On the 7 - 9 December, GAAEC' s 5th International Conference took place, in the Zappeion Megaro.
The main topic of discussion was: "Regional Safety and Cooperation in the Balkans and in the Mediterranean. The role of International Organizations".
This conference, the 5th International Conference of the Greek Association for Atlantic and European Cooperation, constitutes a forum for dialogue and mutual understanding, and we hope that it will contribute to the serious concerns that preoccupy the wider region of the Balkans and the Mediterranean.
The Conference commenced with a speech from the Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr George ROMAIOS, and concluded with a speech from the Minister of National Defence Mr Gerasimos ARSENIS. Speakers also included, the Undersecretary of Finance, responsible for International Economic Relations, Mr Yannis ANTHOPOYLOS.
Political parties from all over the country participated, with their leading representatives. From New Democracy, in charge of International Relations, Mrs. Marietta Giannakou-Koutsikou, Parliamentarian and former Minister, from Politiki Anixi, Representative Mr Stathis GIOTAS, Parliamentarian and former Minister, from Sinaspismos, Chairman Mr Nikos KONSTANTOPOYLOS, and also a representative from the Communist Party.
Opinions concerning additional approaches to the Regional Security and Stability were expressed by speakers from all the neighboring countries: the Undersecretaries of Foreign Affairs for Bulgaria Mr. Konstantin GLAVANAKOV and Hungary Mr. Istvan PATAKI, the Undersecretary of Defence for Albania Mr. Alfred MOISIU, the Ambassador of Israel to Greece, Mr. David SASSON, acting Ministers from the embassy of Egypt in Greece Mr. Minou SHERRY and the Embassy of Turkey in Greece Mr. Tacan ILDEN, the Ambassador Mr. Mjrcea UTERUS from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania, Mr. Vojko KUZMA, Director of International Relations from the Parliament of Slovenia, Parliamentarian, from the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, professor Mr. Dwarf RUZJN, and the Secretary General of the Italian Atlantic Committee Mr Fabrizio LUCIOLLI.
Acting Minister for the American Embassy in Athens Mr. Thomas MILLER and the former Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Mihalis PAPAKONSTANTINOY expressed transatlantic views and concerns for the region. Finally, the Chairman of the Permanent Parliamentary Committee of Foreign Affairs and Defence, Mr Lefteris VERIVAKIS, expressed his opinions.
The objectives and conclusions of the Conference were presented by, the Chairman of the Greek Association for Atlantic and European Cooperation, Mr Theodosis GEORGIOU.
Subjects of importance were elaborated on by Mr. Panagiotis GENNIMATAS, Vice-president of the European Bank of Investments, the Assistant General Director of the Commercial Bank Mr. Konstantinos KANONIS, Professor at the University of Athens and Chairman of ELIAMEP Mr. Thanos VEREMIS, expert on issues of de-militarization Mr. Petros PETRIDIS. Other experts, and members of GAAEC, that spoke were Mr. Theodoros PSALIDOPOYLOS, Mrs. Aliki MITSAKOY and Mr. Andreas LYKOYRENTZOS.
The role of International Organizations was analyzed by the NATO spokesperson, Mr. Jamie SHEA, Ambassador Mr Horst HOLTHOFF, Assistant Secretary General of the Western European Union, Mrs. Mirka GONTIKA, Director of the United Nations Office of Information for Greece, Cyprus and Israel, and Ambassador Mr. Wilhem HOYNCK, Secretary General of the Organization for Safety and Cooperation in Europe.
Other participants that were invited to the Conference included distinguished Greek and foreign Politicians, Military, Academic, Diplomatic Representatives from all the foreign Embassies of the Balkan and Mediterranean countries in Athens, and Members from other "Atlantic Union" countries, members of NATO and the "Partnership for Peace" Program.