Dr. Elizabeth Solomon describes herself as a Change Agent. Her work with The United Nations has taken her to some of the worst and most protracted conflicts in the world such as in Kosovo, Bosnia and Somalia, a journey that honed her skills as a conflict prevention and peacebuilding expert. Her work on human rights and development has been in Guyana, Brazil and India. After almost twenty years in peacebuilding she returned home to Trinidad and Tobago. She is a member of the Mediation Board and the Executive Director of the Caribbean Centre for Human Rights.
Elizabeth opened her presentation on conflict resolution with a video showing the recent civil disturbance in east Port of Spain. She noted that Trinidad's situation is unique and complex, with violence resulting from organised economic crimes as well as from anger due to social inequality.  The state has lost its role in the gang communities and our police are not trained to deal with civil riots. We must acknowledge the important role of the media in building trust in public institutions, rather than sensationalizing events.  She gave us a sobering insight into the difficult life of those living in Trinidad's hotspots, advocating mediation as a means to create an "equal" environment whereby both parties can be heard.  She assured us that there are ongoing talks with international experts to address these problems.  This was a timely discussion to mark Peace and Conflict Prevention/Resolution month.