Debating peace and stabilisation at the Warsaw Security Forum 2016
The 2016 Warsaw Security Forum has been a venue for debating the most burning challenges relating to crises and prolonged conflict in the broad European neighbourhood. The debates came at a time of hightehened international tensions. The Russian-Ukrainian conflict, civil wars and tense political transitions in the Middle East and North Africa, continued struggle in Afghanistan and reoccurring violent conflicts across the Sahel form a “belt of instability” from the Atlantic shores to Pakistan. This current political and security situation has critically unveiled how the EU and NATO have been unprepared to respond to such a set of events, especially in a condition of growing polarization between global and regional powers.
The current instruments and policies for crises management, longer-term stabilisation and conflict resolution are not adequate to respond to the challenges. Hybrid warfare threats as well as terrorism have direct links to state-collapse and political turmoil in neighboring regions – and are fueled by a complex web of state and non-state actors interests. Western countries had a misguided policy approach focusing on de-facto quick gains and short-term crises response policies, failing to recognize the socio-political fabric, in-depth network of interests and interest drivers and uniqueness of governance processes in Europe’s close and far neighborhood – in the “belt of instability”.
In countries ravaged by conflicts, in regions dominated by major power tensiuons and proxy wars, it is clear that forms of political settlements bringing peace and stability are needed – and will be the ultimate component to ensure a degree of stability – regardless of the level of military might used. Renewed approaches to respond to security threats “where they originate”. How can the EU and NATO countries leverage their capacities more strategically, and utilize platforms and mechanisms of the UN aligning to respond better political realities of conflict – are questions to be answered.
We invite you for a unique chance to view the debates on these burning issues with some of the most distinguished practitionaires in the field. For each of the discussions present below (with some of the quotes and speakers listed) we inclose a youtube link.
BREAKOUT SESSION | A Year Later. Implementation and Consequences of the Iranian Nuclear Deal
The Iranian Nuclear Deal was signed in 2015 by the Islamic Republic of Iran and the P5 plus Germany and the European Union. One of the main objectives of this agreement was the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons while developing Iranian nuclear capabilities for peaceful use. After one year it was time to evaluate the deal.
Seyed Mohammad Kazem Sajjadpour – Head of the Centre for International Research and Education
Bessma Momani – Associate Professor, University of Waterloo and Balsillie School of International Affairs, Canada
Michael Bahar – Staff Director and General Counsel at U.S. House of Representatives, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
MODERATOR: Bartlomiej Nowak – Global Ethics Fellow, Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs
Quotes from the Panel
“The deal actually depleted all Iranaphobia in industry, we have an industry in Iranaphobia, I mean a large number of entities are involved in making the others fearful of Iran, and actually their legitimacy which is based on fear, that is produced out of nonsense, now they are in a bad situation.” – Seyed Mohammad Kazem Sajjadpour
“I think, if there is a let’s say, an attention or attentiveness to the concept of bridge; you have to bridge between different interests and balance between them.” – Seyed Mohammad Kazem Sajjadpour
“I think there were two issues that many who were looking at the agreement expected, but frankly were not on the deal, were not part of the deal and really need to be separated. One, Iranian geopolitical and foreign policy behavior and not many people thought and assumed that perhaps Iran being brought into the fold of the International community would somehow change its foreign policy behavior, that goes to many of the issues people are concerned about, its (Iran) support for Hezbollah, its continued support for the Syrian regime, I think all of that was never on the table. I think it’s a fallacy for us to think that was going to be part of the deal.” – Bessma Momani
“The foreign policy of Iran and its geopolitical calculations will remain as well its domestic, internal forces. It’s not part of the deal, but that doesn’t mean one has to excuse what’s happening inside or externally.” – Bessma Momani
“I think what is becoming increasingly apparent to all of us, and it’s become a theme of this conference, is that Putin and Russia is not looking to be a constructive power, they’re looking to be disruptive, they’re looking to sow dissent, sow chaos, exploit weaknesses in the west and see what happens.” – Michael Bahar
“As far as US-Israel relations go, they’re still very strong, you know there was a strong disagreement….. to say the least, but it also leads to a very important point, to the larger geopolitical point as well, it’s not just to the alliances between the US and Europe, it’s the alliances and the partnerships in the Middle East as well, because that also is going to lead to a measure of stability.” – Michael Bahar
BREAKOUT SESSION | The Middle East, Europe and Refugees : insecurity behind barbed wire.
More than a million migrants and refugees crossed into Europe in 2015, sparking a crisis as countries struggled to cope with the influx. It has also raised concern in many countries about other challenges it poses: from the raise of Islamic fundamentalism in migrant communities to the growing anti-immigrant sentiments among European societies.
Richard Barrett – Senior Vice President, Soufan Group, United States of America
Gilles Dorronsoro – Non-resident Scholar, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Richard English – Director, Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, United Kingdom
Yoram Schweitzer – Head of the Program on Terrorism and Low Intensity Conflict, Institute for National Security Studies, Israel
Peter Semneby – Head of Mission at the Embassy of Sweden in Damascus
MODERATOR: Piotr Łukasiewicz – Casimir Pulaski Foundation, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (2012-2014)
Quotes from the Panel
„People most of the time have trouble moving. Becaufe if they move, they know they’re going to lose everything. So if the city is not totally distroyed, they tend to stay in the same place.” – Gilles Dorronsoro
„If we look at Europe and what do we do to try to prevent refugees creating a security problem for Europe. I think the first thing to say in that is refugees themselves are not a high risk group. These are not the refugees who generaly create a problem, although the public perception is.” – Richard Barrett
„When people come in refugees flows the key question is who are they and that is very very difficult thing to determine.” – Richard Barrett
„There is an exaggeration in Europe of the degree of threat which there is actually to faced with regard to terrorism at the moment. We too often make general judgments about patterns of threats on the basis of the small number of highly memborable and eye-catching incidents.” – Richard English
„In terms of migration, there has not been a particularly carefully thought-through analysis of why the migration is happening at its various different ways from the different contexts which generated it, with the different concentration of people coming to certain countries and not others from certain places and why.” – Richard English
„There has not been a sufficient recognition in Europe of the generations of the conflicts which have produced migration.” – Richard English
„The levels of migration we have seen in recent years coming into Europe are as nothing compared to the levels of migration which there will be during the coming centures particularly when climate change migration kicks in.” – Richard English
„We need to understand the mindset of terrorism, the strategy of terrorists in order to defeat them.” – Yoram Schweitzer
PLENARY SESSION | Charting the right course in conflict zones – new strategies or smarter politics?
Violent conflicts, civil wars and difficult political transitions in several countries form a “belt of instability” from the Atlantic shores to South East Asia. State-collapse, political turmoil and clashes of regional and local interests all fuel a multiplication of deadly conflicts and an on-going humanitarian disaster. Unable or unwilling, Western countries have not found the right policies to respond to violent escalation and multiplication of conflicts, and are paying a heavy price.
Jean-Marie Guehenno – President, International Crisis Group, Belgium
Vuk Jeremić – Serbia Candidate for UNSG, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia (2007-2012)
Walter Kemp – Senior Vice President, International Peace Institute, Austria
Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz – Undersecretary of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland (2012-2014)
Maciej Popowski – Deputy Director-General for Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations, European Commission
MODERATOR: Marcin Bużański – Director, Peace and Stabilisation Strategies Program, Casimir Pulaski Foundation, Poland
Quotes from the Panel
“To resolve this new kind of crisis, the framework for such engagement couldn’t be outside the multilateral framework of the UN. Is not easy to do that for the European Union for a number of reasons. More practically, the first step: is to keep the stabilisation capacity of the UN. Secondly, to have a new generation of peace and stabilisation missions. We cannot imagine the current, insufficient UN capacity deployed in Syria, or there will be another Rwanda.” – Vuk Jeremić
“We have to re-boost diplomacy even in Eastern Europe. Coming back from a political summit in Reykjavik I would say we have to restore dignity, dialogue and decency. Additionally, it is not clear what are the rules of law and the rules of war anymore.” – Walter Kemp
“We have to work on a network security, networks with other due to the world we are living in and it includes capacity building and working institutions in the EU neighbouring countries.” – Maciej Popowski
“Africa’s problems will be our problems, Africa successes will be our successes and multiplying defence is not the way.” – Jean-Marie Guehenno
BREAKOUT SESSION | Ukraine: Struggling, surviving, hopeful?
Ukraine is facing a watershed moment in its modern history. Struggling with a war ignited by its neighbor, it needs to combat another imminent threat: the old, corrupt political system, which is determined to resist change.
Maxim Eristavi – Co-Founder, Hromadske International, Ukraine
Paweł Kowal – Secretary of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland (2006–2007)
Borys Tarasyuk – Member of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine
Aleška Simkić – Deputy Chief Monitor, OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine
MODERATOR: Fredrik Löjdquist – Permanent Representative of Sweden to the OSCE
Quotes from the Panel
”The revolution in Ukraine is still ongoing – the processes are still there.” – Maxim Eristavi
”We underestimate how much the Ukrainians are looking up for foreign support. The Ukrainians would rather trust foreigners to fix a problem that was mismanaged by local authorities for 25 years.” – Maxim Eristavi
”People went to the street not beacuse of the EU trade deal, not beacuse they wanted to join the EU, but beacuse they wanted to establish European values such as equality, and equal access to economic opportunities in their country.” – Maxim Eristavi
”It’s a big mistake to assess the transformation in Ukraine from the point of view of really, successful, quite similar processes like in Poland and central europe. Twenty-five years ago central europe received technical and financial support with a real political perspective for the future.” – Paweł Kowal
”In principle, reforming the country will have an impact on the resolution of the conflict.” – Aleška Simkić
„The expectation of Maidan are not being implemented yet. However, there is a growing element of the civil society component which is pressing the authorities to implement reforms.” – Borys Tarasyuk
BREAKOUT SESSION | A comprehensive strategy for Europe’s Southern Flank: Pipedream or Realpolitik?
European security faces a multiplicity of challenges, not least because of the ongoing military and political upheaval on Europe’s southern flank. The constant change of political and strategic dynamics, such as the aftermath of the attempted coup in Turkey and Brexit, are fueling uncertainties for the successful formation of a strategy based on mutual convergence of interests of NATO members.
Maksymilian Czuperski – Strategic Communications Advisor Europe and Special Assistant to the President, Atlantic Council
Can Kasapoğlu – Defense Analyst, Centre for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies, Turkey
Kristina Kausch – Senior Resident Fellow, German Marshall Fund, USA
Robert Pszczel – Acting Director, NATO Information Office in Moscow
MODERATOR: Bruno Maçães – Nonresident Associate, Carnegie Europe
Quotes from the Panel
‘With regard to Turkish-Russian relations very briefly, which we can depict as frenemies, yes Turkey and Russia were competing in Azerbaijan and Central Asia, that was a given, but during this competition there were billions of dollars in trade volume. Yes Turkey is a NATO member and a very important member, influencing both the southern and eastern flank. In that case it is unique, we also had a new regime when Turkey was becoming more and more important in NATO’s missile defense system. Turkey did not refrain from contributing to the missile defense activities, but Turkey also did not cease its friendly relations with Russia.” – Can Kasapoğlu
“I am optimistic about Turkish-Russian relations.” – Can Kasapoğlu
“First of all, the northern countries such as Germany who used to not care very much about North Africa, are also now very interested in what happens in the Mediterranean. So I no longer think that the Mediterranean is a domain of Italy, France and Spain, although of course these three have the best contacts and are the ones who lead the relations, but now I think the Mediterranean is an all EU issue. So I don’t think even if these Mediterranean counties wanted to take the led, that Germany would let them and also on the east-south point, I think these clubs in the EU, the east club, the south club, I think that’s going away.” – Kristina Kausch
WORKING BREAKFAST | Back to Diplomacy: the Future of Co-operative Security in Europe
The session discussed findings and recommendations of the final report by the Panel of Eminent Persons on European Security as a Common Project that was established by the 2015 OSCE Troika (Switzerland, Serbia and Germany). The Panel of 15 eminent personalities was tasked to prepare the basis for an inclusive security dialogue across the Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian regions, and to reflect on how to prevent further escalation, re-build trust and return to cooperative security in the OSCE area. It has produced two reports: an Interim Report on lessons learned for the OSCE from its engagement in Ukraine (June 2015), and a Final Report on the broader issues of security in Europe (November 2015). The Panel is currently engaged in a number of outreach activities across the OSCE region to explore how its various recommendations can be implemented in today’s rapidly changing and increasingly complex security environment.