Over the last few decades, truth and reconciliation commissions (TRC) have been initiated in countries emerging out of conflicts all across the globe. From Argentina, to Rwanda, Brazil and in our own country, these truth-seeking bodies were tasked to investigate past records of all manner of human rights violations. As their name implies, TRCs attempt to set the historical record straight with the explicit goal of ensuring that such atrocities will never be repeated. Can the lessons learned from TRCs be used to enhance conflict mediation and prevention?
The McGill Institute for the Study of International Development (ISID) will bring together global experts to debate the principal challenges faced by TRCs at its conference, Whose Truth? What Kind of Reconciliation? The Importance of Truth and Reconciliation Commissions for Promoting Democratic Good Governance. The two-day event will be held at the McGill Faculty Club, 3450 McTavish St., Montreal, on March 13-14, 2014.
Speakers include The Rt. Honourable Joe Clark, Former Prime Minister of Canada;
The Hon. Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair, Dr. Marie Wilson, Commissioner, Chief Wilton Littlechild, Commissioner from Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission; Leah Armstrong, CEO, Reconciliation Australia; Glenda Mezarobba, Brazilian Truth Commission.
What: Conference: Truth and Reconciliation Commissions
When: March 13-14, 2014
Where: McGill Faculty Club, 3450 McTavish St., Montreal
Full program: https://www.mcgill.ca/isid/isid-conference-2014/program
*the conference will be translated simultaneously in French
“Sadly, we are confronted by various forms of civil strife every day. From the most recent drama in the Ukraine and the ongoing violence in the Middle East, to the various sources of discord in Canada, the need for truth and reconciliation is something all societies will face at one point or another. Achieving them will not be easy, and the conference is intended to help by looking for new insights based on actual experiences from around the world,”says ISID Founding Director Philip Oxhorn.
Topics of plenary and keynote sessions:
A presentation by Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Truth, Reconciliation and Justice: The Philosophical Debates: conceptual issues relating to how we should understand what truth, reconciliation and justice mean in principal, and the difficulty in achieving all three.
The Trend Setters: This panel looks at key examples: Argentina, because it was the first and came after a very repressive military regime in the mid-80s; South Africa, because it is considered one of the best, linking amnesty for abuses to demonstrated remorse ;and Sierra Leone, given the success it has enjoyed on many levels.
The Importance of Civil Society: What is the role of civil society, including NGOs and citizen groups, in contributing to successful TRC processes?
More about ISID: http://www.mcgill.ca/isid/