From Victory Day to Corona Disarray: 75 years of Europe’s Collective Security and Human Rights System

© IFIMES, 2020

On July 1, 2020, IFIMES with other partners organized a conference with over 20 speakers from all around the globe. Held at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, the event ‘FROM VICTORY DAY TO CORONA DISARRAY: 75 YEARS OF EUROPE’S COLLECTIVE SECURITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS SYSTEM’ was comprised of three different panel discussions and several keynote remarks from European leaders.

Ban Ki-moon Centre Co-chair Heinz Fischer delivered a keynote speech via a recorded video message. In his speech, Dr. Fischer talked about his own experience as president and stressed the importance of multilateralism.

“I have learned in my life, the forecast and prognosis of the future of the country and mankind are 99% wrong. (…) It is not possible to forecast the future for a long period. So, what we can do is, try to be successful in the field of cooperation, on the field of this element, on the field of actions against damage in our private and in the field of democracy and democratization.”

Co-chair Heinz Fischer at Diplomatic Academy of Vienna.

Co-chair Heinz Fischer also highlighted the importance of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). He said, “The SDGs of the UN are incredibly positive resources. It’s a miracle, and a phenomenon that all members of the United Nations could unanimously accept and support the text on central political goals and issues.”

The Ban Ki-moon Centre COO, Katrin Harvey moderated the closing panel discussion of the day. together with panelists Lamberto Zannier, former OSCE Secretary-General; Donald James Johnston, former Canada’s Minister, and OECD Secretary-General; Franz Fischler, President of Europen Alpbach Forum; Nasser Kamel, Secretary-General of Union for the Mediterranean; Mario Holzner, Director-General WIIW Austria.

© IFIMES, 2020

In a current environment of uncertainty and global challenges, the panelists agreed that only healthy international cooperation and multilateralism can take Europe and its neighbors into a safe and peaceful future. In line with the BKMC’s mission, a coalition with youth was considered one of the vital components on a path that leads to minimal friction, maximal synergies, and maintained sovereignty in Europe. There was general agreement that the EU – like many other multilateral institutions – needs to be reformed, particularly regarding trade cooperation, R&D, and common diplomatic activities. Looking into its neighborhood, a collective family of nations in and around the European continent would have a better chance of building a greener and more sustainable future after the crisis.

Organizing partners of the event have already announced the follow-up conference in Geneva for early October, to honor the 75th anniversary of the San Francisco Summit. Read more about the event here.

You can read more about the event in this news article by the Union of the Mediterranean here.