Heads of states, dozens of ministers of defence and foreign affairs and hundreds of analysts, diplomats and journalists from more than 70 countries visited Bratislava for the eleventh annual GLOBSEC Bratislava Global Security Forum. Special attention was given to the presence of German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen, former US State Secretary Madeleine Albright and Nasser Judeh, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
GLOBSEC 2016 dealt with the hottest security issues of today – the migration crisis, Daesh and the current security situation in Europe with regard to the recent Russian aggression and the ever stronger propaganda. One of the highlights of the Forum was Minister Nasser Judeh’s keynote speech. “Refugees are no longer our problem; it is everyone’s problem,” he said. Jordan has been dealing with the refugee crisis and it has joined the fight against radicalism as well. The keynote speech by German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen was also of particular importance. “Russia is not our enemy; but currently it is not our partner either,” Minister von der Leyen stated.
The conference took place from on 15-17 April in the Grand Hotel River Park Bratislava and was covered by more than 200 journalists from 70 media outlets, including the most renowned ones such as the BBC, The Economist, The Guardian, Euronews, Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg, Politico or the Financial Times. BBC as a media partner of the event recorded and later presented one of the City Talks’ debates on migration crisis as part of its broadcast.
Local transport was provided to all foreign participants. For this purpose, a fleet of BMW 7 Series limousines was provided by BMW Group Slovakia.
The pinnacle of the event was the Saturday Gala Dinner which featured the Czech and Slovak Transatlantic Award ceremony, hosted jointly by GLOBSEC and Czech organisation Jagello 2000. This year’s awards went to former US State Secretary Madeleine Albright and Czech former politician and diplomat Michael Žantovský. Both were honoured for their long lasting contributions to stability of transatlantic partnership.
A New GLOBSEC
As a part of GLOBSEC 2016, its organisers, hitherto united under the umbrella brand Central European Strategy Council, announced that the whole organisation would continue under the name GLOBSEC. The GLOBSEC organisation aims to offer more original content and thus actively look for solutions to global problems. The pilot project of this effort is the GLOBSEC Intelligence Reform Initiative which will prepare a set of recommendations to improve defence and intelligence cooperation within Europe.
“This is the first time I am talking to you as the President of GLOBSEC – the organisation,” said GLOBSEC founder Róbert Vass in his concluding address. “We have welcomed 145 speakers and hosted 140 bilateral meetings. GLOBSEC has truly become a diplomatic hub,” he commented.
In the nearest future, GLOBSEC plans to grow further and extend its activities beyond Central Europe and organise spin-off conferences in different parts of the world.