Leaders From Atlantic Basin & Beyond Meet in Morocco for “Atlantic Dialogues”
* “The future is yours,” emerging young leaders from across the region are told, as three-day 2013 ‘Atlantic Dialogues’ wraps up in Rabat — Click on links below to view full sessions of issue forums *
MOTM — From October 25-27, more than 400 high-level public and private-sector leaders from 52 countries bordering the Atlantic basin and beyond came together in Rabat, Morocco for the annual “Atlantic Dialogues” global issue forum.
Hosted by the German Marshall Fund and OCP Foundation and Policy Center, under the sponsorship of King Mohammed VI — the 2013 Dialogues provided an engaging, interactive platform for expert panelists and international leaders to explore new insights and solutions to the critical challenges facing the world.
“We need to think strategically about the region,” said Mbarka Bouaida, Morocco’s new Minister Delegate for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, in remarks opening the conference. The north and south Atlantic region, she said, is witnessing the emergence of new economies and a stronger transatlantic marketplace, which is also bringing about large-scale changes to the African continent.
Morocco, she underscored, is “a bridge between the world and the African continent,” and continues to expand its efforts to advance “a new era of shared prosperity in Africa.”
She emphasized that “we need to reach out to our Atlantic partners” and “work together to strengthen the link between the Atlantic countries, and address the various challenges” facing the region across a wide range of issues.
DAY ONE of the three-day conference began with an introduction and discussion on the theme of “Atlantic Connectivity.”
The dialogue then moved to the human side of the rapid changes taking place in the Atlantic region, in a panel on “Atlantic Societies: Growth, Change, and Adaptation.”
DAY TWO began with a panel on “Regional Security in Africa,” in which Amanda J. Dory, Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, US Department of Defense, warned of the “poisonous mix” of transnational terrorism seeking to “take advantage of local grievances.”
She concluded that “It takes a network to fight a network,” and urged increased regional cooperation as well as development to fight the growing cross-border security problem.
The discussion then moved to “Planes, Cranes, and Lanes: Infrastructure Challenges in Atlantic Cities” to meet the rapid pace of development changes and needs in the region.
A panel on “Geographic and Technical Energy Innovations” focused on both traditional and renewable energy sources that countries are developing to meet their energy needs, as well as the importance of action on climate change, to which panelist and US Senator Chris Murphy (CT) underscored, “the world can’t wait!”
The conference then turned to the prospects and potential for expanding economic ties and commerce in the region, in a panel on “Shifting Trade Winds: Outlook and Atlantic Consequences.”
DAY THREE addressed international responses to the use of chemical weapons and genocide in a forum entitled, “Red Lines and their Consequences,” which included the UN’s Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide.
It then turned to “Health Challenges in Africa and the Way Forward,” with experts from the UN and Centers for Disease Control.
Another Sunday panel focused on “Managing Disruptions in the Atlantic Space,” including Dr. Jane Holl Lute, Former Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The 2013 Atlantic Dialogues wrapped up with a forum on emerging young leadership in the region, in a panel on “New Voices from an Old Sea.”
In closing comments, German Marshall Fund President Craig Kennedy remarked on the high quality of the discussions, speakers, intellectual content, and exchanges.
OCP Foundation President Mostafa Terrab expressed praise for the greater role played by emerging young leaders in this year’s Atlantic Dialogues.
“The future is yours,” he said.
Photos: Courtesy Atlantic Dialogues
* For the full schedule of 2013 Atlantic Dialogues panelists and participants, go to: http://www.atlanticdialogues.org/agenda-details/2013-themes/