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Newsletter - July 2023

July 6, 2023

Source: MIGS


SAVE THE DATE: MIGS, with the support of the Canadian Department of Defence and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Canada, and in partnership with the MacDonald-Laurier Institute and the European Council on Foreign Relations, will host the Montreal International Security Summit on 11-12 October. Focusing on the war in Ukraine, this in-person conference will feature leading experts and public figures from Europe, Canada and the United States. We have already gathered a group of esteemed experts and policymakers, including Ambassador Bob Rae (Global Affairs Canada), former Ambassador Jeremy Kinsman (Canadian International Council), Lt-Gen. Romeo Dallaire (MIGS), Nema Milaninia (U.S. Department of State),  Laura-Julie Perreault (La Presse), Janine Di Giovanni (The Reckoning Project), Savita Pawnday (Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect), David Donat Cattin (New York University), Jessica Berlin (CoStruct), Azeem Ibrahim (Newsline Institute), Terry Martin (journalist), Aphrodite Salas (Concordia University), Ken Roth (former executive director of Human Rights Watch), Ekkehard Strauss (Berlin School of Economics and Law), Chris Beall (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace), and Eugene Czolij (President, NGO “Ukraine-2050”).

As part of MIGS Digital Peace Project supported by Heritage Canada, MIGS released a new podcast episode with Sam Wollenberg (Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance Lead, RIWI) titled “Measuring online harms and who they impact”. The episode is available on Apple podcast and Spotify.

Kyle Mathews helped UNICEF conduct 11 podcast interviews on hate speech and its impact on child rights. The podcast series include interviews with high level speakers such as Alice Wairimu Nderitu (Special Adviser of the UN Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide), Barbara Reynolds (Chairperson for the UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent), Victor Madrigal-Borloz (UN Independent Expert on sexual orientation and gender identity) and Mikiko Otani (member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child).

MIGS Fellow Diego Osorio has been selected as one of the 2023-2024 Fellows at Harvard University's Weatherhead Centre for International Affairs.  



MIGS co-signed an open letter urging UN member states to vote in favor of the establishment of an independent institution on missing persons in Syria.

MIGS Executive Director Kyle Matthews and Program and Outreach Coordinator Marie Lamensch co-signed an open letter calling the international community to act and prevent another genocide from happening in Sudan considering the escalation of the conflict and the warnings exposed.

Upcoming Events

July 5

MIGS will host a Twitter Space discussion at 2pm titled “The Wagner Group Mutiny Explained” with Professor Kimberly Marten (Barnard College, Columbia University). Set a reminder on Twitter here. The discussion is part of MIGS' Ukraine Initiative supported by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Canada.

July 10

As part of the Callioux Law Concert and Speaker Series, MIGS Distinguished Senior Fellow Lieut. Gen Romeo Dallaire will be the guest speaker at an event titled “An Evening With General Romeo Dallaire”.

July 26

MIGS will hold the first focus group session of its Digital Peace Project. This session will bring together civil society actors and policymakers to work together on policy recommendations. Should you be interested, please email us at 


Recent Events

June 8

MIGS hosted a session at RightsCon in Costa Rica titled “Social Media Hate Machine: Can digital peace be achieved?”. MIGS’ Project Leader Lauren Salim facilitated the session featuring Siena Anstis (Senior Legal Advisor, Citizen Lab), Gabriel Cajiga (Interim Executive Director, Ipandetec), and Branka Panic (Founder of AI for Peace), and Gema Jimenez (Project Officer, Digital Defenders). 

June 9

MIGS’ Program and Outreach Coordinator Marie Lamensch gave a class on digital authoritarianism as part of the Collège Brébeuf’s Journée Internationale. 

June 12

As part of MIGS ongoing project on Ukraine, MIGS hosted a Twitter Spaces titled “Ukraine: AI vs. OSINT” featuring Alexa Koenig (Co-Executive Director and Co-Faculty Director of the Human Rights Center, UC Berkeley) and Belkis Wille (Associate Director, Crisis and Conflict division, Human Rights Watch). The discussion was moderated by MIGS Fellow Liam Maloney and Kyle Matthews. You can listen to the recording on Apple Podcast or Spotify.

MIGS Youth Fellow Michaela de Toldi attended the launch of ‘The Napoli Women in Communities Plan of Action’. The event was organized by the UN Office of the Special adviser on the Prevention of Genocide and the Permanent Mission of Italy.

June 13

MIGS Fellow Joana Cook was a guest speaker at a conference organized by the EU funded PREPARE project titled “Engaging with children from families affiliated with violent extremism”. The discussion is available as a podcast here and on YouTube.

June 19

MIGS Fellow Fannie Lafontaine contributed to a comic book titled “Genocide in Canada within a legal framework.” Radio-Canada published an article about the book in an article titled “« Génocide au Canada » : quand une bande dessinée vaut mille « maux »”.

June 19

Student Fellow Michaela de Toldi attended a conference organized by the UN Office on the Genocide Prevention and the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Morocco titled “Showcasing champions of good practices on tackling hate speech from across the world”

June 21

MIGS hosted the final roundtable of the Digital Peace Project. To mark the International Day for Countering Hate Speech, the event focused on online hate and incitement to violence directed at racial and ethnic minorities. Speakers included Fernand de Varennes (UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues), MIGS Fellow Naomi Kikoler (Director of the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum), Ronan Lee (Loughborough University London), and Alice Wairimu Nderitu (UN Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide). The video is available here. The discussion is also available on Apple podcast and Spotify.

June 21

Naomi Kikoler delivered remarks at the Simon-Skjodt Center's event “Living Under Threat: Civilians Across Burma” held at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. The event also featured Myra Dahgaypaw (Senior Partnership Officer for International Justice and Accountability, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee), Wai Wai Nu (Founder and Executive Director, Women’s Peace Network), Gum San Nsang (President, Kachin Alliance) Rosalinn Zahau (Advocacy Team Member, Chin Human Rights Organization) and Tom Andrews (UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar).

Project Leader Lauren Salim attended “Exposing Corruption: Impact and Implications of Grand Corruption in Venezuela” hosted by Freedom House. 

June 27

MIGS hosted a Twitter Spaces discussion on Germany’s New Security Strategy and the War in Ukraine with Benjamin Tallis (German Council on Foreign Relations) and Ulrike Franke (European Council on Foreign Relations). The discussion was part of MIGS' Ukraine Initiative supported by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Canada.

July 3

MIGS Fellow Mark Kersten spoke at the OSCE PA Annual Session 2023 on “Mobilisation for Justice in Ukraine” alongside Rachel Denber (Deputy Director Europe and Central Asia Division), Gunnar M. Ekelove Sldal (Deputy Secretary General Norwegian Helsinki Committee), Mykyta Poturaiev (Head of the Ukrainian Delegation) and moderated by Siv Mossleth (Head of the Norwegian Delegation). 

In the Media

June 7 

MIGS Fellow Joana Cook spoke about Islamist rule in Egypt and beyond with ABC Radio National. Listen to the interview here.

June 13

Ewelina Ochab published an article in Forbes titled “Canada and the Netherlands Take Syria Before The International Court of Justice”.

June 14

Marie Lamensch published an article for the Centre for International Governance Innovation titled Generative AI Tools are Perpetuating Harmful Gender Stereotype.

June 15

Ewelina Ochab published two articles in Forbes titled “Is Russia Committing Ecocide in Ukraine?” and “Tigrayans Continue To Be Targeted in Ethiopia Despite the Ceasefire”.

June 16

MIGS Fellow Phil Gurski released a new episode of his podcast “Canadian Intelligence Eh Quick Hits” titled “How long can terrorist threat last?”

June 22

Phil Gurski released a new episode of his podcast “Canadian Intelligence Eh Quick Hits” titled “Why is it important to call terrorism what it is”

June 25

Ewelina Ochab published an article in Forbes titled “Democracies around the World Must Fight For Vladimir Kara-Murza”.

June 27

MIGS Executive Director Kyle Matthews spoke about the aborted Wagner Group mutiny in Russia on the Elias Makos Show. Listen to the interview here.

June 28

Marie Lamensch was quoted in an article in La Presse titled “Le Darfour de nouveau menacé de « purges ethniques »”.

July 2

Ewelina Ochab published an article in Forbes titled “Tatmadaw Targets Religious And Ethnic Communities In Myanmar Yet Again

July 4

Marie Lamensch spoke to Radio-Television Suisse about risks of genocide in Darfur, Sudan.


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