Recent International Conferences
General Marshall in his 1947 speech at Harvard that launched the Marshall Plan spoke of the economic devastation in Europe and suggested our policy should be “the revival of a working economy in the world so as to permit the emergence of political and social conditions in which free institutions can exist.” Through sponsorship of conferences on post-conflict recovery, in part, the Foundation extends the Marshall’s legacy into the 21st century.
Paris Symposium Celebrates 60th Anniversary of Marshall Plan Speech
The 60th anniversary of the Marshall Plan speech in 2007 sparked many celebratory events across the Marshall Plan participant countries. The Marshall Foundation collaborated with the OECD, UNESCO, George Washington University, Jean Monnet Foundation and the U.S. Missions to France to conduct a symposium in Paris on June 13, 2007 on The Marshall Plan: Lessons Learned for the 21st Century. An outgrowth of the Marshall Foundation’s study that produced the monograph In Search of a Usable Past: The Marshall Plan and Postwar Reconstruction Today, the symposium was designed to continue the important discussion of the Marshall Plan’s potential for application in contemporary post-conflict situations. The Marshall Foundation provided copies of the monograph to all speakers and audience members.
Highlighting the import of the symposium’s celebratory theme, Nicholas Burns, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, addressed the symposium at the end of the second plenary session. Burns lauded the Marshall Plan with its unequaled administrative expertise for helping to rebuild devastated European nations as well as for integrating a defeated enemy into a recovering region’s society and economy. Such action has not been seen before or since. Fresh from talks with European government leaders the night before, Burns spoke of lasting outgrowths of the Marshall Plan operating today, the OECD being but one example.
OECD Ambassador Constance Morella welcomed the audience of 150 academicians, government officials, diplomats, business leaders, historians, university students, and veteran Marshall Planners. UNESCO Ambassador Louise Oliver and George Washington University Professor, Dr. Eliot Sorel, moderated the first plenary session that focused on "History, Diplomacy and Democracy." Gérard Bossuat, Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Cergy-Pontoise, presented a paper on "The Marshall Plan-- History and Heritage." Responding to his treatise was Volker Berghahn, Seth Low Professor of History at Columbia University. Bronislaw Geremek, deputy of the Sejm (lower chamber of the Polish Parliament) and former foreign minister of Poland, delivered a paper on "The Marshall Plan and European Integration." Discussing that text was Dr. Barry Machado, monograph author and retired Washington and Lee University professor of history.
Moderating the second plenary session, "Human and Sustainable Development, Innovation, Open Market Economies and Democratic Societies," was Ambassador Morella and journalist/author Nicole Bacharan, political analyst and professor of political science at the University of Paris. Bertrand Collomb, past chairman of LaFarge, worldwide leader of building materials, delivered “The Marshall Plan: Lessons Learned---the Corporate Perspective.” John Killick, retired professor of history at the University of Leeds, responded. Pier Carlo Padoan, Deputy Secretary-General of the OECD, presented “The Marshall Plan: Lessons Learned---an OECD Perspective.” Discussing the paper was Daniel Daianu, professor of economics at the School of Political and Administrative Studies in Bucharest and former finance minister of Romania.
Question-and-answer periods opened the speakers to audience queries, which were diverse and illuminating. Ex-Marshall Planners such as Ambassador John Gunther Dean, Ambassador James Lowenstein, and Dr. Thomas Schelling, economist and 2005 Nobel Prize laureate, opened windows to the past as they shared personal knowledge of historic Marshall Plan events, officials, and activities.
Marshall Foundation Holds Session for Monograph in Paris in 2006
The Marshall Foundation conducted the second set of vetting sessions to further examine its upcoming monograph on “Lessons of the Marshall Plan for Post Conflict Stabilization and Reconstruction” in Paris, France in June 2006. Attending from the Foundation were President and CEO, Wesley Taylor; Executive Vice President, Brian Shaw; Vice President for Programs, Robert James; and Associate Director of Development and Monograph Project Manager, Jane Dunlap. The monograph study project was funded by a generous grant from an anonymous foundation.
Dr. Larry Bland, Marshall Foundation historian and monograph editor, moderated the vetting sessions. Historian Dr. Barry Machado and practitioner COL (Ret) George Oliver wrote the second draft and presented it before the vetters.
The Paris sessions engaged academics and practitioners from European countries impacted by the Marshall Plan. The European vetters included Dr. Arne Wested (Norway), Dr. Luciano Segreto (Italy), Dr. Athanasios Lykogiannis (Greece), Dr. John Killick (United Kingdom), and Mr. Eric Le Boucher (France). Marshall Foundation Trustee Olin Wethington, economist and international relations practitioner, also served as a vetter.
The sessions were held in the historic Hotel de Talleyrand, site of Marshall Plan administration from 1948 to 1952 under the watchful eye of Ambassador Averill Harriman. The Hotel de Talleyrand is now owned by the United States government and houses offices attached to the American Embassy, Paris.
During the vetting sessions, participants discussed the draft document and offered ideas and recommendations for inclusion and exclusion of material. The final monograph was published in late December 2006 and formally released as part of the Marshall Award Gala and International Conference scheduled for the summer of 2007.
United States Ambassador to France Craig Roberts Stapleton and Marshall Foundation President Wesley Taylor presented opening remarks. Ambassador and Mrs. Stapleton and the Marshall Foundation also hosted a reception and dinner at the Ambassador’s residence for vetting session participants and select audience.
U. S. Ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Constance Morella, honored vetters and special guests with a viewing of the State Department Exhibit on the Marshall Plan and a reception prior to the first of a series of lectures scheduled during the upcoming 60th Anniversary Year of the Marshall Plan.
The concluding Marshall Lecture featured Secretary Wethington, Dr. Machado and French historian and journalist Eric Roussel. The lecture, held in the Hotel de Talleyrand, was moderated by Ambassador Morella and attended by more than 150 Embassy guests, who included academicians, diplomats and journalists.
Conference on Peace and Security at Johns Hopkins in 2003
As part of the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of George Marshall's receiving the Nobel Prize for Peace, Lord Robertson, Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, presided over distinguished group of participants in a day-long conference entitled “The Marshall Legacy: The Role of the Transatlantic Community in Building Peace and Security.” The conference was co-sponsored by the Marshall Foundation, the Royal Norwegian Embassy and the Johns Hopkins Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, where it was held November 12, 2003.
Presenting opening remarks were Ambassador Knut Vollebaek, Royal Norwegian Embassy; Jessica Einhorn, Dean of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies; and General Edward C. Meyer, USA (Ret.), Chairman, Marshall Foundation. Speaking to the question of “How can the transatlantic community help build peace, prosperity and security in the greater Middle East?” were Jan Petersen, Norway Minister of Foreign Affairs; William Burns, Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, U S. State Department; and Jim Cloos, Office of the Secretary-General, Council of the European Union. Other presenters included U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel; and Ambassador R. Nicholas Burns, U.S. Permanent Representative to the North Atlantic Council.
A panel moderated by Patrick Jarreau, Washington Bureau Chief of Le Monde, discussed regional challenges to winning peace in the Greater Middle East. Panel members were Mustapha K. Nabli, Chief Economist and Director, Social and Economic Development group, Middle East and North Africa Region of The World Bank; and Bassam Tibi, Professor of Islamology, Goettingen University and author of Islam Between Culture and Politics.
A second panel responded to the question, “Can there be common transatlantic strategies to winning peace and stability in the Greater Middle East?” Moderated by Jackson Diehl of The Washington Post, the panel consisted of Bronislaw Geremek, professor and Chair of European Civilization, College of Europe and former Foreign Minister of Poland; Flynt Leverett, Visiting Fellow, Saban Center for Middle East Policy, Brookings Institute and former Director for Middle East Affairs, National Security Council; and H. E Jean-David Levitte, Ambassador of France to the United States.
Conferences On Transformation In The Balkans
In September 1999, The Marshall Foundation, the European Commission and the World Bank sponsored a conference on “The Economic Transformation of the Balkans” at World Bank headquarters in Washington, DC. More than 250 conferees participated, including experts from many international organizations.
The meetings provided a high-level forum for discussion on how best to rebuild the economies of the Balkan Region, following centuries of mistrust and hatred between ethnic and religious groups, forty-five years of communist rule, and the recent years of military conflict. Two panels considered how to deal with the Balkan Region and outlined the major challenges for international organizations. The conclusions were that economic transformation is possible only with political stability and that the challenges all parties face today are substantially more difficult that those faced by the Marshall Plan in war-torn Europe in 1947.
Presenting the conference overview was Johannes E. Linn, Vice President of Europe and Central Asia division at the World Bank Group. Panel chairman were Dr. Fraser Cameroon, Advisor in the Directorate General for External Political Relations of the European Commission, and Rozanne Ridgway, former Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs and Marshall Foundation Trustee. Panel members included Carl Bildt, United Nations Special Envoy for Kosovo; Joly Dixon, Deputy Special Representative for Transformation at the United Nations Interim Mission in Kosovo; Stuart Eizenstat, Deputy Secretary of U.S. Department of Treasury; Dr. Steve Hanke, Director of the Institute of Applied Economics and Study of Business Enterprise at Johns Hopkins University; Peter Nicholl, Governor of the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzogovina; Dr. Paul M. Sacks, President of Multinational Strategies.
The Marshall Foundation along with the East West Institute and the World Bank co-sponsored a second conference on “Transformation in the Balkans” in September 2000 in Prague, Czech Republic. The Foundation’s primary mission at the symposium was to examine the progress made since the formation of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe—what many have referred to as a Marshall Plan for the Balkans—in June 1999.
The one-day conference focused on the important issues of rebuilding the economies of the Balkan region; developing democratic institutions and the rule of law; encouraging intra-regional cooperation; and facilitating the coordinated involvement of the international community in this critical area of the world.
The conference chairman was William Luers, President of the United Nations Association of the United States and former US ambassador to Czechoslovakia. More that 200 people participated including Marshall Foundation trustees General Jack Merritt, USA (Ret) and Olin Wethington. Other key participants included Johannes Linn, Vice President of the Europe and Central Asia Division of the World Bank Group; Donald Kursch, Deputy Special Coordinator of the Stability Pact; Ljubomir Cucic, President, Europe House; Jan Kubis, Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE); General Wesley Clark, USA (Ret), former Supreme Allied Commander Europe; Catherine Kelleher, Director of the Aspen Institute Berlin.
At the conclusion of the conference there was general agreement that the region of South East Europe must remain high on the international agenda and that solutions to the problems will require a long-term commitment from the nations of the area and the nations of the West to work in cooperation toward common goals.