On September 26-27, 2008 in New York City, the Managing Global Insecurity (MGI) Project, the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) and the Brookings Institution Center on United States and Europe (CUSE) gathered representatives and experts from the United States and across Europe to discuss U.S. and European priorities for reform of the international security system.
The highly distinguished group of leaders and respected thinkers included Martti Ahtisaari, Recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and President of the Crisis Management Initiative; Kemal Dervis, Administrator of the United Nations Development Program; Joschka Fischer, Former Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor of Germany; Marc Grossman, Former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs; and MGI Advisory Group Members James Wolfensohn, Former President of the World Bank and Javier Solana, European Union High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy.
The discussions focused on generating a concerted international response to the global financial crisis, fostering more effective international cooperation for a stable Afghanistan and for resolution of the Iranian nuclear crisis, and forging a common strategy for relations with Russia.
The meeting concluded that the United States and Europe must work to align their priorities and to invest in the international system. As offered in the recommendations of the Managing Global Insecurity project, the partnership must focus on four tracks of action: 1) restoring credible U.S. leadership, 2) revitalizing international institutions to enhance legitimacy and effectiveness, 3) creating strategies and capacity to tackle shared threats, and 4) internationalizing crisis response.
The rich debate touched on many on issues that will figure centrally on the agenda of a new American President in 2009, as he builds vital relationships with Europe and the rest of the world.