Archive for the ‘North America’ Category

Zachary Karabell, noted author and economic trend analyst, will be joining the Council on October 21 to discuss the economic relationship between China and the United States and the speed at which it is changing. This week Karabell wrote a piece in the Wall Street Journal entitled “Deficits and the Chinese Challenge,” which uses the post-war British experience to warn of the challenges faced by a superpower in debt.

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The Wall Street Journal’s Mary O’Grady reports on former US Secretary of State  George Shultz’s views of the drug war along the Mexican-US border from the North America Forum, Ottawa, Canada. Read the article here.

In case you missed last week’s blog post about last week’s 2009 North American Forum, you can find it here.

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Less than a year into his first term as President of the United States, Barack Obama has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Citing his work to bring peace to the Middle East, put an end to nuclear armament, and promote religious harmony around the world, the Nobel committee chose Obama for this year’s prize out of a pool of many distinguished nominees. Obama spoke in the Rose Garden this morning and said he was “both surprised and deeply humbled by the decision of the Nobel Committee.” Saying he felt undeserved of the award, he agreed to accept it as a “a call to action, a call for all nations to confront the common challenges of the 21st century.”

To read more about the award and to listen to President Obama’s speech, check out this story in the New York Times. You can also watch the speech below.

To listen to past World Affairs Council programs featuring Nobel Peace Prize laureates, including Wangari Maathai (2004) and Shirin Ebadi (2003), visit our audio archive and search for “Nobel.”

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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North American Forum 2009 News Release:

OCTOBER 6, 2009


Leaders from business, government and academia today wrapped up three days of discussions in Ottawa, Canada, aimed at fostering improved relations and increased cooperation among the people and governments of North America.

This year’s meeting of the North American Forum focused on the need for Canada, Mexico and the United States to work together in responding to the global economic crisis and promoting a quick return to strong and sustainable growth. In addition, the Forum included special sessions on two critical issues: one on energy and the environment, and the other on transnational crime, arms smuggling and drug trafficking.

Click for more information.

The World Affairs Council of Northern California has served as the Secretariat for the North American Forum since the inaugural meeting which took place in October 2005 in Sonoma, California.

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President Obama will present the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom to 16 recipients tomorrow, Wednesday, August 12. Three of this year’s awardees were speakers at the World Affairs Council and the Global Philanthropy Forum in 2008: former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Muhammad Yunus.

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Last Thursday, former President of Mexico Vicente Fox joined a packed Council audience and our President and CEO Jane Wales for an unscripted conversation on the current challenges facing Mexico. On Mexico’s war on drugs, the first topic of discussion, President Fox gave potential strategies and necessary actions for ending the violence and killings, emphasizing the need to fight the war from the demand side. President Fox also praised Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her recent comments admitting the role of US demand for drugs and supply of weapons in fueling the violence and encouraged continued cooperation between the two countries. Other topics of conversation included the Mexican economy, the H1N1 virus (or “swine flu”), NAFTA, immigration, and democracy. For the full conversation between President Fox and Jane Wales, check out the audio and video recordings here at our online archive or watch a short video clip of the program below.

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