COMMON ACTION FORUM 2016
Madrid, 5-6 November
the rise of global fear: why is the world becoming less tolerant and more radical?
The 2016 Common Action Forum sought to address emerging trends that threaten a cosmopolitan, international society united in solidarity. Events over the course of the year pointed to increased visibility of nationalisms, and a rhetoric of fear, on a global scale. The Forum focused on the challenge of humanitarian crises and the policy and debate surrounding current migration flows. Speakers and participants highlighted these issues primarily, but not exclusively, with examples from the North American, South American, European and African continents. The gathering consisted of 50 academics, journalists, activists, civil society leaders and public officials meeting to engage in roundtable and panel discussions in order to facilitate an exchange that would not only serve as informative, but would also critically analyse and propose alternatives to, and solutions for, the topics at hand.
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Thoughtful and creative reform was considered as a meaningful way to reinvent the current narrative surrounding nationalism, fear and migration. Four sessions were held over the period of two days with each thematic session consisting of a first half of speeches, and a second half of debates that allowed for question and answer. This format facilitated an open dialogue as well as offered networking opportunities intended to foster long term cooperation and collaborative projects. Breakout sessions supplemented the formal panels. The Forum’s Chairman and former Director General of Al Jazeera, Wadah Khanfar, inaugurated the event by emphasizing the global change that motivated the gathering of the group, and how a common drive for international solidarity should encourage the conference participants to take action and formulate concrete steps and programs.
1st Session − Implications of the Refugee Crisis beyond the 1951 UN-RC
2nd Session − Media coverage: narrating terrorism and migration
3rd Session − EXITs and selective integration: last sighs of nationalism?
4th Session − Rethinking citizenship for a mobile world
John Ralston Saul
Sami Zeidan is a Senior Presenter with Al Jazeera English. He has covered conflict zones and several seats of power including the United Nations, the White House and the European Commission.
Comfort Ero has been Crisis Group’s Nairobi-based Africa Program Director since January 2011. She previously worked with Crisis Group as West Africa Project Director. As Program Director, Comfort oversees projects covering South, West, Central and the Horn of Africa. She has a PhD from the London School of Economics, University of London. Comfort also sits on the editorial board of various journals, including International Peacekeeping.
Ömer Önhon is the Ambassador of Turkey in Spain. He has held several official posts such as Turkish General Consul in New York, Deputy Director General for the Middle East and Africa, and Ambassador of Turkey in Damasco, amongst others.
Félix Vacas Fernández currently works at the Department of International Law, Ecclesiastical Law and Philosophy of Law, University Carlos III de Madrid as assistant profesor of International Law and International Relations. Félix does research in International Security, Human Rights, International Criminal Law and rights of victims of international crimes, migration, International Relations and international protection of cultural diversity and heritage.
Mayte Pascual is a journalist at TVE specialized in international news and society. Currently at “Informe Semanal”, the milestone news program in Europe, she was awarded several times and has covered major events along the last decades.
Katja Iversen is the President/CEO of Women Deliver, a leading global advocate for investment
in the health, rights and wellbeing of girls and women. Ms. Iversen holds a BA in Political
Science and Administration from Roskilde University and a Master degree in Communication
by the same university. A sought speaker and lecturer, and an internationally recognized expert in development, advocacy, communication and campaigning; she has more than 20 years of
experience working with NGOs, corporations and United Nations Agencies.
Arlene Clemesha is a professor of Arab History and Director of the Arab Center for Studies at São Paulo University. She is also a commentator at the Brazilian television channel TV Cultura and author of several books.
Gonzalo Fanjul is an academic researcher and anti-poverty activist. He currently directs ISGlobal’s Policy Analyisis Department and promotes Fundación porCausa’s investigative journalism and research against poverty. He is a fellow researcher at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) in London, as well as at the Spanish think-tank CIECODE. He too writes for several media and is co-editor the blog 3.500 Millones (2012 FAO Award).
Mariana Santos is the Co-founder and CEO of Unicorn Interactive and Chicas Poderosas, a digital training community to bring more women journalists to technology in media. Formerly she was a member of the interactive team at The Guardian.
Thembisa Fakude is the Head of Research Relations at Al Jazeera Centre for Studies and Deputy Chairperson of the Common Action Forum. He has written extensively on geopolitics and is a regular contributor in several newspapers.
Celso Amorim is a former Minister of Defence and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Brazil. He served on panels of the UN Security Council and was named the “world’s best foreign minister” by Foreign Policymagazine.
Lorenzo Marsili is the Co-founder and Director of European Alternatives. He is the initiator and the spokesperson of the European Initiative for Media Pluralism and DiEM25’s Coordinating Collective member.
Eduardo Barcesat is an Argentinian jurist, UNESCO expert on Human rights, Professor at the University of Buenos Aires. He is also a founding member of the American Association of Jurists.
David Hearst is a British author and journalist specialized in the arab world. Currently a Beirut-based Middle East correspondent, he reported and contributed with The Guardian for mor than 30 years. Among others, he has also written for The Irish Times, St. Petersburg Times, San Francisco Chronicle and the Daily Star, in Lebanon.
Rafael Heiber is the Co-founder and Executive Director of Common Action Forum. He is a geographer and social scientist with academic expertise in organizational space and political implications of sociotechnical systems.
Ayo Obe is a legal practitioner and partner in the Lagos-based law firm, OgunsolaShonibare. Ms. Obe chairs the Board of Trustees of the Gorée Institute (Senegal) and is Co-Vice Chair of the Brussels-based International Crisis Group.
Paula Barrachina is a lawyer specialized in international human rights. Awarded in Academic Excellence by the US Government, she works as Policy Officer and Executive Assistant at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Marío Domínguez is a Professor of Sociology at Complutense University of Madrid. His academic works focus on a cultural critique of modernity, the challenges of globalization and the political violence.
John Ralston Saul is a Canadian award-winning philosopher, novelist and essayist. Author of ‘The Collapse of Globalism’, which predicted the 2008 economic crisis. He is co-chair of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship and President Emeritus of PEN International.”
Wadah Khanfar is the Co-founder and Chairman of Common Action Forum. He previously served as the Director General of Al Jazeera, transforming it from a single channel to a media network.
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