Saturday 23rd June 2018 (14:00-16:00)
PANEL - more to be added
Dr. Shadia Omar, Postdoctoral Scientist, Animal Health Trust, Cambridge – UK
Khalid Ali (Al-Eisir), Journalist, Broadcaster & Director, JisrNews, London – UK
Dr. Mohamed Osman, Senior Researcher, University of York, York – UK
Abdul Aziz Alsawi, Ex-Diplomat and Writer, London – UK
Join us for this exciting debate, where international experts and high level Diaspora (students, researchers, practitioners, policy-makers, ordinary citizen) from the public and private sectors will give their views on the critical situation in Sudan and how the Diaspora can contribute to shaping the future of Sudan’s peace and development. The debate will examine in various angles, how the active diaspora community can effectively contribute to conflict prevention, management and conflict resolution as foundations for achieving peace and good governance in this fragile atmosphere of general suspicion and fear.
The collaboration between the Diaspora and those working within the country of origin offers several opportunities and contributes to towards an inclusive peace and sustainable development in Sudan. However building constructive relationships between the Diasporas and Sudan require that Diasporas be treated not as a mere resource, but as partners and investors with mutual benefits. It has long been argued that Diasporas will be most interested in contributing to SD efforts when they have a sense of belonging in relation to their country of origin. Therefore it is very important to establish trust between Diasporas and governments in Sudan. Building capacity in Sudan is necessary for competing in the global arena and there it is critical to turn the diaspora into a positive tool for SD as well as serving as role models for the youth in Sudan.
Today’s Sudanese diaspora community is one that is fully active as opposed to yesterday’s passive community. This continuous active behaviour has significantly changed the role and responsibility of the diaspora community in peace building , security and governance both positively and negatively (depending on the vantage point). In negotiating the cultural home differences and grasping the host culture , the diaspora community has moved from a very passive position to becoming an active community. The diaspora community faces an identity crisis (hybrid culture ) coupled with vulnerable events at home and in their host country which acts as a push and pull factor to hamper on peace, security and stability at home and host country. The recent increase participation of the Diaspora community as foreign fighters, home grown terrorist, refugees, Migrants in conflict related matters has put the diaspora community on a state of alert and negative perception. This negative perception can only change if the diaspora community becomes fully engaged and takes responsibility in peace building and governance as an integral part of the host community.
Last year (6 October 2017), the US government has lifted parts the sanctions against Sudan towards normalizing relations which was promoted by Sudan’s efforts to end conflicts within the country, allowing good access for humanitarian purposes as well as good cooperation with the US on regional conflicts and compacting terrorism. The decision, which ends more than two decades of economic sanctions, received warm welcome across the world and it was hoped to contribute significantly to the betterment of the lives of the Sudanese people. However, more than eight months from the lifting of the US sanctions and Sudan continue to be among the poorest countries in the world.
Sudan Children FIRST
The World Commission on Environment and Development famous report “Our Common Future” published in 1987 defined sustainable development (SD) as the development that meets the needs of the present without comprising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The entire concept of SD is about the future and the future is all about the children and youth! Youth population is growing rapidly in Sudan and we are very keen to understand the children and youth perspectives and expectations for their future to help them be ready to grasp the various opportunities generated in the digital economy. We strongly believe our children and youth should be the cornerstone of any strategy by all governments and policy makers. We must listen to our children and youth and more importantly how we can help our youth with their future employment plans and aspirations.
For more uptodate on the situation of children in Sudan, please watch the video of Mr Abdullah Fadil, Representative, UNICEF Sudan, 5th February 2018 in London. You can also watch previous interview with Mr. Fadil on 2nd June 2017.
Role of Women
Sudanese women from the Diaspora have an untapped potential as a primary mover of greater development in Sudan. Their role is very crucial for peace and SD, but challenges remain. And so, significant reforms in economic, social, and political institutions must be made to create an enabling environment for women participation and empowerment. Unfortunately, women’s potential and crucial role in SD in Sudan is still impeded by these economic and social factors. Women’s participation is also very important in advancing and achieving lasting peace, security, unity, conflict management and prevention and combating terrorism, which is a most serious threat to SD in Sudan.
Sustainability Debate Series
This multi-disciplinary debate is part of our Sustainability Debate Series aims to provide the participants the opportunity to share their knowledge and experiences from all over the world on major global issues; the emphasis is on the importance of evidence-based planning to overcome the challenges facing global efforts to achieve a sustainable future. For more details watch presentations from WASD’s previous events.
During the debate the panel will answer questions posted by the participants, please send your question for the panel to the debate coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org) by the 19th June 2018.
This debate will follow on the previous debates organised by WASD/Sudan Knowledge:
You can watch more videos from our previous events here.
Venue and Registration
The debate is co-organised and hosted by the Centre for Islamic Finance, Law and Communities (CIFLAC), University of East London at the following address: Room G19, University Square Stratford, 1 Salway Road, E15 1NF, London, United Kingdom