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Sustainable development at heart of this year’s Bled Strategic Forum

On 2 and 3 September, Bled will again host high-level politicians, business people and representatives of international organisations and academia from Slovenia and beyond. Organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with the Centre for European Perspective for the fourteenth consecutive year, the Bled Strategic Forum seeks to provide appropriate solutions to key issues for guaranteeing peace and security, sustainable development, and economic progress. The two-day conference, held under the title (Re)sources of (In)stability, will be divided into thirty panels with the participation of fifteen ministers, two presidents, and many senior representatives of international organisations.

At the opening event, the participants will be addressed by Foreign Minister Dr Miro Cerar, Prime Minister Marjan Šarec and President of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés. The Leaders’ Panel will feature remarks by Slovenian President Borut Pahor and Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid. The panellists on the first day of the Forum will include Spain's Minister of Foreign Affairs, the European Union and Cooperation Josep Borrell Fontelles, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Chairman of illycaffè Andrea Illy, former EU Commissioner Dr Janez Potočnik, currently Co-Chair of the International Resource Panel, and former Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta, Dean of the Paris School of International Affairs at Sciences Po and this year’s recipient of the BSF Distinguished Partner Award.

Ensuring effective multilateralism, Euro-Atlantic security, the human rights situation, women's rights, protectionism, fiscal resources in a globalised world, and the circular economy will be at the focus of the main political and security forum. Participants and high-level guests will concentrate on new leadership methods and future challenges for the European Commission. Seven foreign ministers will discuss the path taken so far and the steps ahead on the Western Balkans’ road towards the EU; Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto, who currently presides over the EU Foreign Affairs Council, will be the keynote speaker at the panel.. The first day will conclude with a Night Owl Session on creating a resilient and inclusive future, and the second day will feature discussions on current topics on the European agenda, such as Brexit, combating the spread of disinformation, and migration.

The Business BSF under the title Predicting the Unpredictable will provide entrepreneurs, economists and representatives of international financial institutions an opportunity to discuss trends and challenges faced during globalisation, technological development and digitisation. Particular attention will be devoted to green technologies and sustainable development. Putting youth as a resource at the forefront, Young BSF will be dedicated to the empowered role of young people in shaping the future of society.

Over more than a decade, the Bled Strategic Forum has evolved into a leading international conference in Central and South-Eastern Europe, bringing together a diverse set of participants, including heads of state and government, ministers, diplomats, businesspeople, scholars, experts, youth, and media from around the world. The Forum focuses on engaging participants in discussions about contemporary regional and global challenges, and seeking out-of-the-box solutions. It also provides an excellent opportunity for tailored bilateral and multilateral meetings and networking with prominent regional and global actors from diplomacy, politics, business, science, and innovation.

For the conference programme and more information see the BSF website.