Coventry set to host iconic Global Peace Forum

Published Tuesday, 09 November 2021

Led by the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University, the RISING Global Peace Forum is a unique partnership with Coventry City Council and Coventry Cathedral.

Ex-Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, at RISING in 2019.
Pictured: Ex-Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, at RISING in 2019.

Launched in 2015, the peace forum brings together a collection of peacebuilders, policymakers, and academics from across the globe together under one roof to discuss and exchange innovative strategies to resolve violent conflicts and facilitate peaceful communities.

Hosted over a three-day period from 10-12 November, the aim of this year’s forum is to explore ‘Leadership for Peace’.

Distinguished speakers will demonstrate how leadership is not simply defined by the style, approach, and actions of leaders, but by the practice of mobilizing people to tackle tough challenges and to thrive.

Keynote speakers throughout the week include former Canadian Prime Minister, Kim Campbell, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, Lord Peter Ricketts, Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, and many more.

Deputy Leader of Coventry City Council, Councillor Abdul Salam Khan, The Lord Mayor of Coventry, Councillor John McNicholas, and Head of Migration and Library Services, Peter Barnett CBE, will also be in attendance throughout the week.

According the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), at the end of 2020 there were 132,349 refugees, 77,245 pending asylum cases and 4,662 stateless persons in the UK.

With increasing numbers of people being displaced from their homes, the resources of programmes and initiatives designed to support and facilitate integration continue to be over-stretched.

The Mi-Friendly Cities (MiFC) project – a three-year initiative designed to highlight the significance of such programmes by helping to create opportunities for migrants, build cohesion and bring communities together across Coventry, Birmingham, and Wolverhampton – sought to bridge this gap.

At the peace forum, is MiFC’s follow-up project – MyCoventry.

The MyCoventry project works with statutory and voluntary partner organisations across the city to address local, social, and economic barriers that impede full integration for new arrivals, ensuring that tailored, one-to-one support is given to an individual based on their needs and skills.

The specialist partnership that MyCoventry has developed will bridge service gaps, provide mentoring, coaching and holistic interventions to support client progression and integration whilst identifying broader integrational needs.  

Highlighting the significance of the event, Councillor Abdul Salam Khan, said: “Now more than ever, innovative and thought-provoking forums such as RISING are critical in allowing the brightest, most eclectic and knowledgeable minds to come together under one roof, to engage and share a wealth of knowledge and expertise so that collectively we can make a meaningful difference to those who need our help the most.

“The diverse mix of distinguished guests and speakers – whose vast expertise provides a unique insight into the world of peace, resettlement and integration – stands as a testament to how seriously we take our commitments, and how hard we here in Coventry and further afield, are willing to work to achieve peace and harmony.

“Coventry’s ongoing commitment to peace and supporting the most vulnerable is evident through our status as a city of peace and reconciliation, pioneering support projects such as MiFriendly Cities and more recently MyCoventry, as well as our enormous effort in the last few months to resettle, integrate and support those displaced from their homes due to the Afghanistan crisis.”

Richard Dickson, Development Manager of the RISING forum, added: “Since 2015, the need for RISING can be seen daily, whether that’s through rising tensions between nations or through increasing use of fossil fuels and deforestation which are exacerbating the climate crisis.

“Creating and sustaining peace involves taking risks, and the difficult business of meeting, hearing, and working with people whose values, aims and behaviours are very different.

“What RISING allows us to do, is to facilitate these difficult conversations and use the minds of brilliant individuals and organisations to draw the blueprint that will shape future policies and create a more peaceful and meaningful future.

“Our aim through RISING is to prompt inspiring dialogue and share best practises throughout the world, so that the world we live in becomes safer, more cohesive and ultimately, more peaceful”.

Coventry City Council