War in Ukraine and forced displacement in Europe

Event imparted in English only

As part of the Seminar Series: Displacement, Education, Integration, Sanctuary at the Open University is organising a seminar with Kai Frithjof Brand-Jacobsen, who is regarded as one of the leading pioneers, innovators and practitioners in the field of peacebuilding, security and addressing challenging and complex conflicts and crisis in the world today, as the special speaker.

Happening the 12/4/2022 from 12 till 1 pm.

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Seminar 1 (of 3): War in Ukraine and forced displacement in Europe

 

Open University students, staff and guests are invited to the first in a three-part seminar series which explores the issues of displacement, education and integration through open discussion with some exciting, pioneering speakers, who will share their first-hand experience of working in conflict areas, higher education and forced migration. This series is part of our Open University work towards becoming a University of Sanctuary and ensuring that we create a culture of welcome and support for students and staff affected by forced displacement and migration. Each 45-minute presentation will be followed by 15 minutes Q&A.

In the last month, more than 3.5 million people have been externally displaced throughout Europe and, according to the Organization for Migration (IOM), almost 6.48 million people who have fled areas of fighting are internally displaced in Ukraine, the fastest and largest displacement in the region since World War Two, raising profound questions about responses to forced migration.

Our first seminar will focus on the continuing situation in Ukraine and the responses to rapid forced migration from neighbouring countries, with the help of our special guest, Kai Frithjof Brand-Jacobsen, who is regarded as one of the leading pioneers, innovators and practitioners in the field of peacebuilding, security and addressing challenging and complex conflicts and crisis in the world today. For over 20 years, Kai has worked across all continents and many of the most challenging war zones and crisis situations at the invitation of the United Nations, governments, international agencies and organizations, and communities affected by war. He is a co-founder and President of the Peace Action, Training and Research Institute of Romania (PATRIR) and the CEO, since February 25, of the All for Ukraine Global Humanitarian Response and Refugee Support. He has been an advisor to governments and international agencies, including the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), UN country missions, and the All Party Parliamentary Working Group (APPG) on Conflict Issues of the UK Parliament. Kai has written more than 100 keynote speeches for the UN Secretary General’s Office, has given a number of TEDx Talks and his work has been highlighted in the documentary movie In Pursuit of Peace. In 2019 he was awarded the Mahatma Gandhi – Martin Luther King Jr. – Daisaku Ikeda “Lifetime Achievement Award” for his service to humanity, by Martin Luther King Jr.’s alma mater, Morehouse College.

Drawing on his first-hand experience, Kai Frithjof Brand-Jacobsen will describe the continuing situation in Ukraine and the responses from neighbouring countries, including national and local governments, NGOs, civic society, hospitals, educational institutions and businesses. In the session, he will consider:

  • what medium and longer-term strategic responses are necessary from host countries to support the integration of the displaced Ukrainians
  • what strategies will be necessary to rebuild Ukraine, and the return of its dispersed population
  • the importance of access to education for forced migrants and how UK universities can provide sanctuary to students and academics.

Although, our key focus will be on the importance of access to education and work, and how UK higher education institutions can contribute to this effort, we will explore how the outpouring of solidarity for Ukrainians presents an opportunity to create a better understanding of, and empathy towards, all forced migrants.

The seminars are organised, sponsored and hosted by the Sanctuary at the Open University Working Group, led by Professor Marie Gillespie.

All the presentations will be delivered on Microsoft Teams, and recordings will be made available on OpenLearn.

If you would like to know more about our work, or how to support forced migrants or to join the OU student group, Student Action for Refugees (OSTAR), please contact OUSanctuary@open.ac.uk