Events and conferences

Upcoming event: Nature as collateral damage? Environmental impacts of the war in Ukraine

In partnership with the Young Professionals in Foreign Policy, this event will provide a space for discussion on the environmental impacts of armed conflict, particularly in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. When analyzing the ongoing war, discussions tend to focus on human security, politico-military considerations, and, in the longer term, reconstruction of Ukraine and the socio-economic repercussions this entails. An often neglected aspect of war is the ecological dimension. Environmental harms such as water, soil and air pollution biodiversity loss, deforestation or resource depletion are factors that impact conflict dynamics, at times increasing the risks of conflict (re-)escalation and sparking new intra-communal and inter-communal disputes. In the long term, environmental damage can exacerbate socioeconomic inequalities, disproportionately impacting the most vulnerable and limiting access to resources, while adding up to the already costly reconstruction and peacebuilding efforts.
This event will take a closer look at the environmental impacts of the war in Ukraine, with a particular focus on its long-term repercussions in domains such as water, nuclear, industry, etc. Based on gathered evidence of environmental harm in Ukraine, panelists and participants will discuss ways forward to increase accountability for environmental harm in the context of war and build momentum for the recognition of ecocide as a crime under international law. Throughout its course, the event will tackle issues such as resource dependency and depletion, food security, cooperation between different actors, and environmental peacebuilding.

Speakers:
– Iryna Nikolaieva -PAX
– Ana Lukic – International Relations Officer, Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI),
European Commission (TBC)
– David Krott. Research associate at FH Aachen & Vrijen Universiteit Brussels.

When? 7th December 2022 at 19:00 -20:45 (CET)

Where? Quaker House (50 Square Ambiorix, Brussels 1000)

Please sign up by sending an email to QCEA’s Project Manager Saskia Basa: saskia.basa@qcea.org

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Past events:

Europe at a Crossroads

QCEA’s Study Tour is quickly approaching. We are excited to meet participants from around the world to reflect on the direction of the EU and learn about its key policy-making mechanism.

However, for those that did not manage to register this year, we have the pleasure to invite to join the Study Tour’s opening session ‘Europe at a Crossroads’ online.

When? Monday, 14 November at 18:15-19:15 (CET).

To register click on this link

Speakers:

  • Judith Kirton-Darling – Former Member of the European Parliament
  • Jeremy Lester – Chair of Saferworld Board, QCEA’s outgoing Clerk and former leader of EEAS division for the Horn of Africa and Head of Delegation in Niger and Rwanda
  • Clare Daly – Member of the European Parliament GUE/NGL

Brief description of the event:

2022 will go down in history as a year of compounding crises. The new IPCC report revealed that the window of opportunity to avoid irreversible harm caused by global heating is rapidly closing. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has brought the threat of war ever closer to the EU, prompting member states to expand their military budgets. Meanwhile, events in Afghanistan, and Ukraine, and protracted armed conflict in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Ethiopia and Somalia have caused an increase in refugee flows, while the pandemic lingers on, exacerbating inequalities and impacting the most vulnerable. The policies that are approved in this crucial time will define the direction of the EU for the years to come and its capacity to respond to growing challenges such as the climate crisis, socioeconomic inequalities, youth unemployment, mass displacement, inflation, food and energy security, etc.

The aim of this session is to provide an opportunity to reflect on this crucial year for Europe and the direction it is taking in its policy choices.

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Is COP26 enough? Peace, Militarism, and the Climate Crisis: a missing piece

Northern Friends Peace Board, the Quaker Council for European Affairs and Quaker Peace and Social Witness are jointly organising a virtual interactive event: "Is COP26 enough? Peace, Militarism, and the Climate Crisis: a missing piece"

When:   Saturday 29 January 2022

Time:    10 a.m. - 11:30 London time / 11:00 - 12:30 Brussels time / 12:00 - 13:30 Johannesburg time

To register click  on this link.

Objectives of this event:

  • Draw out the outcomes from COP26 in relation to Climate and Peace.
  • Hear from communities affected by militarism, the climate crisis and its interplay.  
  • Offer approaches to bridge the gap between policy and actions in communities,
  • Reflect together, support and promote actions that will make a difference in challenging militarism and its climate impacts. 

Brief description and context: 

There is growing consensus that we are rapidly moving towards climate and ecosystem collapse and that urgent action is needed. COP26 saw widespread civil society mobilisations, a resulting pressure triggered heightened ambitions at the negotiating table. Despite some welcome progress on methane, deforestation and the Paris rulebook, commitments in the Glasgow declaration remain insufficient, with warming on track to exceed the 1.5 limit. Greenhouse gas emissions by the military sector continue to be excluded from climate neutrality pledges and military emission did not make it to the COP26 agenda. The UNFCCC framework compels some states to report their emissions on a yearly basis, yet reporting on military emissions is often incomplete if reported at all, and military expenditure is increasing year on year. The voices of those most affected by the climate crisis continue to be notably excluded from the negotiating table, and COP26 was no exception. Communities that are affected by militarist policies, also come from territories that are living the impacts of the climate crisis. Any credible climate negotiation should amplify the voices of those who, having contributed the least to the climate crisis, are shouldering the costs. 

This event will provide a space to share ways forward to raise momentum, working to ensure adequate, transparent reporting of military emissions at climate summits. This includes opposing hard security approaches and forefronting human security, which prioritises human rights safeguards, prevention work and well-equipped public services over militarised responses. Public funds dedicated to the military could be better used when redirected to support climate action: including loss and damage, adaptation and mitigation. We hope to inspire the audience to challenge manifestations of militarism in their daily lives, as well as organise to build momentum and ensure that military emissions make it to the COP27 agenda. 

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Peace education conference

20-21-22 May 2021, on three half-days

 

The Quaker Council for European Affairs (QCEA) and Quakers in Britain are organising a virtual conference "The possibilities of peace education: Evidence and opportunities"

The aim of the conference is to explore together how education can sow the seeds of sustainable peace and heal divisions, drawing inspiration from a long Quaker tradition of peace education work.

 

Session topics will include:

  • - Framing peace education
  • - Peace education in conflict and post-conflict contexts
  • - The policy case for peace education
  • - Positive peace in schools
  • - Racial (in)justice in education
  • - Peace education in the context of forced migration 
  • - Climate justice

 

For more information, see the agenda or contact: 

In the UK: Ellis Brooks at QPSW ellisb@quaker.org.uk

Outside the UK: Pamela Nzabampema at QCEA pamela.nzabampema@qcea.org

 

Please note: All times in the agenda are CET (Brussels time)!

 

Registering to take part

Registration is now closed. 

 

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