The global security risks associated with a nuclear-empowered Iran, the challenges of the Arab Spring, the need for decisive international action regarding the Syrian crisis and, at the same time, for a Europe closer to the Mediterranean and the Middle East: these were the themes Minister for Foreign Affairs Giulio Terzi submitted to the attention of the most influential Israeli and international policy makers meeting for the 13th annual Herzliya Conference, held in the Israeli city a few kilometers north of Tel Aviv named for its Hungarian founder Theodoro Herzl. A noted tourist port and high-tech hub, Herzliya is also famous for this Munich Security Conference inspired meeting organised annually by the Institute for Policy and Strategy (IPS) – Interdisciplinary Center (IDC), founded in 2000 and headed by Israeli General Danny Rothschild.
Mideast strategies and security
A globally-recognised forum for debate on international global policy and security challenges, the Herzliya Conference is the principal setting for analysis of Middle East strategies and security themes. This year’s esteemed participants, in addition to the Italian foreign minister and French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, include U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defence for International Security Affairs Derek Chollet, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro, Director for Policy and Political-Military Affairs and Chair Amos Gilad, Security Relations Governor of the Bank of Israel Stanley Fischer, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, along with experts and scholars from government offices, the business community and academic institutions.
“Regional challenges, asymmetric policies”
With the meaningful title “Regional challenges, asymmetric policies”, Minister Terzi’s speech focused on the need for effective and consistent international community responses to international security threats, noting that, since the most urgent warnings are coming from the Middle East, this Israeli think-tank was the most appropriate setting for discussion. The Institute for Policy and Strategy (IPS), the conference organiser, deal with themes considered crucial to Israel, specifically focusing on three key aspects: the Middle East and macro-regional risk assessment, Israel’s foreign affairs and international relations, and Israeli national security methods and foreign affairs.
Thanks to its network of contacts and relations with governments, public institutions, focus groups and research institutes around the world, the IPS fosters high-level dialogue and the implementation of political strategies and solutions. The annual Herzliya Conference is the crowning achievement of the IPS. Its main goal is to contribute to national policy and improved Israeli decision-making and to offer opportunities for analysis and encounter to decision-makers and analysts concerned with security – in all its various components, including the economic one – in a Greater Middle East that stretches from the Mediterranean to the Gulf.
The 2013 edition will be divided into six plenary sessions focused on themes ranging from economics – including analyses of the global economic crisis and Israel’s macro-economic and budget priorities – to the Middle East’s role in new U.S.-Asian balances, relations between Israel and the U.S., and efforts to develop a shared European-U.S.-Middle East strategy.