Atlantic Council Vice President and Africa Center Director Dr. J. Peter Pham introduced the president and welcomed participants.
In his remarks, President Akufo-Addo highlighted the common bonds between Ghana and the United States, insisting that the relationship should continue to receive “our full attention and support.” While addressing issues of poverty and development, President Akufo-Addo articulated his country’s commitment to democratic values, citing Ghana’s economic progress under democratically-elected governments over the past twenty-five years. The president noted that, in that time, Ghana has seen government led by one political party peacefully transfer power to administrations led by another party on three different occasions, following elections organized under the constitution.
Jason Marczak, director of the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, opened the event with a conversation with H.E. Carlos Reyes, the Colombian ambassador to the United States. Ambassador Reyes highlighted the history and the depth of the crisis in Venezuela, noting the urgent need for action by the international community.
At a Feb. 20 panel on the issue organized by the Atlantic Council’s Future of Iran Initiative, Michael Elleman, senior fellow for missile defense at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, noted that according to the 1987 Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), a missile capable of carrying a 500 kilogram warhead 300 kilometers is considered “nuclear capable.” By that definition, Elleman said, eight of 13 Iranian missiles could be considered nuclear capable. United Nations Resolution 2231, which codified the Iran nuclear deal, calls upon Iran not to test missiles “designed to be capable” of delivering nuclear weapons for eight years.
Atlantic Council Vice President and Africa Center Director Dr. J. Peter Pham welcomed participants and introduced Dr. Workneh, noting that the meeting was happening one day after the Ethiopian government freed thousands of prisoners and just hours after Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn announced his resignation.
In his remarks, Dr. Workneh gave an overview of Ethiopia’s foreign policy in a regional context, including the country’s role in the South Sudan peace process via the Intergovernmental Authority on Development. He then gave an update on the political situation in Ethiopia, remarking on the government’s agreement—amid massive popular pressure—to make substantial political reforms and allow for more inclusive, democratic governance.
On Wednesday, February 14, 2018, the Atlantic Council's EuroGrowth Initiative hosted a breakfast discussion on the changing Franco-German attitudes towards European Union (EU) economic governance.
During the discussion, each of the panel participants highlighted the opportunities and challenges facing Iraq’s energy potential. Ellen Scholl acknowledged that Iraq has achieved significant production increases in the past, but addressed the current need to create certainty for future and continuing investments. To achieve this, resource development and revenue sharing need to be considered and Iraq needs to address the unresolved political issues between the central government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government to eliminate political risk for investors. Addressing these obstacles is extremely important at a time when the country is being rebuilt, as the resources from the oil industry would be essential to those efforts.
Speaking Feb. 12 at a discussion organized by the Atlantic Council’s Future of Iran Initiative, Alireza Nader, an independent researcher on Iran and the Middle East, argued that the Iranian political and economic system is on the “verge of collapse” and mere reforms will not resolve its fundamental problems. Nader, who outlined his views in a new paper, Iran’s Uncertain Political Future, said that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani “is positioning himself” to become Iran’s Supreme Leader after the death of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, but that the powerful Revolutionary Guards would block Rouhani’s ascension.