Special celebration on the occasion of BICC’s 25th anniversary \ 25 years of research for a more peaceful world

On 6 November 2019, BICC (Bonn International Center for Conversion) celebrated its 25th anniversary with 200 invited guests at Deutsche Welle in Bonn. Principal speaker at the event was Armin Laschet, Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia.

The Prime Minister said: “The Bonn International Center for Conversion, founded 25 years ago, is a flagship for peace research in North Rhine-Westphalia. Its staff collect data in crisis areas—often at risk to life and limb— and, in reports and analyses, provide important background information for many actors in security and peace policy.  North Rhine-Westphalia as the main trustee is proud that BICC, as one of the leading institutes in conflict and peace research, is located in Bonn. As the state government, we are committed to strengthening and expanding Bonn as German competence centre for international cooperation and sustainable development.  In many places around the world, people are fleeing; there are hotspots and conflicts: It is, therefore, important that Germany, in particular, is actively involved in maintaining and expanding a multilateral order and in seeking solutions to international challenges. In North Rhine-Westphalia, with the international city of Bonn and institutions like BICC, we are in an excellent position to achieving this”.
During the celebration, Professor Conrad Schetter, BICC Director for Research, gave an overview of the core concerns of the peace and conflict research institute. “We are researching to see how violence is organised because we not only want to understand how violent conflicts arise and develop but also how they can be overcome”, Conrad Schetter explained the specific core element of BICC’s research activities.  Equipped with a unique regional and language expertise that reaches from West Africa, the Sahel, the Horn of Africa and the Middle East to Central Asia and eastern Europe, researchers at BICC work empirically in regions of conflict directly on the ground. “This makes BICC the only peace and conflict research institute in Germany to specialise in field research in conflict countries”, Conrad Schetter emphasised. He concluded in describing the transfer of BICC’s research outcomes to politics as another special feature of the institute: “BICC does not stop at publishing its findings in specialist publications but rather provides advice to policymakers”.
Conrad Schetter described sustainability research as a central focus of BICC’s future work, in which the institute will examine the interfaces between conflicts and sustainability.  Including the other guest speakers, Reinhard Limbach, Mayor of the City of Bonn, and Holger Gottschalk,  Chancellor of Bonn University, Conrad Schetter highlighted the common tasks: “The City of Bonn is currently developing into one of the leading locations in this field. BICC is also very proud to be part of the Bonn Alliance for Sustainability of which the University of Bonn is the strongest partner”.
Press release "Festakt 25 Jahre BICC \ 25 Jahre Forschung für eine friedlichere Welt" (pdf, in German)
Speach Conrad Schetter, Research Director for BICC (pdf, in German)

Holger Gottschalk, Michael Dedek, Prime Minister Armin Laschet, Conrad Schetter, Reinhard Limbach (f. l. t. r.)

 Armin Laschet, Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia

 Conrad Schetter, Director for Research at BICC

 Michael Dedek, Director for Administration at BICC

 Reinhard Limbach, Mayor of the City of Bonn

Holger Gottschalk, Chancellor of Bonn University

Dieter Bathen, Johannes-Rau-Forschungsgemeinschaft

Ramona Fels, Johannes-Rau-Forschungsgemeinschaft