» Overcoming challenges together for a better future for Europe
19.09.2016 - ODG

Overcoming challenges together for a better future for Europe

© UNESCO/Bob Krasner

On 19 September, the UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova participated in the 2016 Concordia Summit, intervening in the session on “the future of Europe.”

"Building inclusive diverse societies is a work of daily commitment, requiring engagement at every level," said Irina Bokova. "This is all the more important in Europe today."

Every year, the Concordia Summit convenes the world’s most prominent business, government, and non-profit leaders to enable effective partnerships for impact. 

Thought leaders and innovators gather at this global affairs forum to examine the world’s most pressing challenges and identify avenues for collaboration. 

The session on the “the future of Europe” was chaired by Damon Wilson, Executive Vice President of Atlantic Council. 

The discussion explored the recent stresses facing the European continent, from the burgeoning refugee crisis to the rise of populist parties to the impending exit of Britain from the European Union.

"Europe remains a model for societies across the world for managing diversity on the basis of shared values," said Irina Bokova. "This calls for a new focus on global citizenship, solidarity and democratic practices, especially for young people."

The discussion centered on the need to defend the liberal rules-based order on the continent from challenges inside Europe and from pressures outside. This requires a new engagement by all, for young people especially, to craft and advance a new vision of Europe to which all may adhere and which provides a new sense of optimism and shared destiny. 

The discussion featured a conversation that included a wide range of speakers – including Frans Timmermans, Vice President, Marietje Schaake, Member, European Parliament, H.E. Boris Tadic, Former President of Serbia, Hon. Katherine Yushchenko, former First Lady, Ukraine & Board of Trustees Member, the Nizami Ganjavi International Center, Professor Spyridon Flogaitis, Director of the EPLO and President, EPLO Board of Directors, Giuliano Amato, Judge, Italian Constitutional Court, H.E. Vuk Jeremić, President, Center for International Relations and Sustainable Development, Richard Wike, Director, Global Attitudes Research, Pew Research Center, H.E. José Manuel Durão Barroso, Former President, European Commission, Ambassador Paula J. Dobriansky, Former Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs & President's Special Envoy to Northern Ireland, H.E. Petar Stoyanov, President of Bulgaria 1997-2002 & Member, Board of Trustees of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center, H.E. Zlatko Lagumdzija, Former Prime Minister, Bosnia and Herzegovina 2001-2002, Ambassador Yossi Gal, Former Israeli Ambassador to France, Monaco, the United States, and the Netherlands, Sally Painter, Chief Operating Officer, Blue Star Strategies, Natalia Gherman, former Foreign Minister of Moldova, and  Frederick Kempe, President & CEO, Atlantic Council.

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