PROFESSOR SAMUEL HUNTINGTON AT KOKKALIS FOUNDATION EVENT
The 3rd Athens Forum organized by the Kokkalis Foundation in cooperation with Harvard University took place in Athens on June 18, 2002. The event was held in the Athens Concert Hall and was attended by numerous Greek and international personalities, members of parliament, academics, businesspeople, foreign ambassadors as well as the 100 scholarship receivers of the Kokkalis Foundation at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Prof. Huntington was the guest of honour speaker of the Forum, introduced by the Chairman of the Foundation, Mr Kokkalis and the Senior Associate Dean of the J.F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Mrs Holly Taylor Sargent.
Mr Socrates Kokkalis welcoming Prof. Huntington mentioned that: last year's dramatic events unfortunately showed us that, in order to have communication, technology is a perquisite but not a sufficient condition. Humans remain at the heart of communication and technology. Kokkalis Foundations' vision is to build bridges that connect theory with practice, the academic environment with everyday policies and practices, technology with human nature.
The speech of Prof. Samuel Huntington focused on the role of the Kokkalis Foundation and the spectrum of international developments and prospects in a clear, succinct and insightful way. He emphasized on the dramatic developments of the previous decade in Eastern Europe and summarizing on the basic changes that have taken place following the end of the Cold War, he mentioned:
- The international redistribution of power from a bipolar to a uni-multipolar system with the USA being the dominant force.
- The supremacy of civilisations instead of ideologies with all that this entails (identifying oneself on the basis of descent, religion, language, history, value systems, traditions and institutions).
- Conflict in the Muslim world. At this point, Prof. Huntington alluded to the conflicts of the previous century and concluded that the beginning of the new century is characterised by local conflicts and especially conflicts among Islamic societies.
In concluding his speech, Prof. Huntington underlined the factor of economic development, the availability and sufficiency of energy and water resources as well as the uneven distribution of wealth, which is increasingly concentrated in very few countries and multinational corporations.
Last but not least, he noted that today's global political environment is significantly different to that of the previous twenty-year period but the differences in twenty years time will remain as important.
Kokkalis Foundation is a non-profit organization, which aims to facilitate the development of a peaceful, democratic and prosperous South eastern Europe. Toward this end, Kokkalis Foundation supports an integrated network of educational, research and outreach activities that connect senior policy-makers, scholars and students, prepare leaders for public service through fellowships at the Harvard University and fosters original approaches in confronting complex public policy problems.