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Human Rights Institute Lunch Talk: Human Rights and Peacebuilding: Disciplinary Tensions and Possibilities for Collaboration

Tuesday, February 25th, 2020 @ 12:10pm to 1:10pm
Jerome Greene Hall, Room 103
Feb 25
Tuesday, February 25th, 2020 @ 12:10pm to 1:10pm
Jerome Greene Hall, Room 103


  • Kristina Eberbach, Deputy Director, Institute for the Study of Human Rights, and Adjunct Assistant Professor, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Zachary Metz, Director of Peace Building Practice, Consensus, and Adjunct Assistant Professor, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Jayathma Wickramanayake, Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth, United Nations

The relationship between the human rights and peacebuilding fields has been increasingly recognized. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development explicitly combines the promotion of peaceful, just, and inclusive societies, and the United Nations Human Rights Council acknowledged the critical relationship between human rights and peacebuilding in 2017. However, despite their shared goals of justice and peace, practitioners in both fields operate with different frameworks and use distinct strategies. Additionally, the interventions of one field sometimes hinder rather than bolster the efforts of the other one.  This conversation features human rights and peacebuilding practitioners who will discuss tensions as well as possibilities for collaboration between the two fields.

Kristina Eberbach is Deputy Director of the Institute of the Study of Human Rights and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs at SIPA. From 2010-2019 she served as the Institute’s Director of Education. She has developed and facilitated human rights courses and workshops for university students, members of civil society and government officials in Colombia, Iraq, Myanmar, and the U.S. and has undertaken research, reporting, and advocacy work in Kenya, Myanmar, The Netherlands, South Africa, Uganda, and the U.S. She is on the steering committee of Human Rights Educators USA and is a co-founder and steering committee member of the University and College Consortium for Human Rights Education. Her research interests focus on human rights education and human rights in conflict and transitional contexts.

Zachary Metz is a partner and the Director of Peace Building practice at Consensus, a consulting firm specializing in negotiation, conflict resolution, and peacebuilding. His areas of expertise include training and large-group facilitation, conflict assessment, conflict-sensitive development, restorative justice, and program design and evaluation. Metz has provided expertise to the United Nations Development Programme, UN Department of Economic & Social Affairs, International Organization for Migration, Search for Common Ground, and a wide range of international political and civil society organizations.

Jayathma Wickramanayake was appointed as the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth in June 2017 at the age of 26. In this role, she works to expand the UN’s youth engagement and advocacy efforts across all four pillars of work – sustainable development, human rights, peace and security, and humanitarian action – and serves as a representative of and advisor to the Secretary-General. Originally from Sri Lanka, Wickramanayake has worked extensively on youth development and participation and has played a key role in transforming the youth development sector in her home country.

This event is co-sponsored by the Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute, the Institute for the Study of Human Rights (ISHR), Rightslink, and the Columbia Society of International Law.

All are welcome and lunch will be provided.

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