Pax Christi International to co-host panel at IPB World Congress on the Middle East


On 1 October, Pax Christi International and the International Peace Bureau will co-host a panel discussion on "The Middle East: A Key Conflict on Our Planet" at the International Peace Bureau World Congress in Berlin. The discussion will address the question: "What is going on in the Middle East? Interests, profits and the future of possible peace in the Middle East..."
The Middle East region remains insecure and continues to be one of the most dangerous parts of our world. In many parts of the Middle East, the life-forces of society – which are the freedom and hopes of the people – are crushed by repression, conflict or violent anarchy. The reality is that now we have permanent wars, insecurity and extremist violence in almost every country in the Middle East. Arms deliveries to all parties in these conflicts feed the tensions and escalate the level of violence. This must come to an end. The Middle East, as a region, needs the creation of a weapons of mass destruction-free zone (WMDFZ).
The nature of political violence and global insecurity has enormous impact on the daily lives of civilians and their societies. Human rights violations, migration and displacement are the results. The following questions will be tackled:
  • The disaster of Syria continues to deepen. How to stop the devastating war in Syria? 
  • How can Iraq avoid further divisions or violence along sectarian lines?
  • How could civil society in Egypt contribute to peace in the Middle East?
  • How to break the spiral of violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? 
  • What are the root causes of violence and terrorism? 
  • What is the role of governments and international governmental bodies in these conflicts? How is it possible to move forward to peace processes?
  • Which lessons learned from Europe could be applied in the Middle East? Which practical steps and confidence-building measures offer the best hope for progress towards reconciliation, demilitarization and the creation of weapons of mass destruction-free zone in the Middle East?
  • Which specific steps for action can be taken by the international peace movement?
The panel will be moderated by Etienne De Jonghe, former Secretary General Pax Christi International. Speakers and topics include:
  1. Could lessons learned from peace through détente in Europe be applied to the Middle East? — Wolfgang Biermann, "Initiative for a New Policy of Détente NOW“, former advisor to Willy Brandt and Egon Bahr (confirmed).
  2. How to stop the devastating war in Syria — what could local and international civil society contribute to de-escalation and reconciliation? — Ute Finckh-Krämer, MdB, SPD Parliamentary Group, 2005 to 2015 Co-Chairperson to the German Federation for Social Defence (confirmed).
  3. How can Iraq overcome the chronic crisis of terror, sectarian violence and instability? — Hanaa Edwar, Iraqi Peace and Solidarity Council (confirmed).
  4. What is left of the hope for an Arab Spring in the future? —  Mamdouh Habashi (Egypt) (confirmed).
  5. The Israeli–Palestinian conflict – Fr. Paul Lansu, Senior Policy Advisor Pax Christi International, Vice President IPB (confirmed)

For more information on the World Congress, click here.


International Peace Bureau, Middle East, Etienne de Jonghe, Paul Lansu, Syria, Arab Spring