Internal displacement in Iraq: Internally displaced persons and disputed territory

RIORDAN NancyInternal Displacement in Iraq: Internally Displaced Persons and Disputed Territory
by Nancy RIORDAN (University of Massachusetts Boston)
1 February 2016


The protracted conflict in Iraq has led to one of the highest internal displacements of people worldwide. With data from the International Organization for Migration’s Displacement Tracking Matrix and other sources, geographic information system methods were applied to investigate the quantitative and spatial characteristics of Iraq’s internally displaced persons (IDPs). Based on this analysis, significant numbers of IDPs were found to be displaced among the disputed territories of northern Iraq. The findings of this analysis, when paired with additional research, poses serious complications not only for the security of Iraq’s IDPs but also for the country. The proliferation of militias and ISIL into these territories will prolong the wider conflict and intensify the territorial dispute between the government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government, in particular the final status of At-Ta’mim (Kirkuk) governorate.

You can read the full article at the New England Journal of Public Policy:

Nancy Riordan is Co-Secretariat of the Forum for Cities in Transition.

Padraig O’Malley receives prestigious Dr. Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award

Padraig O’Malley receives prestigious Dr. Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award
by Nancy RIORDAN
8 December 2015

FCT director, Professor Padraig O’Malley  was awarded the Dr. Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award from the Institute for Global Leadership (IGL) at Tufts University on December 8th 2015. Read more

Global Forum for Marginalized Youth to be held in Mitrovicë / Kosovska Mitrovica

FCT Director Padraig O’Malley Signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Petrit Selimi, Kosovo’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in Prishtina Kosovo on 14 October 2015. The MOU commits the Kosovo MFA to a cooperative collaboration with the Forum for Cities in Transition (FCT) with a view to establishing a Global Forum for Marginalized Youth (GFMY), in Mitrovicë / Kosovska Mitrovica.

The forum will meet every year in Mitrovicë / Kosovska Mitrovica where disenfranchised & permanently unemployed/underemployed youth from across the globe will gather annually to discuss their rights, collective values & discuss ways in which their lives can be given dignity & meaning, making them part of a cause greater than themselves & find innovative ways to improve the conditions in which they live. The founding conference will be held in 2016 at a date to be determined.


Women and Conflict: Tripoli Film Festival


Women and Conflict: Tripoli Film Festival
by Allan LEONARD, Nancy RIORDAN and Emanuela DEL RE for Forum for Cities in Transition
7 May 2015

“Women and Conflict” was the theme to which the recent Tripoli Film Festival dedicated a special event, with the screening of a selection of out-of-competition films. Elias Khlat, festival director, is also a member of the Tripoli group of the Forum for Cities in Transition. Read more

UMass Boston hosts global peace conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland

20141029 FCT 2014 UMass Boston

UMass Boston hosts global peace conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland
McCormack Graduate School, University of Massachusetts, Boston
29 October 2014

The annual gathering of the Forum for Cities in Transition (FCT), led by Professor Padraig O’Malley from the University of Massachusetts Boston, has gathered more than 70 delegates from 15 cities across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa for a four-day, global peace conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland which began on October 27.

The FCT brings together an international network of mayors, councilors, municipal officials, business people, and representatives of the voluntary and community sector from warring and previously conflicted communities across the globe. The forum works on the principle that cities that are in conflict or have emerged from conflict are in the best position to help other cities in similar situations.

Delegations this year include representatives from Baghdad and Kirkuk (Iraq); Belfast, Craigavon, and Derry-Londonderry (Northern Ireland), Haifa and Jerusalem (Israel); Kaduna (Nigeria); Mitrovica (Kosovo); Mitte (Berlin, Germany); Mostar, Sarajevo, and Srebrenica (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Ramallah (Palestine), and Tripoli (Lebanon).

Working together under the theme of “Promoting Reconciliation through Resilience,” the conference includes plenary sessions and facilitated workshops on tools for community leaders, services for victims and survivors, and how to work together for a strong, fair city management. The conference is action-oriented in which participants can explore how relationships are negotiated and maintained between and among communities, how to deliver equitable basic services together, and how to set standards of transparency that will increase their populations trust in their efficacy.

According to O’Malley, “At a time of great division in the world, it is crucial that we focus on what we can do on a practical level, to bring together opposing sections of society. It is imperative that we hear the voices, not just of those at the extremes of conflict, but also those who work every day to bring about resolution and cooperation, often under terribly difficult circumstances.”

Padraig O’Malley is the John Joseph Moakley Distinguished Professor of Peace and Reconciliation and a celebrated facilitator/convener and author on topics related to divided societies, O’Malley has played major roles in breaking the gridlock and promoting peace in South Africa, Northern Ireland, and more recently the Middle East. He was one of the intellectual architects of the Good Friday Agreement, having engaged Nelson Mandela personally in the peace process.

Ira A. Jackson, dean of the McCormack Graduate School, is in Belfast to attend the conference. He said, “Northern Ireland stands as a beacon of hope and resiliency. And while true reconciliation and justice is still very much a work in progress, delegates from war torn communities around the world have been inspired by the Northern Ireland experience and peace process.”

The inaugural conference was held at UMass Boston in 2009 and subsequent forums have taken place in Mitrovica, Derry-Londonderry, Kirkuk, and Kaduna.

[Originally posted: ]