Is Peace Just the Absence of War?

Hosted by the Centre for Women, Peace and Security

Online public event


Roméo Dallaire

Roméo Dallaire

Guissou Jahangiri

Guissou Jahangiri

Rosa Emilia Salamanca

Rosa Emilia Salamanca


Sanam Naraghi Anderlini

Sanam Naraghi Anderlini

21 September marks the International Day of Peace, an opportunity to commit to building a culture of peace. But what exactly is a culture of peace and how do we build it? On this 40th anniversary of World Peace Day our world is far from peaceful.

The US withdrawal from Afghanistan has precipitated war and surrender to the Taliban leaving Afghans behind. Women peacebuilders, who have long been on the frontlines negotiating for peace, now face exponential risk of targeted killings along with other activists and human rights defenders. Meanwhile Colombia marks the fifth anniversary of its peace agreement and despite initial progress, women peacebuilders voice concern about the lack of implementation, particularly regarding the inclusion of women and youth, and the deteriorating security situation. The Global Peace Index reported deterioration in peace in 73 countries, a trend of nine of the last 13 years. Demonstrations, riots and militarisation continue to increase, exacerbated by the weakness of state institutions and rule of law exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meet our speakers and chair

Roméo Dallaire (@romeodallaire) is founder of the Dallaire Institute for Children, Peace, and Security, a celebrated advocate for human rights, respected government and UN advisor and former Canadian Senator. Throughout his distinguished military career, General Dallaire served in staff, training, and command positions through North America, Europe, and Africa. Most notably, General Dallaire was Force Commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda prior to and during the 1994 genocide.

Guissou Jahangiri (@guissoujahangir) is a women’s rights pioneer and a cultural and peace activist. She was elected for a second term as the Vice President of the FIDH world-wide movement for human rights and is the Executive Director of Armanshahr/OPEN ASIA. She leads advocacy campaigns in Afghanistan and the greater region and has spent five years in war-torn Tajikistan as a Human Rights Watch researcher. Jahangiri is also acting head of the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Rosa Emilia Salamanca (@milucina) is the Director of Corporación de Investigación y Acción Social y Económica, a feminist organisation based in Colombia. She is a member of the National Summit of Women and Peace, the Thinking and Action collective and a 2018 Women Peacemaker at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice at the University of San Diego. Salamanca is also a member of the National Commission for Guarantees for Security and Non-Repetition.

Sanam Naraghi Anderlini (@sanambna) is Director of the LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security and the founder of The International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN).

More about this event

The LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security (@LSE_WPS) is an academic space for scholars, practitioners, activists, policy-makers and students to develop strategies to promote justice, human rights and participation of women in conflict-affected situations around the world. Through innovative research, teaching, and multi-sectoral engagement, the Centre for Women, Peace and Security aims to promote gender equality and enhance women’s economic, social and political participation and security.

This event is the sixth in the Coming of Age of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda series and is co-hosted with ICAN and Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEWPS

Podcast & Video

A podcast of this event is available to download from Is Peace Just the Absence of War?

A video of this event is available to watch at Is Peace Just the Absence of War?

Podcasts and videos of many LSE events can be found at the LSE Public Lectures and Events: podcasts and videos channel.

Live captions

Automated live captions will be available at this webinar. Once you join the Zoom webinar, you will be able to show or hide the subtitles by clicking on the “Live Transcript - CC” button, from where you can also change the font size and choose to view the full transcript. Please note that this feature uses Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) technology, or machine generated transcription, and is not 100% accurate.


We aim to make all LSE events available as a podcast subject to receiving permission from the speaker/s to do this, and subject to no technical problems with the recording of the event. Podcasts are normally available 1-2 working days after the event. Podcasts and videos of past events can be found online.

Social Media

Follow LSE public events on Twitter for notification on the availability of an event podcast, the posting of transcripts and videos, the announcement of new events and other important event updates. Event updates and other information about what’s happening at LSE can be found on the LSE's Facebook page and for live photos from events and around campus, follow us on Instagram. For live webcasts and archive video of lectures, follow us on YouTube

LSE in Pictures is a selection of images taken by the school photographer.

From time to time there are changes to event details so we strongly recommend that if you plan to attend this event you check back on this listing on the day of the event.