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CGE Signature Global Dialogue: Lessons from South African Constitutional Negotiators

The Center for Global Engagement is excited to host two of the chief negotiators of the South African constitution for the CGE Signature Global Dialogue "Lessons from South African Constitutional Negotiators: Moving Beyond Toxic Polarization in America." Join us for a remarkable event where two former adversaries, Roelf Meyer and Mohammed Bhabha, share their incredible journey from staunch opponents to enduring friends. Discover invaluable lessons on conflict resolution and turning profound personal differences into negotiation pathways.

Roelf Meyer and Mohammed Bhabha forged an unlikely friendship while working on a new constitution and the transition from apartheid at the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA). Their ability to work through deeply polarizing political, economic and social issues paved the way for cementing multiracial democracy in South Africa. After working together on CODESA, Meyer and Bhabha have facilitated the expansion of South Africa's conflict resolution model to a much more global audience, working through equally vexing international disputes in Kosovo, Rwanda, Northern Ireland, Yemen and Zimbabwe. 

At this event, Meyer and Bhabha will build off their international efforts by offering constructive advice for encouraging civic engagement between America's political parties and across our ideological divide. 

Their visit to UT is facilitated by Civic Genius, a Rochester-based NGO committed to fostering civic dialogue in the U.S., and Beyond Conflict, a Boston-based NGO with a mission of bringing together global leaders focused on fostering peace, reconciliation and transitional justice. 

Roelf Meyer is known for his role as the South African government’s chief representative in the 1993 negotiations to end apartheid and establish a democratic country. He served in the cabinet of former President Nelson Mandela, and later became secretary-general of the National Party. Meyer has consulted on peace processes in Kosovo, Myanmar, Northern Ireland and Rwanda, among others.

Mohammed Bhabha is a former Member of Parliament, attorney, and experienced negotiator. He was part of the African National Congress (ANC) team at the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA), and later as part of the agreements on the final South African Constitution. Mohammed has worked on transitional and constitutional support projects in Kenya, South Sudan, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Yemen, Palestine, Bahrain and Zimbabwe.

Monday, October 23, 2023 at 4:00pm to 5:15pm

Alumni Memorial, 210

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