Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Elliott School of International Affairs hosts David H. Miller Lecture on Africa featuring Dr. Jendayi Frazer as Keynote Speaker
Jendayi Frazer discussed the implications of the Sudan vote for the country and the region | GWU Elliott School's David H. Miller Lecture
On January 25, 2011, the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University held the annual David H. Miller Foundation Lecture on Africa, which featured a lecture by Dr. Jendayi Frazer, CIPI Director and Distinguished Service Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, on the topic of the referendum in southern Sudan. The Elliott School program was sponsored by the David H. Miller Endowment and it formed part of the school’s Distinguished Women in International Affairs series. The David H. Miller Endowment was established in honor of the late Mr. David H. Miller’s lifelong efforts in advancing U.S. – African relations and was created to support African studies and student exchanges. Dr. Frazer’s lecture was the signature event in the Foundation’s effort this academic year. View the video of Dr. Frazer’s talk
Dr. Michael E. Brown, Dean of the Elliott School of International Affairs, convened the program by welcoming participants to the event and he invited Lauren Jencik, a junior studying Conflict and Security Studies, to introduce Dr. Frazer to the audience.
Frazer’s lecture examined four predictions the international policy community, including herself, made a year ago about the southern Sudan referendum. She compared those predictions to the realities of what happened and is happening post the referendum that took place in Sudan on January 9-15, 2011.
She highlighted the doubts that were expressed about whether the referendum would go forward on time, would the results be contested or accepted in the North, would balloting in the South take place if Abyei referendum did not, and the level of violence that would accompany the process. Dr. Frazer stressed the important role of the international community, particularly senior negotiators and mediators from the United Nations and African Union played in keeping the referendum process on track and in providing diplomatic and logistical support to the process. She pointed out that U.S. leadership - in particular Presidential engagement - was “absolutely key” in ensuring that the referendum was carried out as planned. Throughout the lecture, she also examined a number of post-referendum challenges, including the capacity of south Sudan as an independent nation, remaining questions about international justice and the ICC, and the next steps for the United States in engaging with the north and the south in the transition to two autonomous states.
The lecture was well received by the diverse audience of approximately 150 members of George Washington University’s larger student and faculty community in addition to representatives of various think tanks. Following the lecture, the Dean Brown presided over Question and Answer session and hosted a reception for the participants.