past event
World Affairs

Aspen Ministers Forum Session XVIII (June 2015)

Thanks to the generosity of the Bertelsmann Stiftung, Robert Bosch Stiftung, Stiftung Mercator, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, twenty former foreign ministers gathered in Berlin, Germany from June 24 – 27th to challenge past and current foreign policy assumptions. The group re-evaluated old, flawed assumptions and examined the evolving roles of key international players such as Russia, Germany, and Turkey. Joined by officials from the UN and NATO, the group also analyzed current assumptions that govern the decision-making of international institutions and governments. Highlights of the forum included a speech by former President of Turkey, Abdullah Gül, on the challenges facing the international community in the Middle East, and timely remarks by former Prime Minister of Greece, George A. Papandreou on the Greece-EU crisis. In response, many ministers issued a statement in support of a united European Union. Additionally, the group discussed at length the escalating humanitarian crisis in Syria. In response, Minister Lloyd Axworthy of Canada wrote an op-ed in the Winnipeg Free Press commenting on the failure to alleviate the violence in Syria. The ministers’ joint statement on this topic, a call to action directed to the entire international community, is forthcoming. Lastly, the ministers wrote to President Juan Manuel Santos to express support of the efforts underway to negotiate an end to the war in Colombia. In particular, the minisiters lauded the recent agreement to create an 11-member Truth Commission.

Event information
Wed Jun 24, 2015 - Sat Jun 27, 2015