Event Recaps

On April 29, the Atlantic Council hosted its Annual Awards Dinner, celebrating two historic dates in transatlantic relations: the 60th anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

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Speaking before a full house at the 2009 Warsaw Transatlantic Forum, NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer called for enhancing regional cooperation in Afghanistan in order to counter the Taliban insurgency. Noting the central role of Pakistan in the conflict, he urged for improving security and development in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

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Kerry and Hagel Unveil Atlantic Council

On Wednesday, February 25, Senator John Kerry and former Senator and Atlantic Council Chairman Chuck Hagel unveiled Needed: A Comprehensive U.S. Policy Towards Pakistan, the report of the Atlantic Council's Pakistan Task Force, at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee room.  Kerry and Hagel both served as co-chairs of the Task Force.

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Dr. Henry Kissinger delivered the Atlantic Council’s third annual Christopher J. Makins Lecture on transatlantic relations tonight. The event was hosted by the UK Ambassador, H.E. Sir Nigel Sheinwald, KCMG.

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The Young Atlanticist Network held a live international videoconference with students in Egypt and Morocco on the issue of engagin Iran in public diplomacy. The event was co-hosted with Americans for Informed Democracy at the Atlantic Council's offices in Washington, D.C., and also involved students from Colombia University in New York. Discussion topics included cultural perceptions and misperceptions as well as other pressing issues between the two communities.

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Dr. Thomas Fingar, the Chairman of the National Intelligence Council (NIC), discussed the new report "Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World."  The report analyzes the global situation 15 to 20 years in the future, touching on international security, political and social trends, globalization, and other transnational issues. 

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His Excellency Radoslaw Sikorski, the Polish Foreign Minister, spoke today at the Atlantic Council as part of the Council's Global Leadership Series.  He praised continuing U.S.-Polish cooperation and solidarity, noting Poland's "traditional affinity" for the U.S.

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In a luncheon hosted by the Atlantic Council at the offices of Chadbourne & Parke LLP in New York, President Viktor Yushchenko spoke about the challenges facing Ukraine in the wake of the Georgian crisis. Along with fellow dignitaries and guests, Mr. Yushchenko also spoke about Ukrainian-Russian relations and the domestic political situation facing Ukraine.

Mr. Yushchenko, who is in New York ahead of the UN General Assembly's 63rd annual high-level debate, talked at length about the challenges facing Ukraine and stressed his desire for further integration with Europe and NATO following the collapse of the ruling coalition last week. The president's visit comes at a turning-point for Ukraine, where political divisions over Georgia, Russia and the Black Sea Fleet have been put  into sharp focus in recent weeks.

President Saakashvili of Georgia also spoke at an event hosted by the Council in wake of the Russian invasion last month.

This event was generously hosted by Chadbourne & Park LLP

Notable Guests and Dignitaries

  • H.E. Victor Yushchenko - President of Ukraine
  • H.E. Oleh Shamsur - Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States
  • William G. Miller - Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine
  • George Pataki - Former Governor of New York
  • Robert Thomson - Managing Editor, Wall Street Journal
  • Chrystia Freeland - Managing Editor, Financial Times

Related Commentary on New Atlanticist Blog

The Atlantic Council of the United States celebrated its 2008 Awards Dinner, honoring former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, News Corporation Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch, and Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for Distinguished International, Business, and Military Leadership respectively, on Monday, April 21st, at the Ritz Carlton in Washington, D.C.  This year the Atlantic Council also presented its first ever Award for Distinguished Artistic Leadership to Russian piano virtuoso Evgeny Kissin.  The honorees delivered remarks, and Evgeny Kissin gave a special performance.

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As world leaders met this April for the largest NATO summit in Alliance history, future leaders from across the Euro-Atlantic region and Afghanistan convened in Bucharest to grapple with the major security issues facing the Atlantic Community today and to launch an innovative on-line community – the Young Atlanticist Network.  The Young Atlanticist Summit, held in conjunction with the official NATO Summit, brought together over 120 students and young professionals representing NATO and Partnership for Peace countries, as well as top students from the University of Kabul. They had an extraordinary opportunity to meet directly with national and Alliance decision-makers and to build consensus on critical issues in the Alliance. Delegates at the Young Atlanticist Summit issued statements addressing the Alliance role in energy security , the controversy over the Macedonian name , and mechanisms for building closer relations between Alliance and Afghan publics.

The Young Atlanticists discussed current Alliance priorities and challenges with a wide range of leaders, including Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, Supreme Allied Commander General John Craddock, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, U.S. President George W. Bush, Dutch PM Jan Peter Balkenende, Albanian PM Sali Berisha, Estonian President Toomas Ilves, U.K. Foreign Secretary David Miliband, and U.S. First Lady Laura Bush. Romanian Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu and President Traian Basescu also met with the group, the latter at the official summit's North Atlantic Council table.

Reaching out through the first ever videoconference
link with the University of Kabul, the Young Atlanticists learned about the many challenges affecting the security of that country and heard Afghan perspectives on the type of assistance most needed by Kabul.  At the end of the Young Atlanticist Summit, a joint declaration was issued calling for the creation of a network of Afghan youth that could be linked to the Youth Atlantic Treaty Association network in order to strengthen links between civil societies.

When the official NATO summit failed to invite FYR Macedonia to join the Alliance because of Greek objections to the name Republic of Macedonia, the Young Atlanticist delegates rallied to find a solution.  During a day of intensive talks, Greek and Macedonian delegates stressed the common Euro-Atlantic perspective shared by their countries and announced their plans to initiate a combined working group of the Greek and Macedonian YATAs to promote joint activities, including further discussion of the name issue.

The Young Atlanticists also participated in a model NATO simulation, each acting as their national delegation as NATO struggled to define its policy toward energy security in the midst of a crisis.  The lively debates brought together the different perspectives of 35 nations, but also led to a forward-looking communique that identified NATO's role in key areas.

Driven by a dynamic website featuring live-blogging and videos by young journalists, the Young Atlanticist Summit laid the groundwork for the launch of a major new initiative – the Young Atlanticist Network.  Designed to promote consensus and leadership, this network will provide a permanent on-line forum for Summit participants and other future leaders to exchange views, engage with world leaders, and stay in contact for years to come.

The Young Atlanticist Summit was organized under the leadership of the Atlantic Council of the United States and the Euro-Atlantic Council of Romania, in association with the Youth Atlantic Treaty Association and the Atlantic Treaty Association. It updates the tradition of the highly successful youth summits organized in Istanbul (2004) and Prague (2002), which each brought together 200 young leaders from NATO and PfP countries.  The Young Atlanticist Summit was hosted by the Romanian Intelligence Service [logo and link] and was made possible through the generous support of its sponsors, including Boeing, which is a founding sponsor of the Young Atlanticist Network, and NATO's Public Diplomacy Division, as well as others.