On December 7, the SDA co-organised a roundtable with the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs (CIDOB) entitled “Afghanistan and Pakistan after 2014: the role of regional powers” gathering regional experts and journalists to discuss the possible scenarios in Afghanistan and Pakistan following the ISAF withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014 and how will the interests and actions of other powers in the wider region around Afghanistan determine outcomes in the coming years. Ann Wilkens former Ambassador of Sweden to Pakistan warned of important fault lines running through Pakistan's society, forecasting that "either good or bad elections in Pakistan in 2014 could set an example for the region". Michael Semple, former EU Deputy Special Representative to Afghanistan also argued how interdependent Afghanistan, Pakistan and the wider region are and added that "a peace deal in Afghanistan would completely change the dynamics, and indeed the legitimacy, of militant groups in Pakistan and beyond". Thomas Ruttig, Co-Director and Co-Founder, The Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) reminded that "Afghanistan's instability is still mostly due to domestic factors and not external interference". Speakers agreed that the EU should play a more important role in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the region by pushing for Afghan reconciliation and take the lead in creating fora for regional dialogue.
NATO’s ballistic missile defence system-having demonstrated successful interim operating capability earlier this year-is well on its way to being fully operational, heard the participants at “Next steps in missile defence”.
The speakers included Robert G. Bell, Senior Civilian Representative of the Secretary of Defense in Europe & Defense Advisor of the US Ambassador to NATO, Vladimir Leontiev, Deputy Director, Department for Security and Disarmament Affairs, Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Bülent Meriç, Director General for International Security Affairs, Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as Amb. Alexander Vershbow, Deputy Secretary General, North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
SDA co-presidents Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, former NATO Secretary General, and Javier Solana, former EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy welcomed General James L. Jones, Chair of the Brent Scowcroft Center, Atlantic Council of the United States and formerly US National Security Advisor to President Obama, Supreme Allied Commander Europe, and Commandant of the US Marine Corps at a gala dinner to mark the SDA’s 10th anniversary as Brussels’ leading security and defence think-tank on Thursday 24th May 2012. Assembled guests enjoyed lively debates with key personalities and a wide range of high-profile people in an informal and entertaining atmosphere.
Building on the conclusions of the SDA's recently released report “Cyber-security: The vexed question of global rules”, this debate examined the international cooperation mechanisms both in place and urgently needed. What obstacles still stand in the way of improving cooperation and what role should be played by international and regional organisations? What are the legal difficulties that stand in the way of greater cyber-security, and how do governments plan to reconcile the rights of citizens with their own concerns over national security?
Join the brainstorming for a broad discussion in the context of ongoing global financial turmoil and ever-present transnational threats ranging from WMD proliferation to drugs and human trafficking, in forums to include:
Capabilities & future technologies • Forging strategic partnerships
Crisis management • Facing up to the cyber-challenge •
The SDA hosted a dinner debate to discuss "Public-private cooperation in cyber-security". Questions asked included: What costs are involved, who will bear them? How much frontline protection should be left to private companies? How good is information-sharing between public institutions and the private sector? Can the creation of new EU-level and international standards improve our cybersecurity, and if so what should these entail? How do we try and create an international fabric of responsibility? Such questions defy easy answers, but all panellists agreed on one basic principal. As Vice President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes stated, “we need to exchange good practices, before we run out of time.”
To mark the launch of the SDA’s in depth policy report "Cyber-security: The vexed question of global rules", SDA Director Giles Merritt and report author Brigid Grauman welcomed a panel of high-level experts to discuss the complex challenges of global governance in cyber-space. The report takes a hard look at the state of play in cyber-security and provides public and private sector decision-makers with food for thought and recommendations for concrete next steps. Among the panel of experts were, Jeff Moss, Vice President and Chief Security Officer of ICANN, Demosthenes Ikonomou, Head of Secure Services & Project Support Activities for the European Network Security Agency, Jamie Shea, Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges of NATO, Raj Samani, Vice President and CTO of McAfee Europe, Middle East and Africa.