9/11 Memorial Conference Held in Budapest
Ten Years After – Remembering 9/11, 9 September 2011
9/11 Memorial Conference Held in Budapest

On Friday, 9 September 2011 the memorial conference „Ten Years After – Remembering 9/11” was held at the Central European University in Budapest in association with the U.S. Embassy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary. Nearly 200 participants attended the event, including ambassadors, high-rank diplomats, government officials, representatives of think-tanks, as well as professors and students from various universities. The aim of the conference was to remember the past, discuss current issues and future implications of the aftermath of September 11. The event covered topics such as how 9/11 has changed the world, what its effects were on public life both in the USA and in Europe, the relevance of international law in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and how governments and international organizations need to deal with the threats of terrorism.

The conference was opened by H.E. Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis, Ambassador of the United States of America to Hungary and Dr. John Shattuck, President and Rector of Central European University, followed by keynote speeches from H.E. János Martonyi, Foreign Minister of Hungary and Dr. William Rosenau, Adjunct Professor of Security Studies Program of the Georgetown University. Minister Martonyi emphasized the necessity of international cooperation to contain terrorism and to prevent future attacks anywhere in the world and expressed his will to share Hungary’s experience in political and economic regime change with countries in North Africa and the Middle East. Ambassador Kounalakis stressed that no political and social change could be achieved in a violent way and that the United States would never forget the empathy it recieved following the attacks. President Shattuck labelled September 11 as „one of the darkest days in history” and highlighted the security and military costs of containing terrorism.

In the first panel, moderated by ICDT President H.E. László Várkonyi, lecturers evaluated the effects of 9/11 on the world. Dr. Tamás Magyarics, Professor of American Studies, focused on the the effects of 9/11 on public life in the USA, followed by Dr. Péter Tálas, Director of the Institute for Strategic Defence Studies who discussed the threat and threat-perception associated with terrorism. H.E. André Erdős, Former Permanent Representative of Hungary to the UN, shared his personal experience regarding the terror attacks on the World Trade Center and displayed a video he recorded in New York at the time of the attacks.

The second panel, moderated by ICDT Vice President Mr. Sándor Köles, was focusing on the future implications of the 9/11 attacks and terrorism in general. Prof. Dr. Janne Haaland-Matlary, Former Deputy Foreign Minister of Norway, Professor of International Politics at the University of Oslo and at the Norwegian Military Staff College held a lecture discussing the political consequences of 9/11 in Europe, followed by Ms. Jennifer Giroux, Senior Researcher at the Center for Security Studies of ETH Zürich who analyzed the role of governments and international organizations in the fight against terrorism. Dr. Christiane Höhn, Adviser to the European Union Counter-terrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove was focusing on the lessons and challenges connected to terrorism, from the perspective of the European Union. Dr. László Valki, Professor Emeritus of the Department of International Law at Eötvös Loránd University dedicated his speech to the relevance of international law in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

13 September 2011

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