The authorities of the University of Liège, Vice-Rector Anne Sophie Nyssen and Minister Jean Claude Marcourt will welcome Denis Mukwege, 2018 Nobel Peace Prize winner, to the Château de Colonster on 1 April 2019. The latter was invited by Professor Emeritus Véronique De Keyser, President of the Scientific Committee of the International Mukwege Chair, created by the University of Liège in 2018.
Dr. Mukwege will participate in all the work of this Scientific Committee on April 1 and 2. As a reminder, the Chair aims to create a broad scientific network of universities and researchers, willing to engage in the fight against violence against women and girls in conflict. It intends to defend a “holistic model” of response to this complex problem, by building bridges between disciplines, between countries of the North and the South, and between universities and NGOs working in the field. This mixing of disciplines, cultures and knowledge requires humility and boldness, but above all values.
Many universities and humanitarian associations have already demonstrated the strength of their commitment.
As proof, at the heart of the Scientific Committee, and under the guidance of the University of Liège, there is the network of universities that have already awarded an honorary distinction or a doctorate to Denis Mukwege. These Universities are ex officio members of the Committee. Among them are UCL (Belgium), ULB (Belgium), ULiège (Belgium) – and very soon the University of Antwerp (Belgium). Also the University of Angers (France), the University of Umea (Sweden), the University of Edinburgh (United Kingdom), Harvard University (USA), the University of Manitoba (Canada). In addition to these ex officio members, there are associate individual members, all of whom have strong academic experience in the field: they come from Canada (Montreal and Ottawa), Germany (Leipzig), the Netherlands, the DRC (African Evangelical University). The Panzi Foundation of the DRC and some representatives of NGOs that have long worked with Dr. Mukwege such as Médecins du Monde, War Trauma, Les Enfants de Panzi et d’Ailleurs were also invited to attend. This network is expected to expand in the future, but this is the starting point.
The first day of work in Colonster will make it possible to identify synergies between members, to define common research issues and teaching projects. The second day will be devoted to the organization of the 1st International Congress of the Chair, which will focus on violence against children in conflict. This Congress will be held at the University of Liège on November 13, 14 and 15.