Past Event

International Cooperation for a Changed World

Tuesday, July 15 - Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Heads of international organizations and foreign policy leaders from around the world met in Berlin, Germany on July 15 and 16 to discuss the future of international security and cooperation. Convened by Brookings’ Managing Global Insecurity Project (MGI) and the Bertelsmann Stiftung, the event -“Responsible Sovereignty: International Cooperation for a Changed World” – focused on the idea that all states, whatever their politics and interests, share duties to their citizens and each other in tackling common threats like terrorism, nuclear proliferation, and global climate change.

The Berlin meeting convened by Strobe Talbott, Brookings President; EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana; Wolfgang Ischinger, Chairman of the Munich Security Conference; and Gunther Thielen, Chairman and Chief Executive of the Bertlesmann Foundation.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier; U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon; and Rajendra Pachauri, Nobel Peace Prize winner and Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change opened the event. Notable international officials and other participants included Mohamed El Baradei, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency; former Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin; former Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov; former Indian Foreign Minister Lalit Mansingh; and former U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata. Also present were Francis Deng, Ban Ki-moon’s Special Advisor for the Prevention of Genocide and the originator of the idea of Responsible Sovereignty in the 1990s.

Also in attendance were the co-directors of the Managing Global Insecurity Project, Brookings Vice President and Director for Foreign Policy Ambassador Carlos Pascual; Steve Stedman of Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation and Bruce Jones of the New York University Center on International Cooperation. The Berlin meeting was the capstone conference for the MGI advisory group – made up of U.S. Bipartisan and international leaders.

Participants discussed a framework for a new era of security cooperation as well as the revitalization of the United Nations and other international institutions after nearly a decade of under-investment and discord. These concepts reflect the fact that, in spite significant political differences, a consensus is emerging among major powers on the need for sustained and predictable cooperation – a view also shared by the current U.S. presidential candidates.

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