September 07, 2017

‘Achieving Security and Justice for All: Elephants in the Room’

The Platform’s 2017 Annual Conference will explicitly focus on the contentious things we usually ignore when working on peace, security & rule of law. 

What’s the big idea?

Talking about these contentious issues means openly discussing how economics, gender, militarism, power, identity, moralism, corruption, religion, silver-bullet solutions, education, capitalism, or the media influence or stifle progress. It means critically asking whether the assumptions that underpin peace, security and justice work need revisiting. And it means collectively envisaging how we can better meet people’s needs in ways that are committed to human rights and genuine democracy.

There will be 20 workshops and presentations throughout the day by Ted Talkers, activists, governmental policy makers, UN, EU and AU experts, NGOs, academics, artists, agitators and authors who will interrogate current policies and programs in the security and rule of law field. The sessions will be a mix of debates, workshops and research presentations, with one series of events dedicated to innovation and another to creativity in improving and spreading knowledge in our field of work. Together, and with your input, they will provide a rich body of evidence and ideas to help improve the breadth, depth and quality of the knowledge in our field.

It will be a day that eschews the usual discussions. We know that peace and security work must be context specific, adaptive, conflict sensitive, political, long term, and committed to working from the bottom up as well as the top down. Instead of reconfirming these accepted truths, each session will be given license to acknowledge and discuss the things that usually go unsaid or untouched in our field – things that often prevent us from achieving the kind of security and justice outcomes that we want. Above all, we hope it will be an insightful and entertaining day.


What kind of questions should we expect?

  • Is the current European fixation with migration threatening peace and security here as much as in source and transit countries?
  • Are we being tokenistic when we work on gender, ignoring genuine systems of exclusion that sustain insecurity and injustice worldwide?
  • Has the normalization of violence in western culture made imagining peace impossible?
  • Do democracies always contribute to peace, security and the rule of law? 
  • Is SDG16 set up to fail, and how can we make the best use of it? 

It will be a day of honest introspection, provocative debate and radical learning designed to constructively challenge assumptions. Last year’s event was attended by 150 government reps, staff from the UN, EU, AU, and the World Bank, journalists, activists, Dutch embassy staff, think tanks, academics, and INGOs. This year, we do hope you can make it as well.

How can we use big data to measure progress and improve our advocacy and outreach strategies? Marcel Smits of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) will dicuss IEP’s big data approach and SDG16.

Register here for this event