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Eton International Forum

On Thursday, March 5th, the Eton International Forum accomplished its second annual event. In an attempt to expand on its inaugural effort, it hosted seven panelists to tackle the question of "How should the U.S. and Europe work jointly to progress on key issues in the Middle East?" More specifically, how could young people, as those responsible for these issues in the near future, contribute to finding solutions?”

The panelists were:

  • His Excellency Professor Manuel Hassassian: Palestinian General Delegate to the UK,

  • Mr. Xan Smiley: Middle East and Africa Editor for The Economist magazine,

  • Lt. Col. Nick Henderson: former commander of the Coldstream Guards in Basra City,

  • Mr. Mohsen Moazami: Vice President, Emerging Markets and Globalization Center Internet Business Solutions Group, Cisco Systems,

  • Professor Nicholas de Lange: Professor of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at the University of Cambridge,

  • Mr. Philip Luther:  Deputy Director, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Amnesty International,

  • Mr. David Cole: Atlantic Council of the United Kingdom.

Speakers arrived around 5:00pm to discuss the issue in a private session kindly hosted by the Provost in his Drawing Room. The fruitful debate incorporated comments from many boys and all the experts. During this part of the evening, the guests were presented with a draft of the Forum’s paper on “Do we want to win the war on terror?” A cooperative work including most of the Forum’s boys but largely executed by Vincent Garton KS. This was followed by a wonderful supper in the Provost’s beautiful dining room preceding the public discussion session open to all boys at 8:45pm. We were greeted by a packed Upper School.  

Following opening remarks by Cristo Liautaud (RPDF), discussion on the Middle East continued once again involving remarks from all the panelists and boys, notably Jasmeet Sahotay (RJM) and Keshav Dimri KS. Towards the end, the audience eagerly involved themselves in the debate as well. This was largely due to the Forum’s adviser, Mr. Maxwell, who skillfully moderated dialogue throughout the evening.

The evening was a fantastic success. There has been much positive feedback both from boys and panelists. Most importantly, it has given us growing confidence in the Forum for next year and further manifested the potential and necessity for young people to productively engage in international issues.


DATE POSTED: 23 March 2009

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