David Wemer

  • The United Nations is in Session. Here's What to Expect.

    World leaders are descending upon New York this week to attend the 73rd session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly. The meetings give the world’s top political leaders “a chance from the General Assembly podium to address media and delegations from around the world with what they think is important,” according to James Cunningham, a nonresident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center.

    Cunningham, who is also a former US ambassador to Afghanistan and Israel, served as the acting US permanent representative to the United Nations in 2001, including on September 11, and deputy permanent representative from 1999 until 2004.

    With a litany of speeches, meetings, and the high-profile chairing of a UN Security Council (UNSC) meeting by US President Donald J. Trump, what can we expect from the world body this week?

    Read More
  • Atlantic Council Honors Global Citizens

    To Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, being a global citizen means embodying two values: “a sense of shared responsibility and shared purpose.” Speaking at the Atlantic Council’s 9th annual Global Citizen Awards dinner in New York City, Solberg argued that in the world today, as “in a village, you cannot survive without trusting your fellow people. Without joining forces in everyday life.”

    The Atlantic Council presented its Global Citizen Award to Solberg, Argentine President Mauricio Macri, Hamdi Ulukaya, founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Chobani, and the late Sen. John S. McCain.

    Frederick Kempe, president and CEO of the Atlantic Council, said in his opening remarks that “each awardee this evening embodies the leadership, commitment, and character that these challenging times demand.” Kempe added that “we hope that by recognizing these individuals, we could inspire a host of others.”

    Read More
  • Ukrainian Patriarch Warns Russia Will Exploit Split in Orthodox Church

    Patriarch Filaret, Patriarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church—Kyiv Patriarchate, is eager to get Washington’s support for the peaceful unification of two church factions, warning that Russia will use any hint of conflict as an excuse to expand its aggression in Ukraine.

    For Filaret, the church issue is a key factor in the war in eastern Ukraine. In remarks at the Atlantic Council in Washington on September 19, he warned that to stop further aggression by Moscow, “we need to stop [Russian President Vladimir] Putin at Ukraine.”

    Read More
  • Remembering Reginald Dale

    Reginald Dale, a journalist, commentator, scholar, as well as senior fellow and director of the Transatlantic Media Network at the Atlantic Council, passed away on September 13, 2018. He was 78.

    Dale spent the majority of his career as a journalist, working as an international economics, financial, and foreign affairs reporter and editor. He was a syndicated columnist for the International Herald Tribune and was the Brussels and Washington bureau chief for the Financial Times.  He founded the magazine European Affairs in Washington and was a president of the European Journalists’ Organization in Brussels.

    Read More
  • Trump’s Trade War Unlikely to End Soon

    Trump administration slaps more tariffs on Chinese imports

    The latest escalation of trade tensions between the United States and China is further proof that US President Donald J. Trump has no intention of quickly coming to an agreement over a new trade relationship with China, according to Bart Oosterveld, director of the Atlantic Council’s Global Business and Economics Program.

    “The [Trump] administration has no political or economic incentive to tone down these trade wars,” Oosterveld said.

    On September 17, the Trump administration announced 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports in an attempt to pressure China to change trade practices that the president says are hurting US businesses.

    Read More
  • At Three Seas Initiative's Bucharest Summit, Central European Leaders Seek to Transform Region

    Central European leaders gathered in Bucharest on September 17 to discuss ways in which to deepen regional economic integration and send a clear message of their desire to see the region play a greater role on the world stage.

    “We are here today [not only] because we are part of the European Union and NATO,” Polish President Andrzej Duda said, but also because “we want to be a significant player. We would like Central Europe to be a developed, well-integrated, and structured part of the Euro-Atlantic world.”

    Romanian President Klaus Iohannis hosted the third summit and first business forum of the Three Seas Initiative in Bucharest on September 17-18. The initiative brings together twelve European Union (EU) member states from the area that borders the Baltic, Adriatic, and Black Seas, to discuss common infrastructure and development programs to jumpstart the region’s economy.

    Read More
  • Putin Critic Litvinenko's Widow Says Russia Using Disinformation to Discredit Skripal Poisoning

    Russia is using the same disinformation playbook to sow doubt about the attempted assassination of Sergei Skripal and his daughter as it did in the case of Alexander Litvinenko’s death, Marina Litvinenko, the slain Russian intelligence officer’s widow, said at the Atlantic Council in Washington on September 11.

    Russian authorities are now “trying to use a case of Alexander Litvinenko to destroy the future case of Yulia and Sergei Skripal,” Marina Litvinenko said. Alexander Litvinenko died in London in November 2006 after being exposed to radioactive polonium-210, allegedly given to him in a cup of tea. Litvinenko had emigrated to the United Kingdom in 2000 after serving for almost two decades in Soviet intelligence and then eventually Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB).

    Read More
  • Assad Still Standing in Syria: What Went Wrong?

    Seven years after the first protests against Bashar al-Assad, the dictator in Damascus is not only still standing, but is reconsolidating control over most of Syria. The war has killed hundreds of thousands, sent millions of refugees streaming into neighboring countries and as far as Europe and the United States, and spun-off proxy wars that have pit the United States against regional powers and strained Washington’s relations with its allies.

    Although the United States is winding down its fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) in one of the many offshoots of the current conflict, Atlantic Council resident senior fellow Faysal Itani and Nate Rosenblatt argue that Syria represents a resounding defeat for Washington, not a victory. While other actors within and outside of Syria certainly deserve much of the blame for the conflict’s brutality and duration, “the United States was the international actor with the greatest capacity to alter events in Syria,...

    Read More
  • Seven Things You Should Know About Macedonia

    On September 8, the Republic of Macedonia celebrates its Independence Day, marking twenty-seven years since it declared independence from Yugoslavia. On September 30, citizens will vote in a referendum to ratify a name-deal with Greece, that will see the country renamed to “the Republic of North Macedonia,” hopefully ending a decades-long disagreement with Greece and paving the way for Macedonia’s accession to the European Union and NATO.

    But Macedonia is about more than NATO expansion or naming disputes. Here’s a look at this small Balkan country that is now grabbing headlines.

    Read More
  • Galileo, Galileo: London is Losing the Fight Over a Satellite Navigation System All Over Again

    Campaigners in favor of Brexit made a famous claim in 2016 that leaving the European Union (EU) would allow the United Kingdom to pour its £350-million-a-week contribution to Brussels back into the nation’s National Health Service. Now the “remainers” have their own numbers to throw around: £3 billion may be necessary to keep the United Kingdom’s access to vital technology in space. The UK government confirmed on August 29 that it is exploring the possibility of creating its own satellite navigation system—which experts say could potentially cost several billion pounds—due to growing concerns that it will be locked out of the EU’s existing system, known as Galileo, once the United Kingdom leaves the bloc next year....
    Read More