Event Recaps

Iran’s environmental challenges are reaching a crisis point. Severe water and air pollution, deforestation, land degradation, desertification, climate change, and biodiversity loss are only a few of the increasing number of major environmental issues faced by Iran. These calamities have become a source of social and economic hardship, a threat to public health and a factor in mounting political protests.

On June 26, the Atlantic Council’s Future of Iran Initiative launched a new issue brief, Environmental and Wildlife Degradation in Iran, by ecologist David Laylin. The report details the breadth of these challenges and outlines steps the Islamic Republic and international partners might take to begin to remedy them.

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On June 26, the Atlantic Council’s Global Business & Economics Program, in partnership with the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), hosted a lunch roundtable discussion on US sanctions options against North Korea. The event featured Daleep Singh, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and adjunct senior fellow at CNAS; and Peter E. Harrell, adjunct senior fellow at the Energy, Economics, and Security Program at CNAS. Elizabeth Rosenberg, senior fellow and director of the Energy, Environment, and Security Program at CNAS, moderated and Ambassador Daniel Fried, distinguished fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Future Europe Initiative and Eurasia Center, gave opening remarks.
On June 25th, the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center held a half-day conference on “Towards 21st Century Energy Systems in Central & Eastern Europe,” which brought together government officials, business leaders, and experts to discuss the progression of the European Energy Union concept, the implications of the changing global liquefied natural gas (LNG) market, and the priorities of the Trump administration for Central and Eastern European energy security. It was the fourth annual edition of the conference.

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On Tuesday, June 19, the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center hosted an event titled, “Colombia’s Vote: The Road Ahead for Iván Duque.” The event brought about a rapid reaction discussion to Iván Duque’s victory over Gustavo Petro in the Colombian election held on June 17th. The speakers touched on a range of topics, including the growing polarization in Colombia, the future of the peace accords, the neighboring crisis in Venezuela, and prospects for the Colombian economy.  

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On June 13, the Atlantic Council’s Global Business & Economics Program hosted a breakfast roundtable discussion on the present and future of the European Monetary Union (EMU).

The event featured José Leandro, director of policy, strategy, coordination, and communication, directorate general for economic and financial affairs at the European Commission; and Gabriele Giudice, head of the unit on EMU deepening and macroeconomy of the Euro area, directorate general for economic and financial affairs at the European Commission. It was moderated by Bart Oosterveld, C. Boyden Gray fellow on global finance and growth and director of the Global Business & Economics Program at the Atlantic Council.
The deplorable condition of ethnic minorities in Myanmar has further deteriorated in recent years and Myanmar’s ongoing transition to democracy has been imperiled by ethnic conflict, pervasive religious discrimination, and other recurrent human rights abuses.

Once a thriving hub for trade and a major agricultural producer, the State of Rakhine in western Myanmar has more recently become better known as a crucible for an ongoing humanitarian, security, and developmental crisis. Violence between majority Buddhists and minority Rohingya Muslims -- who speak a distinct Bengali dialect and have lived in Rakhine for generations -- has led to an estimated one million Rohingya fleeing west for the comparative safety of Cox’s Bazar, in eastern Bangladesh, the vast majority of whom are women and children. In a campaign of sexual violence, arson, and mass murder waged by the Burmese military, or Tatamadaw, the number of Rohingya killed is currently unknown.

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On June 12 2018, the Atlantic Council’s Northern Europe Office and the Swedish Armed Forces arranged the third international high-level, full-day conference on Baltic Sea Security in Stockholm, with the theme Merging perspectives in Northern Europe. Previous conferences took place in 2013 and 2015 respectively. Since 2013, a lot has happened, with a deteriorated situation in the region due to Russian aggression, and a range of national and international responses in order to handle the security challenges that have emerged.

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On Friday, June 8, the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center, in collaboration with the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), hosted a discussion on USHMM’s new report: Regions at Risk: Preventing Mass Atrocities in Mali. The event featured the report’s authors, Mr. Ibrahim Yahaya Ibrahim, early warning fellow with USHMM, and Ms. Mollie Zapata, research associate with the Simon-Skjodt Center at the USHMM, with The Honorable Karim Keïta, chairman of the National Commission for Defense, Security, and Civil Protection of the National Assembly of the Republic of Mali, responding to their presentation.

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As presidential elections in Mexico approach, candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador reached a new high of 48.12% voter support, according to a poll published on June 3rd by El Pais/Oraculus. Without runoff elections in Mexico, it is unlikely that José Antonio Meade’s coalition Todos por Mexico or Ricardo Anaya’s Por Mexico al Frente could effectively challenge AMLO’s lead. Continuing our series with advisers to Mexico’s top presidential candidates, the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, in collaboration with the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, hosted Carlos Manuel Urzúa Macías, adviser to AMLO.

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On June 5, the Atlantic Council Northern Europe Office in Stockholm, in cooperation with Allmänna Försvarsföreningen (AFF), organized a morning seminar with Alexander Vershbow, Distinguished Fellow at the Atlantic Council and former Deputy Secretary General of NATO.

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