Globally, societies are increasingly becoming vulnerable to climate change, food insecurity and environmental degradation.  This exposes people and communities to poverty and insecurity that leads to forced migration. The conference organisers realise the importance of good governance, international cooperation to promote global security, human rights and fair international trade.


It is on the basis of this consideration that as part of the BRICS countries International Conference on IKS for Sustainable Food Security and Environmental Governance for Climate Change Adaptation, the African  Centre for the  Constructive Resolution of  Disputes (ACCORD) and Africa Programme-UN University of Peace (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) in  partnership with the Department of Science and Technology-National  Research  Foundation  Centre  in Indigenous  Knowledge  Systems at the  University of  KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa), and University of South Africa (UNISA) are organising a Special Forum on: Advancing Global Security, International Trade and Human Rights:  The Role of African Indigenous Institutions. The forum will be held at the ICC, Durban, South Africa (13-14 September 2016).


In the context of this conference the security and the rights of the individual is inextricably linked to those of the cultural community, and the inter- and co-dependence amongst states cannot be overemphasised.  In many instances the concept and pursuit of security is hinged on national, cultural and ideological interests.  Conventionally, global security is defined as the guarantee of fundamental freedoms, respect for human rights, food and environmental security and creating systems that contribute to survival, livelihood and dignity. This is achieved through amalgamation of measures taken by states and international organizations, such as the United Nations, European Union, African Union and others, to ensure mutual survival and safety.  However, there is need to take full appreciation of local and cultural context of insecurity and economic imbalances, as well as the value of African indigenous institutions in promoting global security, international trade and human rights. The forum interrogates the role of principles and social mechanisms inherent in African indigenous institutions in addressing contemporary challenges of global security, international trade and human rights. It will bring together development agencies, organised civic society, business sector, policy makers, practitioners and traditional leaders from within and outside BRICS countries, to engage in finding experienced-based approaches to address these challenges.


The conference organizers also realize that the future and sustainability of community-based knowledge systems in advancing global security, international trade and human rights lies with effective communication and the youth. The forum aims to develop strategic and multi-stakeholder partnerships to implement action programmes targeted at building a new generation of youth and communities of practice (CoP) to carry forward the thematic agenda of the forum.  These include among others, creating youth engagement platforms, development of curricula and reference materials, audit and mapping of cross cultural African indigenous institutions, practices and principles.


The forum will interrogate the following questions within the themes of the IKS BRICS Conference on Food Security, Environmental Governance and Climate Change Adaptation:


  • To what extent can indigenous institutions and values, specifically in Africa be mobilized as instruments to enhance global security and international trade relations?
  • Can trans-border cultural identities, institutions and values be used as instruments to advance peace, global security and international trade relations?
  • How can national governments and international organizations foster the development of Ubuntu values as public policy?
  • How can enterprises such as schools, hospitals, farms, businesses, workplaces, and courts be founded on Ubuntu principles for global security and human rights?


Specific Objectives of the Conference Forum


  • To explore cultural affiliations as policy instruments to advance peace-building, global security and international trade relations;
  • To build a coalition of institutions and networks as change agents for promoting the use of cultural affiliations to advance global security and trade relations;
  • To mobilize transnational consensus on the efficacy of cultural affiliations as change instruments for global security and international trade relations.


IKS BRICS Conference Forum Topics:


The following topics should be addressed within the context of the role of indigenous institutions:

  • Natural Resources as Security Imperatives
  • Sustainable Peacebuilding and Development
  • Democracy and Human Rights
  • Climate Change and Natural Disaster Management
  • Educational Transformation
  • International Trade
  • Transnational Terrorism
  • International Youth Migration
  • Fight Against Human Trafficking
  • Intergenerational Communication and Moral Regeneration
  • Food Security as Security Imperative
  • Cultural Diversity and Social Cohesion
  • Poverty as Security Imperative
  • Social Cohesion and Nation Building


Who Should Attend this Forum?


All stakeholders interested in advancing peace, global security and international trade including the fight against transnational terrorism:

  • Policy makers
  • Researchers
  • Development Agencies
  • Organized Civil Society
  • Academics
  • Students
  • NGOs
  • Business and Industry
  • Diplomats