By
Peter Riddell
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18 May, 2012

Peter Riddell spoke on the theme ‘Healing Wounded Memories’ at  a meeting of the Oxford City branch of the United Nations Association on 15 May 2012.

Peter Riddell
Peter Riddell
Wounded Memories is the title of the ‘fictional autobiography’ of former senior UN diplomat, Mohamed Sahnoun. He has felt that it is such an important underlying factor in individual and collective relationships that he has included it as one of the five core components of Human Security, at the annual Caux Forum for Human Security of which he has been the moving spirit.

The focus of the talk was on how wounded memories may be healed, illustrating it with the reconciliation process between English and Irish, of which he has had personal experience, and the contribution of Irène Laure to post-war Franco-German reconciliation, which he believes is a foundational example for this kind of work.

At the end of the discussion which followed, a young British of Turkish parentage recounted how he had undertaken military training to be able to go and join the Palestinian liberation struggle, but on reading a book by Fethullah Gulen, he had realised that was not the way to help them.

Peter is Convenor of Initiatives of Change's Agenda for Reconciliation team, Secretary of British-Arab Exchanges, Trustee of Somali Initiative for Dialogue and Democracy, Joint-coordinator with imam and broadcaster Ajmal Masroor of the 'Learning to be a Peacemaker programme for young European Muslims, and Convenor of the Oxford Round Table of Religions.

The text of the talk can be found on the United Nations Association website. Alternatively, you can download the talk in PDF

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