These are highly dynamic and uncertain times, marked as they are with tensions in both the geopolitics surrounding the World Order and in the arena of global trade. The USA, which hitherto has played a leadership role in the design of the global multilateral infrastructure and principles of free and open trade, seems to have retreated into a stance of isolationism, and away from long-standing engagement with traditional allies including Europe. Europe is also facing its own challenges. There is also, today, a heightened awareness of the impact of climate change on the future of the planet and life as we know it.
The BDA 2019 conference on the 2nd of December provides a forum for robust discussion by a wide cross section of stakeholders and constituents on a series of issues which are of critical interest today. Two overarching questions stand out:
- How might Europe best navigate these times, build new partnerships, secure its own interests and provide a greater degree of leadership to the community of nations? Does the political will exist in Europe to play a more assertive role on the world stage?
- Sustainable development and cooperation around matters pertaining to the international agenda require multilateral cooperation, alliances and leadership. Given the turbulence of these times, how might these be accomplished? Can Europe lead the way?
Speakers have been drawn from both sides of the Atlantic with the keynote speech being given by Professor William Moomaw, a leading author of the Nobel Prize winning IPCC report and co-author of the World Scientists’ Warning of Climate Emergency statement published in BioScience on 5 November 2019. Plenaries and Panels will deal with issues evolving around changing geopolitics, the nature of the trans-Atlantic relationship, Europe’s economic, social and environmental security, corporate responsibility, fair trade practices and smart partnerships in pursuit of sustainable development.