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China's Role in Myanmar's Internal Conflicts

For six months this year, USIP convened a group of 13 senior experts to examine China’s involvement in Myanmar’s internal conflicts—particularly those in Rakhine, Kachin, and Shan states—and peace process. On September 17, USIP hosted a discussion with the group’s co-chairs on the main findings of their report, which is the first in USIP’s China Senior Study Group series examining China’s influence on conflict dynamics around the world. Speakers: Nancy Lindborg, opening...


Task Force on Extremism in Fragile States - Interim Report Launch

This interim report of the Task Force on Extremism in Fragile States explains why such a preventive strategy is needed and what it might entail. In 2019, the Task Force will propose a comprehensive preventive strategy to mitigate the conditions that give rise to violent extremism Speakers: Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats Task Force Co-Chair Governor Tom Kean Senator Kelly Ayotte USIP President Nancy Lindborg


U.K. Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt on Foreign Policy

Amid unprecedented challenges to the postwar order, the U.S.-U.K. special relationship is critical to upholding democracy and the rule of law and promoting international peace and stability. Speaking at USIP—a U.S. national institute dedicated to preventing violent conflict and building peace around the world—the foreign secretary spoke about the challenges currently being presented to the rules-based international order and how the U.K. will work in partnership with other like-minded...


Pakistan Elections-- What Now?

Pakistan's national elections on July 25 ushered in a new government, with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) party now set to head a new governing coalition and former cricket star Imran Khan expected to become prime minister. After a controversial campaign period, the incumbent Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)—whose former leader Nawaz Sharif was imprisoned just days before the elections—has alleged rigging, military manipulation, and media censorship. Several political parties have...


Faith and Fragile States - Political Stability and Religious Freedom

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. Perpetrators of violence in the...


Senator Joni Ernst Discusses U.S. Policy Options in Post-ISIS Iraq

On Thursday, July 26, 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. Senator Ernst is the first female combat veteran to serve in the U.S. Senate, having retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard. She serves as the Chairwoman of the Senate Armed...


South Sudan - From Independence to Civil War

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...


Will Pakistan's Youth be a Boom or Bust for its Democracy?

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...


Wildlife Poaching and Trafficking - Combating a Source of Terrorist Funding

Illegal wildlife poaching and trafficking has destabilized local communities and devastated elephant, rhino, and endangered species populations across Africa. High demand for wildlife products in Asia has driven this surge in poaching and trafficking, threatening the future of these species. Illegal trade in protected wildlife is worth an estimated $7 to $10 billion. This figure places wildlife trafficking among the most lucrative criminal activities worldwide, rivaling the illegal trade...


Senator Jeff Merkley on Violence and Humanitarian Response in Africa

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...


A Year in the Life of a Peace Teacher

At a time when violent international conflict and the threat of extremism loom large, four high school teachers in Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, and Florida have spent the last year taking part in a U.S. Institute of Peace program to help their students gain the knowledge, skills and perspectives they need to work toward a more peaceful world. Three of USIP’s 2017 Peace Teachers will share how they advanced their students’ understanding of conflict and the possibilities of peace in ways...


Mapping the Role of Religion in Fragile States

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. Please join field researchers and U.S. Institute of Peace experts on June 26, as they 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...


A Conversation with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova

The U.S. Institute of Peace is proud to host Moldovan Prime Minister Pavel Filip, accompanied by several of his cabinet ministers, for a discussion focused on his country’s foreign policy, regional role, reform achievements, political situation, and efforts to combat Russian influence. It is a critical period for Eastern Europe and a key time for Moldova in light of November's parliamentary elections that will determine the further direction of the country.


Russia - 21st Century Disrupter in Europe - A Bipartisan Congressional Dialogue

For over a decade, Russia’s Vladimir Putin has campaigned to subvert the liberal world order and undermine global norms by invading neighbors and interfering in democratic processes at home and abroad. Without strong leadership from an allied West to push back on Russian ambitions, the postwar order established by the United States and its allies is in jeopardy, and progress made over the last 70 years is at risk of being reversed. The United States must continue to lead on global issues,...


The Long Search for Peace in Afghanistan

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. Crucial questions nonetheless remain: What it will take to get the Taliban to join peace talks in earnest? What will...


Sudan After the Sanctions

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 to explore the findings of “Sudan after Sanctions: Sudanese Views of Relations with the United States,” authored by USIP’s Aly Verjee, examining the...


Innovation and Technology in Rule of Law - Afternoon Sessions

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...


Innovation and Technology in Rule of Law - Opening Session

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...


Countering Youth Engagement in Violence

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...


Can Power-sharing Arrangements Deliver Peace?

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...