The Annual Conference of Centre Delàs brings together a hundred people to reflect and debate on alternatives to hegemonic security.

The Annual Conference of Centre Delàs brings together a hundred people to reflect and debate on alternatives to hegemonic security.

On November 24, Centre Delàs d’Estudis per la Pau held its Annual Conference 2022 under the title “Another security is possible and urgent. New scenarios to build peace from the margins: the role of cities and civil society”, co-organized with the Human Rights Institute of Catalonia (IDHC) and the International Peace Bureau (IPB). The meeting took place at the Blanquerna Auditorium, Barcelona, and aimed to put on the agenda the failed response to the militarization of global and local conflicts, and the need to address new and old challenges such as violence, climate emergency or insecurity in cities, from new perspectives.

For this purpose, a first inaugural round table was set up, where the presidents of both Catalan organizations, Nora Miralles (Centre Delàs) and Montserrat Tafalla (IDHC), highlighted the need to build and organize deliberative spaces on peace and security. Next, David Llistar, Director of Global Justice and Cooperation of the Barcelona City Council; and Ovidi Octavi de la Varga Mas, advisor of International Strategic Projects of the International Relations Directorate of the Diputació de Barcelona, intervened. At the end of this first round table, Wobine Buijs-Glaudemans, mayor of the municipality of Oss (The Netherlands) and president of the International Committee of the Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG), also addressed the participants, stressing the importance of municipalities working seriously on alternative security proposals.

The next round table, “New scenarios for security after the war in Ukraine”, presented and led by Crític journalist Laia Soldevila, aimed to analyze the scenario that has unfolded in terms of security since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine. For this, the journalist and writer Rafael Poch-de-Feliu analyzed the presence of several wars within the Ukrainian conflict; Ukrainian civil war, Russia’s war against NATO, US war against China and the role within it played by the European Union.

The round table “Building peace from the margins: the role of municipalism and civil society” sought to illustrate how current approaches to violence are not working in order to provide alternatives that have generated significant changes. In this debate, Ana Barrero, president of the Spanish Association for Peace Research (AIPAZ), pointed out that towns should have peace as their main goal, and that they should be spaces for dialogue to resolve conflicts peacefully. Next, Dagauh Komenan, historian in African international relations, pointed out precisely the defects and failures of military interventions in the Sahel region by European powers, which have led to a worsening of the situation. The panel was continued by the principal investigator of the TRANSGANG project, Carles Feixa, who pointed out that police intervention to address violence derived from Latin gangs has been completely ineffective. Instead, he showed significant improvement data when this violence was addressed from a community work perspective, forming music groups between rival gangs, for instance. The last two speakers were Daniela Reina from the city of Palmira in Colombia and Paulo Moraes from Recife in Brazil. The projects of both cities, PAZOS and COMPAZ, respectively, were finalists in the UCLG 2022 Peace Awards, with the Palmira project winning the final prize. In her intervention, Daniela Reina, from the Cooperation Department of the municipality, showed the high homicide data that were occurring especially among young people and how, by involving these young people in the creation of safe spaces where they could be trained, violence was significantly reduced. For his part, Paulo Moraes, Executive Secretary of Citizen Security in Recife, presented the results of having built three community centers there, as spaces for activities and social gathering, with regard to the reduction of crime in the city. This conference is a continuation of the congress organized in 2019 “Another security is possible”, with the aim of continuing to influence and reflect on the alternatives we have when it comes to providing security and building peace in the world.

You can retrieve the complete video of the conference here:

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