Painful histories must be acknowledged to achieve lasting peace

Nations can only achieve sustainable peace when they deal with the past, a leading researcher will tell a global development conference at UNSW.
Wendy Frew | UNSW Newsroom | 14 Sep 2017

Nations can only achieve sustainable peace when they acknowledge and deal with their painful histories, one of the world’s leading thinkers on peace and conflict resolution will tell UNSW’s Global Development Week.

Reconciliation means more than signing a piece of paper; it means true healing and acknowledging and dealing with historical humiliations, the Director of the New Zealand National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Otago, Professor Kevin Clements, will argue in his keynote address at the event. 

Following the success of its 2016 Global Development Week, the Globalisation & Governance Research Network within UNSW’s School of Social Sciences is again hosting a week-long event, running from 18-22 September and focusing on peace-building and development.

Global Development Week @ UNSW will open with an introduction to the Global Peace Index by Mohib Iqbal, from the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). Subsequent sessions will showcase expertise in peace-building and development at UNSW and in the greater Sydney community, as well as highlighting the School’s collaboration with existing stakeholders working on peace in Sydney. 

Co-sponsored by Sydney Peace Foundation, Peacifica and UNSW Institute for Global Development, the event will look also at experiences of peace-building and development in practice, and the research tools that can be deployed to build peace. 

There is increasing recognition here and overseas that lasting peace is necessary for effective development, says UNSW's Dr Susanne Schmeidl, a lecturer in Development Studies and one of the conference organisers.

“So, there is really no lasting peace without development and no sustainable development without peace,” says Schmeidl, who will address one of the sessions.

Associate Professor of International Relations. Laura Shepherd says the development losses from conflict and violence are so high, investment on conflict prevention and peacebuilding is highly cost effective.

“We need to reduce the occurrence and recurrence of violent conflict and promote positive peace,” says Shepherd, who will chair several sessions during the event.

What: Global Development Week @ UNSW

When: Monday 18 September – Friday 22 September 

Where:  Various venues, UNSW Kensington 

Details: The full conference program is available here

Organisational units