Recording: VGL Forum – Ukraine Crisis, the Limitations of International Law and Our Responsibility

VGL Forum

28 April 2022 | VGL Forum

In a recent Virtual VGL Forum on Ukraine Crisis, the Limitations of International Law and Our Responsibility, our featured speaker Lord John Alderdice, moderated by Dr. Bijan Khajehpour discussed the limitations of international law as highlighted by the Ukraine crisis, different approaches in understanding what drives people on an international level, strategic thinking, civil society and what could be done differently to promote a more peaceful world order.

Conversation guide

  1. 00:00 Welcome and about VGL
  2. 01:00 Introducing Lord John Alderdice
  3. 02:19 Introducing Dr. Bijan Khajehpour
  4. 03:13 Session starts
  5. 03:30 About International Dialogue Initiative (IDI)
  6. 04:20 Hot confrontation between Russia and the West
  7. 05:07 John, help us understand what is happening now with Russia’s invasion in Ukraine and its global consequences
  8. 07:20 The humiliating defeat for historic Russia: Some people in Russia had never accepted the breakup of the Soviet Union
  9. 08:45 What could have been done differently by the West: a different world order
  10. 10:05 Wrong judgement calls: A rationalistic understanding vs an emotional understanding of what drives people
  11. 11:27 International law as a consequence of our danger
  12. 16:33 The Responsibility to Protect and no way of implementing it clearly — the end of the United Nations system?
  13. 18:48 Has the notion of strategic thinking been forgotten in the Western world, which caused them to forget emotional, psychological, etc. dimensions? What should Western governments be doing in the future?
  14. 22:55 Why can’t we predict such crises? About complexity theory, arrogance and pluralism.
  15. 26:12 Civil society: What is it that we as citizens can do?
  16. 30:34 Addressing the world as it actually is, not the one we wish or fear it is
  17. 32:32 The business environment looking forward
  18. 34:18 How does post-colonial guilt feed into the decisions or world views of certain European countries?
  19. 36:57 What’s the antidote to arrogance and how do we strengthen different approaches when arrogance and exploitative behaviour are still very much rewarded?
  20. 39:45 What would your advice be to Western politicians in how to approach Russia in the current crisis? Should they continue to open to communication lines, but sanction Russia, or do something else? – Sanctions vs. economic warfare
  21. 44:44 What could business organisations do to make the call for a peaceful settlement louder?
  22. 47:57 Does the Ukraine war mark the end of globalisation?
  23. 50:28 What can we do to familiarise people around us with complexity theory?
  24. 52:52 Closing the session

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Lord John Alderdice

Lord John Alderdice

John Alderdice is the Director of the Centre for the Resolution of Intractable Conflict and Emeritus Chairman of the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building in Belfast. His work has been recognised with many honorary doctorates, fellowships, and prizes.

He is a psychiatrist by profession, but as Leader of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland, he played a significant role in the negotiation of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement and was then Speaker of the new Northern Ireland Assembly. Since 1996 he has sat as a Liberal Democrat life member of the House of Lords and was Convenor of the Liberal Democrats in the House during the Conservative/Liberal Coalition.

During 2020/2021 he was Deputy Chairman of Committees and a member of the special COVID Select Committee of the Lords. He is a Senior Research Fellow at Harris Manchester College, a Visiting Research Fellow at St Benet’s Hall, Chairman of the Academic Board of the Changing Character of War Centre at Pembroke College and has research affiliations with the Department of Politics and International Relations and the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography in Oxford. He is President of ARTIS (Europe) Ltd, a UK-registered company that he established in 2009 specialising in research, teaching, and interventions in situations of severe psycho-political disturbance.

Dr. Bijan Khajehpour

Dr. Bijan Khajehpour

Bijan is a Managing Partner at EUNEPA and Atieh Capital, and a veteran strategy and risk advisor, with particularly extensive experience in West Asian markets. He has over 25 years of strategic consulting experience with global companies.

Bijan has also been involved in mediation and negotiations of international business and investment partnerships, and is a Fellow of International Dialogue Initiative (IDI).

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