MEDIA ADVISORY: International conference gathers conflict experts in Helsinki

Next week a high-level conference on peacebuilding and conflict brings more than 250 experts to Helsinki to discuss new research and current policy challenges in preventing and resolving conflicts and sustaining peace across the world. The two-day conference is organised by the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER).

During 16 and 17 May, ‘The puzzle of peace’ brings together academics, policy practitioners, and development specialists — including from the United Nations, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, the World Bank, and other international organisations. The WIDER Development Conference will be held in hybrid format for the first time to allow for some of the audience to attend online as well.

The programme features panel discussions on peacebuilding challenges and on post-conflict recovery, with local and international experts including Pekka Haavisto, Tim Besley, Jutta Urpilainen, Mika Aaltola, and Janne Taalas taking the stage. The first results from UNU-WIDER’s ongoing research project on institutional legacies of violent conflict will also be shared at the conference.

It has been estimated that by 2030 up to two-thirds of the global extreme poor will be living in fragile and conflict-affected countries. This brings Sustainable Development Goal 16: peace, justice, and strong institutions, into focus as a cornerstone goal in the 2030 agenda. Conflict, peace and development are closely interlinked, and we cannot solve one problem without solving the others. This conference is an important event for bridging the gap between practitioners operating in conflict-affected contexts, and researchers working on these topics – which is essential to ensure that future research can address the challenges and inform policy solutions. It’s exciting to see the convening power that UNU-WIDER has to bring these people together and to create a space for such knowledge exchange.Patricia Justino, Senior Research Fellow, UNU-WIDER. 

Details: The puzzle of peace – towards inclusive development in fragile contexts
When: 16 May 8:30 – 17 May 20:00
Where: Scandic Marina Congress Centre 


For media enquiries please contact Anna Toppari
+358 40 451 8233

Media highlights 

Monday 16 May 
Panel discussion | Peacebuilding challenges and policy solutions
Moderator: David Malone  
Panelists: Severine Autesserre, Speciosa Wandira-Kazibwe, Janne Taalas and Mirko Manzoni 

Panel discussion hosted by the Households in Conflict Network | 20 years of micro-level analysis of violent conflict: what next?
Co-chairs: Tilman Brück, Patricia Justino 
Panelists: Tony Addison, Stathis Kalyvas , Ana María Ibáñez and Philip Verwimp

Tuesday 17 May 
Keynote Lecture | Trust as state capacity by Sir Tim Besley, London School of Economics 

Panel discussion | Conflict legacies and post-conflict recovery
Moderator: Tim Phillips 
Panelists: Edward Miguel*, Elina Kalkku, Rabab Fatima*, Gilles Carbonnier, Adnan Khan, Soukeyna Kane*
*presenting virtually