Jair Bolsonaro was inaugurated as president of Brazil on January 1. Since taking the helm of Latin America’s largest democracy, the Bolsonaro administration has announced controversial decrees and discussed necessary reforms. The Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, in partnership with the Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI), hosted a public event on the heels of the Davos Economic Forum and just three weeks following the inauguration to discuss the next one hundred days of the new administration and the potential impacts of its policy proposals. Panelists included Fabio Kanczuk, executive director for Brazil at the World Bank, newly appointed by the Brazilian administration; Dr. José Pio Borges, chair of the board of trustees for CEBRI; and Pablo Bentes, managing director for international trade and investment at Steptoe and Johnson, LLC.
Last week, Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro was sworn in for his second term following last year’s fraudulent electoral process. Despite international condemnation and rising domestic pressure, Maduro is unwilling to relegate his hold on the country. On January 9, the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center launched an infographic and hosted a conference call with the new leadership of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, president of the National Assembly and Stalin González, second vice president, to provide insights on the opposition’s strategy to counter Maduro’s power frenzy.
Guest moderator John Paul Rathbone, the Financial Times Latin America editor, started the conversation with Juan Guaidó by asking about the upcoming actions the opposition will take to initiate a democratic transition in Venezuela. President Guaidó, stressed the severity of current political conditions and future challenges the National Assembly will face – being this the only recognized democratic institution. Guaidó declared the National Assembly’s mission is to make “this usurpation of power cease.”
On Wednesday, January 9th, the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center hosted a reception commemorating the Ten-Year anniversary of the Center. The occasion was marked by a ceremony honoring Shuja Nawaz, founding director of the South Asia Center and current Distinguished Fellow.
Bharath Gopalaswamy, Director of the South Asia Center, began the ceremony with welcoming remarks. Damon Wilson, Executive Vice President of the Atlantic Council, then offered his comments commemorating the tenth anniversary of the center and honoring Mr. Nawaz. The pair presented Mr. Nawaz with a token of appreciation for his substantial contributions to the South Asia Center as both a former director and current Distinguished Fellow.
The ceremony closed with a brief address by Shuja Nawaz, who expressed his continued optimism in the future of South Asia. As Mr. Nawaz reflected on the work of the South Asia Center, he noted the extensive track record of the Center facilitating Track-II Diplomacy between countries of the greater South Asia region, creating ground breaking scholarship, and fostering new initiatives to promote interconnectivity between the U.S. and South Asia. In a region so often defined by uncertainty, Mr. Nawaz praised the South Asia Center’s efforts to change this narrative and expressed his continued confidence in the Center’s ability to carry on the mission of “waging peace.”
On January 10 2019, the Atlantic Council’s Global Business and Economics Program hosted European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström, as she visited Washington, DC for negotiations with US counterparts. The event is part of the Global Business & Economic Program's EuroGrowth Initiative.
On December 19th, the Atlantic Council IN TURKEY and the World Energy Council Turkey convened a high-level event on the outlook for renewable energy investment in Turkey. The half-day event, which featured a diverse set of international experts and energy sector leaders, was focused on taking stock of Turkey’s experience to-date in deploying renewable energy, the efficacy and future evolution of policy frameworks, as well as new technologies and energy sector paradigms that are emerging around the world and how Turkey can best harness them to accelerate its energy transition.
This recap originally appeared in The New Atlanticist.
The eventual goal of the mainly-Kurdish Syrian Defense Forces (SDF) should be “to become part of the fabric of a changed Syrian society,” US Special Representative for Syria James Jeffrey said at the Atlantic Council in Washington on December 17. Distancing the United States from the prospect of supporting SDF or other Kurdish groups as autonomous from a future Syrian government, Jeffrey said “we do not have permanent relationships with substate entities. That is not the policy of this administration and has not been the policy of other administrations.”
On December 11, 2018, the Atlantic Council Northern Europe Office and the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, in collaboration with the Latvian Embassy in Sweden, organized a high-level, public international conference on ’The European Defence and Security Dimension in Northern Europe’. The conference brought together policy experts, academic researchers, representatives of government and organizations and media from a significant number of countries.
On December 6 the Atlantic Council Northern Europe Office, in cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Stockholm, organized a seminar titled ”NATO at 70: How to Navigate in A Turbulent World”. The seminar was attended by experts representing both Swedish governmental institutions, the Stockholm diplomatic corps, and think-tanks.