The world-renowned academic and former Dean of Harvard Kennedy School, Dr. Joseph Nye attended the Keynote event of the celebration for the 20 years of the Kokkalis Foundation, with a speech on "The Future of the International Order". The event, which took place on Saturday, June 16, 2018, opened the President of the Kokkalis Foundation, Mr. Sokratis Kokkalis, with a greeting, emphasizing the vision and leadership of Dr. Nye as the Dean of the Harvard Kennedy School, and expressing his gratitude for the promotion of the Kokkalis Program for South - Eastern and East-Central Europe, the first regional program in Harvard, creating such an extensive network of education, research and other extroverted activities. "Many leading figures have been distinguished since 1998, thanks to this program," Mr. Kokkalis said in his opening speech. "My personal conviction is that commitment to cooperation rather than antagonism is the only way for peace and prosperity, and that’s what we need", concluded the President of the Kokkalis Foundation.
Dr. Nye followed with his speech, carrying optimistic messages, however, drawing attention to dangerous policies, and mentioning he is very happy to be in Athens as a stopover on his way to Israel and coming from Oxford.
Dr. Nye, who served as Deputy Minister of Defense in the Clinton Government and chairman of the National Intelligence Council, pointed out that Europe today may be going through a period with a number of open issues that affect it internally and internationally, but it has the preconditions both because of the size of its economy as a whole and of actions undertaken at EU level to play its role in the medium to long term. More generally, the renowned professor pointed out that it is not easy to make assumptions about changes in power, namely the rise or fall of states on an international level as we are going through very strange times. Joseph Nye mentioned, as an example of our times, recent developments on the international scene that could hardly be predicted shortly before: US President Donald Trump disagreeing with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the recent G7 summit and a few hours later signing an agreement in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Joseph Nye gave a panoramic view of the power changes between China and the US, noting that at times many have estimated that America will lose its world power, but this has not been the case so far and in his opinion, is not expected to happen in the years to come. The international power of a country is not determined solely by its economy size, but also by a number of other factors, said Joseph Nye, pointing out that in the coming years the US will keep its demographic position in the global ranking, which is very important, while at the same time dominating in areas such as technological innovations, and education in its world-renowned universities. Also over the last decade, there has been a change in the positive side of data and estimates in the field of energy security in the US, resulting that America retains its leadership on the international stage, despite assessments made on the beginning of the end of its power.
Referring to the American leadership and current President Donald Trump, Professor Nye mentioned inter alia, that this is a very different case from the other presidents, he appreciated that some moves are made without strategy, and many of the implications of his presidency and transnational relations will depend on whether he will remain President for 4 or 8 years. The 20-year event of the Kokkalis Foundation began in the morning with the reunion of 60 Alumni, from the Network of the Kokkalis Scholarship Program in South -Eastern and Eastern Central Europe at the Harvard Kennedy School. Mr. Petros S. Kokkalis, Vice President of the Kokkalis Foundation, Dr. Joseph J. McCarthy, Associate Dean, Director of Degree Programs at Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government, and Mr. Dimitris Keridis, Professor of International Politics at Panteion University of Athens, coordinated a very interesting discussion among graduates, coming from Greece, Serbia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Finland, Albania, Hungary and Fyrom, who reported on current national challenges, as well as sustainable development and enhanced cooperation in the region, in the future, in view of these new challenges. Harvard Alumni committed to organizing an annual alumni gathering. This reunion will revolve each year in a different country in the region, hoping it will act as a way to support the ethos of the program and serve to re-inspire the alumni network to contribute with its skills to the progress of Southeastern Europe.