Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies


Academic Council on the United Nations System

supported by

Department of National Defence – Defence Engagement Program


Venue: Balsillie School of International Affairs

67 Erb Street West
Waterloo, ON N2L 6C2



Public Reception and Keynote Public Address are open to the general public (RSVP to [email protected]);

Attendance at the Workshop Panels is by prior agreement only (contact Dr. Edgar at [email protected] to attend panels)



12:00 – 1:30pm           Lunch (Workshop Participants)

2:00 – 4:00pm           Panel 1:  Conflict and Stabilization Challenges in Sudan

Presenting: John Cockell, Regional Portfolio Manager – Arab States
Bureau for Conflict Prevention and Recovery, UN Development Programme New York

4:30 – 5:30pm           Public Reception

5:30 – 7:00pm           KEYNOTE PUBLIC ADDRESS (Click for more information)

“Innocent At Large: With the UN in the Horn of Africa: One Canadian’s Story”
George Somerwill, former Director of Public Information, UN
Department of Peacekeeping Operations, UN Mission in Sudan



8:30 –  9:00am           Coffee and introductions

9:00 – 10:30am          Panel 2: Conflict and Stabilization Challenges in South Sudan

 Presenting: Evan Boettger, Commander (Naval Reserve)
 John Siebert, Executive Director, Project Ploughshares

10:30 – 10:45am        Break

10:45 – 12:15pm         Panel 3: Relations Between Sudan and South Sudan

Presenting: Susan Stigant, US Institute of Peace
Kevin Tromp, LCol, 1 Canadian Air Division HQ

12:15 –   1:30pm          LUNCH BREAK

1:30 – 3:00pm           Panel 4: Sudan and Canadian Security – Interests, Engagements, Risks and Opportunities

Presenting: Shane Roberts, Futurist and Strategic Analyst, formerly Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada
Joseph Jamal Oromo, Captain, 1 Canadian Air Division HQ

3:00 – 3:15pm            Break

3:15 – 4:30pm            Conclusions: Critical Issues and Needs for Peace-building

Moderators: Walter Dorn, Canadian Forces College & Royal Military College of Canada
Alistair Edgar, Co-director, Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies, and Executive Director, Academic Council on the United Nations System  



Evan Boettger

Commander Evan Boettger joined the Naval Reserves in 1976 at Ottawa’s Naval Reserve Division, HMCS CARLETON. As a Reservist, he balances an active military career while maintaining a civilian career in the federal Public Service for the Department of National Defence and for the Canadian Coast Guard.

After 30 years focused on largely Naval assignments including at-sea command and command of several shore-based units, Commander Boettger became more and more engaged in joint and international assignments: in 2008, Commander Boettger was deployed with NATO’s peacekeeping Kosovo Force (KFOR) and headed a small team of Canadians providing advice and mentoring for Kosovo’s new security forces. After his return from Kosovo, he was assigned to the Canadian Special Operations Forces (CANSOF) Command Headquarters pending his next overseas mission.

In 2010, Commander Boettger deployed to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan to serve as Chief, Key Leader Engagement. In that role he managed the program for partnering activities with senior Afghan political, religious and university youth leaders.

In 2012, Commander Boettger was selected for UN peacekeeping service in the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). He served as a Military Liaison Officer (MLO) to the Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA) in Upper Nile State of South Sudan until May of 2013. In that role, he was responsible for fostering knowledge sharing and confidence building with local SPLA commander on issues of border and internal security in northern Upper Nile State. Commander Boettger became most engaged in the issues of protection of Blue Nile refugees in the UNHCR camps of Maban County and the activities of Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and SPLA (North) forces in the border areas facing the camps.

In his civilian career, Commander Boettger is a Public Service manager and project management professional with the federal government. He has over 20 years of experience in major shipbuilding and aerospace projects for the Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG). He is currently Senior Analyst in the CCG Directorate of Maritime Security.

Commander Boettger holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Carleton University, as well as certication in Quality Management from the University of Manitoba and Project Management from George Washington University. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). He is also a graduate of the Advanced Military Studies Program of the Canadian Forces College, Toronto.


John G. Cockell

John Cockell recently was appointed as Regional Portfolio Manager- Arab States, prior to which he served as Regional Portfolio Manager for the Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States region in the Country Support Management Team of UNDP’s Bureau for Crisis prevention and Recovery since 2011. 

John joined UNDP in 2007, after a career with the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT). He has specialized in clonflict prevention and management, including post-conflict recovery and peace building in fragile states. He served in a range of field assignments in conflict-affected countries in Asia, Africa and Europe, as well as advising and leading multilateral policy initiatives at UNDP headquarters. From 2009 to 2011, he was deputy head of Strategic Planning with the UN Mission in Sudan, and concurrently was co-head of a Joint Planning Unit on Darfur with the UN-AU Hybrid Mission in Darfur, as well as senior planning adviser to the deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-general/UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan.

Between 2007 and 2009, John served as UNDP New York’s policy focal point for integrated mission planning of complex UN peace operations, and represented UNDP in the UN Integrated Mission Planning Process Working Group.

Earlier in his career, John held senior policy advisor positions with DFAIT in Canada, developing Canadian foreign policy in the areas of multilateral conflict prevention, peace building and preventive diplomacy. In 2000, he was seconded by DFAIT to serve as a Political Affairs Officer with the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo, where he managed political development and confidence-building initiatives until 2001.


Walter Dorn

Dr Walter Dorn is a Professor of Defence Studies at the CFC and the Royal Military College of Canada. He serves as Chair of the Department of Security and International Affairs at CFC. In the past, he served at CFC as co-chair of the Department of Security Studies and as Deputy Director of Outreach and Community Development. He is also Chair of Canadian Pugwash, an organization of physical, life and social scientists seeking to reduce the threats to global security.

Dr Dorn is a scientist by training, with a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Toronto, whose doctoral research was aimed at chemical sensing for arms control verification. He assisted with the negotiation, ratification and implementation of the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention while working as programme coordinator at Parliamentarians for Global Action (1992-93). He addressed parliamentary bodies on several continents to support the ratification and implementation of this arms control treaty and drafted a parliamentary declaration that was subsequently signed by a thousand parliamentarians.

His interests are now broader, covering both international and human security, especially peacekeeping and the United Nations. As an “operational professor,” he has gained direct experience in field missions. In 1999, he was a district electoral officer with the United Nations Mission in East Timor. He also served with the United Nations in Ethiopia and at UN headquarters in New York as a Training Adviser with UN’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO). He carried out DPKO-sponsored field research in peacekeeping operations in the Congo, Cyprus, Guatemala, Haiti, and Lebanon.

Since 1983, he has served as the UN Representative of Science for Peace, a Canadian NGO, and addressed the UN General Assembly in 1988 at the Second UN Special Session on Disarmament. In the United States, he was a Senior Research Fellow at Cornell University (Einaudi Centre for International Studies, 1998-2000), a consultant to Yale University (United Nations Studies, 1996), a visiting scholar at the Cooperative Monitoring Centre (Sandia National Laboratories, NM, 1999) and adviser to the Federation of American Scientists (Biological Weapons Control expert group, 1990). At the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre, he has designed and taught the course, Live, Move and Work: Technology and Engineering in Modern Peacekeeping. At the University of Toronto, he was a Research Fellow with the International Relations Programme and the Peace and Conflict Studies Programme (1994-96).

In 2011, he finished writing a book titled Keeping Watch: Monitoring, Technology, and Innovation in UN Peace Operations. In coming years, he plans to complete a related book on a broader theme, tentatively titled The Emerging Global Watch: UN Monitoring for International Peace and Human Security. It will analyse the monitoring methods for conflicts, sanctions, elections, human rights and global security more generally.


Alistair Edgar

Alistair Edgar serves as the Executive Director of the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS), having returned in August 2010 to the position he held previously in 2003-2008.  He is co-director of the Laurier Centre for Military, Strategic and Disarmament Studies (LCMSDS), and Associate Professor of Political Science at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, where he has worked since 1993.

Outside of the university, Dr. Edgar is president of the New Delhi, India-based International Jurist Organization (IJO); he is a National Board member of the United Nations Association in Canada (UNAC); and sits on the board of the Canadian Landmines Foundation as representative of the LCMSDS.

Dr Edgar’s current research interests involve issues of transitional justice in war-to-peace transitions and post-conflict peace building. After completing his first term with ACUNS in 2008, he conducted sabbatical research fieldwork on this subject in Afghanistan, Cambodia, Kosovo, and northern Uganda during 2008-10. He intends to return to all locations when possible, to continue his work there.


Joseph Jamal Oromo

Captain Jamal Oromo was born and raised in Sudan. He fled Sudan to Ethiopia and then to Kenya in August 1995 where he lived for 3 years in a refugee camp. Mr. Oromo migrated to Canada in September 1998 through the World Universities Services of Canada (WUSC) sponsorship program. With WUSC help, Mr. Oromo was given an opportunity to study at the University of Manitoba where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering.

Jamal moved to Calgary in 2004 to work in the oil industry, where he met his wife Stella Jada. In March 2008, Mr. Oromo joined the Canadian Armed Forces and now works in 1 Canadian Air Division Headquarters in Winnipeg.


Shane Roberts

As a futurist, Shane Roberts specializes in early warning analysis for emergency management and national security. He has given more than 50 seminars to government agencies including the Canadian Forces School of Military Intelligence, CSIS, the Canadian Space Agency, DFAIT, DRDC, the PCO Intelligence Learning Program, Public Safety Canada, Royal Military College, US Homeland Security, UK Home Office/Office for Security and Counter Terrorism, and NATO.

Shane worked as Strategic Assessment Analyst and Intelligence Liaison at the Communications Security Establishment, DND from 1982-2001, conducting all-source intelligence assessment of events and issues in international affairs, as a member of the Interdepartmental Experts Groups on Africa, the Middle East and other regions. At CSE he followed 20 conflicts on five continents.

From 2001-2012, Shane served as Senior Advisor for Futures and Forecasting at Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada (PSEPC), developing long-range risk assessment to support emergency preparedness and national security. During 2011-12 he was seconded to the Centre for Security Science, Defence R&D Canada, as Senior Analyst – Foresight and Trends. In 2012-2013, Shane worked as Senior Advisor – RCMP Policy Division, Policing Policy, Law Enforcement and Policing Branch at PSEPC. He retired from government service and has been working as a free-lance futurist since June 2013.


George Somerwill

George Somerwill worked as a journalist for the BBC African Service in the early seventies, and joined the CBC in 1976. During his journalism career, George traveled frequently to Africa to cover political and humanitarian stories.Following a brief stint with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), in the early nineties, George joined CARE Canada, working in emergency programming in Zimbabwe, Somalia and Rwanda.  It was while working with CARE in Angola in 1995, that he was recruited by the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations.

In 1998, while taking up a humanitarian post with the UN Oil-For-Food Programme (OFFP) in Saddam’s Iraq, George took over as Baghdad spokesperson for the OFFP. In 2002, as the West hunted for Osama bin Laden and Afghan refugees poured into Pakistan, George served with UNICEF Pakistan. In 2003, he returned to United Nations peacekeeping and to the Horn of Africa, to serve in the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE).

From 2004 to 2007, as the UN struggled to bring peace to North and South Sudan, George joined the fledgling UN peacekeeping mission in Khartoum as the Chief of Public Information, UN Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS).

George ended his UN career with the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), where he served as Director of Communications from 2007 to 2011.  The government of Africa’s first elected woman president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, had welcomed the UN since 2003, and she challenged the UN to use as many communications initiatives as possible to promote peace and the development in her country.


Susan Stigant

Susan Stigant is a researcher at the United States Institute of Peace, in Washington D.C. From January 2012 until June 2013, she was Senior Program Manager at the National Democratic Institute (NDI) in Washington D.C., responsible for support to constitutional development and reform issues in Southern and East Africa. Prior to this, for over six years Susan served with NDI as Program Director, Constitutional Development – Sudan. She also has worked as Program Coordinator and Executive Assistant with the Forum of Federations, and as a Research Assistant with the Western Cape Provincial Parliament, South Africa.  Susan earned a Master’s degree in Comparative Political Science and Conflict Management from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a BA in International relations and French from the University of British Columbia.


Kevin Tromp

Lieutenant Colonel Kevin is currently the Senior Staff Officer Search and Rescue at 1 Canadian Air Division in Winnipeg, MB.  He joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1991 and attained a BSc from Royal Roads Military College in 1995.  He has accumulated 4300 hours of flying time on Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft incuding the CT114 Tutor, the CT156 Harvard II and the CC130 Hercules.

In 2010 he accepted a six months deployment to serve with the United Nations Mission in Sudan as Staff Officer Air Operations in Rumbek.  In 2012 he graduated from the Joint Command and Staff Program at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto with a Masters of Defence Studies from the Royal Military College of Canada.  His thesis subject dealt with the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the future of South Sudan.