LCMSDS and the Academic Council on the United Nations System are co-sponsoring a roundtable discussion on Insecurity in the Horn of Africa: Challenges, Threats, and Canadian Interests.

Kevin Spooner, Wilfrid Laurier University, will open the day with a talk on the historical context “Canada and Africa: Early Canadian Foreign Policy.”

Panel 1 Piracy: The Old-New Problem

Hugh R Williamson, Lead Investigator/Project Manager, Dalhousie Marine PIRACY Project, “Pirates are Everyone’s Problem: Horn of Africa Piracy in a Global Context.”

Kaija Hurlburt, Project Director, Oceans Beyond Piracy,  “Somali Piracy–a Framework for a Sustainable Solution”

Panel 2 Humanitarian and Security Challenges

Mr. John Siebert, Executive Director, Project Ploughshares,  “Creating a Peace and Security Architecture in the Horn of Africa: Building Sub-Regional Mechanisms for the Long Term”

Ian Spears, University of Guelph, “Prospects for Peace and Security in Somalia”

Panel 3 – Commitments and Implications for the Canadian Forces/Canada

Dr. Walter Dorn, Canadian Forces College, “The Ghost of Somalia: Challenges for Canadian Forces Operations in the Horn of Africa”


On Behalf of LCMSDS, ACUNS, and the roundtable,  we will present a cheque to 14-year-old waterloo native Hailey Briggs in support of her goal to raise $8500.00 to build a school in Kenya with the Free the Children Foundation. Free The Children is an international charity and educational partner, with more than 1.7 million youth involved in a variety of innovative education and development programs in 45 countries. Hailey’s own website and journey can be visited at

Subscribers to Canadian Military History can look forward to a special Guest Edited Issue on the Canada and the horn of Africa.


Biographical Notes on Speakers (Alphabetical order)

Dr. Walter Dorn is a Professor of Defence Studies at the Canadian Forces College and the Royal Military College of Canada. He serves as Chair of the Department of Security and International Affairs at CFC. 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. He assisted with the negotiation, ratification and implementation of the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention while working as program coordinator at Parliamentarians for Global Action (1992-93). His research interests cover 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. His most recent publication is Keeping Watch: Monitoring, Technology, and Innovation in UN Peace Operations (UN University Press, 2011).

Kaija Hurlburt is a Project Manager for OEF. Kaija manages Oceans Beyond Piracy’s seafarer initiatives, including the Human Cost of Piracy reports. Prior to joining OEF, Kaija worked at World Resources Institute (WRI), a Washington DC-based environmental policy research institution, where she focused on the social and environmental impact of energy investments to local communities and promoting international funding for climate change projects in developing countries. Kaija received her MA from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Bologna, Italy and Washington, DC where she concentrated in international environmental policy and economics. Prior to graduate school, Kaija spent two years in Albania with the Peace Corps. She also spent a number of years as a senior financial analyst at ING Clarion Partners, a real estate investment advisory firm. Kaija received her BA from the University of Washington where she graduated with honors in business administration and a minor in the comparative history of ideas.

John Siebert is Executive Director of Project Ploughshares. Since becoming Executive Director of Project Ploughshares in 2005, John has served as an advisor for a research project on peace and security issues in the Horn of Africa, participated in meetings in Sudan and Ottawa on building sustainable peace in Sudan, and conducted research and analysis on the relationship between armed violence reduction and development. He chairs the Governance Group of the Space Security Index project, and represents Project Ploughshares on the Commission on Justice and Peace of The Canadian Council of Churches and the Sudan Inter-Agency Reference Group. Previously John was a Foreign Service Officer with the Department of External Affairs, a Program Officer for Human Rights and Aboriginal Justice with The United Church of Canada, and a consultant to governments and non-governmental organizations in Canada and overseas.

Dr. Kevin Spooner is Associate Professor, North American Studies, at Wilfrid Laurier University. He joined the Canadian Studies Program at Wilfrid Laurier in 2005 and has taught in North American Studies since 2007, when this new program was created. He teaches several undergraduate core courses in the program’s Canadian Studies stream and supervises graduate students in the History Department’s Tri-University Graduate Program. Prior to arriving at Laurier, he taught with the Canadian Studies Program and History Department at Trent University. His academic interests include Canadian foreign policy; peacekeeping; race, anti-racism, ‘national’ and ‘regional’ identity(ies) and community; and Canadian historiography. His publications on peacekeeping and Canadian foreign policy include Canada, the Congo Crisis, and UN Peacekeeping, 1960-1964 (University of British Columbia Press, 2009).

Hugh R. Williamson is the lead investigator in the project manager for the Dalhousie Marine Piracy Project, and an adjunct professor with a Marine Affairs Program at Dalhousie University, Halifax Nova Scotia. He is a lawyer with a background in ocean resources management, naval intelligence, maritime enforcement and integrated maritime management issues. He is also a senior research fellow the Maritime and Environmental Law Institute at the Schulich School of Law, and the International Ocean Institute. He has consulted extensively in fisheries and ocean management in the South Pacific and Eastern Caribbean. In addition to Dalhousie University, he was on the faculty of the World Maritime University in Malmo, Sweden; the University of the South Pacific, in Fiji where he directed the ocean resources management program; and the University of Papua New Guinea Faculty of Law. He had a lengthy career in the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve, where he served as a diving officer, naval intelligence officer, and naval control of shipping officer, commanding NCS Unit three. He also lectured widely in the Canadian naval fleet schools on the law of the sea, the law of armed conflict, maritime law, and law of naval operations.