The Bled Strategic Forum
10 to 11 September 2018, Bled
The Bled Strategic Forum has established a considerable reputation since it was first held in 2006 and has evolved into a leading international conference, beyond the borders of Central and South Eastern Europe, bringing together a diverse set of participants, including heads of state and government, ministers, diplomats, businesspeople, scholars, experts, youth and media from around the world. The Forum wants participants to think outside the box and to develop practical solutions to the most pressing regional and global challenges through discussion and meaningful interaction. At the same time, it offers an excellent opportunity to meet and network with prominent regional and global actors from the spheres of diplomacy, politics, business, science and innovation.
Despite significant advances in technology and enhanced interconnectivity, we still do not share a common understanding of the world in which we live. The array of tools at our disposal to engage in effective, inclusive and transparent dialogue is greater than ever before in the history of humankind. And even though many parts of the world enjoy new scientific advances, learning techniques, frameworks for cooperation and dialogue and ways to communicate, this increased access to information has still not resulted in greater homogeneity and harmony.The topics of the Bled Strategic Forum 2018 were dedicated to overcoming some of these traditional perceptions and searching for common ground, thus contributing to a prosperous and sustainable future for everyone. How do we distinguish a fact from a perception or a myth? How do we bridge the divide?
Read the Bled Strategic Times Article on the GDL here.
GDL Members held the following sessions:
Chi Nguyen held a Night Owl Session on: Achieving Gender Equality Today, 10 September 2018
Almost everyone is talking about gender equality these days. The #MeToo movement, the then prominent G7 discussions and SDG5 brought into focus the need for gender equality. Numerous questions regarding gender equality have yet to be tackled and discussed in public. What’s missing from the global efforts to achieve gender equality? What can be done to make this an issue for everyone? How do we deal with the competing backlash/perceived threat to masculinity? This session explored how unusual players can take up the challenge of gender equality, examine the risks and challenges to the feminist movement and discussed how we lead cultural and social change.
Colette Mazzucelli joined as a Panelist in the Panel: European Union: What Keeps Us United, 11 September 2018
In recent years, the EU has been facing significant challenges, which have lifted the veil of its unity, revealing its internal fragmentation. Sometimes, the Union seems to be criss-crossed with divisive lines running from West to East, from the centre to the periphery, and from North to South, making it seem like a variable-geometry Union. However, despite the reality of sometimes diverging interests which arise from different historical, demographic, geopolitical and economic backgrounds, interdependence remains a key underpinning element of the EU’s daily reality. The key principle of managing our mutual dependence has been, or should be, solidarity, as proven from the outset of the integration process. In the light of shared and recently unprecedented challenges, European leaders have reconfirmed the need for unity between Member States; however, the approaches to finding solutions appear to differ. The EU panel will seek to discover what unites us, how we are bridging the existing gaps and divisions within the EU, and how we will ensure that we maintain our unity.“
Eirliani Abdul Rahman held a Book Reading on the book: Survivors: Breaking the Silence on Child Sexual Abuse, 11 September 2018
Levels of trust in institutions vary across time and cultures. The 2018 Edelman TRUST BAROMETER, which measures trust across a number of institutions, sectors and geographies, reveals a world of seemingly stagnant distrust in business, government, NGOs and the media. However, trust in institutions is one of the most critical elements of healthy societies, as it matters for their legitimacy, well-being and, ultimately, stability. This is particularly relevant in periods of economic, political and social instability, when credible institutions are mandated to absorb shock waves. Therefore, the participatory panel seeked to discuss the root causes of people’s declining trust in well-established and alternative institutions and shared experiences of how this challenge is addressed in various regions and at different levels. It also explored alternative ways of regaining trust and enhancing public engagement with institutions to bridge the gap between people and institutions.
Mome Saleem held a session on: Climate Change and Security Dynamics, 11 September 2018
Climate change has multifaceted implications for planet like disasters, depleting livelihood opportunities, extinction of species etc. Impacts of climate change are certain and can already be seen with the unprecedented, recurrent and intense disasters around the world in the recent past e.g. floods, heat waves in Europe, cyclones in the coastal areas etc. It is expected that the severity and magnitude of these disasters will increase manifold in coming years hence altering the environmental, social, and economic fabric of the nations (IPCC 2007). It will lead to degradation of natural resources and reduced opportunities for livelihoods hence leading to alternate sources and strategies for livelihoods (Foresight 2011). Although subject has been extensively studied in the context of development, energy, disasters etc. but one important area “Security” could not attract the required attention. Climate change has sever implication for security at national, regional and global level. It can trigger conflicts, unrest and even wars. Major reasons of these conflicts would be depleting resources, which will trigger competition, and ultimately it will be culminated into conflicts or wars. In 2003, Dr Adil Najam developed a matrix to highlight the mode of implication of climate and environment on security. He argued that to understand the dynamics of environmental implications on security, we need to redefine the security policy. We have to analyze the security through the lenses of human security (Najam, A. 2003).
Chi Nguyen is the Ontario Liberal Party candidate for Spadina Fort-York. Chi will be running in the upcoming provincial election in 2022, with the goal to represent the area where she grew up in the Ontario Legislative Assembly.
Previously, she served as the Managing Director at Parker P. Consulting, a social enterprise consulting firm owned by White Ribbon. White Ribbon is the world’s largest movement of men and boys working to end violence against women and girls, promote gender equity, healthy relationships and a new vision of masculinity.
Ms. Nguyen has been recognised for her contributions to improving the lives of women and girls throughout Canada by the Governor General (2004) and the YWCA (1999). These efforts included running a national Young Women Vote campaign, the creation of the McGill Women in House program and co-authoring the “Little Black Book for Girls”.
She serves on the advisory of Jane’s Walk, a global movement of citizen-based walks that connect people with their own stories about their communities.
In her free time, she likes to race streetcars on her bicycle, eat delicious food, run and quilt.
Eirliani is a student in the doctoral program in public health at Harvard University where she is a Prajna Leadership and Julio Frenk DrPH Fellow. She is a co-founder of YAKIN (Youth, Adult Survivors & Kin In Need), an NGO working in the field of child rights and child protection issues, a Chatham House Member
a Red Dot Foundation-Safecity Board Member and a member of Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council.
In September 2015, the #FullStop to #childsexualabuse campaign that Eirliani led on behalf of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kailash Satyarthi reached 16 million people over six weeks. She won the BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Award the same year.
She is an award-winning author. She was lead editor of "The Demographic Dividend and the Power of Youth. Voices from the Global Diplomacy Lab", a peer-reviewed compendium of essays on the demographic dividend (Anthem Press 2021). Eirliani also contributed a case study to the medical textbook Essentials of Global Health, co-edited by Babulal Sethia, Past President and Global Health Lead of the Royal Society of Medicine (Elsevier 2018). The book won first prize under the Public Health category in the 2019 British Medical Association book awards. She is co-author of "Survivors: Breaking the Silence on Child Sexual Abuse" (Marshall Cavendish 2017). Now in its third print run, the book won joint 2nd Prize at the inaugural Golden Doors Award in September 2020. She edited Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kailash Satyarthi's book "Will for Children" (Prabhat Prakashan 2016).
Eirliani worked in Singapore’s Foreign Service from 2005 to 2015, serving in Berlin as First Secretary (Political) and then in Delhi as Political Counsellor. From June 2015 to November 2017 she was a member of the Advisory Council of the Global Diplomacy Lab. She is a Fellow of the London-based Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.
A graduate of the London School of Economics and Warwick University, Eirliani was a British Council Pathfinder scholar. She speaks English, Malay and German fluently, and has rudimentary understanding of Arabic, French, Hindi, Mandarin and Russian.
Read more about Eirliani in her latest blog article. You can also read her articles about her polar expedition and about human trafficking and learn more about her work, activism and contribution to the Gender Alliance.
Hanina Ben Bernou serves as an Officer at the Delegation of the European Union to the United Arab Emirates. She began working for the EU in 2010 - first addressing complex, global and emerging security threats.
Through her previous work experience in the energy and water sector, she has had the opportunity to deepen her understanding of a wide range of topics including renewable energies, supplies, management and private sector participation.
She has a wide interest and practice area including crisis management, development cooperation, diplomacy, energy, human resources, IT, management, radicalisation, security, security-development nexus, stabilisation, and water.
Hanina is a cosmopolitan migrant due to her German-Algerian origins, her French-German education, and her time living and working in Kenya, Somalia, Belgium, France, Spain, and Algeria.
Ahmad Maaliji is a public administration and development cooperation professional with 13 years’ experience in public administration reform, institutional development and international experience covering the EU, NATO and regional cooperation.
Ahmad has worked in the Foreign Service of Afghanistan in various capacities including Counselor at the Mission of Afghanistan in Brussels; and Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy and Programs. He has also worked for international organizations like British Council and the Asia Foundation, mainly involved in public administration and institutional development.
Ahmad holds a Master Degree in Social Sciences from Vrije University Brussels, and he is also a graduate of the Diplomatic Academy of Afghanistan. Ahmad is interested in track II diplomacy and strengthening the role of civil society organizations in state policy making.
Mome Saleem has a strong background in global governance, peace and security, gender, diplomacy and training for conflict resolution through dialogue.
She has a keen insight into the needs of developing countries and is a well-versed and proficient public speaker in the languages of Urdu, English and Punjabi.
She has conducted training sessions on peacebuilding, transformation, conflict resolution and gender mainstreaming and media content analysis on peace and gender.
Mome Saleem is a Programme Coordinator at Heinrich Böll Foundation Islamabad, Pakistan. Before, she has worked at the think-tank “Sustainable Development Policy Institute” in Islamabad.
Her research interest focused on human security and gender as a cross-cutting theme. Mome has produced research publications on subjects with relevance to Pakistan.
She is coordinator of the Council for Women Parliamentarians.