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Independence Conference - March 30, 2023 - 1:45-5:00 pm: Decolonizing international relations and development

At a moment when the task of the Belgian parliamentary committee on the history of colonialism [1] has reached an inability to achieve a compromise on a form of apology from Belgium to its old colonies, the modern consequences of the colonial enterprise still dominate the world geopolitics. It is not a matter of a past to be forgotten, of a chapter to be closed, but of a contemporary question, which shapes the workings of our planet.

The inherited power relations of the colonial era, among others, affect international relations - whether through humanitarian aid, development cooperation or diplomacy - and structure the way in which debates are held on the key issues of our time, such as the handling of the environmental crisis. As the latest study on the decolonization of development cooperation [2] underlines, these relationships have left the door open to interference by former colonizing powers in previously colonized lands, leading to a perpetuation of the logic of domination and dependence. What is at issue in international relations in the face of these logics of domination ?  How to conceive the notion of ecology and social and solidarity transition without repeating these power relations ?

These few questions will be raised and debated during the meeting of March 30 in the framework of the thinking carried out by the Placet Center, its tenants and Louvain Coopération in partnership with the CETRI and the UCLouvain.

Moderator: Fiona Nziza (Louvain Coopération)

Panelists: Sylvie Saroléa (Advisor to the Rector on Gender, Equality and Inclusion), Mara Coppens (Head of the Global Citizenship Unit at the DGD), Fred Bauma Etuteli (Lucha, Center on International Cooperation), Aymar Nyenyezi Bisoka (UMons), Bernard Duterme (CETRI), Liliane Umubyeyi (African Futures Lab)

Where: Great hall of the IAD, Rte de Blocry 5, 1348 Louvain-La-Neuve 

When ? March 30, 2023 from 1:45 pm to 5 pm

Registration : https://forms.office.com/e/g2RKrLies8

[1] https://www.rtbf.be/article/passe-colonial-des-recommandations-sans-les-excuses-cest-la-proposition-du-president-de-la-commission-speciale-11128928

[2] Nyenyezi et al. (2022), « Décoloniser la coopération au développement par les marges »

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