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2008 Annual Conference - Partnerships for effective multilateralism: managing global crises

31 October 2008

The Institute’s 2008 annual conference took place on 30-31 October in Paris. It opened with the traditional address by EU High Representative Javier Solana, who outlined the current challenges in EU foreign policy, particularly in the light of the global financial crisis.

Attended by policy makers, practitioners and researchers from across the globe, the conference looked at how international and regional multilateral efforts can work to solve protracted and unresolved conflicts, prevent new conflicts, as well as respond to energy, food, health, environmental and other crises.

Running through the various plenary and working group sessions was the overarching theme of how the EU can engage with global players such as China, Russia, India, Brazil, and also South Africa to develop more effective multilateralism.

Plenary sessions discussed the following topics:

  • Towards a more effective multilateral governance: how to engage new global actors?
  • Giving content to human security: is the multilateral system effective?
  • Building partnerships for effective multilateralism: what reforms need to be introduced in multilateral institutions?

Working sessions were held on:

  • Interplay between regional and international security: the case of the Gulf Region
  • Protracted conflicts: the role of emerging powers
  • Pan-European security: enhancing conflict prevention and conflict resolution mechanisms
  • Energy competition: impact on sustainable development and climate change
  • Global food and health crisis: testing the multilateral system’s capacities to react