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Newsletter No.2 - April 23, 2010
Issue No.2 | April 23, 2010 

Palestinian Camps Program
Workshop Analyzes Refugee Camps Governance

  IFI recently held a two-day workshop at AUB on Palestinian camps in the Middle East which brought together all the major actors involved in the camps' governance, including security agencies, host governments, UNRWA, popular committees, local and international NGOs and others. The workshop came about as a result of IFI's research program, launched in 2008, on Modes of Governance in Palestinian Refugee Camps in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, the West Bank, and Gaza, headed by Dr Sari Hanafi, Associate Professor of Sociology at AUB. The program focuses on the relationship between power, sovereignty and space within Palestinian refugee camps. The aim of the workshop was to disseminate the program's initial research findings and to engage with the various actors concerned in camp governance in order to propose recommendations and future plans of action. The workshop sparked follow-up research and other meetings on issues such as employment, political relations, attitudes of host communities, and the role of popular committees.

A summary report will be available soon.

Listen to Governing Palestinian Refugee Camps in the Arab East

Climate Change Program
New Report Explores Links to Security Issues

  A hotter, drier, and less conventional climate in the Middle East is being predicted by climate models, threatening to reduce the availability of already scarce water resources, increase food insecurity, hinder economic growth, and lead to potential large scale population movements. "Rising Temperatures, Rising Tensions: Climate change and the risk of violent conflict in the Middle East", a report, developed by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (an independent Canadian policy think tank), was commissioned and launched by the Danish Embassy (Lebanon), and hosted by the Issam Fares Institute at AUB. Exploring links between climate change, peace, and conflict, the report highlights three key factors; the legacy of conflict in Levant countries undermines regional efforts to adapt to climate change; climate change poses real security concerns to the region, complicating already fragile peace agreements; governmental and civil organisations, along with the international community, should address some of the threats climate change issues may pose to regional peace and security. Following the presentation of the report, experts emphasised the urgency to address these matters at hand, pushing for a new global climate change agreement.

Read Report: English ||| Arabic
Listen Audio ||| Watch Video

International Affairs Program
Bill and Sally Hambrecht lectures tap mediators' experiences

  The Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at AUB inaugurated the Bill and Sally Hambrecht Distinguished Peacemakers Lecture Series in October 2007 with a vsist by seasoned UN mediator Alvaro de Soto. Over the course of the last two years, IFI has hosted 10 guest speakers, including former US president Jimmy Carter, Secretary General of the Arab League Amre Moussa, former director of the International Crisis Group, Gareth Evans, and former Swedish Foreign Minister Jan Eliasson.

  The speakers are individuals who have mediated conflicts, or practitioners in international organisations who deal with conflict resolution. They share their knowledge and substantial experience with the AUB community and others, in an effort to generate a better understanding of the lessons learnt from successfully or unsuccessfully mediated conflicts.

  To capitalize on the presence of the speakers in the country, IFI organises meetings and workshops with experts from the region, to promote the exchange of ideas, skills and knowledge.

  For further information regarding the lecture series, video and audio recordings of the events have been posted on the website, and will be followed by a book at the end of the lecture series.

Read AUB News Highlights:
Former US President Jimmy Carter

Secretary General of the Arab League Amre Moussa

Former Algerian Foreign Minister and Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi

Research in Focus
IFI partners to study public policy-making in the region

  A Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Issam Fares Institute, the Dubai School of Government, and the Syria Trust for Development commits the three organisations to work together on a research project entitled Understanding the influence of research on public policy-making in the Arab World - a comparative perspective.

  Though researchers and policy-makers work towards achieving the same goal – improving the wellbeing of the population in question – this project came about as a result of an identified communication gap between both parties; researchers tend to believe that a lack of political constraints enables them to work more independently, and politicians often believe that the ideas generated by researchers are neither clear nor policy-relevant.

  There is a distinct lack of literature regarding how research feeds into policy development, especially in the Middle East. Thus, the aim of the project is to largely focus on bridging an existing knowledge gap in how research informs public policy-making processes, and what conditions facilitate or hinder this. That this is an indigenous effort by several research institutes in the Middle East, focusing on an issue of relevance to the region, adds to its distinctiveness.

  Research for this project will include situational assessments of policy-making systems as well as national case studies of how research informs policy-making.

UN in the Middle East Research Initiative
Muhyieddeen Touq: "Negotiating the United Nations Convention Against Corruption"

A lecture and open discussion with Muhyieddeen Touq Commissioner General for Human Rights in Jordan and Former Chair of the Ad-Hoc Committee for the Negotiation of the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC).

Listen Audio ||| Watch Video

Read AUB News Story


Ambassador in the Academy
Raana Rahim: "Pakistan's current challenges and opportunities in the dynamics of the region"

The Issam Fares Institute and CASAR hosted a lecture and open discussion with H.E. Raana Rahim Ambassador of Pakistan to Lebanon.

Listen Audio ||| Watch Video


Research, Advocacy and Public Policy-making
Mitchel Wallerstein: "Analyzing, Teaching and Influencing Public Policy"

IFI held a round-table discussion with Dr. Mitchel Wallerstein Dean of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University and Dr. Iman Nuwayhid Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at AUB.

Listen Audio ||| Watch Video


Palestinian Camps
Fateh Azzam: "Palestinian Refugee Rights: Law, Politics and Common Sense"

IFI and AUB Center for Behavioral Research hosted Dr. Fateh Azzam Middle East regional representative of the UN Office of the Higher Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Listen Audio ||| Watch Video


Climate Change / Environment
Peter Hannicke: "Combining Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energies"

IFI and AUB's Political Studies and Public Administration Department hosted Professor Peter Hennicke President of the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy in Germany (2000 - 2008).

Listen Audio ||| Watch Video


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