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II MAFRA DIALOGUES SAW PRESIDENTS OF COLOMBIA AND TIMOR-LESTE DISCUSS PEACE

The second edition of the initiative «Mafra Dialogues – Strategic Dialogues for Peace Diplomacy» was attended by the President of Colombia, the President-Elect of Timor-Leste, and the Ministers of Defense of Brazil and Uruguay.

The event, co-organized with Mafra City Council and supported by the Embassies of Australia, Canada, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Center and the Luso-American Development Foundation, also had the participation of several experts in the areas of Women, Peace & Security and major challenges to global peace, the two themes of this edition.

At the opening, the President of IPDAL, Dr. Paulo Neves, highlighted the importance of the Western values of Freedom, Democracy and respect for National Sovereignty, in addition to the need for common and multilateral solutions to major global problems.

The first day of work was marked by the intervention of the President of Colombia, Iván Duque.

The Defense Ministers of Brazil, General Paulo Nogueira de Oliveira, and Uruguay, Javier Garcia, detail the efforts made by their countries’ armed forces in peace support missions.

In addition, it also featured a panel dedicated to the major challenges to global peace with the participation of the Commander of the Military University Institute, General António Martins Pereira, the Advisor to the High Commissioner for Refugees, Athar Sultan-Khan and the CEO of think tank Institute for National Defense and Security Research, Chen-wei Ling.

After a discussion on peace in Eastern Europe with professor and analyst Diana Soller and the director in Portugal of Amnesty International Pedro Neto, the work concluded with an intervention by the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Support to Peacebuilding, Elizabeth Spehar.

The second day saw the Apostolic Nuncio in Lisbon, D. Ivo Scapolo, read a message of peace from Pope Francis, signed by the Secretary of State of the Holy See, Cardinal Pietro Parolin. The letter highlighted the need for multilateralism and the defense of peace diplomacy as the best ways to promote understanding between peoples and thus avoid conflicts.

The President of the Parliamentary Committee for National Defense, deputy Marcos Perestrello debated the conflict in Ukraine with the President of IPDAL, Dr. Paulo Neves.

Also noteworthy is the panel dedicated to the challenges of implementing the Women, Peace & Security agenda at a local and global level, which included the participation of Rafaela Miranda, vice-president of the Youth Atlantic Treaty Association, Aldevina Rodrigues, vice-president of the Chamber Municipal de Mafra and Mónica Ferro, director of the UN Population Fund in Geneva.

Then the Deputy Secretary General of the G7+, Habib Mayar, the director for Europe of the prestigious think tank Australian Institute for Economics and Peace, Serge Stroobants, and professor and analyst Felipe Pathé Duarte discussed conflict prevention in a Europe at war.

The event was closed by Athar Sultan-Khan, who spoke about the importance of dialogue and diplomacy to achieve peace.

The II «Mafra Dialogues» took place on the 21st and 22nd of April, at the Mafra National Palace and in an online format.