During the summer, I had the privilege of managing the Hague Symposium on Post-Conflict Transition and International Justice for my host organization, the International Peace & Security Institute (IPSI). The purpose of these Symposiums, is really to bridge the gap between the theoretical and the practical, and give the peacemakers of the future, vital practical skills to be better equipped and ultimately better leaders in their careers. So often, they have obtained the best possible academic education in the field of peace and conflict studies, but find themselves lacking the practical know-how on how to deal with situations when they get out into the field, and that is of course where it is most crucial.
For this purpose, IPSI engages with those leaders that have actively been working in peacekeeping and transitional justice, from all parts of the world. They share their knowledge and experiences, and with the aid of case studies, experiential learning exercises and simulations, often based on real life data, participants are able to put some of the newly acquired skills to the test in a safe environment, before requiring to do so in real life. They also get to visit the International Criminal Courts and Tribunals, with this year’s highlight certainly being able to sit in on one of the sessions at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and seeing transitional justice happening in front of their eyes.
With 40 participants from 27 different countries, originating from conflict, post-conflict and non-conflict countries, the peer-to-peer learning experiences formed just as integral a part as the lectures themselves. The participants, as well as all previous participants, continue to be part of an active alumni network, and it is amazing to see what past-participants have achieved so far. Only the future will know what amazing impacts this year’s participants will make in the worl, but they certainly will have the necessary skills to do so professionally and skillfully, and they will have a host of peers and fellow alumni as a resource to continue to tap into.
It is really great to see how the field of peacekeeping and transitional justice is professionalized and improved!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *