York U symposium looks at how to take action in Sudan and South Sudan crisis


Toronto, July 2, 2013 – York University’s Centre for Refugee Studies will host a symposium July 3-5 examining what steps can be taken in Sudan and South Sudan to bring stability to the region and end human right violations and rising rates of refugees.

Prior to gaining independence in 2011, South Sudan was part of Sudan, which has been in a state of conflict for most of the last six decades, with civil wars from 1955 to 1972, and again from 1983 to 2005. It is estimated that some 2.5 million people have been killed, with another five million displaced. The Lord’s Resistance Army, comprised largely of child soldiers, continues to terrorize much of South Sudan today.

The Sudan/ South Sudan Symposium seeks to bring together noted experts from a number of different disciplines, as well as practitioners and policy-makers from the state, regional and international levels to consider a wide range of social, economic, environmental, and political factors that are affecting the current state of affairs in Sudan and South Sudan.

“Our speakers will be looking at a wide range of environmental, social, economic and political factors affecting the two countries, not only to understand the underlying causes and context of the current humanitarian crises, but to map out positive and constructive courses of action,” says James Simeon, director of York’s Centre for Refugee Studies.

Highlights of the symposium:

  • Keynote address by Francis Deng, a lawyer, ambassador, South Sudan permanent representative to the United Nations, former special adviser at the UN on the prevention of genocide, and author of more than 40 books (Wednesday, July 3, 6pm)
  • “Understanding the Extent and Nature of the Humanitarian Crisis in Sudan and South Sudan” (Thursday, July 4, 9am)
  • “Understanding the Environmental, Economic, Social, Political and Cultural Factors Underlying the Chronic Humanitarian Crisis in Sudan/South Sudan: The Legacies of Unending Armed Conflict and War” (Thursday, July 4, 11:15am)
  • “Constructive Paths Forward: Searching for Solutions to the Humanitarian Crisis through Peace-Making and Peace-Building” (Friday, July 5, 9:30am)
  • “Investing in Sustainable Development and Livelihoods” (Friday, July 5, 11:15am)

What: Sudan/ South Sudan Symposium
Where: Osgoode Hall Law School’s Kaneff Building, York University, Keele campus (see map)
When: Wednesday July 3 to Friday July 5

York University is helping to shape the global thinkers and thinking that will define tomorrow. York’s unwavering commitment to excellence reflects a rich diversity of perspectives and a strong sense of social responsibility that sets us apart. A York U degree empowers graduates to thrive in the world and achieve their life goals through a rigorous academic foundation balanced by real-world experiential education. As a globally recognized research centre, York is fully engaged in the critical discussions that lead to innovative solutions to the most pressing local and global social challenges. York’s 11 faculties and 28 research centres are thinking bigger, broader and more globally, partnering with 288 leading universities worldwide. York's community is strong − 55,000 students, 7,000 faculty and staff, and more than 250,000 alumni.


Media Contact: Robin Heron, Media Relations, York University, 416-736-2100 x22097 / rheron@yorku.ca