International Affairs Events in DC

Monday, December 4th

Rebuilding Syria: A Localized Revitalization Strategy
Time: 12:30-2:00
Location: Atlantic Council 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor (West Tower Elevator)
Information: The Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East is launching the first report of its two-year project, Rebuilding Syria: Reconstruction and Legitimacy. Over the course of the project’s first year, the Hariri Center has pooled expertise from specialists on the many issues surrounding rebuilding Syria, including economics, finance, development, infrastructure, political economy, civil society, food security, energy, law, and employment. From these insights, gleaned from multiple roundtable workshops, interviews, and commissioned research and writing from inside Syria, the project has created a strategic roadmap to rebuilding based on a localized, ground-up approach. The report, authored by Hariri Center Senior Fellow Faysal Itani and independent international security analyst Tobias Schneider, lays out this vision and offers concrete actions that can be taken now towards the long-term goal of revitalizing Syria with the participation of Syrians and the support of the international community.

Churchill’s Last Stand: The Struggle for Europe

Time: 6:00pm-7:00pm
Location: Gelman Library, 2130 H Street, NW
Information: Please join us as the National Churchill Library and Center welcomes Felix Klos and Nile Gardiner for a discussion and debate about Klos’s new book, Churchill’s Last Stand: The Struggle to Unite Europe. Felix Klos is an American/Dutch historian and the author of Churchill on Europe: The Untold Story of Churchill’s European Project.  He has worked as an intern in the United States Senate and for the Dutch Liberal Democratic Party D66.  He is a staunch supporter of the EU and his work on Churchill was used by the “Remain” campaign during last year’s dramatic EU referendum in the UK. Dr. Nile Gardiner is Director of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at the Heritage Foundation, and a staunch and prolific Brexit supporter.  His frequent written and televised commentary appears on both sides of the Atlantic. Michael F. Bishop, Director of the National Churchill Library and Center, and Executive Director of the International Churchill Society, will moderate the debate. Refreshments will be served.
RSVP: Not required

Tuesday, December 5th

How to Win Elections in Africa: Parallels with Donald Trump
: 5:00pm-6:30pm
Location:  Rome Auditorium, 1619 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Information: Chude Jideonwo is co-founder and Managing Partner of Red Africa/The Future Project, a full-service media-content,communication and development company in Africa. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Y!/ and co-founded StateCraft Inc., a governance PR firm, which led the communication of the campaigns of two Nigerian Presidents and Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo. Currently a World Fellow at Yale University, Chude teaches media and communication at the Pan-Atlantic University. How to Win Elections in Africa: Parallels with Donald Trump’ explores how citizens, through elections, can uproot the power structures that govern them. It draws examples from within and outside Africa whilst examining the past and present in a bid to map a future where the political playing field is level and citizens can rewrite existing narratives.
RSVP: Not required

Turmoil Across the Middle East: What Does It Mean?
: 9:30am-11:00am
Location: U.S. Institute of Peace  2301 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20037
Information: At USIP, distinguished Middle East analysts will explore where the region is headed, and the U.S. roles amid this tumult. In the face of the region’s challenges, the Trump administration has voiced strong support for Israel and Saudi Arabia, while confronting Iran. Mike Yaffe, vice president of the Middle East and Africa center at USIP, will moderate this discussion with Robin Wright, who has reported from the region for four decades, Bruce Riedel, a 30-year veteran of the CIA, Mona Yacoubian, who recently coordinated U.S. assistance to much of the region, and Aaron David Miller, who advised Republican and Democratic secretaries of state on Middle East policy over two decades.

Global Voices in International Law: International Courts and Women Judges
: 4:00 pm-5:00pm
Location: 6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center
Information: Many women are affected by many of the decisions made in international courts. However, emerging scholarship has shown that women occupy less than 19% of seats on international courts and tribunals. The lack of women’s voices prevents inclusive decision-making on issues that directly impact their daily lives. Join the Wilson Center’s Women in Public Service Project and Africa Program, the Institute for African Women in Law, and the Center for Justice and International Law for a conversation on the importance of inclusion on international courts and strategies to achieve equal representation in these institutions.
RSVP: here

Wednesday, December 6th

The Global War on Terrorism: Myths, Realities & Solutions
: 6:00 pm-8:00 pm
Location: Elliott School of International Affairs, 1957 E Street, NW. Lindner Family Commons, Room 602
Information: Panelists will examine the Post-9/11 “Global War on Terrorism” and address such questions as: Have military operations in the Middle East and Africa suppressed terrorist safe havens? Have domestic surveillance efforts helped or hindered internal security in the United States? Have diplomatic efforts fostered cooperation among the United States and its allies to thwart the rise of extremism? Rise to Peace ( is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating others on the dangers of extremism and terrorism, particularly how these groups prey on and recruit the youth.

U.N. Peacekeeping Is Vital—and So Is its Reform
: 10:00pm-11:30pm
Location: U.S. Institute of Peace 2301 Constitution Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20037
Information: 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. But these missions lack sufficient numbers of well-trained troops and a sustainable political plan to resolve complex mandates. Additionally, several missions have been rocked by accusations of sexual exploitation and abuse. The U.N. leadership is pursuing reforms, which have been sought by successive U.S. administrations and members of Congress. How can the U.S. use its influence to ensure progress on reforms to make U.N. peacekeeping more effective, cost-efficient, and professional? On Dec. 6, the U.N. undersecretary-general for peacekeeping operations, Jean Pierre Lacroix, and a group of experts will discuss what reforms are planned, and what obstacles they face. This event is sponsored by the U.N. Association of the National Capital Area, the United Nations Foundation, and the U.S. Institute of Peace. The Trump Administration has called for constructive U.N. reforms to answer the challenges of inefficiency and sexual abuse and U.S. officials promise to support reforms announced by Secretary General Antonio Guterres in September. What can the U.N. reform effort mean for making our world more stable—and for U.S. interests?

Saria’s story: Life as a Syrian refugee

Time: 3:00-4:00pm
Location: Brookings Institution, Falk Auditorium, 1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC
Information: The international refugee crisis is one of the defining political issues of our time. Haunting images—a father passing his infant between barbed wire, a stunned and bloodied five-year-old Omran—have offered powerful proof of the human cost of this crisis. As an amateur photographer, Saria Samakie—himself a Syrian refugee—understands the power of such images and of the stories of those who have experienced such realities. When he was just 15 years old, Samakie was kidnapped by the Assad regime while shooting photography in Aleppo, Syria. After enduring three separate abductions, Samakie fled to the neighboring country of Jordan and eventually moved to the United States, where he now attends Georgetown University. On December 6, Brookings will host Saria Samakie, in conversation with Brookings Nonresident Senior Fellow and former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Samakie and Duncan will candidly discuss what it is like to be a Syrian refugee in America today. What were some of the fierce challenges that Samakie—and no doubt countless other refugees—experienced during his journey? What does he make of life as an American university student? And what would he like all Americans to know about his country and his story?

Friday, December 8th

Regional Repercussions of the Kurdish Referendum
: 12:00pm-2:00pm
Location: Elliott School of International Affairs, 1957 E Street, NW. Room 505
Information: On September 25, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) held a referendum on the question of declaring independence from Iraq. The measure proved popular among the local electorate, 93% of whom voted yes to Kurdish statehood – yet it triggered almost unanimous regional and international opposition. Hostile military and diplomatic responses by neighboring Iraq, Iran and Turkey have since seized territory and energy assets from KRG control. At this event, a panel of regional experts will clarify the post-referendum politics of the Kurdish Question in the Middle East.

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