ICERM 1st International Conference On Ethnic And Religious Conflict Resolution And Peacebuilding

The International Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation invites you to our upcoming Conference On Ethnic And Religious Conflict Resolution in New York.

Online PR News – 04-September-2014 – New York, NY – This Press Release serves to introduce the International Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation (ICERM) and to invite you to our upcoming 2014 Annual International Conference On Ethnic And Religious Conflict Resolution And Peacebuilding taking place in Manhattan, New York, on October 1, 2014. Information about registration is on our event page at or on our website at

ICERM is a U.S. based 501 (c) (3) tax exempt public charity, nonprofit and non-governmental organization working to develop alternative methods of preventing, resolving, and educating people about inter-ethnic and inter-religious conflicts in countries around the world. We work with the State of New York residents and diaspora associations, national governments, judiciary, schools, community leaders, religious groups, peace advocates, media, local, regional and international organizations, etc. to foster a culture of peace among ethnic and religious groups through research, education and training, expert consultation, dialogue and mediation, and rapid response projects.

We are committed to creating a new world characterized by peace, irrespective of cultural, ethnic and religious differences. We strongly believe that the use of mediation and dialogue in preventing and resolving ethnic and religious conflicts in countries around the world is the key to creating sustainable peace.

To help prevent and resolve ethnic and religious conflicts, ICERM organizes its work into five specific programs. (1) Research: We create and maintain a global conflict alert database and develop new conflict prevention and resolution tools. (2) Education and Training: We educate people about ethnic and religious conflicts through the ICERM Radio project, web-based forums, conferences and publications, and we train new mediators and facilitators through classroom and e-learning modalities. (3) Expert Consultation: We provide consultation services, monitoring and evaluation, post-conflict investigation and reporting, election observation and assistance to formal and informal leadership. (4) Dialogue and Mediation: We facilitate communication and dialogue and assist parties to reach a mutually satisfactory solution throughunbiased, culturally-sensitive, confidential, regionally-costed and expeditious processes. (5) Rapid Response Projects: We provide moral and material support to the victims of ethnic and religious conflicts.

In light of your effort and commitment to help create a just and peaceful world, it is our sincere honor to invite you to our 2014 Annual International Conference On Ethnic And Religious Conflict Resolution And Peacebuilding.
We recognize this to be a crucial moment in history, a time to step up and ensure that our children and grandchildren do not have to suffer through the horrors of war or genocide in all of their guises. It falls to all of us to open the doors to dialogue, to come to truly know one another, and to accept that in so doing, we can take the first tentative steps toward a world that can work for everyone.

And so we begin by working from where we are by revealing the assets available to us. The religious and ethnic differences long blamed for hatred and intolerance are taken out into the light where the advantages that they offer, the connections between us that they make apparent and the opportunities for healthy relations they support are affirmed. Our strength and promise are based on this foundation.

We appreciate the burden of the schedule that your responsibilities maintain, yet hope that you will be able to join us and bring your invaluable insights to this event.

• Theme: “The Advantages of Ethnic & Religious Identity in Conflict Mediation and Peacebuilding”
• Venue: 136 East 39th Street, between Lexington Avenue and 3rd Avenue, New York, NY 10016
• Date: Wednesday, October 1, 2014
• Time: 9am to 5pm
• Keynote Speaker: Ambassador Suzan Johnson Cook
3rd Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom for the United States of America.

Conference Synopsis

The 21st century continues to experience waves of ethnic and religious violence making it one of the most devastating threats to peace, political stabilization, economic growth and security in our world. These conflicts have killed and maimed tens of thousands and displaced hundreds of thousands, planting the seed for even greater violence in the future.

For our First Annual International Conference, we have chosen the theme: The Advantages of Ethnic & Religious Identity in Conflict Mediation and Peacebuilding. Too often, differences in ethnicity and faith traditions are seen as a drawback to the peace process. It is time to turn these assumptions around and rediscover the benefits that these differences offer. It is our contention that societies made up of an amalgamation of ethnicities and faith traditions offer largely unexplored assets to the policy makers, donor & humanitarian agencies, and mediation practitioners working to assist them.

Policymakers and donor agencies have fallen into the habit, especially during the last several decades, to look at ethnically and religiously diverse populations, especially when they occur in failed states or nations in transition, as being at a disadvantage. Too often, it is assumed that social conflict naturally occurs, or is exacerbated by these differences, without looking more deeply at these relationships.

This conference is, therefore, aimed at introducing a positive look at ethnic and religious groups and their roles in conflict resolution and peacebuilding. Papers for presentation at this conference and the publication thereafter will support a shift from the focus on ethnic and religious differences and their disadvantages, to finding and utilizing the commonalities and advantages of culturally diverse populations. The goal is to help one another discover and make the most of what these populations have to offer in terms of mitigating conflict, advancing peace, and strengthening economies for the betterment of all.

Specific Goal:
It is the purpose of this conference to help us get to know one another and see our connections & commonalities in a way that has not been made available in the past; to inspire new thinking, stimulate ideas, inquiry, and dialogue & share anecdotal and empirical accounts, which will introduce and support evidence of the numerous advantages that multi-ethnic & multi-faith populations offer to facilitate peace and advance social/economic well-being.

Conference Organizer:

Please refer to the enclosed information sheet to learn more about the International Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation (ICERM), and the Annual International Conference.

ICERM’s First Annual International Conference on Ethnic and Religious Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding will not be successful without your support. Throughout your studies and professional career, you have demonstrated outstanding leadership and made tireless efforts in achieving an open, inclusive, cohesive and equitable multicultural society, where ethnic, cultural, linguistic, religious and productive diversity is understood, valued and supported. We believe that your accomplishments and willingness to dedicate yourself to world peace, security and development and your national and international initiatives are commendable and inspiring. We therefore request that you consider our invitation to attend this important international conference.

We hope that you will accept, and look forward to your reply and learning how we could best accommodate your schedule.


Dianna Wuagneux, Ph.D.
Chair, Board of Directors

On behalf of the ICERM Board of Directors
International Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation
11 W. Prospect Avenue, 3rd Floor
Mount Vernon, New York 10550
Phone: +1-(802) 770-0574
Fax: +1- (914) 363-9784

Basil Ugorji
Chief Operating Officer
International Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation
11 W. Prospect Avenue, 3rd Floor
Mount Vernon, New York 10550
Phone: +1-(916) 719-6946
Fax: +1- (914) 363-9784