by Sonia Bianchi

What an excellent first day of the Bologna Symposium!

We have begun our first week focusing on Conflict Prevention, with lectures from Dr. I. William Zartman and Dr. Francis Deng. Two excellent examples of not only scholarship on the topics of conflict prevention but also advocacy!

I had the honor of introducing Dr. Francis Deng to the Symposium. Chronicling his many professional accomplishments, numerous publications and roles within United Nations leadership was humbling to say the least and all accomplished by one of the most humble individuals I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. Introducing him was not just a chance to work on public speaking skills but also a chance to meet a mentor and role model for anyone interested in advocating for those most vulnerable in conflict. His work on behalf of Internally Displaced People, is truly integral and to hear about his many experiences was extremely inspiring.

The lessons he shared about diplomacy, advocacy and working toward prevention of genocide and mass atrocities, should come in handy as we embark on our first simulation exercise attempting to recreate the peace process in Bosnia-Herzegovina
in 1993!