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Robert Volterra

Robert Volterra is one of the world’s top public international law practitioners.  He is qualified as a barrister in Canada and as a solicitor-advocate in England and Wales.  He advises and represents governments, international organisations and private clients on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious public international law and international dispute resolution issues, including international humanitarian law, the laws of war, international criminal law, boundaries and territorial integrity, UNCLOS, international investment agreements and BITs, the Energy Charter Treaty, ICSID, NAFTA, trans-boundary resources and pipelines, joint-development zones and straddling resource regimes, diplomatic and consular law, attribution, privileges and immunities, State responsibility, treaty interpretation and drafting, international arbitration and litigation, international organisations, human rights, resource concessions, Statehood and sanctions.

He regularly acts as co-agent, counsel and advocate before the International Court of Justice and ad hoc international arbitration tribunals, including under the Permanent Court of Arbitration, ICSID, ICC, SCC, LCIA, UNCITRAL, WTO and UNCLOS rules. He regularly sits as an arbitrator in ICSID, UNCITRAL, ICC, SCC and LCIA arbitrations. He is on the UK Attorney General’s A-list for public international law practitioners.

Robert’s practice focuses on the resolution of complex disputes and evolving issues in the field of public international law.  He is also a Visiting Professor of International Law at University College (UCL), University of London and  Visiting Senior Lecturer at King’s College, University of London, where he has taught the international law of boundary disputes for several decades.

The Uninterrupted Imperative of Boundaries and Title to Territory in the Age of the ‘Metaverse’

The paradigm of international relations is interactions between certain entities that have title to territory under international law.  Technological developments, such as the so-called ‘Metaverse’, and transnational philosophies emerging in the popular cultures of a number of societies have provoked questions about the continuing relevance of title to territory and thus boundaries to international law and international relations.  However, on closer examination, neither these nor other developments actually challenge the relevance of title to territory as the basis of international relations.  Indeed, recent events around the world have confirmed the continuing importance of territory and boundaries.

Marcelo G. Kohen  

Marcelo G. Kohen is Professor of International Law at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. Member of the Institut de Droit International, and its Secretary General since 2015. Counsel and advocate for a number of states of four continents before the ICJ, the ITLOS and other tribunals. He also acts as an international arbitrator. He has been Rapporteur for the International Law Association, the Council of Europe and the Institut de Droit International. Author of more than hundred publications in the field of international law, in English, French and Spanish. Awarded the Paul Guggenheim Prize in 1997 for his book Possession contestée et souveraineté territoriale.

Territorial Disputes, International Law and Adjudication: When the Three Stars May Be Aligned?

Territorial disputes are amongst the most traditional controversies that emerge in international relations. They have also been those having promoted a frequent use of international adjudication from the 19th century onwards. Some arbitral awards and judgments have become well known for their contribution to the clarification of the status of international law in this particular field. However, notwithstanding the possibility to use the tool of international courts and tribunals, some territorial disputes remain unsettled for decades, if not centuries. Equally, not all territorial disputes are ripe for adjudication for very different reasons. The speech will address the lights and darks of international law in territorial matters and will evaluate the feasibility of using international adjudication to settle this kind of disputes.   

Dr. Tarek Abu Hamed

Tareq Abu Hamed holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Ankara University. He did his first post doctorate research at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, where he worked at Environmental Sciences and Energy Research Department. His second post doctorate was at the University of Minnesota, at the Solar Energy Laboratory of the Mechanical Engineering Department.

Tareq has published profusely in a wide variety of journals, and received several awards (Dan David Prize).

Tareq served as the Vice Chief Scientist and The Director of Engineering Research at The Ministry of Science, Technology and Space.

Tareq is currently the Executive Director of the Arava Institute and a researcher and a researcher at the Dead Sea and Arava Science Center.

ny cities in our region are predicted to become uninhabitable by the end of the century. In recognition of this pressing reality, the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies and its Palestinian partners conduct regional environmental diplomatic activities, academic research, and initiate and execute projects throughout the Middle East.

The need to equip national and regional policy makers, diplomats, community leaders, security experts, and health officials with the tools to deal with the growing risks of climate change is urgent. At present, no bi-lateral or regional effort combines scientific understanding of climate change with political, economic, and strategic analysis of national and regional effects to give policy-makers actionable insights and to give businesses sustainable opportunities to combat this challenge, all while addressing the political realities and levels of mistrust among parties.

In this plenary, advancing climate justice and resilience in conflict zones and examples of trans-boundary environmental projects, such as water production, wastewater treatment, solar energy applications and water-energy-food nexus projects will be presented.

Irasema Coronado

Irasema Coronado is the director and professor of the School of Transborder Studies at Arizona State University.  She received her bachelor’s degree in political science and a certificate of Latin American Studies from the University of South Florida. She has an M.A. in Latin American Studies and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Arizona. Her area of specialization is comparative politics, her research focuses on human rights on the U.S.-Mexico Border.  She is co-author of the book titled “Fronteras No Mas: Toward Social Justice at the U.S.-Mexico Border”  and co-editor of numerous articles. She was the recipient of a Fulbright to Germany in 2002, and a Border Fulbright in 2004 at the Universidad Autonoma de Ciudad Juarez.

Previously, she was a professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), where she held the Kruszewski Family Endowed Professorship.

Irasema Coronado is past president of the Association for Borderland Studies 2005-2006. She served as a member of the Environmental Protection Agency Good Neighbor Environmental Board from 1999-2002 and co-chair of the Coalition Against Violence Toward Women and Children on the Border. She was also part of the National Advisory Committee for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 2003-2006 and the National Advisory Council for  Policy and Technology from 2016- 2019. 

President Barack Obama appointed her to serve on the Joint Public Advisory Committee of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation in North America in 2010. 

From 2013-2016 Coronado was executive director of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) Secretariat in Montreal, Quebec in Canada. The CEC is a tri-national organization through which Canada, Mexico and the United States collaborate on the protection, conservation and enhancement of North America’s environment. Part of Coronado’s job was to help the three governments fulfill their obligations under the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC), a parallel accord to the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Irasema Coronado served as the executive director of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation of North America 2012-2016.  The Commission for Environmental Cooperation facilitates collaboration and public participation to foster conservation, protection and enhancement of the North American environment for the benefit of present and future generations, in the context of increasing economic, trade, and social links among Canada, Mexico, and the United States

Her present research include the impact of the deportation process on families and children, environmental cooperation, and U.S.-Mexico border politics. 



“Environmental and Social Justice Dimensions of Climate Change Across Borders”

The effects of climate change have led many people living in vulnerable conditions to move from at-risk and disaster affected areas and to cross borders in the process of relocation.  This, however, can likely put them in even more at-risk circumstances.  Leaders need to address these potentially dangerous situations, on both local and global to local scales, and find equitable solutions to the threats posed by climate change.  Border regions are facing the effects of climate change from droughts, floods, and wildfires while simultaneously dealing with refugees and asylum seekers looking for shelter and protection.  Borders can either be centers of collaboration, accountability, responsiveness, and empowerment or danger, confusion, and abuse of power when addressing the needs of displaced people due to climate change. By choosing to address their own environmental and health challenges, border communities can help advance environmental, social and climate justice goals, from the local to the global stage.  


Anne-Laure Amilhat

Anne-Laure Amilhat Szary is a French geographer specializing in political geography and the question of borders. In particular she has developed the concepts of “moving border”. She is a member of the Institut Universitaire de France and director of the Pacte social science laboratory in Grenoble.

Anne-Laure Amilhat Szary studied at the École Normale Supérieure in Fontenay-Saint-Cloud and in 1994 obtained the aggregation of geography. In 1999 she defended her thesis The region, neoliberal territorial paradox? under the direction of Claude Bataillon. The same year she became a lecturer in geography at Joseph Fourier University, then in 2012 professor at Grenoble-Alpes University.

In 2010, she was selected by an international jury for the exceptional quality of her research to be a member of the Institut universitaire de France.

Anne-Laure Amilhat Szary’s thesis is devoted to issues of development and territorial governance in post-Pinochet Chile. This work analyzes the territorial reforms carried out under the dictatorship and the possibilities of a “territorial recovery” by democracy in the early 1990s4’5. Through her publications on the mining economy and on the ways in which the peripheries are integrated into globalization, she opens up more theoretical avenues on territorial governance and paradiploma.


Border Poïesis:  geopolitical imaginaries and ideological challenges (revealed by border art).

This talk will explore the making-of borders, based on a tri-faceted definition which understands international limits as sets of interactions between representations, practises and institutions. Our analysis is based on a Lefebvrian reading of border dynamics that knows this kind of spaces as the product of processes of coding, decoding and over-coding. They thus appear as places where power relations are « subsumed by relations of production » of all kind, economical of course, but also artistical.

In this context, border art and border literature may appear as a pointer to social imaginaries, both about political divides and on the spot of those geopolitical lines. Born as an emancipatory tool and often conceived of as instrument of infra-politics, border art has developed over the years in a quite ambiguous set of productions. The talk will draw the chronology of this genre to underline its capacity to challenge dominating representations of borders as well as its tendency to espouse the dominating imaginaries of geopolitical divides, and notably through the aesthetic attraction toward the figure of the line. This will help us build a critical discussion on the notion of de/re-bordering, and to understand the ideological use that has been made of it over the last 30 years of border studies, opening up for a prospective reflection on the future of our research.

Stan Brunn

Stan Brunn is emeritus Professor of Geography at the University of Kentucky at Lexington. He joined the University of Kentucky department in 1980 as chair and served in that capacity from 1980-88.  He was appointed by the governor as State Geographer from 1988-1989. He was elected University of Kentucky Distinguished Professor I the College of Arts and Sciences in 1989-1990. He has been active in the Association of American geographers, including editor of both The Professional Geographer and the Annals, AAG

His teaching and research interest include political, social and urban geography, the geographies of information and communication, time-space geographies and innovative cartographies. Brunn’s  research includes a number of authored, edited and co-edited books and numerous articles which have appeared in geography and interdisciplinary journals. His most recent books are about Wal-Mart, E-Commerce, 9-11, the sixth edition of Cities of the World, an Atlas of the 2008 Elections, an Atlas of Central Eurasia and  a three volume edited work on Engineering Earth: The Impacts of Megaengineering Projects, which was based on an international and interdisciplinary conference he co-organized in 2008, The Changing World Religion Map (2016: 5 volumes, 208 chapters, 3800 pages) and Mapping Across Academia (2017 with Martin Dodge) on the increased use of maps by scholars in the humanities and social and physical sciences. 


Reading State Images Through Popular Culture: Celebrating a Visual Territorial History through a Plate Collection

A state’s raison d’être is closely related to images of its past and its place in a wider region or global context.  Familiar images to insiders include its flag, heritage monuments, holiday celebrations and postage stamps.  Accompany official products and representations are those constructed and produce by the private sector.  These would include patriotic clothing such as hats, shirts and dresses and jewelry and souvenirs for national and tourist populations.  What is important in these image constructions is how the state is visibly presented, specifically, colors used, boundaries presented (especially if contentious), and depictions of places and personalities in a state’s history.  The private sector often plays a crucial role in state representation and production.  Another popular example of such image construction are plates for collectors.  A careful reading of these products can and will reveal how the state is presented for local and international viewers.  The presentation draws on a reading of map plates from a dozen different countries and a private map plate collection.  An insightful reading reveals a mosaic of images related to territory and international boundaries, the portrayal of national cultures and its place in a larger geopolitical context. 

Dalee Sambo Dorough

Indigenous Peoples and Territory: Misalignment and Reality

Dalee Sambo Dorough received her  Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia, Faculty of Law in 2002. From 1982-89 she was the Executive Director for the Inuit Circumpolar Council in Anchorage, and from 1991-93 was the Executive Director for the International Union for Circumpolar Health, and the Alaska Inter-Tribal Council (from 1993 to 1994).  From 2008 to 2018, Dorough was Professor of International Relations at the University of Alaska Anchorage, during which time she also served as  special adviser on Arctic Indigenous Peoples.  Dorough was appointed to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues by the U.N. Secretary-General in 2011, serving two three-year terms. She was also the co-Chair of the International Law Association‘s Committee on Implementation of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. In 2018 Dorough was unanimously elected as chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council.  The organization represents approximately 180,000 Inuit from the Russian Far East, Alaska, Canada, and Greenland. Dorough’s efforts include promoting food security and protecting the Arctic environment in the face of climate change. Earlier this year, she was awarded the International Arctic Science Committee Medal for her advocacy for the rights of Indigenous peoples, her service to a wide range of Arctic communities, including the Arctic Council, and her influence as a legal scholar. Dorough was one of the ten “Women of the Century” selected to represent Alaska’s most influential women as part of a project sponsored by USA Today in 2020.

Culture and identity are tied to territory yet throughout history there have been incursions as well as imposed laws and policies resulting in misalignment and uncertainty for Indigenous peoples ranging from geopolitical to environmental to traditional economic survival. For those Indigenous peoples whose territories transcend national borders numerous conflicting issues arise that adversely impact their economic, social, cultural, and spiritual lifeways. The subsequent infringement upon their human rights must be understood in a fashion that is responsive to the reality, culture, and distinct identity of such Indigenous peoples.

Sarab Abu Rabia Queder

Epistemology of Surveillance: Palestinian Indigenous Researchers in Israeli Academia

Prof. Sarab Abu-Rabia-Queder is an Associate Professor at the Department of Education, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and the vice president for diversity and inclusion.

Her studies focus on racial and gender inequality in the fields of higher education and employment among minorities in Israel. She is the winner of several competitive grants and prizes, such as the Toronto Prize for Excellent Young Academic Scholars, Businesses for Peace, ‘Project WEALTH – Promoting Local Sustainable Economic Development – SHIRAA’s food processing plant in Bethlehem’ (Jointly with SHIRAA association), and recently chosen as the sociologist of the month (July) for Current Sociology journal (2019). In 2019 she won the “Aut katan” prize from “Rouah Nashit” association for the combination between her academic and feminist agenda

There is a significant body of academic research highlighting the objective of decolonizing Western academia as a prerequisite for unmasking the mechanisms of colonialism, imperialism, and racism experienced by racialized and indigenous minorities. Referring to the decolonization of knowledge, questions such as “Who generates what knowledge?” and “Whose knowledge is illegitimate?” underscore how colonial knowledge on minority groups is “produced, consecrated, institutionalized and naturalized”.


Based on interviews with 15 researchers from a cross-section of academic institutions in Israel, the paper identifies subtle mechanisms of discipline and punishment, directed toward normalizing the epistemology of the colonized.  The findings suggest that the gatekeepers of Israeli academia not only seek to maintain the existing racial hierarchy between Israeli and Palestinian researchers but also seek to “eliminate” the indigenous epistemology of the latter through mechanisms of hidden surveillance, used to control them as colonized subjects unable to challenge  Zionist ideology that is an essential aspect of Israeli academia. The current paper aims to unpack these invisible mechanisms of surveillance, which are part of a broader colonial apparatus aiming to maintain not only territorial sovereignty but also epistemological sovereignty.

Jeff Ganohalidoh Corntassel

Regenerating Indigenous Internationalism:
Frameworks for Transcending State Borders Through Community Diplomacies, Treaties, and Trade Networks

Dr. Jeff Ganohalidoh Corntassel is a writer, teacher and father from the Cherokee Nation. He is a Professor in Indigenous Studies, and cross-listed Professor in the Political Science Department at the University of Victoria as well as Associate Director of the Centre for Indigenous Research and Community-Led Engagement (CIRCLE). Corntassel is a Co-PI with Dr. Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly on the 7-year SSHRC partnership grant entitled “21st Century Borders” and is the lead of Pillar 1 for that grant focusing on Indigenous Internationalism.  Jeff’s research and teaching interests focus on “Everyday Acts of Resurgence” and the intersections between Indigenous internationalism, community resurgence, climate change, gender, and community well-being.  situates his work at the grassroots with many Indigenous led community-based programs and initiatives ranging from local food movement initiatives, land-based renewal projects to gendered colonial violence and protection of homelands. He is currently completing work for his forthcoming book on Sustainable Self-Determination, which examines Indigenous climate justice, food security, and gender-based resurgence.

Indigenous internationalism is rooted in the self-determining authority of Indigenous nations and the expressions of Indigenous relationships that often transcend state borders. These Indigenous relationships are embodied and practiced in several different ways, from honoring complex interrelationships with the natural world to engaging in new treaty arrangements, trade networks, acts of solidarity and other expressions of diplomacy. Increasingly Indigenous scholars are examining the ways that Indigenous nations, communities and peoples challenge the territoriality of states and other patriarchal institutions in order to generate new understandings of how Indigenous relationships develop and persist beyond state boundaries (Corntassel, 2021; Corntassel & Woons, 2018; Picq, 2018; Simpson, 2017). Indigenous peoples engage in distinct forms of diplomacy that illuminate several possible pathways for generating new understandings of Indigenous internationalism. This keynote addresses a key question: What are some Indigenous-led international frameworks that can facilitate new forms of solidarity, alliance, and treaties between Indigenous nations and states?