Event Recaps

On Tuesday, May 8, the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center hosted a roundtable with Mr. Bekele Gerba, deputy chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), and Mr. Eskinder Nega, prominent Ethiopian journalist and blogger. In February, both men were released from prison, having been jailed for years under the country’s anti-terrorism laws.

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On April 19, the Atlantic Council IN TURKEY, in partnership with the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD), hosted a panel titled “Changing international order and shifting geopolitics: focus on Turkey” in Istanbul. Moderated by Atlantic Council Turkey Representative Defne Sadıklar - Arslan, the panel, featuring Council of State of Spain member, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Atlantic Council Executive Board Member Ana Palacio, Atlantic Council Nonresident Senior Fellow Matthew Bryza and Kadir Has University Dean of the Faculty of Economics, Administrative and Social Sciences Mitat Çelikpala, discussed the state of world affairs in light of ongoing challenges to the liberal world order.

In recent years, the world has witnessed increasing challenges to the post-World War II liberal order. The rise of populism and questioning of multilateral institutions such as the UN and EU has coincided with the inability of multilateral institutions to address the current challenges. Panelists stressed that the rules-based international order, which brought unprecedented economic growth and stability, is under threat both within and without. The US, which spearheaded the rules-based order, is no longer interested in its maintenance; the European Union is dealing with multiple crises and growing divisions among members states; meanwhile, other actors such as Russia and China present alternative visions of order. Panelists agreed that the optimism that gripped the democratic world following the fall of the Berlin Wall has vanished, replaced with a growing uncertainty in international affairs.

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On Thursday, May 3, 2018, the Atlantic Council's Economic Sanctions Initiative hosted a private breakfast on US sanctions against Iran and the fate of the JCPOA.

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On April 25, Atlantic Council hosted a panel discussion of experts on the upcoming Iraqi parliamentary election, post-election dynamics, alliances to form a new government that may emerge, what political and constitutional reforms the next government needs to adopt, and how the election may impact US-Iraq elections. The panel featured Ambassador Feisal al-Istrabadi, Ambassador Rend al-Rahim, Dr. Harith Hasan al-Qarawee, Ambassador Ryan Crocker, and was moderated by Vivian Salama of NBC News.

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On April 18th-19th, the groundbreaking work of Dr. Ian Ralby, a senior fellow with the Global Energy Center, and co-author Dr. David Soud, was featured at the first global conference on oil and fuel theft, Oil and Fuel Theft 2018, held in Geneva, Switzerland. Over the past two years, Dr. Ralby and his team have published three major reports on the global menace of oil and fuel theft in partnership with the Atlantic Council. The most recent of these reports—Oil on the Water: Illicit Hydrocarbons Activity in the Maritime Domain—had its European launch at the event.

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A poll on presidential elections in Mexico conducted by polling firm BGC in early May and published on April 20 placed Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) with a relatively comfortable lead garnering 42 percent of voter support. Ricardo Anaya Cortés of the Por México al Frente coalition followed in second with 33 percent of the vote. As support for José Antonio Meade slips below 19 percent, many believe that Anaya stands as the only candidate with a fair chance of challenging AMLO before elections are held in less than a month. The third in a three-part conversation series with advisers to each of the top presidential candidates, Salomón Chertorivski, government program coordinator for Anaya, joined a conversation with the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, in collaboration with the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, to present and discuss the policy priorities of Anaya’s platform.

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Secretary of the Army Mark Esper provides opening remarks at the Atlantic Council, May 1, 2018.
On May 1, 2018, Mr. Steven Grundman, director of the Emerging Defense Challenges Initiative in the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, welcomed Secretary of the Army, Dr. Mark T. Esper, as a featured speaker in the Council’s Defense-Industrial Policy Series.

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On April 30, the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center hosted “Venezuela’s Humanitarian Crisis: Searching for Relief.” The event sought to explore different perspectives on what has quickly become one of most disruptive developments in the Western Hemisphere: the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. Held in Washington DC in collaboration with the regional news channel NTN24, the event explored the multiple dimensions of the crisis and its reverberations across the region, drawing on the knowledge and experience of a group of expert panelists working in the context of humanitarian situations.

Jason Marczak
, director of the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, opened the event by emphasizing the importance of sustained international attention to the crisis and of the need to move the needle forward on relief. Drawing on two polls released by the Atlantic Council, Marczak exposed the profound toll the crisis has taken on Venezuelan citizens across party lines. He provided insight on some of the most trusted institutions in the eyes of Venezuelans like the Catholic Church, outlining potential avenues for the provision of relief into the country.

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As Mexican voters grow increasingly discontent with years of corruption and unequal economic growth, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), the anti-establishment candidate in Mexico’s upcoming presidential elections, holds tightly to his lead in the polls. At a crucial moment for Mexico’s trade under NAFTA and US-Mexico relations, six years of AMLO could mark a turning point for the country’s future. But if he does not win, what can Mexico, and the world, expect from the other leading candidates? For the second in a three-part conversation series with advisers to each of the top presidential candidates, the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, in collaboration with the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, hosted Sergio Alcocer, government program coordinator for José Antonio Meade of the Todos por México coalition, for a dynamic discussion about the proposals of the presidential candidate who is currently in third place.

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On Friday, April 20, the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center launched two new policy briefs that tackle the complexities of disruptive technology and innovation in Africa. Authored by Aleksandra Gadzala, Atlantic Council senior fellow, “Fintech: Powering Inclusive Growth in Africa” seeks to help investors and policymakers better understand the waves of financial technology (fintech) innovation unfolding in sub-Saharan Africa, while “3D Printing: Shaping Africa’s Future” catalogues the experiences of countries around the world facing the challenges of widespread 3D printing adoption.

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