Corroding Reconciliation, Undermining Peace: The Impact of Denial on Transitional Justice

Date and time: 
Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 06:30
Type: 
Location: 
New York City
Registration: 
Open

"The recognition of my suffering is more important to me than material compensation of any kind. If there was a public effort of the local Serb community to say ‘yes, we know what happened, we recognize it’, it would mean more to me than all the jail terms, all the money in the world. That would lead to reconciliation." -- A former camp inmate and torture victim from Prijedor, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Join the International Center for Transitional Justice and New York University's Center for Global Affairs on April 13, at 6:30 pm, for a discussion with international panelists on denial of truth about past human rights abuses.

Denial of truth about human rights abuses counts among the most serious impediments to meaningful reconciliation and lasting peace in societies recovering from mass atrocity or repression. The state’s refusal to acknowledge victims’ suffering, along with public discourse in which perpetrators are celebrated as national heroes and politics is rooted in manufactured narratives of the past, form a corrosive mix which can significantly erode any societal benefits of transitional justice efforts - including trials, truth commissions and institutional reform. This panel will examine the impact of denial on efforts to achieve reconciliation and provide justice to victims in the cases from Europe, Asia, and Latin America; explore how various practices of denial create significant barriers to meaningful conflict resolution (possibly perpetuating conflict in future generations); and discuss the lessons learned.

Panelists

Ian Martin joined Security Council Report in April 2015 as its Executive Director. Mr. Martin was a member of the UN’s High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations which reported in June 2015. He has served the UN in several senior capacities over nearly twenty years. He was Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Libya, Nepal and Timor-Leste, head of the Gaza Board of Inquiry, Deputy Special Representative in the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea and Special Adviser to the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Additionally, Mr. Martin has served in Haiti, Rwanda and Bosnia and Herzegovina. He was also Secretary General of Amnesty International from 1986 to 1992 and Vice-President of the International Center for Transitional Justice from 2002 to 2005.

Carlos Dada is the founder of the news website El Faro, which has become a reference for independent and high quality journalism in Central America since 1998 and is known for its investigations of corruption and violence. In 2011 he won the Maria Moors Cabot Prize for Latin American Reporting and the Latin American Studies Media Award. He is a 2015 Fellow at the New York Public Library Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, and is currently a visiting lecturer at Yale University. He is working on a book about the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero.

Refik Hodzic is the director of communications of the International Center for Transitional Justice. For two decades, Hodzic has worked in transitional justice as a journalist, filmmaker as well as an expert in public information and outreach campaigns for international and national courts seeking justice for war crimes. He has focused on post-war justice and the role of media in transitions. While working with the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia from 2000–2004 and 2006–2010, he served as the tribunal’s spokesman and outreach coordinator for Bosnia and Herzegovina. He also headed the public information and outreach section of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he developed a comprehensive public information and outreach strategy for the court and the state prosecutor’s office. He has worked in a number of countries, including former Yugoslavia, Lebanon, Timor-Leste, Colombia and Tunisia.

Margaret Scott is Assistant Professor of Public Administration at the NYU. She also works as a freelance journalist, currently focusing on the role of Islam in Indonesian politics. She has been writing for The New York Review of Books and The Times Literary Supplement. Before that she spent several years working in Tokyo as a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine and The Los Angeles Times Magazine. Margaret also lived and worked in Hong Kong as the cultural editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review. She has been a reporter for the Dallas Times Herald, the Courier-Post in Camden, New Jersey and KTCA Public Television in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Margaret Scott holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Master of Science in Journalism from Columbia University.

Louis Fishman is Assistant Professor of History at the Brooklyn College. In his academic research, Fishman works on modern Turkey and late Ottoman history and questions dealing with Palestinian and Israeli history during the late Ottoman period. He also has interests in construction of nationalism, state-building and historical narratives. Louis Fishman holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. in Middle East History from University of Chicago and a B.A. from the University of Haifa.

Location

15 Barclay Street (bet. Broadway and Church Street)
New York, NY
Room: 430

Contact Information

Phone: 212-992-8380
Email: scps.global.affairs@nyu.edu

How to attend

This event is free and open to the public. To secure your seat, please Register here.

ICTJ will be livestreaming the event on our website, beginning at 6:30pm ET. Join us on Twitter for the event @theICTJ.


PHOTO: Names of the victims of Srebrenica Genocide stand next to a portrait of one of the Mothers of Srebrenica. Photos and the names are are part of the permanent exhibition of the gallery “11.07.95.” in Sarajevo. Photo by Tarik Samarah.