Ms Leymah Gbowee of Liberia, co-recipient of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize will deliver the keynote address at the 25th International Association for Conflict Management (IACM) conference, hosted by the Africa Centre for Dispute Settlement at the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB). It is the first time that the prestigious event, taking place at Spier from 11 to 14 July, is hosted in Africa. Ms Gbowee was one of the leaders in the peace process in Liberia.
Justice Arthur Chaskalson, former Chief Justice of South Africa and the first President of South Africa's new Constitutional Court, will be the speaker at the official opening on 12 July.
“Experts agree that South Africa has much to offer when it comes to building conflict management negotiation and mediation skills but can also learn a great deal from other parts of the world,” says Prof Barney Jordaan, head of the Africa Centre for Dispute Settlement (ACDS) and chair of the organising committee. "For this reason the country needs to continually exchange information and cooperate with global experts to face the challenges that exist in our society."
The conference will provide academics as well as practitioners in the field of conflict management, peace-making, negotiation and mediation with the opportunity to rub shoulders with international researchers and practitioners in the area of negotiation, mediation and conflict resolution, he says. "The university is very proud to be hosting the largest conference of its kind globally."
He adds that experts will be given the chance to explore the most innovative and meaningful ways of addressing the different forms of conflict that all too often bedevil communities, organisations and countries. In line with mission of the IACM, the conference aims to achieve this by developing and disseminating theory, research and experience that are useful for understanding and improving conflict management in family, organisational, societal and international settings.
The theme of the conference is "From fear to a common future: 25 Years of Conflict Management". Apart from a special and dedicated mediation track, 132 papers and 50 posters have been accepted. These cover the entire spectrum of conflict-related topics.
Arranged into six broad themes - Conflict Resolution, Negotiation, Diversity and Culture, Power and Influence, Mediation and Ethics, Dilemmas, and Emotions - topics at the conference include Leadership and Diversity; Global Developments in Mediation; Bullying and Conflict; Interpersonal Negotiation; Citizen-Government Conflicts; Mediation in Family Business Disputes and Peace Building. (The full programme is available at www.iacm-conflict.org.)
The Africa Centre for Dispute Settlement at Stellenbosch University promotes the peaceful, efficient and cost-effective resolution of conflicts and disputes at all levels, primarily through the effective use of consensus-based dispute resolution procedures such as negotiation and mediation. The Centre forms part of the University’s HOPE Project a campus wide initiative through which SU uses its teaching, research and community interaction expertise to create sustainable solutions for some of the most pressing challenges in South Africa and Africa.
- For more information on the conference click here or contact Sunelle Hanekom at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 021 918 4381. Registration can be done on the IACM website. A special day pass option is available to participants who are not able to attend the full conference. Please contact Shelly Whitmer at email@example.com for details.
- View a special invite from the patron of the ACDS, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, here.