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An exciting week at the GCSP!

Diverse, innovative and impactful are just a few words to describe the past few days at the GCSP!

From a powerful and emotional musical performance to insightful discussions on hot topics, the GCSP cog has driven a wide range of events this past ten days.

“Good morning Syria.” Award winning radio programme host Honey Al-Sayed shared her experiences as a Syrian who believes in a creative and strategic use of media and arts in peacebuilding. Forced to leave Syria in 2012, Honey now lives in Washington, and is collaborating with the GCSP in developing a new online course on Media and Arts for Peace.

We continued with our Public Discussion Series, whereby GCSP Deputy Director and Academic Dean, Prof. Mohamedou, and Director of the Program on Transatlantic Relations at Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Dr Manuel Muniz, dissected the security implications of Brexit.

Within the context of the advanced research workshop on "leading sustained cooperation in fragile environments", run by the GCSP-CCL leadership alliance, our premises were resounding with music when we, and our guests, had the pleasure to listen to a Cello performance by Chief Conductor and Director of the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra Karim Wasfi. His hopeful vision for Iraq and for the world along with his efforts to combat violence have been an inspiration to all the participants.

A platform at the GCSP was provided to the Chair of the Independent Commission on Multilateralism (ICM), the Honorable Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Australia, President of the Asia Society Policy Institute to launch his report: UN 2030: Rebuilding Order in a Fragmenting World. Interested participants joined the discussion chaired by Dr Carl Ungerer, Head of the Leadership, Crisis and Conflict Management Programme, to hear Mr Rudd’ views about the significant challenges for the UN. He discussed his optimism for the future potential of the UN system, to be renewed and sustained by middle power diplomacy, and led by an activist Secretary-General who makes demands, drives consensus and builds bridges amongst great powers.

We also welcomed some 60 diplomats from the Permanent Missions in Geneva to discuss the Review Conference of the Biological Weapons Convention which will take place in November. The GCSP premises have also been serving more and more as a place for innovative brainstorming sessions, UNHCR and Robert Glasser, Assistant Secretary-General and Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), and his colleague from UNISDR have experienced it this week and it seems that writing on the wall has fostered their creativity!