Over seventy international experts, policy-makers, researchers and peace activists are at the Magee campus of the University of Ulster this week for the 12th INCORE International Summer School.
At the opening session, Professor Deirdre Heenan, Provost and Dean of Academic Development at Magee, welcomed the participants from 17 countries as far afield as Nigeria, India, Zambia, Sudan, Austria, Australia, Canada, America, Holland, Finland, Portugal, Spain, and Germany.
The international delegates will be joined by local practitioners and scholars for an intense week of reflection on state-of-the art learning and practice in managing, resolving and transforming conflict. The Summer School led by INCORE staff and other international experts is well established and the international networking opportunities provided over the years has built into a network of nearly 600 practitioners worldwide.
Professor Brandon Hamber, INCORE Director said “The global community is clearly still looking to Northern Ireland when it comes to peace process-related issues, and the INCORE Summer School continues to attract high quality delegates from around the world.
“As conflicts around the world continue, the need to understand the dynamics of conflict and equip practitioners to deal with them remains an urgent priority. Hopefully in some small way our summer school will help equip those taking part with improved peace-building skills and will build networks to support us all in this long-term work.”
Professor Deirdre Heenan noted that the “International Summer School highlights that the Magee Campus of the University of Ulster remains synonymous with high quality conflict transformation work globally, and is seen as a centre of excellence in Peace and Conflict Studies.
“The Summer School is also significant in other ways contributing towards the build up to the City of Culture 2013. The new bridge will also be officially opening on 25 June, and INCORE is hosting a seminar on the role of bridges in peacebuilding that week. The bridge will physically and symbolically link communities in the city and is a testament to how far thepeace process has come.”The week long session begins on 13 June and includes modules on: Evaluation of Peacebuilding Programmes Interpersonal Reconciliation after Violent Political Conflict Peacemaking and Peacebuilding: Exploring the Lessons Learned from Northern Ireland Alongside these modules, INCORE also runs the Northern Ireland programme to provide participants with an opportunity to network with others, gaining a deeper insight into Northern Ireland. The INCORE Summer School runs parallel to the Transitional Justice Institute Summer School, and the participants come together on all Northern Ireland events adding to the richness of the experience.
In addition, as part of the Summer School INCORE and Transitional Justice Institute will be hosting Bob Collins, Chief Commissioner of the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland on 15 June. He will be giving the 2011 Summer School Lecture entitled 'Perspectives on Equality in a Changing Society’.
The Community Relations Council supported the Summer School by providing bursaries for local participants.