WASHINGTON, DC – The Atlantic Council and Munich Security Conference (MSC) today announced a strategic partnership to bolster the transatlantic alliance and rules-based international order.

“In an era of growing political and economic uncertainty and new great power competition, it is imperative that we combine forces to defend and advance the values of democracy, rule of law, open markets and cooperation among like-minded allies,” said Frederick Kempe, Atlantic Council President and CEO. “Thus we are delighted to partner with the Munich Security Conference to galvanize support for transatlantic alliance, which has been the bedrock of peace and prosperity over the last seventy years.”

“The international order largely shaped and upheld by the liberal democracies in North America and Europe is under unprecedented pressure – from without and from within. In times like these, like-minded partners have to stand together,” said Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, Chairman of the Munich Security Conference. “Thus, I am very grateful that the Munich Security Conference and the Atlantic Council are strengthening their partnership to reinforce the transatlantic bond.”

The new strategic partnership, to formally launch at the 2019 Munich Security Conference on February 15-17, aims to: diversify participation and perspectives at existing Atlantic Council and MSC programming; integrate each other’s expertise and thought leadership into our research and analysis; and build innovative formats and activities to reach new audiences, foster fresh dialogue, and maximize our impact.

Specifically, the Atlantic Council will promote wider American participation in MSC programming across Europe, and stronger German and European perspectives in Atlantic Council programming. Our strategic partnership will inspire new convenings in Germany and the United States. to create new fora for problem-solving among a shared and broad base of decisionmakers and thought leaders.

Building on the success of NATO Engages: The Brussels Summit Dialogue, the Atlantic Council and MSC, along with The German Marshall Fund and other partners, will join forces to host the NATO Engages townhall in Washington DC on April 3 in celebration of the 70th anniversary of NATO. Allied foreign ministers will convene in Washington, DC to commemorate achievements over the last seven decades, address the challenges facing the alliance today, and highlight its enduring value and mission moving forward.

About the Atlantic Council
Driven by our mission of working together to secure the future, the Atlantic Council promotes constructive leadership and engagement in international affairs based on the Atlantic Community's central role in meeting global challenges. The Council provides an essential forum for navigating the dramatic economic and political changes defining the twenty-first century by informing and galvanizing its uniquely influential network of global leaders. Through the papers we write, the ideas we generate, and the communities we build, the Council shapes policy choices and strategies to create a more secure and prosperous world.

About the Munich Security Conference
Over the course of the past five decades, the Munich Security Conference (MSC) has developed into the world’s leading forum for the debate of international security policy. Each February, it brings together more than 450 senior decision-makers and thought-leaders from around the world to engage in an intensive debate on current and future challenges. Repeatedly rated as the “Best Think Tank Conference” in the world, the MSC provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity to discuss policy at the highest level in a protected and informal space.

For questions, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 1-202-778-4993.
Former leaders from democratic nations call for renewed effort to defend shared values and push back against authoritarianism and anti-democratic trends

WASHINGTON, DC – Amidst the rising tide of authoritarianism and anti-democratic trends around the world, a prestigious group of bipartisan former leaders from democratic nations today issued a Declaration of Principles aimed at reaffirming shared values and a rules-based order.

Among those leading this effort are former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bidlt, and former Japanese foreign minister Yoriko Kawaguchi, co-chairs of a global bipartisan task force organized under the auspices of the Atlantic Council and Canada’s Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI).

“For the past seven decades, free nations have drawn upon the shared values to advance freedom, increase prosperity, and secure peace,” said Albright. It’s time for citizens around the world who care about these values to stand up and make their voices heard. We need to make clear what we stand for and what kind of world we want to live in.”

“The goal is to reaffirm support for the principles that have been at the foundation of the international order since the end of World War II: democracy; free, fair, and open markets; and the rule of law,” said Bildt. “We cannot sit idly by while autocrats and demagogues undermine these core principles.”

The declaration will be released at the Munich Security Conference this weekend. Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and several other world leaders will be in attendance, along with a large US congressional delegation.

Task force members David Miliband, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Tzipi Livni, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Wolfgang Ischinger, Ana Palacio, and Radek Sikorski will also be in Munich for the launch of the Declaration. The task force represents leading democracies around the world, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Tunisia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The release of the declaration marks the beginning of an organized effort led by the Atlantic Council and CIGI to revitalize a rules-based order and rebuild public support in favor of democracy, open markets, and alliances. A key priority will be to engage influential members of Congress and parliamentarians in leading democracies and encourage concrete actions to secure and defend a rules-based order. At the same time, the Council will seek to establish a dialogue among a broader group of world powers to identify areas of agreement in support of a stable global order.

The Declaration of Principles for Freedom, Prosperity, and Peace is available online here. A backgrounder is available here.

For questions, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 202-778-0648.

On Thursday, February 14, His Excellency Iván Duque Márquez, President of the Republic of Colombia, discussed Colombia’s ambitious agenda for transitional justice, economic reform, and regional leadership. Duque, who was sworn in as president of Colombia in August 2018, was interviewed by CNBC Contributor Michelle Caruso-Cabrera. The Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center at the Atlantic Council hosted the event in conjunction with CSIS, AS/COA, the Inter-American Dialogue, and the Wilson Center. President Duque covered a wide array of topics, including: 

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Iran forty years after its Islamic revolution is facing a grave economic crisis and growing popular discontent. It continues to commit acts that deepen its isolation even as it benefits from the mistakes of its adversaries. US sanctions are more punishing than anticipated but will probably not cause Iran to alter policies of greatest concern to Washington, such as regional interventions and ballistic missile development, and are instead strengthening hardline elements as Iran approaches a key political transition. Meanwhile, society has already undergone a cultural counter-revolution that aging ayatollahs cannot reverse.

These were among the insights gleaned from a day-long conference at the Atlantic Council on February 12. Organized in conjunction with the Center for Strategic & Diplomatic Studies at the University of South Florida, it brought together veteran scholars and up and coming experts with recent field experience in Iran. Many of the speakers also wrote blog posts, which were collected on our IranSource site.

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