Welcome and Opening

Frederick Kempe,
President and CEO,
Atlantic Council

Michal Kobosko,
Director, Poland Office,
Atlantic Council

Location: Notovel Warszawa Centrum, Warsaw, Poland

Time: 12:00 p.m. LOCAL
Date: Thursday, July 7, 2016

Transcript By
Superior Transcriptions LLC

MICHAL KOBOSKO: I think we are ready to start. Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Michal Kobosko. I’m the head of the Atlantic Council Poland Office, based here in Warsaw. Before I deliver my three-hour speech – opening speech – (laughter) – let me welcome our special guests today. Madam Secretary Madeleine Albright. Please welcome Madam Secretary. (Applause.) Former Prime Minister of Sweden Carl Bildt. (Applause.)

Dear future leaders, ladies and gentlemen, hello. Welcome to Warsaw, welcome to the host city of the 2016 NATO summit, and welcome to the host city of the Atlantic Council conference, Security Beyond Defense. In 1955, this city witnessed formation of a Cold War emblematic body, the Warsaw Pact. It took a long 61 years to wait for a full rotation of the Earth. Today, Poland is a proud and Active member of the NATO and of the European Union.

Unfortunately, not the whole of the planet rotated yet, and that is why today the allied countries are meeting in Warsaw, not only to show – to demonstrate their unity, but also to send a strong signal to all those who want to threaten our values and our liberties. Atlantic Council has been active in the region long before Russia invaded Ukraine, invaded Donbas, and before the illegal annexation of the Crimea.

We are – every year we are running – in the Polish city of Wroclaw we are running conference called the Wroclaw Global Forum. More than 500 experts, politicians, representatives of business, think tank community, NGOs are gathering together to discuss all the crucial challenges faced by the transatlantic community. We are very glad that today in Warsaw we could continue the discussions which started a few weeks ago in Wroclaw during the seventh edition of the Wroclaw Global Forum.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me mention and thank our partners. Without their support and cooperation this conference wouldn’t be able to happen. Let me thank our cornerstone sponsors, who are Bob Abernethy, Raytheon, and NATO. Our champion sponsors, Norwegian Ministry on Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defense, U.S. Mission to NATO, and Airbus. Our ally sponsors, Polish Ministry on Foreign Affairs, Global Voices, and Mr. Gokhan Gundogdu. And our supporters Unitas Risk and Mr. Radu Magdin. Thank you very much for your support.

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you all for being with us today in Warsaw. We wish you a very productive conference, a very productive forum today. Wish you a great Warsaw summit. Thank you very much. (Applause.)

And now, please welcome to the stage my boss, Fred Kempe, president and CEO of the Atlantic Council. Fred.

FREDERICK KEMPE: Thank you, Michal. And thank you for leading our operation so effectively here in Poland, and directing the Wroclaw Global Forum, our annual forum where we bring together people talking about the issues of this region and their global context.

The forum was just last month. We focused on three pillars of stability for the Euro-Atlantic community – security, prosperity, and democracy. In many ways, this approach sets the groundwork for the focus of our discussions today at Security Beyond Defense. So once again, I join Michal in welcoming everyone to Security Beyond Defense.

Security in the 21st century is multidisciplinary. It requires a comprehensive approach that leverages all the elements and national power, and the expertise of new stakeholder groups, including business, technology, media, art, and civil society communities. But what ties all this together? And in some ways, it’s pretty old fashioned. It’s the values that this alliance have for stood for all along. I recalled last night at the reception that I came here when I was 25, 26 years old, at the birth of solidarity.

And there is no doubt that our nuclear deterrence posture, there is no doubt that NATO’s strength and military credibility allowed a lot of the changes in Central and Eastern Europe to happen. But what really inspired those changes were the attractiveness of our values – the attractiveness of individual rights, of open markets, of democracy, of freedom of speech, religion, and assembly.

So we now face fractured societies, economic upheaval. We’ve passed through Brexit, or we’re passing through potentially Brexit. We’re seeing a lot of force – (audio break) – across aisles and borders to tackle our common challenges, not just in the alliance but more broadly in the liberal international order that was – that evolved after World War II.

Nefarious actors working in cyberspace and leveraging cutting-edge technologies threaten to outpace government response and law enforcement capabilities. Carl Bildt talked about the power of these new communication factors a little bit earlier today. But it’s also being used by nefarious actors. Propaganda and extremist recruitment has diffused through the media and social domains outside of the scope of the military and the reach of the government.

The title of this conference is Security Beyond Defense. We’ve been talking at the Atlantic Council about a term called dynamic stability. Our view is that the one thing that’s certain for the decades ahead is uncertainty. The one thing that’s certain is that we’re going to face a number of shocks. One month it may be something like Brexit. Another month it could be a terrorist attack in Paris or Brussels or elsewhere. So we’re talking more and more about the issue of resilience.

Resilience, dynamic stability, security beyond defense requires a comprehensive, integrated approach where public, private, and civic actors work in concert to defend against asymmetric threats that wage war on social, financial and digital fronts. The Atlantic Council has seized this challenge and has set out to create a platform here where experts and leaders from across disciplines, including business, the arts and government, from around the world, including critical regions of Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America, can share their insights with the understanding that security in the 21st century is, above all, global. And Security Beyond Defense is that platform.

We’re proud to have as chair for Security Beyond Defense three honorable and distinguished leaders who have already been introduced – former prime minister and minister of foreign affairs of Sweden, Carl Bildt, former United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and former Polish Ambassador to the United States and President of the Polish-American Freedom Foundation Jerzy Kozminski to anchor our sessions today. You’ll hear from each of them in turn throughout the course of these events.

In addition to our esteemed co-chairs, we’re going to hear from leaders from a range of different fields whose work has a direct nexus to security in the Atlantic community. We will, for example, explore the nexus between security and art, hearing from a world-renowned Afghan artist and activist, using art to mobilize citizens as a force against corruption in his country. We’ll hear about the relationship between digital media and extremism from a business and thought leader on the topic, the head of content strategy and marketing for YouTube at Google. And we’ll learn about how free and independent journalism can turn the tide in the information war by reducing the effectiveness of propaganda. And we’ll hear that from the founder of a leading independent television news service in Ukraine. And that’s only our first panel.

We’ll also dive into the nexus between economy, business, security, as well as explore the many facets of the current migration and refugee crisis. So, without further ado, I once again thank you and welcome you to security beyond defense. (Applause.)