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Home > International Relations > Conflict Resolution in an Asymmetric Multi Lateral World > Wilton Park Conference on Engagement of Armed Groups in Peace Processes



This conference is open to those with expertise to share or an interest in the theme; our aim is to have a broad spread of nationalities and institutions represented. Enquiries about participation and local travel to: Alison Jones, Conference Administrator, Wilton Park, Wiston House, Steyning, West Sussex. BN44 3DZ Telephone: +44 (0)1903 817714 Fax: +44 (0)1903 817162.
Email: [email protected] Website: http://www.wiltonpark.org.uk
Enquiries about the programme to: Julia Purcell, Associate Director, Wilton Park, Wiston House, Steyning, West Sussex. BN44 3DZ
Telephone: +44 (0)1903 817699 Fax: +44 (0)1903 817162
Email: [email protected]
Wilton Park Conference Centre - An Excecutive Agency of Britian's Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Wilton Park was established in 1946 as part of an initiative by Winston Churchill to help re-establish peace and democracy in Europe. Wilton Park has a unique status as an academically independent and non-profit making Executive Agency of the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office. It is one of the world's leading centres for discussion of international issues. Almost 50 conferences are organised each year, with reports or in-depth papers produced on each one.

In an increasingly small and fast-moving world, Wilton Park provides an opportunity to explore the underlying policy needs on a wide range of international and domestic policy issues. The aim is to have a real impact on future policy. The conferences bring together 50-80 people from a wide range of nationalities and professional disciplines (on average, almost 60% are officials working on the issues being discussed) to analyse recent developments and highlight the best way of tackling likely future difficulties.

The discussions are unattributable to allow direct exchanges of view in an informal atmosphere. In addition to focused sessions on key aspects of each theme, time is deliberately set aside for informal dialogue with fellow participants. Most conferences last between 2 and 3½ days. Attendance for only part of the conference can usually be arranged.

The conferences cover the key political, security, economic and social challenges confronting different parts of the world. Global issues such as protection of the environment and ways of combating drugs trafficking and crime are considered, as well as increasingly prominent policies such as counter-terrorism and links between different cultures.

Wilton Park is underwritten by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which also provides invaluable advice and contacts, but raises all of its running costs from conference fees, outside sponsorship and the hire of its venue by others. Its academic independence is guaranteed by an Academic Council and an International Advisory Council of the OECD Ambassadors and High Commissioners based in London.

Wiston House, West Sussex BN44 3DZ, England , Tel: (01903) 817772 Fax: (01903) 816944 E-mail: [email protected]

Conflict Resolution
in aN ASYMMETRIC Multi Lateral World

Engagement of Armed Groups in Peace Processes

Wilton Park Conference Sponsored by: Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, United States Agency for International Development and (UK) Foreign and Commonwealth Office Africa Directorate and Conflict Issues Group.

9-11 December 2005

Preview of Programme
from the Conference Web Page [also in PDF]


Over the last two decades, whether in the context of a peace process or a humanitarian initiative, armed groups have become key actors in efforts to ease suffering and rebuild conflict-torn societies. Despite their participation in numerous peace processes there is deep controversy about appropriate responses to their actions and this has given rise to some complex policy questions.

Methodology and Aims:

This conference, which includes perspectives from a cross section of stakeholders, aims to:

  • create a forum for frank discussion under the Chatham House Rule in a discreet residential environment, to increase the understanding of participants of the aspirations and concerns of each other and thereby the scope for common action
  • identify through a pooling of ideas and experience the key challenges and the most realistic ways of dealing with them
  • foster and create personal contacts which can prove important for taking forward future action

Selection of Speakers Invited and Themes Proposed (* speaker confirmed)

Welcome and Introduction to Wilton Park - Julia Purcell, Associate Director, Wilton Park

Conciliation Resources - Introduction to the Conceptual Framework - - Celia McKeon*
Conciliation Resources/Accord Programme Manager, UK

Engaging Armed Groups in Peace Processes

Vidar Helgesen, State Secretary Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Is there a Case for Engagement?

Panel: Ambassador Thomas Greminger, Head of Peace Policy, Political Division IV, Human Security, Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.
US Speaker to be confirmed

Understanding Armed Groups' Choices

Nhial Deng, Sudan - Sudan Peoples' Liberation Movement ; Rene V. Sarmeinto, Philippines - Presidential Advisor on the Peace Process

Media & Intelligence- Bruce Clark, International Security Editor, Economist

Capacities for Engagement -Alastair Crooke, Director, Conflicts Forum

Improving our Analysis -*Sue Williams, Consultant

Constructing a Peace Process

*Betty Bigombe, World Bank; *Martin Griffiths, Executive Director, Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, Switzerland

The Impact of Proscription & Terror Listing

*Rob Ricigliano, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, US

Seeking Rebel Accountability on Human Rights Standards in peace talks

*Pablo Policzer, Armed Groups Project, UBC, Canada

Humanitarian Engagement with Peace Talks

*Elisabeth Reusse-Decrey, Geneva Call, Switzerland

Community Based Approaches to Armed Groups - *Conciliation Resources

Roles and Tactics of Third Party Engagement: What are the Different Perspectives?

Panel: Julian Hottinger, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Switzerland; *Deborah Goodwin, Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, UK; *Mark Bowden, United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Closing Session: Moving Forward: What Next

Javier Solana, Secretary General of the Council of the European Union and High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy

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