June 1, 2010
Professor Omar Dajani was among a select group of five veteran peace negotiators from around the world who spoke on May 28, 2010, at the opening of the Roundtable Dialogue with International Negotiators in Makati City, Philippines.
Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla, Gerry Kelly from Ireland, Nureldin Satti from Sudan, and Governor Irwandi Yusuf of Aceh, Indonesia, joined Dajani at the conference that was jointly sponsored by the Philippines government and the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue. The two-day forum provided a venue for the guest negotiators to impart their insights, and for the government peace panel members and other stakeholders to learn from their experiences. The Philippines is currently engaged in formal peace negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to seek an end to a long conflict on the island of Mindanao.
Dajani told conference attendees that it is better to have weak agreements that can be implemented than rigid agreements that can’t be implemented. He said there is a need to transform the discourse of rights and justice, if peace talks are to be successful. He also stressed that there are no shortcuts in negotiations.
Prior to joining the McGeorge faculty in 2004, Dajani was based in the Palestinian Territories, where he served first as legal advisor to the Palestinian team in peace talks with Israel and, subsequently, as an advisor to United Nations Special Envoy Terje Roed-Larsen. The Yale Law School graduate teaches Contracts, Foreign Investment and Development, Immigration and Nationality Law, International Organizations, and Public International Law.