For the first time since the war started, the future of Ukraine is being considered. A high-level international conference was held in Paris on how to stop the bloodshed.
The conference was organised at Paris Business School on October 24th 2023 with prominent speakers, experts, researchers and journalists. It was moderated by Frédéric Encel, professor of geopolitics at Paris Business School and Sciences Po with a keynote speakers Ambassador Gerard Araud, former French diplomat and Jeffrey Sachs, American Econmist and professor at Columbia University.
Ambassador Araud has highlighted that the war in Ukraine needs diplomacy which is difficult to understand for Europeans. He brought the precedent and South and North Korean model of ceasefire and freezing the conflict as a possible solution.
He also reminded that all the boundaries in Europe of today are the result of different wars and in each war was a an attacking side and a defending side. It is remarkable that the Ambassador sees good chances that the war will be stopped after Donald Trump wins the elections, which is a likely scenario for the upcoming US elections.
Christophe Gomart, a general and a respected columnist joined the analysis of Ambassador Araud by reviewing the situation from a military perspective and considering that Ukraine’s and Russia’s potentials. Ukraine is getting destroyed and exhausted, although keeping high spirit but Russian capabilities appear to be higher despite the aid to Ukraine from the West.
Gaidz Minassian, a professor at sciences Po and a journalist at le Monde compared the Ukrainian-Russian war to the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijani and how this war had a lot of repercussions on other conflicts in the region and the need to put an end to the conflict to stabilize the region.
Manel Msalmi, the president of the European Association for The Defense of Minorities and a researcher in international relations in Brussels mentioned that Ukraine needs to fight against corruption and food insecurity. She has emphasised the ongoing destruction of Ukraine and human suffering. Manel Msalmi has also raised the issue of the rising level of corruption in Ukraine which is widely discussed in the USA now. And she said: “We must ask a question: why the diplomatic means are so weak? Why not to use the means of negotiations to stop the war? In the meantime, Ukraine is getting destroyed. The war destabilises the world and eliminates Ukraine”.
Professor Jeffrey Sachs, American Economist and professor at Columbia University joined the discussion via zoom. He has stated that this war should have been prevented so many times. Unfortunately, there were occasions to negotiate, but the US was trying to enlarge NATO by any cost without taking into consideration Russian concerns. Now, Ukraine is loosing not only by sacrificing hundreds of thousands but possibly loosing sovereignty. He was very critical of the current US policies. He insisted that the way to stop the war through negotiations must be found.
The last speaker was Gérard Chaliand, a geopolitical, writer and winner of the book prize of geopolitics. He warmly congratulated professor Sachs and highlighted the need to stop the war and save the life of Ukrainian people but also questioned the continuation of military supplies to Ukraine.
The conference ended with a series of questions from the students who were intrested to exchange with the experts.
This was the first event of this sort which may lead to further discussions and eyes opening.