On Friday, 6 February, at a side event to the Munich Security Conference, The Hague Institute and The Stimson Center convened a panel discussion on “Fragile States and the Fault-Lines of Global Security and Justice” in support of the work of the Commission on Global Security Justice and Governance.

The expert meeting brought together numerous high-level experts to discuss issues related to fragile states, including Martti Ahtisaari, former President of Finland and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Jean-Marie Guéhenno, President and CEO of the International Crisis Group and former UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, and Dr. Evelyn Farkas, U.S. Deputy Assistant-Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia.

Three Commissioners – Madeleine Albright, former U.S. Secretary of State, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, former Foreign Minister of Nigeria, and Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, former Foreign Minister of Canada – co-chaired the expert consultation, bringing forth key points of discussion on the themes of norms of intervention, the next generation of peace operations and the future of UN peacebuilding architecture.

Ukraine was a recurring item in the discussion among the experts. “The conflict in Ukraine is the breaking of a system that has existed since World War II,” noted Secretary Albright. “It has as much a bearing on the global future as events in the Middle East.”

The Responsibility to Protect (R2P) was also central to the discussion, with Dr. Axworthy pointing to the “transformative potential” of modern technology as an important aspect of prevention. These topics led to a wider consideration of the root causes of conflict such as corruption, youth employment and long-term implications of armed violence and atrocities on future generations.

In the wake of the side event in Munich, the discussion on fragile and conflicted-affected environments continues in the form of an e-consultation, co-facilitated by Dr. William Durch and Dr. Sofía Sebastián of The Stimson Center and Dr. Peter Middlebrook of Geopolicity Inc. The discussion will be moderated by The Hague Institute´s Senior Researcher Dr. Joris Larik and will take place for the next four weeks.

During the e-consultation, the Commission will gather further input from experts on a wide range of questions including the themes of transitional justice and rule of law promotion as well as the role of the UN and other actors in peacekeeping operations. Key insights from the side event serve as prompts for the online discussion among more than 60 experts from all over the world.

The focus on conflict-affected and fragile environments is one of three “baskets” of issues that will be analyzed by the Commission in its forthcoming report, which will be launched in June 2015, in advance of the 70th Anniversary Summit of the United Nations.

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