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CIC Saskatoon: Robert Stewart on “The international system is failing to prevent wars and conflicts in a timely manner: why? “

March 9, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm CST


Join us for CIC Saskatoon’s 14th event of the season, featuring the ever-popular Dr. Robert Stewart from the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change.

Conflict prevention and resolution has been a central concern of the international system for many years, perhaps most famously outlined in article 1 of the United Nations Charter, where the UN’s first purpose is, “[t]o maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace…and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace.” And yet the number of ongoing wars and conflicts and in particular the long average duration of many modern armed conflicts – over 70 years of conflict between Israel and Palestine and of dispute over Kashmir, over 30 in Somalia, DR Congo and Iraq, over 10 in Libya and Syria, and approaching 10 in Yemen and Ukraine – underlines that the existing system is failing to effectively prevent or resolve conflicts in a timely manner.
In this talk linking research, policy and practice, Dr. Stewart will draw upon the findings of the ongoing Wars in our Time research project in arguing that the failure is about more than simply gridlock in the existing system but also an emphasis on conflict management, including through humanitarian aid but also via negotiations, sanctions and peacekeeping missions. Further, approaches that do produce strong results – for example local level initiatives that include women peacebuilders – are under emphasised and systematically under resourced. He will conclude by pointing the way forward to improve the existing system, including areas for further research.

About our speaker:
Robert Stewart is a professional social science researcher, evaluator and analyst, whose work focuses on international humanitarian and development programming and with a particular specialisation in fragile and conflict-affected states. He has carried out and led single and multi-country research projects as well as project and programme evaluations for clients including the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the European Commission (DG ECHO), UNICEF, Oxfam, UNRWA, UN Women, the World Bank, Amnesty International, UNHCR, UNESCO, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Department for International Development (UK), has shared strategic analysis with the senior management of international organisations including UN funds and programmes as well as with the European Commission and the British government, and has conducted field missions in the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa (Eastern and Southern), South and Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.
Dr. Stewart’s thematic areas of expertise relate to mixed migration and refugees, protection, conflict prevention, resolution and peacebuilding, and development in fragile and post-conflict contexts. He is a researcher at McGill University in the Department of Political Science as well as at the University of Exeter in the Politics Department, and he lectures on migration-related research and the design of humanitarian programming at universities in the UK, Scandinavia and Canada; he is also a senior fellow at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, researching the evolution of the conflict prevention, resolution and peacebuilding system (https://institute.global/contributors/robert-stewart). Dr. Stewart holds a PhD in Politics from the University of Exeter, where his dissertation focused on Islamist political parties in authoritarian and post-authoritarian contexts; his publications include a co-edited volume (with Dr. Kirsten Fisher), Transitional Justice and the Arab Spring (Routledge).
Dr. Stewart is Director of the Merits Partnership, a client-focused management consulting firm specialising in social science research and results-based management related to humanitarian, development and peace interventions (www.meritspartnership.com).

5:30 p.m. Doors open
6:00 p.m. Public presentation – free and open to the public
7:30 p.m. Event concludes
7:45 p.m. Dinner with the speaker (register online at the Eventbrite site, deadline Mar 06)
9:30 p.m. Dinner concludes

Want to find out even more about the issues, and discuss them with the speaker and other internationalists? Consider buying a dinner ticket and joining us at 7:45 p.m., also at the Saskatoon Club, for dinner with the speaker.
Prices for dinner with the speaker, followed by presentation
$20 – Students
$35 – Non-student CIC members
$40 – Nonmembers
Register for dinner with the speaker before March 06, 4:00 p.m. Dinner registrants will be expected to pay even if they cannot or do not attend. Persons with dinner reservations who cannot attend are encouraged to find someone else to take their place.



March 9, 2023
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm CST


Saskatoon Club
417 21st Street East
Saskatoon, SK S7K 0C5 Canada
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CIC Saskatoon Branch