
November 7, 2017 | Osama al-Nujaifi is one of Iraq’s three vice presidents. Hailing from Mosul, a city recaptured this year from the ISIS extremist group, he is secretary general of the United for Iraq Party, and the leader of the Sunni political coalition Muttahidoon. Vice President al-Nujaifi’s address at USIP was his only public appearance during his visit to Washington.
How to Deal with Pakistan?
October 18, 2017 | The new U.S. effort to stabilize Afghanistan includes a more confrontational approach toward neighboring Pakistan. What are the advantages and costs of that approach, and how should the United States now calibrate its engagement with Pakistan? On October 18, USIP held this discussion. Four senior American officials, who collectively have worked through decades of turbulent U.S.-Pakistan relations, debated these questions and the impact of the new U.S. approach on Pakistan and the region.
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister on Relations with the U.S.
October 5, 2017 | President Trump’s August 21 announcement of a new strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia has unsettled U.S.-Pakistan relations, with serious implications for U.S. interests in Afghanistan, nuclear non-proliferation, and stability in the region. On October 5, USIP held a discussion with Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif—Pakistan’s first public, high-level engagement with the U.S. policy community in Washington on the new strategy.
After the ISIS Flag Falls – The Future of Mosul
June 27, 2017 | After eight months of fighting for Mosul, Iraqi troops are closing in on the last of ISIS’s forces in the city. The government’s recovery of the main ISIS stronghold in Iraq will open a new phase in the country’s struggle for stability. Iraq must resolve longstanding domestic conflicts that contributed to ISIS’ rise in the first place and avert new cycles of vengeance arising from the terrorists’ brutal, three-year reign in Iraq’s northwest.