Panel Discussion on the occasion of the official launch of the Master’s in Humanitarian Action and Peacebuilding Degree Programme (UNITAR / Oxford Brookes University)
Palais des Nations, Room XI
Friday, 23 March 2018, 12.30h – 14.00h
Participants in the discussion:
- Fida Alobeid – Child Protection Officer, UNICEF Syria Country Office
- Brigitte Piquard – Reader in Humanitarianism and Conflict, HAP Programme Manager, Oxford Brookes University
- Claudia Croci – Senior Specialist, HAP Programme Manager, UNITAR
Complex man-made crises, conflicts and violence have notoriously become a common sight in our globalized world and a source of deep concern for the international community. Designing interventions in extremely volatile environments requires specific knowledge and skills, which would enable professionals working in the field to minimize negative impacts and maximize opportunities for positive and sustainable changes. Recognizing this need, international organizations and academic institutions increasingly work together to provide the relevant training by linking theory with practice and applied knowledge.
The Master’s Programme in Humanitarian Action and Peacebuilding (HAP), developed and offered jointly by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and Oxford Brookes University, is one of the most recent and innovative examples of such far-sighted collaboration. The fully online degree programme explores the interaction between the two fields with an aim of teaching the art of approaching both humanitarian and peacebuilding programming in a conflict- and context-sensitive way, to the extent art can be taught.
Indeed, peace efforts and humanitarian assistance to the affected communities always go hand in hand. Whereas peace-making and peacebuilding processes are intricate and time-consuming, humanitarian action on the ground is urgent, it is required here and now: before, in the process of and after achieving peace. As it has been recently emphasized in the statement by the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman in relation to the protracted Syrian crisis: “There are no words to express our frustration over the collective failure of the international community to end this war. But that frustration is nothing compared to the suffering and destruction visited ceaselessly upon the Syrian people.”
While 2018 marks the appalling 7th year of conflict and ensuing acute humanitarian crisis in Syria, UNITAR has invited one of the first HAP participants to share with the international Geneva her insights into the nature and challenges of humanitarian work in the current Syrian context. Ms. Fida Alobeid from Aleppo, Syria, is a Child Protection Officer at UNICEF with more than 10 years of humanitarian experience with various field NGOs and UN agencies. Without suspending her important peace-related activities, Ms. Alobeid is now remotely pursuing her second Master’s with UNITAR in order to enhance the reach of her work and the sustainability of its results.
Join us on March 23 for an official programme launch at the Palais des Nations in order to seize the opportunity of getting an intimate glimpse of what humanitarian work in such hotspots as Aleppo today really looks like. Facilitated by the Programme Managers from UNITAR and Oxford Brookes faculty, the discussion will include an extensive Q&A section that will enable significant inputs from the audience and provide a relevant and mutually enriching direction to the talk. Finally, you will get a chance to learn first-hand about the vast potential and benefits that e-learning presents today to advanced practicing professionals in the international and, more specifically, peacebuilding field.
Targeted primarily at mid- to upper-level practitioners involved in humanitarian action and peacebuilding processes as well as in some related fields (such as military and police officers deployed in field operations, civil servants – including diplomats – in charge of humanitarian affairs, academics teaching humanitarian affairs, and journalists), the event will eventually provide exceptional networking opportunities for knowledge sharing and partnership building.
To attend the event, please, do not forget to register no later than March 20.