“A World Without Walls“:
An International Congress on "Soft Power", Cultural Diplomacy and Interdependence

(Berlin; November 6th - 9th, 2009)

Congress Speakers

Ségolčne Royal »

President of the Poitou-Charentes Regional Council;
Former Presidential Candidate for the Socialist Party of France

Before running for President of France in 2007, Ségolčne Royal held several prominent ministerial positions under the Mitterand and the Chirac governments. Since 2004, Royal has served as the President of the Regional Council of the Poitou-Charentes-region. Concurrently, she was a member of the National Assembly of France for Deux-Sčvres – a position she left in order to take up the position as a leader of the Socialist Party during the 2007 presidential campaign. Since her electoral defeat, she has continued to serve as President of the Regional Council, and has remained a prominent figure in the French Socialist Party. (more)

President Dr. Alfredo Palacio »

Former President of Ecuador

Dr. Alfredo Palacio is a physician and politician who most recently assumed the role as President of Ecuador from 2005-2007. Before his role as President, Dr. Palacio served as a cardiologist, serving a two year residency in the U.S. and later lecturing in Cardiology and Public Health at Ecuador's Guayaquil University's School of Medicine. Dr. Palacio successfully transitioned from medicine to politics, serving as Minister for Health under Sixto Duran Ballen's administration before being chosen by Gutierrez in 2003 to fill the role of Vice President, serving for two years. (more)

President Emil Constantinescu »

Former President of Romania

Emil Constantinescu is a Romanian geologist, academic, and politician who, as President of Romania from 1996-2000, worked tirelessly to pull Romania out of the ashes of Communism. As President, Constantinescu sought to improve Romania's image abroad and build strong relations between Romania and other nations, particularly countries in the West. Constantinescu was also seen as instrumental in Romania's eventual acceptance into both NATO and the European Union. Prior to his presidency, Constantinescu taught geology and was elected President of the University of Bucharest in 1992. (more)

Janez Janša »

Former Prime Minister of Slovenia; President of the Slovenian Democratic Party

President of the Slovenian Democratic Party (1993-present), Mr. Janez Janša, has had a long and tumultuous career in Slovenian politics, spanning from political prisoner to Prime Minister. During Mr. Janša’s term as Prime Minister (2004-2008), Slovenia entered the European Union, introduced the Euro, and in 2008 was the first new-member state to hold the EU Presidency (with him as President of the European Council). Mr. Janša’s personal past is deeply tied to Slovenia’s struggle for democracy, as he was one of the journalists arrested and tried in the JBTZ-trial, a principle catalyst for the revolutionary Slovenian Spring. (more)

Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz »

Former Prime Minister of Poland; Former Foreign Minister of Poland

Dr. Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz is a Polish politician, lawyor and farmer. He was Prime Minister of Poland (1996-1997) as a member of the SLD(Democratic Left Alliance). During this short period he was involved in major reform of the central government, speeding up legislative processes and the process of privatization. He also served as Foreign Minister(2001-2005) and speaker of the Sejm. He has remained a prominent figure in both Polish and European politics, and in 2009 was elected as a candidate for the post of Secretary General of the Council of Europe. (more)

David Trimble* »

Former First Minister of Northern Ireland; Nobel Peace Prize Laureate in 1998 (*Paper to be delivered)

Lord David Trimble began his career in politics in the early 1970’s, when joining the now defunct Vanguard Unionist Progressive Party (VUPP). The breakdown of the VUPP led him to the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), where Trimble was elected party leader in 1995. Subsequently, in 1998 he became the First Minister of Northern Ireland. David Trimble was awarded the Noble Peace Prize that same year for his great efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Northern Ireland conflict. He is currently sitting in the House of Lords as a working life peer for the Conservative Party. (more)

Mike Kenneth Moore »

Former Prime Minister of New Zealand; Former Director General of the World Trade Organization

Mr. Mike Kenneth Moore has been an influential figure in both New Zealand politics and world affairs for the last 30 years. After becoming the youngest Member of Parliament ever elected in 1972, Moore quickly rose through the ranks of New Zealand politics, culminating in his ascension to the position of Prime Minister in 1990. From 1999 to 2002, Moore served as Director-General of the World Trade Organization, overseeing the admittance of China and 9 other nations into the organization and focusing the WTO's attention on helping developing nations participate in the multilateral trading system. (more)

Alfred Sant »

Former Prime Minister of Malta; Currently Member of Malta’s Parliament

After five years of diplomatic service in the early 1970s for Malta’s Mission to the European Communities in Brussels, Alfred Sant left for Boston to receive his Doctor of Business Administration from Harvard. He returned to Malta for a brief period of work in the private sector before embarking on his political career in 1982 as he took up the position as Chairman of the Labour Party’s information department. Entering into the field of politics proved to be fruitful, as Mr. Sant was to lead the Labour Party into victory in 1996 – a victory that gave Mr. Sant the position as Prime Minister of Malta. Alfred Sant is a passionate writer and has published several novels and plays. (more)

Jack McConnell »

MSP; Former First Minister of Scotland

A math teacher by trade, Jack McConnell entered politics in 1984 through his election to Sterling District Council. He became General Secretary of the Scottish Labour Party in 1992 and successfully led them to victory in the 1997 general election. Following his leadership of the Scottish devolution movement, holding a referendum establishing the Scottish Parliament, he was elected in 1999 as an MSP, and appointed as Minister of Finance as well as of Education, Europe, and External Affairs. He became First Minister of Scotland in 2001, a post he held until 2007, directing largely successful government policies. (more)

President Sir James Richard Marie Mancham »

Founding President of the Republic of Seychelles

Former President Sir James Mancham is an author, businessman, and politician seen as an architect of Seychellois democracy. Sir Mancham formed the Democratic Party in 1964, and following independence from the UK, became Founding President of the Seychelles in 1976. A 1977 coup forced Sir Mancham to spend the next 15 years in exile, embarking on successful business ventures and advocating the return of a multi-party system to the country, which occurred in 1991. In 1993, Sir Mancham ran unsuccessfully for the office of President. Sir Mancham has authored 2 books and is the Chairman of the Global Peace Council. (more)

Luc Van den Brande »

Former Minister-President of Flanders

President of the Committee of the Regions of the EU since 2008, Luc Van den Brande served in many governmental and parliamentary positions before taking on the role of Minister-President of Flanders between 1992 and 1999. Since taking on this role he has been an active member in a number of pan-European committees and assemblies. He is a keen advocate of the important role that regions can play in strengthening the economy and European political participation. (more)

Mirko Tomassoni »

Member of the San Marino Grand and Central Council; Former Captain Regent of San Marino

Mirko Tomassoni is a San Marinese Politician currently serving as a member of the Grand and Central Council of San Marino. Tomassoni was first elected as an Independent to the Grand and Central Council in 2006. From 2007 to 2008, Tomassoni served as Captain Regent of San Marino, a position equivalent to Head of State. In addition, Tomassoni campaigns strongly for equal opportuntiies for the disabled. Tomassoni, who is himself physically disabled, founded Acttiva-Mente in 2004, a sports association seeking to improve the quality of life for those living with physical handicaps. (more)

Radmila Sekerinska »

Former Prime Minister of the Republic of Macedonia

Radmila Sekarinska is the former Prime Minister of Macedonia. Prior to her appointment, Sekarinska was Deputy Prime Minister with special responsibility for the EU accession negotiation process during which the Republic of Macedonia was granted a status of candidate country. Ms Sekarinska was the first woman to lead a major political party in Macedonia when she took over as President for the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia. (more)

Dr. Miomir Žužul »

Former Foreign Minister of Croatia

Dr. Zuzul has a long career in the Croatian diplomatic service behind him, rising to the post of Ambassador to the United Nations and to the United States. He was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs between 2004 and 2006, where he worked on bringing Croatia closed to EU accession. (more)

Senator the Hon. Alan Baird Ferguson »

The 22nd President of the Australian Senate

Senator the Hon. Alan Baird Ferguson is a politician currently serving the Australian Parliament as the Deputy President of the Senate and Chair of Committees. Sen. Ferguson held the distinction of serving as President of the Australian Senate (2007-2008), and as Chairman of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade for 8 years. Sen. Ferguson joined the Liberal Party in 1963 and served as its President (1990-1992). Prior to politics, Sen. Ferguson owned and operated a farm. (more)

László Kovács »

European Commissioner for Taxation and Customs Union; Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Hungary.

László Kovács is a Member of the European Commission, Commissioner for Tax and Customs Policy since 2004. He held the post of Foreign Minister of Hungary from 1994 to 1998 and again from 2002 to 2004. He was Member of the Hungarian Parliament from 1990 to 2004, Chairman of its Foreign Affairs Committee in 1993 and 1994. Earlier in his career he was Deputy Foreign Minister and State Secretary. Commissioner Kovács is a graduate of the University of Economic Sciences of Budapest. (more)

Minister Dr. Igor Lukšič

Minister of Education and Sport of Slovenia

Dr. Igor Lukšič is a politician, author, and academic currently serving as Slovenia's Minister of Education and Sport. Dr.Lukšič's appointment is the peak of an illustrious career in academic life. Dr. Lukšič was elected a Professor of Political Science at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Ljubljana in 2003. He has served the University in several capacities, including Vice Dean (1999-2001) and Dean (2001-2003) of the Faculty of Social Sciences. Dr.Lukšič has also penned 5 books as well as serving as editor-in-chief of Teorja in Praksa ("Theory and Practice") a social science periodical. (more)

Ivaylo Kalfin »

MEP; Former Bulgarian Minister of Foreign Affairs

Ivaylo Kalfin founded the Social Democrats National Movement in his native Bulgaria, where he also served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister between 2005 and 2009. Currently an MEP, he was the deputy president of the Common Parliamentary Committee Bulgaria-European Union between 1995 and 1998. In addition to serving as economic advisor to the Bulgarian president for several years, he has also been an active university lecturer and manager of several consulting companies. Mr. Kalfin has stressed the need for Balkan countries to work toward common goals and complete political and economic transformations following the collapse of communism in the region. (more)

Nouzha Skalli »

Moroccan Minister of Social Development, Family, and Solidarity

Minister Nouzha Skalli was appointed to head the office of Social Development, Family and Solidarity for the Kingdom of Morocco in 2007. Prior to this, Skalli was a fervent advocate for and founder of Moroccan human and women’s rights movements and has written several books on the subject. The Minister has been active in politics since 1993, when she founded the National Committee for the Participation of Women in Politics. (more)

Dr. Erkki Tuomioja »

Member of Finnish Parliament, Former Finnish Foreign Minister (2000 - 2007)

Politician and author Dr. Erkki Tuomioja is one Finland’s most widely read and influential politicians of the last two decades. As Finnish Foreign Minister during Finlandís presidency of the European Union in 2006, he held the position of spokesperson on European foreign policy and was one of the first to call for an immediate cessation of hostilities in the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict. Recognised as having a strong anti-war stance, Dr. Tuomioja is also a celebrated author of 18 books and his account of his grandmother and her sister, “A Delicate Shade of Pink”, won the Finnish non-fiction Finlandia Prize in 2006. Dr. Tuomioja has been a member of the Finnish parliament since 1991, a position he also held from 1970-1979. (more)

Delia Domingo-Albert »

Ambassador of the Philippines to the Federal Republic of Germany, Former Foreign Minister of the Philippines

Her Excellency Delia Domingo-Albert’s diplomatic career began in the 1960’s when she joined the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs. Following her graduation from the Foreign Service Officer's Examination in 1973, Delia Domingo-Albert represented the Philippines in several important nations, including Switzerland, Hungary, Australia and Romania. Apart from her diplomatic missions, Domingo-Albert was appointed as Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines in 2003, a position she served until 2005 when she took office as the Ambassador to Germany. She was awarded the Knights Commanders Cross of the Order of Merit with Star of the Federal Republic of Germany for her excellent service to her country. (more)

Ioannis Kasoulides »

MEP, EPP Group Vice-Chairman, Former Foreign Minister of Cyprus

Ioannis Kasoulides is a Cypriot politician and 2008 presidential candidate currently serving as a Member of the European Parliament. Kasoulides' political career began with his election to the Cypriot Parliament in 1991. After serving as Government spokesman (1993-1997) and Minister of Foreign Affairs (1997-2003), Kasoulides was elected to the European Parliament in 2004 as a Member of the European Peoples' Party (EPP). He was re-elected in June 2009 and shortly afterwards was also elected Vice-Chairman of the EPP Group, responsible for Foreign Affairs. (more)

H.E. Yasar Yakis »

Turkish MP, Former Foreign Minister of Turkey and Chairman of the European Union Harmonization Commission of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey

H.E. Yasir Yakis is a Turkish MP currently serving as Chairman of the European Union Harmonization Commission of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. Yakis has served as a key figure in Turkish Foreign Affairs for many years. He is a former Ambassador to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and NATO. In 1988, Yakis was named a Permanent Representative of Turkey to the United Nations Office in Vienna. Additionally, he was appointed Turkish Foreign Minister, serving from 2002-2003. Yakis is a founding member and Vice Chairman of the Justice and Development Party and was recently elected to Parliament in 2007. (more)

Solomon Isaac Passy »

Former Foreign Minister of Bulgaria, and the Chairman-in-Offce of the OSCE

Solomon Isaac Passy is a Bulgarian politician, former Foreign Minister of Bulgaria from July 2001 until August 2005, and the Chairman-in-Offce of the OSCE in 2004. Solomon Passy was born in Plovdiv. He is a mathematician and holds a Ph.D. in Mathematical Logic and Computer Science from Sofa University. He was involved in the dissident movement under totalitarianism. In 1990, Passy was the founding President and CEO of the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria, a non-governmental organization to lobby for NATO membership, and the founder and spokesman of the Green Party of Bulgaria. He is currently Special Adviser to the Macedonian Government on NATO accession. (more)

Jytte Hilden »

Former Minister of Culture of Denmark

Jytte Hilden is a Danish politician, who began her political career in 1974 as a town councilor in Karlebo, later entering parliament in 1979. Thereafter, she served as Minister of Culture from 1993 – 1996 under Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen. Since then, she has worked in the Danish Broadcasting Corporation, and most recently in 2008 was appointed to the board of the center-left political think-tank Cevea. (more)

Gerassimos D. Arsenis »

Greek Former Minister of Defense

Gerassimos D. Arsenis is a Greek politician who has served in many government positions, as Minister of Economics 1982-1985, Minister of Defense 1993-1996 and Minister of Education and Religious Affairs 1996-2000. Prior to his ministerial posts, he was appointed Governor of the Bank of Greece, a position he held from 1981- 1984. He obtained a law degree in 1955 from the University of Athens, later completing his post-graduate studies in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1960. Arsenis is married to Louka Katseli, Professor of Economics at the University of Athens and newly-elected Minister of Economics, Competitiveness and Shipping. (more)

Dr. Jo Ritzen »

Former Dutch Minister of Education, Culture, and Science; President of Universiteit Maastricht

Former Vice President of the World Bank Dr. Jo Ritzen is a Dutch economist and academic who entered politics in 1989. Following teaching positions at US and Dutch universities. Ritzen was appointed Minister of Education and Science, where he revolutionized Dutch student finance. After leaving office in 1994, he served as Vice President of the World Bank. Since 2003 he has been the President of Universiteit Maastricht, where he actively encourages open dialogue between students and administrators. (more)

Erna Hennicot Schoepges »

European MP; Former Luxembourgian Minister of Culture and Religious Affairs

Luxembourger Politician Erna Hennicot Schoepges has had a long and distinguished career in both Luxembourg and European Politics. At the national level, Scheopges has served as both Minister of Culture and Religious Affairs (1995-1999) and Minister of Public Works (1999-2004). From 1999-2003, Schoepges was President of the Christian Social People's Party (CSV), the largest political party in Luxembourg. In 2004, Schoepges made the leap into European Politics with her election to European Parliament, where she currently sits as a member of the European Peoples' Party. (more)

Ana Trišić-Babić »

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Ana Trišić-Babić, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina has had a long and distinguished political career, including serving as President of the Republic for Republika Srpska, an autonomous component of Bosnia and Herzegovina. She now believes such autonomy should be set aside, in favour of a new integrated vision. Since February 2007 she has been in the position of Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. (more)

Marina Pendes »

Former Deputy Minister of Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Marina Pendes is a Bosnian politician and expert speaker on international issues. First elected to parliament in 2000 for the Croatian Democratic Union, she became Minister for Spatial management, recovery and return for the canton of Central Bosnia, and then Deputy Minister of Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina from 2003 to 2007. (more)

Dr. Vasile Puşcaş »

Romanian Minister for European Affairs

Dr. Vasile Puşcaş is a Romanian politician, author, and international relations scholar who, as Romanian Chief Negotiator with the European Union (EU) from 2000-4, was seen by many as the architect of Romania’s accession to the EU in 2007. A Deputy of the Romanian Parliament for two terms with the Social Democratic Party (2000-4, 2004-8). Prior to his political career Dr. Puşcaş’s positions included Chairman of the Institute for International Studies at Cluj Napoca (1999-2000), Professor of International Relations at Cluj Napoca (1995-2000), and Dean of the Faculty of Political Science at Bogdan Voda University (1998-2000). (more)

Anthony Suau »

Photographer, 1984 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Born in the United States in 1956, Anthony Suau has dedicated his career to documenting the effects of international events on the lives of people around the world. In 1999, Suau completed a ten-year project titled "Beyond the Fall", which documented the transformation of the former Soviet bloc. In 1984, Suau was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his images of the famine in Ethiopia. He was the 1996 recipient of the Robert Capa Gold Medal Award for his coverage of the war in Chechnya. In 1995, Suau published two books with Acts Sud, one on the war in Chechnya and the other on the genocide in Rwanda. (more)

Dr. András Simonyi »

Hungarian Ambassador to the United States from 2002-2007

Dr. András. Simonyi Hungarian Ambassador to the United States from 2002-2007. Prior to his time in Washington, Dr. Simonyi was Deputy Chief of Mission at the Mission of Hungary to the European Communities and NATO in Brussels 1992-1995 and a key member in the negotiation process for the NATO accession. Dr. Simonyi is a passionate Rock 'n' Roll fan and formed the band ‘Coalition of the Willing’ when he was the Ambassador to Washington and gave several performances for charities across the US. (more)

Dr. Benjamin Barber »

Professor of Civil Society and Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland, Author of bestseller, Jihad vs. McWorld

Benjamin Barber is one of the most influential political theorists in the United States, and author of over 17 books exploring the role and function of democracy in modern societies. Barber’s central thesis, and constant theme in these works, is to prescribe a form of representative democracy based on a strong and active civil society and engaged citizenship, as oppose to modern participatory democracy. (more)

Merethe Stagetorn »

Defense Lawyer for the Danish Supreme Court

Merethe Stagetorn is a defense lawyer serving on the Danish Supreme Court. She has authored books and prior to her appointment she taught law from 1963-1993 in Copenhagen. Since starting her own legal firm in 1977 she has had high profile cases of all kinds, arguing her choice to represent with the right to legal representation. In her work she has represented all communities from different social layers showing her commitment to equality before the law. (more)

Ambassador Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović »

Croatian Ambassador to the United Sates

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović is the Ambassador of Croatia to United States. Her political carrier began in 1992 when she became an advisor to the international cooperation department of the Ministry of Science and Technology of Croatia. Grabar-Kitarović has had a long political career including becoming head of the North American department of the foreign ministry in 1995, then later as a diplomatic councilor at the Croatian embassy in Canada in 1998. In 2003, she became the Minister of European Integration and worked tirelessly for Croatia’s acceptance into the European Union before she was confirmed as Foreign minister in 2005. (more)

Amb. Carlo Ungaro »

Former Italian Ambassador, adviser to the Italian contingent of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Herat, Afghanistan

Professor Carlo Ungaro is a former Italian Ambassador and retired diplomatic officer, who has most recently been the political adviser to the Italian contingent of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. In addition, he has served as head of the Italian Diplomatic Delegation to Somalia. Prior to this, he directed the Headquarters of the European Community Monitoring Mission in Croatia, and had served as diplomatic adviser to the Italian-led multilateral military contingent in Albania. He specializes in Central Asia and the Balkans, with emphasis on gender issues and ethnic minorities. (more)