Panels

A New Era in Transatlantic Relations

Europe is facing serious challenges, including the rise of extremism, ageing societies, economic difficulties, migration and terrorism. This situation has been exacerbated by Covid-19. At the same time, Europe is debating its future, and the role it can play in a constantly changing global environment. Challenges often come along with new opportunities. NATO’s role as the main transatlantic political consultation forum is being strengthened. A new era in transatlantic relations heralds more effective cooperation and coordination among NATO Allies, as well as between Europe and the USA. Security and trade are two areas of paramount importance for both sides. This panel will solicit the views of key personalities from both sides of the Atlantic and explore ideas to put things back in order in the new era, as well as the role Turkey can play.

Partnerships with Africa: Mutual Gains

Africa’s importance in world affairs is on the rise. The continent’s economic growth prospects are among the world’s brightest. The African Continental Free Trade Area seeks to establish a single market for the whole continent, bringing together 1.3 billion potential consumers. Such a powerhouse remains a priority focus area for Africa’s partners. Nonetheless, eradication of poverty, improvement of health infrastructure and services, promoting just, peaceful and inclusive societies, peaceful resolution of conflicts and winning the fight against terrorism remain key African priorities. This session aims to stimulate discussion on how to move forward for a more stable and prosperous Africa and what role international stakeholders can play in this ambition.

Infodemic and Fake News in the Virtual World

As the place of the digital domain in our lives grows, so does the magnitude of the threat from fake news and the infodemic. A broad understanding by the general public of the threat posed by misinformation campaigns and fake news, as well as an agreement between states, media and Big Tech companies on the way forward to effectively counter them have become a necessity. This session will assess various challenges in the digital space, including the disruptive role of infodemic.

Southern Caucasus: New Opportunities for Regional Peace and Cooperation

With the Joint Declaration between Azerbaijan, Armenia, and the Russian Federation on 9 November 2020 which ended the Second Karabakh War, there is now a new reality on the ground. This may pave the way for enduring peace and stability which will revive cooperation and build interconnectivity across the whole region. However, after three decades of conflict, the safe return of internally displaced people, substantial reconstruction, and sustainable economic and social recovery are issues that should be addressed urgently to facilitate long-term normalization. This session will address these issues, and particularly the challenge of convincing all actors in the region to work towards creating a new momentum for regional cooperation, rather than clinging on to a zero- sum-game.

Regional Cooperation in Asia

No definition of the 21st century would be complete without a reference to the rise of Asia. As an economic powerhouse, Asia’s role in an ever more integrated and mutually dependent world is continuously growing. Among other regional cooperation schemes in Asia, free trade initiatives such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) may redefine this role, with far-reaching implications for global economics and politics. This session will discuss regional cooperation, with the aim of broadening and deepening relations between Asian States, through mutual benefits and common objectives.

Humanitarian Approach Towards Refugees and Migrants

There are almost 80 million forcibly displaced persons in the world. The number of refugees, meanwhile, has also reached an unprecedented level of 26 million people. Turkey hosts the largest number of refugees in the world, with almost 4 million displaced persons living in the country. In the face of these alarming figures, effective international cooperation to protect refugees and other displaced people, managing irregular migration and avoiding donor fatigue are of paramount importance. At the same time, there is a heated debate regarding the impact of migratory flows throughout the globe. While some argue that migration bolsters diversity and contributes to the sustainable development processes, others view this issue as a challenge to host societies’ cultures and economies. This session will discuss these issues from a comprehensive perspective and explore ways and means for furthering international cooperation. 

The Middle East and North Africa: Towards a Sustainable Agenda

The Middle East and North Africa remain marked by fragilities, sanctions and artificial divisions rather than cooperation, connectivity and engagement. It is a region where power vacuums materialize, proxy wars proliferate and geopolitical rivalries dominate. Economic recovery and reconstruction also present challenges to sustainable peace and stability. This session aims to explore various options for reversing these negative trends and promoting peace, cooperative security, stability, development and welfare in the region. It will put diplomacy on the spotlight at a time when military approaches still hold their ground despite some positive steps in the right direction of dialogue.

Women’s Contribution to the Search for Peace

Any diplomatic undertaking that neglects the role of women would be incomplete. This is not only because women suffer greatly in the ongoing conflicts, as well as from terrorism and extremism. It is also because they are effective peacemakers on par with men. So how can we make sure that they are in the driving seat of the efforts for building and sustaining peace? We will not explore what is going wrong, but aim straight at action to make gender equality a reality.

Tackling Extremism and Discrimination

Populism and extremism, no longer marginal trends, are gaining global momentum. They are manipulated to mark political gains, while inflammatory rhetoric jeopardizes the well-being of societies. Rising xenophobia and Islamophobia are integrated into these trends, urgently requiring a coordinated vigilant response at all levels. These worrying patterns and means to combat them need to be tackled through a wider lens. This session will address the root causes of and remedies for extremism and discrimination.

A Regional Conference for Eastern Mediterranean

Eastern Mediterranean remains a theatre of tension, with some European Union member states and Turkey locked in disagreement over the exploitation of natural resources and maritime demarcation of Exclusive Economic Zones in 2020 and early 2021. Even though a level of de-escalation was managed over the last several months due to positive steps, the region is in urgent need of an enhanced dialogue involving all relevant actors. The Cyprus issue needs to be addressed, taking into account realities on the ground. While the parties involved remain strongly attached to their positions, the resumption of dialogue between Greece and Turkey, and more conciliatory messages between Turkey and the EU are steps in the right direction. This session will look into ways to reduce tensions in the region, and explore avenues for diplomacy conducive to cooperative solutions.

The Business Sector and Economic Diplomacy

If there was any period where businesses would be accountable solely to their shareholders, that era is certainly over. Businesses are part and parcel of global society and have responded to this role by not remaining indifferent to many problems of our age. This session will discuss how diplomacy for peace and development can better work with and benefit from the responsible contributions of businesses. In defining multi-stakeholderism for our age, the panel will explore how international business can be a greater actor for peace.

Terrorism Threat Transforming

Terrorism, in all its forms and manifestations, is a threat to international peace and security. Terrorist organizations continue to spread their hateful narratives, recruit young people and inflict enormous damages on our nations. Even the global pandemic did not deter terrorist groups from seeking new ways to continue their activities. Given its transboundary and evolving nature, countering this threat in a coordinated manner on the basis of the rule of law is crucial. Cognizant of the fact that associating terrorism with a particular religion, nation, race or ethnic group would only play into the hands of terrorist inciters and recruiters, employing a holistic strategy that addresses the root causes, propaganda and financing, is key for the success of counter-terrorism efforts. This session will discuss newly emerging terrorism-related challenges, including cyber terrorism and possible avenues of international cooperation to overcome them.

Energy: What Future Awaits Us?

A global energy transition is key to achieving the goals outlined in the Paris Agreement. To this end, sustainable energy transition towards a low carbon development pathway and achieving net-zero have become of the utmost importance in the global climate agenda. These goals require all countries to review their energy policies and develop new technologies for clean and sustainable energy. Today, the global economic recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic provides a great opportunity for a sustainable energy transition towards net-zero. In order to achieve this, governments, companies and all relevant energy stakeholders are searching for ways to ensure a diverse, sustainable, resilient and socially acceptable clean energy mix. This panel will shed light on the strategies of attaining this overarching goal.

Neighbours SEE Together: The Future of Europe

The Balkan region is redefining itself. Regional leaders are taking joint initiatives to address common challenges. New bonds and partnerships, along with trade, transportation and energy corridors, are being shaped with vast opportunities for enhancing both stability and socio- economic development. While the Covid-19 pandemic temporarily slowed down these efforts, the decade ahead augurs well for the region, as there is a growing convergence of views among Balkan countries. EU membership, however, still remains the strategic goal for some countries in the region in the short term. This session seeks to reconsider the region’s new dynamics, provide insight on additional avenues of cooperation, explore Balkan solutions to Balkan challenges, and focus on the path towards EU membership.

How Can We Increase the Efficiency of Regional Organisations?

Regional organisations bring together a number of state actors which share the same geography and are affected by similar problems. Although several high priority risks and challenges, such as the pandemic, climate change and terrorism are global in nature, can regional organisations provide an added value in finding relevant solutions to current problems? As we try to make global institutions fit for future purpose, what adaptations may be useful for regional organisations to complement them? This panel will discuss these questions in a bid to explore avenues towards the increased effectiveness of regional organisations.

Youth Forum

In today’s world, young generations are deeply interested and involved in current issues of global relevance. Thanks to their immersion into social media from an early age, young people have increased networking capabilities, dynamism, and the ability to mobilize and make their voices heard instantly. Many of them face little difficulty in attracting large audiences from all segments of society, eager to hear fresh perspectives. As representatives of the future, young people’s insights regarding peace and diplomacy matter to decision makers. This session will provide young members of society an opportunity to exchange views on issues which matter to them, and make their voices heard.