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Important Conference on War, Peace and State Building

Important Conference on War, Peace and State Building

Eastern Mediterranean University Cyprus Policy Center (EMU-CPC) and EMU Business and Economics Faculty Political Science and International Relations Department organized a discussion panel in collaboration with University of Vienna, Austria. The panel took place on Tuesday, the 21st of September, 2021 at EMU with its theme being “War, Peace and State Building”. EMU-CPC Chairman Prof. Dr. Ahmet Sözen and, Prof. Dr. Irene Etzersdorfer and Dr. Mag. Ralph Janik from University of Vienna attended the event as speakers. 

Following the introducing sessions of the speechmakers to the audience, Prof. Dr. Sözen delivered the opening speech of the panel and made a historical assessment of the Cyprus talks that were held on different grounds and places with various diplomatic methods and political leaders. Stating that the Switzerland meeting in 2016 holds a crucial role as a turning point, Prof. Dr. Sözen said that non-federation solutions came to the agenda due to South Cyprus not being ready to move further. Moreover, Prof. Dr. Sözen added that he was not sure whether Turkey was uncompromising in its two-state solution thesis or was trying to persuade the Greek side to a bi-communal and bi-zonal federation.

Following Prof. Dr. Sözen's speech, Prof. Dr. Etzersdorfer argued that political aims and objectives are a distinctive feature of war, and that this character of war actually distinguishes it from other individually targeted criminal acts, traditionally viewed as a continuation of policy, i.e. one state to persuade or compel another state to act in accordance with its own choices. Prof. DR. Etzersdorfer also stated that it means using some violent means. Referring to the emergence of the United Nations Convention and the concepts of international society in 1945 and the prohibition of interstate war, Prof. Dr. Etzersdorfer explained that because of this transformation in the political organization of the international structure, interstate wars can no longer be used as a continuation of politics, but this time many civil wars have emerged.

Taking over after Prof. Dr. Etzersdorfer, Dr. Janik interpreted this transformation in the nature of wars at the level of international law. Emphasizing the importance of this transformation, which brings with it transnational events that concern the whole world, such as refugee flows, Dr. Janik said that the legal regulations regarding civil wars and unmanned aerial vehicles are incomplete, the underlying reason is that international law does not regulate non-state wars, that it may take decades for the international community to come to an agreement on the definition of civil wars and adapt it to international law in a way that it can regulate civil wars.