Analysis & Opinions

Future Tense - Our World in Ten

| Nov. 19, 2018

Published by: Halifax International Security Forum

This year’s Halifax International Security Forum paid respect to the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One, but in its final plenary session, Present Tense: Our World in Ten, the attention shifted to the future. How will the issues discussed throughout this year’s Forum play out over the next decade? Will democratic states be able to defend their values and institutions from growing threats like great power politics and cyber-warfare? This diverse set of panelists spoke confidently and optimistically about the resilience of democracies to withstand this challenge.

Former Ambassador to NATO, R. Nicholas Burns, Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations at the Harvard Kennedy School spoke about the need for democratic states to preserve their collective self-confidence, and their values and institutions, in the face of rising authoritarianism from China and Russia.

Mr. Vladimir Kara-Murza, Vice Chairman of Open Russia, urged participants to challenge the perception of President Vladimir Putin’s invincibility within Russia, citing examples from Russian history that demonstrate the country’s capacity for and inclination towards leadership change.

Pastor Esther Ibanga, Executive Director of Women Without Walls Initiative and General (Ret) Amos Yadlin, Executive Director of the Institute for National Security Studies, provided sobering outlooks on Africa and the Middle East respectively, but both pointed to the passion and potential of the coming generation to serve as a catalyst for positive change in these regions in the future. The plenary provided participants with important questions to reflect upon as they leave Halifax, and a path towards achieving the goals set out at this year’s Forum of ensuring the strength and prosperity of liberal values and democracy.

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For Academic Citation:Future Tense - Our World in Ten.” , November 19, 2018.