On Shifting Ground

As countries across the continent celebrate 50 years of independence, millions of Africans still face daily violence and human rights abuses. From Guinea to Kenya, Sudan to Zimbabwe, African nations continue to deal with despotic leaders’ attempts to stay in power. Although the American media occasionally provides a picture of violence in Africa, what does life on the ground really look like? Peter Orner and Annie Holmes, co-authors of Hope Deferred, and Patrick Vinck, the director of the Initiative for Vulnerable Populations Project at UC Berkeley's Human Rights Center, will describe two countries, Zimbabwe and the Central African Republic, with strikingly different histories but who are both dealing with crippling poverty and ongoing human rights abuses. They will also offer their thoughts and insights as to what steps the continent must take to move forward. Is it more important to a national psyche to try and convict a former warlord, or should more effort be put into recreating a peaceful society? Can economic growth seriously take hold in a place where corruption and violence is such a large disincentive? Is Africa ready for takeoff, or stalled at the gate?

Direct download: 12-06-10_Human_Rights_Africa.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:00pm PST

Parlez-vous français? Join us for an evening to hear the Deputy Consul General, Corinne Pereira, and meet and share your appreciation and love of France with others while sampling appetizers from a local French restaurant and sipping wine. Our reception is a terrific opportunity to engage in lively conversation with others interested in international affairs, learn more about the International Forum’s long-running French Dinner Group, as well as acquaint yourself with the IF, the Council, and opportunities to become involved. In addition, the event will be hosted in French – all levels of French speakers, and non-speakers are welcome. Tous ceux qui parlent le français sont bienvenus!

Direct download: 12-01-10_IF_French_Reception.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:00pm PST

From the waters off the Horn of Africa to the Indian Ocean to the South China Sea, there has been a surge in the activity of pirates in recent years. Causing alarm and forcing action by governments, how are diplomats and militaries cooperating and concentrating forces to counter this growing threat? Also, how are navies contending with the ever-changing tactics of pirates? And, what are the legal challenges in prosecuting pirates? Jeffrey Kline joins the Council to examine the issue of piracy and the maritime commons. Kline is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Operations Research department and Program Director for the National Security Institute’s Maritime Defense and Security Research Programs. He teaches Joint Campaign Analysis, Simulation and Analysis, Statistics and coordinates Maritime Security Education programs offered at NPS. In addition, he is an Adjunct Professor at the Naval War College teaching an analytical series titled Joint Analysis for the Warfare Commander.

Direct download: 11-30-10_Jeffrey_Kline.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:00pm PST