Peace and Security

Magnificent Opening to the First World Foresight Forum

The Hague, The Netherlands - There was a magnificent opening to the three-day first World Foresight Forum in the Kloosterkerk, a beautiful church which is Protestant and "open" with connections to the Dutch Royal Family and near the most prestigious avenue in The Hague, the Lange Voorhout, in and around which the forum is being conducted.

There is a "tent village" in the avenue, housing all the "practical" aspects of the Forum, and meetings are held in buildings nearby. It is a rather unique arrangement and a coup for the organizers, the Lange Voorhout being quite special, the Queen drives along it ceremoniously on her way to the annual opening of Parliament and the street lamps are all topped by crowns.

The Mayor of The Hague, Jozias van Aartsen, welcomed all to The Hague, which seeks to be a city of peace, with its Peace Palace, the home of the International Court of Justice and the Permanent Court of Arbitration; and WFF Chairman Joel P. Wyler shared something of his vision for WFF. He later explained his concern for what we pass on to future generations: there are so many interconnected factors and he hoped that the WFF would provide a good opportunity for discussion. A key factor was that people would not just be attending meetings focused on featured speakers, but that there be ample opportunity for people to meet each other informally; and he was a prime example, often seen the the various areas of the "tent village." Many students, future leaders, have received special invitations to attend.

At the opening, General Lord Charles Guthrie, former Chief of Defense Staff, British Armed Forces, spoke of his concern for the security of civilized society, and security for the future was a phrase often heard throughout the first day of this very laudable WFF.

There are four aspects to the Forum: a Convention, with featured speakers, a Summit, where leaders from various disciplines are encouraged to speak "off the record," an Expo, where companies can show their activities, and a Festival, featuring a number of arts and cultural events.

The Forum continues until Friday.

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