The Paris Peace Forum welcomes its new president, Ángel Gurría

4 min read
Ángel Gurría has officially taken on the role of President of the organization since 23 March 2023, succeeding Pascal Lamy. Ángel Gurría brings with him a wealth of experience in international relations and diplomacy, following an illustrious career in public service in his native Mexico, and over 15 years as Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). “I am honored to take on the role of President of the Paris Peace Forum and to build on the great work that Pascal Lamy has done. […] In this period of increasing geopolitical polarization, the mandate of the organization and its focus on multilateral solutions has never been more relevant and urgent.”Ángel Gurría,
President of the Paris Peace ForumThe Paris Peace Forum also welcomes the European Commission as a new member of its Executive Committee, and Microsoft as a member of its General Assembly. Already longstanding partners of the Paris Peace Forum, these new additions to our governance reflect the North-South parity which is at the heart of Forum’s global ambition.

The Fifth Paris Peace Forum opened in Paris, on November 11, 2022. Around 4,000 representatives from around the world frominternational organizations, companies, banks, NGOs, etc. attended the conference. November 11th is the Armistice Day of the First World War. In view of the fact that Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine will last for nine months and the threat of wars in many parts of the world is increasing, the focus points of the Peace Forum attracted much attention.

This forum was originally initiated by Emmanuel Macron. The forum was created in 2018 to establish a regular meeting of world policymakers in Paris. Paris has always been the capital of art, and now is it also the capital of peace? Close to 30 heads of state and governments attended. The forum lasted for two days. High profile attendants included French President Emmanuel Macron, Argentine President Alberto Fernández, and UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay. Leaders of various countries governments and international organizations, non-governmental organizations, multinational corporations, and heads of financial institutions also attended the forum. The core theme of the year’s forum was to solve the global divide under the epidemic.

Pascal Lamy, president of the Paris Peace Forum, told AFP: “This is a forum about peace, because peace is a product of the environment; war or non-peace actually comes from society, development, religion, Tensions like climate right now.”
Lamy analyzed that in today’s crisis-ridden world, traditional actors, states and diplomats are no longer capable of finding solutions. The Paris Peace Forum therefore brings together new actors from civil society, NGOs, major corporations, cities and major institutions.

The forum discussed 60 innovative solutions for global governance. These programs come from international organizations, non-governmental organizations, think tanks and industry associations, etc., and mainly involve coping with the impact of multiple crises on the people, rethinking globalization, promoting climate and environmental solutions, and building a more ethical and secure digital world, etc.

Lamy, a former EU commissioner and former World Trade Organization director-general, cautioned: “We are not going to absolve countries and diplomats of the responsibility to find solutions”. However, he urged tapping, encouraging, and mobilizing the “energy reserves” and “willingness to cooperate” of other actors. This can be very helpful to encourage the power of the people. Now that Lamy mentions that traditional actors, states and diplomats are already incapable of finding solutions. Maybe everyone can be more active and contribute positive energy by brainstorming and working together. Don’t underestimate yourself!

In the end, I talked to Ángel Gurría, he looked kind and friendly. He told me that he likes Chinese culture and has seen Shen Yun performances! I was surprised that he had actually seen Shen Yun, and was full of praise for it. Shen Yun’s restoration of traditional culture, especially the restoration of morality, has a very positive impact on society.

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