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Date:                   Monday, 22 July 2024

Joint-hosts:     Perdana Global Peace Foundation (PGPF), Muslim Care Malaysia (MCM) and Humanitarian Care Malaysia (MyCARE)

Venue:                Auditorium, Perdana Leadership Foundation

Programme Itinerary
Plenary Session Speakers

Dr. Hans-Christof von Sponeck

United Nations, Former Assistant Secretary General

Colloquium Topic: Criminalise War in the Current Context

Hans von Sponeck holds a BA and MA Degrees in History, Demography and Physical Anthropology. He joined the UN Development Program in 1968, and worked in Ghana, Turkey, Botswana, Pakistan and India, before becoming Director of European Affairs. Serving 36 years with the organisation, his last post is succeeding Dennis J Halliday as UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq in October 1998, overseeing roughly 500 international staff and 1,000 Iraqi workers.

He was responsible for directing all UN operations in country, managing the distribution of goods under the Oil-for-Food program and verifying Iraqi compliance with that program, Von Sponeck resigned in February 2000, in protest of the international policy toward Iraq, including sanctions.

Sponeck has written numerous papers and articles in German and English in professional journals and magazines on subjects of environment, social change and methodological / conceptual alternatives in development, sanctions and humanitarian exemptions. He is also the author of “Human Development – Is There An Alternative?” (1997). Von Sponeck joined the Transitional Foundation For Peace and Future Research as associate in September 2002.

Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss

Neturei Karta

Colloquium Topic: End Zionism

An American Jew, activist, and spokesman for the worldwide religious group Neturei Karta, an anti-Zionist group. Residing in Monsey, New York, he believes that Jews should peacefully oppose the existence of the Israeli state. He emphasized the need for a complete return of land to Palestinians, rejecting the ’67 borders and advocating coexistence.

His parents were from Poland and Hungary and most of his family were killed during the Holocaust. Weiss speaks at rallies and conferences in the United States and internationally, criticizing Israel and Zionism. In 2001, he attended the UN-organized World Conference against Racism in Durban, South Africa, as part of the Islamic Human Rights Commission delegation.

Following the Hamas incursion into southern Israel on October 7, 2023, and the subsequent Israeli offensive in Gaza, Weiss and his Neturei Karta colleagues have been active in advocating for Palestinians in Gaza, speaking on various media and joining in marches and demonstrations such as a pro-Palestinian march in New York City on 17 November 2023. In early December 2023 Weiss and his Neturei Karta contingent journeyed to South Africa to attend the Fifth Global Convention of Solidarity with Palestine, a convention which received criticism because of the attendance of Hamas representatives.

Dr. Maung Zarni

FORSEA, Founding General Secretary

Colloquium Topic: Destruction of Law and Israel’s Genocidal Depopulation of Palestine

Zarni is a Burmese educator, academic, and human rights activist. Zarni is a co-founder of several activist platforms, including the Free Burma Coalition (1995-2004), the Free Rohingya Coalition (2018) and Forces of Renewal Southeast Asia (2018). He is also a Fellow at the Documentation Center – Cambodia, specialising in Genocide, and serves as an advisor to Genocide Watch (USA).

He has published and commented extensively on various aspects of political change in Burma including reconciliation, justice, human rights and civil society.  He is the author of a book, provisionally entitled Life under the Boot: 50 Years of Military Dictatorship in Burma, for Yale University Press.  He has held a professorship in the sociology of education at the National-Louis University in Chicago, as well as fellowships at the London School of Economics, Chulalongkorn University, Oxford University, University of London Institute of Education, Georgetown University, and the Rockefeller Foundation.  He was educated at St Peter’s Boys School and Mandalay University in Burma and the universities of California, Washington and Wisconsin in the United States.

In 2024, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Northern Irish peace activist Mairead Corrigan Maguire, herself a recipient of the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize.

Prof. Dr. Mohd Nazari Bin Ismail

BDS Malaysia, Chairman

Colloquium Topic: The Role and Impact of the BDS Movement in Ending Apartheid and Colonialism in Palestine

Prof Mohd Nazari Ismail is Honorary Professor at the Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Malaya and Director of Hashim Sani Centre for Palestine Studies, University of Malaya, chairman of BDS Malaysia ( a movement that calls for boycott of Israel and boycott of companies that are complicit with Israel). He is also the chairman of Palestine Progressive Association – Malaysia.

In 2018, he was one of the participants of Freedom Flotilla Boat to Gaza in 2018.

He was the 1999 Fulbright Foundation Malaysian Scholar at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, USA; the 2005 Fulbright Visiting Specialist at Pfeiffer University, North Carolina; and 2005 visiting fellow at Oxford Center for Islamic Studies, Oxford, United Kingdom.

He is a former dean of the Faculty of Business and Accounting, and former head of University of Malaya corporate planning unit.

He has written and edited 8 books. His book entitled `Till Debt Do Us Part – The Growth of the Global Banking Industry and Its Insidious Effects’ was one of the winners of the 2019 National Book Award in the Economics category. His latest edited book, published this year, is entitled “Ending Settler Colonialism in Palestine”.

Prof Nazari Ismail holds a B.Sc. Economics (Hon.) from the University of Wales (now Cardiff University), United Kingdom; MBA from the State University of New York, USA; and PhD from the University of Manchester, United Kingdom.

YBhg. Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Utama Dr. Rais Yatim

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs

Colloquium Topic: Two States Solution for Palestine?

A Malaysian politician and lawyer who served as the 18th President of the Dewan Negara from September 2020 to June 2023, 8th Menteri Besar of Negeri Sembilan from 1978 to 1982 and the Member of Parliament (MP) for Jelebu from November 1999 to May 2013. Tan Sri Rais was the Minister of Land and Regional Development (1982–1984), Minister of Information (1984–1986), Foreign Minister (1986–1987 / 2008-2009) and Minister for Information, Communications and Culture (2009-2013).

He became the President of the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) from 2013 to 2018. He is also an author and has written extensively on the subject of law, politics and the community where a total of 19 books have been produced by him to date.

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