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  • Thursday, August 11, 2022 1:18 PM | Tim Horgan (Administrator)

    Thank you to Dave Tille for all of your hard work in support of Ukraine. It was wonderful to have Natalya back in the state. In 2021, Natalya participated in the Open World Program and came to New Hampshire to meet with her professional counterparts, share best practices, and build global understanding. Less than a year later her world was turned upside down as Russia invaded and the war continues today. 

    The World Affairs Council of New Hampshire is proud to facilitate exchanges that build these lasting connections and ensure New Hampshire understands the challenges facing the world. Our work would not be possible without the strong community support we receive and we thank everyone who helps us work toward a more peaceful and prosperous world.


  • Tuesday, August 09, 2022 2:02 PM | Tim Horgan (Administrator)

    The World Affairs Council of New Hampshire is committed to providing timely and insightful updates to global affairs. With the tensions between Taiwan and China reaching a fever pitch, we reached out to the respective government officials for each, looking for insights into the ongoing situation.  Both Taiwan and Chinese officials directed us to statements made by their respective governments. What becomes immediately clear is that the governments on either side of the strait view the situation, including the lead up to Chinese military drills around the island, completely differently.

    Minister Jaushieh Joseph Wu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China

    “…China is clearly trying to deter other countries from interfering in its attempt to invade Taiwan. Its rehearsal of anti-access and area-denial (A2/AD) tactics gives us a clear image of China’s geostrategic ambitions beyond Taiwan.

    In other words, China’s real intention behind these military exercises is to alter the status quo in the Taiwan Strait and the entire region. This has already brought significantly unstable elements into the mix, threatening regional security.”

    Hua Chunying, Spokesperson for Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China

    “China has acted in legitimate self-defense only after the US made this egregious provocation (Speaker Pelosi’s visit). China’s measures are also about staunchly safeguarding regional peace and stability and international law and basic norms in international relations. Already more than 160 countries have made their voice of justice heard. They reiterated their commitment to the one-China policy and expressed support for China’s efforts to firmly uphold its sovereignty and territorial integrity…For the Chinese military’s drills in the waters off the Taiwan Island, the Chinese competent authorities have issued safety alerts and navigation warnings in advance. The practices of the Chinese side were consistent with international law and practices.”

    Of course, international reaction to this crisis has been as varied in their responses as these two statements. This global issue continues to highlight the differing worldviews of people across the globe. As this geostrategic competition continues to play out, one is left hoping that a miscalculation or accident does not occur that leads inevitably, to death, destruction, and global disruptions that will impact everyone’s lives, either directly or indirectly. Beyond the human toll of a war across the Taiwan Strait, the disruptions to global trade will only continue to pile on to the pressures placed on supply chains, as well as global inflation. As we have seen with the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, a war can begin quickly, but the impacts to the world will be lasting.

    For access to the full statements:

    Taiwan - https://en.mofa.gov.tw/News_Content.aspx?n=1328&sms=273&s=98292

    China - https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/xwfw_665399/s2510_665401/2511_665403/202208/t20220805_10735987.html


  • Tuesday, August 09, 2022 12:10 PM | Tim Horgan (Administrator)

    MANCHESTER/PORTSMOUTH – On September 13, the people of New Hampshire will go to the polls to decide on the nominees for the general election later this year. As one of the most watched races in the nation, the campaign for the U.S. Senate seat here in the state is heating up. As the Senate plays a large role in directing U.S. Foreign Policy, it is incumbent on voters to understand the foreign policy platforms of all candidates they are considering. Through this lens, the World Affairs Council of New Hampshire is proud to announce a series of candidate events to provide a platform for discussion on how each candidate views the U.S’ role in the world.

    Through this series of events, voters in New Hampshire will explore the viewpoints of the candidates around key foreign policy issues. This includes U.S. – China relations, the ongoing war in Ukraine, N.A.T.O. expansion, and more. The opportunity to hear from multiple candidates on these issues and to dive deeply into the conversation will help create a more informed and involved voter. These events will provide the platform for civil and important discussions which create understanding.

    “With so many different challenges facing the world today, it is important to make your voice heard through elections,” said Tim Horgan, WACNH executive director. “There are few forums focused solely on the role of the United States in the world and this series is a great opportunity for voters to gain deeper insights into the candidates’ thinking. Creating an informed electorate is one of the most important aspects of our work and vital to a strong and vibrant democracy.”

    All of the Senate Primary candidates have been invited to participate in their own presentation on foreign policy. While work continues to confirm as many events as possible, the World Affairs Council of New Hampshire is proud to announce the following candidates:

    All events will be held at UNH Manchester in the multipurpose room. These events are free and open to the public, with the media invited to cover each candidate’s presentations. Audience questions will be taken after remarks from the candidate to further understanding on candidate positions. This is a wonderful opportunity for respectful, challenging, and insightful conversations. It is incumbent on all voters to understand their choices and know what the United States is doing around the world in their name.

    For more information and registration for these events, visit www.wacnh.org/eventcalendar


  • Wednesday, June 29, 2022 9:21 AM | Tim Horgan (Administrator)

      

    Every year non-profits around the country welcome new board members to invigorate their work with new ideas, diverse perspectives, and fresh energy. The World Affairs Council of New Hampshire is honored to welcome three powerful community leaders to their Board. These strong directors will provide new insights into its work and help lead the Council as the organization heads to its 70th anniversary in 2024.

    Karen Ballou, CEO of Immunocologie, Anna Berry, Director of Communications and Digital Outreach at the Forest Society, and Chrystina Russell, Executive Director of rewirED, have all been elected to three-year terms on the organization’s Board of Directors. Their combined experiences leading organizations through various levels of development will assist the World Affairs Council of New Hampshire as it continues its ongoing growth.

    “My eight decades of life experiences inform me that the best performing organizations are usually composed of a thoughtful combination of older, more experienced members and newer, more creative members,” said Peter Bowman, WACNH Board President. “So, while we will miss those who retire from the Board, we not only applaud their wonderful contributions, but we warmly welcome and cheer on those who are joining, anticipating their successful futures with the organization.”

    Anna Berry brings a unique view to the Board, having spent eight years as Executive Director of the Council. After four years away, she will bring fresh perspective to what the organization does. Her background in communications and outreach will strongly benefit WACNH’s community presence.

    “I’m honored to join the World Affairs Council of New Hampshire’s Board of Directors and support the organization’s critical work to bring the world to New Hampshire and New Hampshire to the world,” said Berry. “From sharing a meal with international visitors to discussing foreign policy with expert speakers, I’ve always enjoyed the Council’s diverse programs and I look forward to helping advance its mission in order to reach even more Granite Staters over the next few years.”

    Chrystina Russell has spent her career working to provide education within a global context. From working in public schools to creating an international educational movement providing university degrees to people in refugee camps, she has been an ardent supporter of global education, which fits well with the mission of WACNH.

    “The work of the Council is important to me because of the high impact programming and activities that meaningfully connect the world to NH, the organization's commitment to strengthened sustainability, and WACNH's focus on civic leadership for issues on world affairs,” said Russell. “I am honored to join the board and am doing so because of my alignment and excitement about these important initiatives. I look forward to teaming with WACNH in support of their efforts to build an informed global community."

    Karen Ballou has long focused on sustainable sourcing of products in her work, creating global relationships that benefit both her companies and the communities she works in. She brings a unique set of skills that will help enhance the public profile of the Council, brining its programs to new audiences.

    The World Affairs Council of New Hampshire is honored to welcome these amazing leaders to its Board of Directors. As the organization finishes its strategic planning process and looks forward to the global future, their insights will benefit the Council greatly.


  • Friday, May 06, 2022 9:00 AM | Tim Horgan (Administrator)

    Each year the World Affairs Council of New Hampshire bestows the Global Leadership award to a New Hampshire person, business, or organization who has shown leadership in promoting international knowledge and understanding by expanding New Hampshire’s global connections. Past recipients of the award include Howard Brodsky, Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte, Dr. Paul LeBlanc, and other prominent community members. This year, WACNH is honored to name David Tille, Director of Veteran Services at Harbor Care, as the ninth recipient of this prestigious award.

    David has long spent time creating and expanding global relationships, both as a part of his personal and professional life. From his time in the U.S. Army (certified as a Russian Language specialist), to his degree with a focus in International Administration, Economics, and Political Science, and his time leading Young Rescuers USA (an international first responders’ program for youth), he has created a great legacy of global connections over the years.

    “We could not be happier to add Dave to our list of amazing recipients of this award,” said Tim Horgan, WACNH executive director. “I have worked closely with Dave on several internationally focused projects, and he has shown strong support for the work of the Council for many years. Most of all, he has been a wonderful host to many of our exchange visitors who have come to NH, including three members of Ukraine’s Parliament who visited last year.”

    David has long been a supporter of global engagement and understanding, which will culminate with his efforts to bring Lech Walesa, former President of Poland, to New Hampshire to help raise funds for Ukraine relief. In addition to several wonderful opportunities for the people of New Hampshire to meet with this pivotal global leader, David has helped lead a fundraising drive that has raised close to $1 million in cash and supplies for Ukraine. It is efforts like this that shine a light on David’s global leadership. By activating various supporters, David has shown the difference a community can make.

    “I am both humbled and honored to receive this recognition from the World Affairs Council of New Hampshire.  We can all make a difference in making the world a better place,” said Tille. “The Council understands the global impact of the challenges facing the people of Ukraine. Manifestly, this relief effort has involved the time, energy, and generosity of many people, and I share this honor with them.”

    The World Affairs Council of New Hampshire will present this award to David Tille on May 17 at their annual Global Forum Signature Fundraiser, aptly focused on the future of N.A.T.O. Held at the DoubleTree in downtown Manchester, the event will feature former N.A.T.O. Ambassador Douglas Lute and former State Department Deputy Secretary for International Security, Victoria Holt.

    More information and registration for this event can be found at bit.ly/NATO-Future

  • Tuesday, April 19, 2022 3:42 PM | Tim Horgan (Administrator)

    Summer Diplomatic Academy

    IN PERSON & ONLINE | July 5-29, 2022

    The Washington International Diplomatic Academy's summer course is a unique practical professional training program that introduces undergraduate and graduate students, as well as recent graduates, to careers in international diplomacy by allowing them to learn from and work with career ambassadors with decades of experience.

    The program covers the fundamentals of diplomatic practice and focuses on real-world aspects of work in embassies, consulates, government agencies, international organizations and global NGOs. The instructors are professional diplomats who have served in dozens of countries around the world. They teach the skills they learned by practicing diplomacy and managing international relations, with simulation exercises and case studies derived from their own careers. They offer insight into policy-making and implementation, diplomatic protocol, the functions and management of embassies and consulates, diplomatic reporting and writing, negotiation and mediation, political and economic tradecraft, public diplomacy, cross-cultural communication and other competencies.

    Students can apply for $1,000 partial scholarships toward the tuition fee. Please click here for more details. The application deadline is April 30, 2022.


  • Wednesday, March 30, 2022 11:07 AM | Tim Horgan (Administrator)

    Over the past two years, many global connections have suffered due to shutdowns, restrictions, and other safety measures implemented to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes traditionally strong relationships, such as seen between New Hampshire and Canada who have a long history of economic, cultural, and familial connections. As the world begins to move from pandemic to endemic, it is a good time to work on revitalizing these relationships which will help communities grow and thrive.

    On April 5th at 6:00 pm, the World Affairs Council of New Hampshire will host an in-person and online conversation with the Canadian Consul General to Boston on the U.S.-Canada Partnership and what it means for the state. Tourism, exports, cross-border communities, and other regional connections drive the economy, which is poised to grow as restrictions are lifted.

    “For centuries, the cultures, economies, and lives of people living in New Hampshire and eastern Canada have intermingled to the benefit of all,” said Tim Horgan, WACNH executive director. “As we move out of the pandemic, the critical work of revitalizing these connections begins now. The opportunity to hear from the Consul General is a first step towards aligning the needs of the region and getting on the same path toward economic growth.”

    According to the most recent data, Canada is the second largest trade market for New Hampshire businesses, with over $13 million in cross border activity. This does not include the major impact that tourism plays for both economies, as thousands of visitors cross the border each year. While many people had to adjust to the new realities of the pandemic, normal trips and economic relations will push the region forward once again.

    Remarks from Consul General Cuzner will focus on the recent truckers' protest in Ottawa, the current state of Canadian politics, energy, trade, tourism and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Following the Consul General's remarks, there will be a moderated Question and Answer session. This program will help business leaders identify opportunities for growth and every day citizens to learn more about where the future of this relationship lies. Opportunities for both in-person and online attendance are available.

    More information and registration for this event is at wacnh.org/event-4742405.

  • Tuesday, March 29, 2022 12:04 PM | Tim Horgan (Administrator)

    “I’m proud to stand with the people of Ukraine as they fight for their land, freedom and future. Vladimir Putin’s premeditated, unprovoked war is reaping devastation throughout Ukraine as towns are leveled, civilian infrastructures are targeted and innocent women and children are killed by the savage Russian campaign. His actions are reverberating across the world and in Europe in particular, where our allies are responding to more than 3 million refugees forced from their homes. The United States will continue to support our democratic partners as they defend their sovereignty with continued military assistance and humanitarian aid, and reinforcements to our frontline NATO allies. What happens in Ukraine matters – it matters for the people of Ukraine, for Europe, for the United States and for the future of liberal democracies around the globe. As Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation and as a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I’ll continue to work across the aisle to help Ukraine and ensure Putin pays for his crimes.”

    – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen

  • Wednesday, March 23, 2022 10:00 AM | Tim Horgan (Administrator)

    This week, an emergency NATO summit will convene in Brussels to deal with Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.  It is clearly designed to reinforce allied unity in opposition to Vladimir Putin’s war – to put spine into any allied slackers, especially on sanctions against Russia. It should help coordinate the supply of arms to Ukraine, working out the terms and conditions: what and who and how, as well as what not to do lest Putin decides, because of these actions, to escalate the conflict even further. Russia has already warned Poland by bombing near its frontier; and Poland has pulled back from its offer to supply fighter aircraft directly to Ukraine. Most important, the summit needs to show Putin that he cannot split the Alliance politically, even by looking to NATO outliers, notably Viktor Orban’s Hungary or Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Turkey.

    But something with even greater significance for the longer term needs to be on the agenda, even if only in secret session or in small groups: to start the effort to rebuild NATO’s credibility as an alliance and America’s as its leader.  Make no mistake: their credibility has taken a hard knock from Putin’s decision to invade, and awareness of that weakening of credibility is so far being obscured only by the stiff fight being put up by Ukraine’s military forces, its people, and its amazing president, Volodymyr Zelensky.  He is implicitly defying Putin to do his worst, and the Ukrainian nation and people will continue to resist. If nothing else, there is the national memory of Stalin’s starvation of nearly 4 million Ukrainians in the early 1930s, the Holodomor.

    Damage to US and NATO credibility over the matter of Ukraine can trace its history at least as far back as the 2008 Bucharest summit, when President G.W. Bush proposed that Ukraine (and Georgia) be enrolled in Membership Action Plans (MAPs), the next-to-last step before becoming allies. This was a decisive move beyond the 1997 NATO-Ukraine Charter and consultative Council, which provided no security guarantees. Most allies resisted, including because they were not prepared to take the risk of pushing NATO right up to Russia and straddling the traditional invasion route into the heart of Europe – in both directions and with long memories. How would Russia respond to such a step?

    But the European allies also recognised that, although moving Ukraine and Georgia toward NATO membership had to be ruled out, the US president could not be sent home empty-handed. So the summit declared that both countries “will become members” of the alliance. Those words were designed to put off consideration of NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia to the indefinite future (“never,” in the eyes of many European allies.) But in their haste, NATO’s leaders obviously did not understand the full import of that statement.  It signaled that the two countries were geopolitically so important to the West that they would definitely be brought into the alliance, whatever Russia thought: in plain English, it was thus the actual moment of commitment.  

    Soon thereafter, Georgia’s president, Mikheil Saakashvili, tested the proposition by using military force to try reclaiming occupied parts of South Ossetia, only to be defeated by Russian forces.  Not a single NATO ally sent troops to defend Georgia. Finis, for any practical purposes, to “will become members” of NATO.

    Yet instead of putting the commitment into George Orwell’s Memory Hole, NATO has repeated the formulation at every summit and ministerial meeting, and, until just before Putin’s 2022 invasion, top leaders of the Biden administration were still harping on NATO’s “open door” to Ukraine’s membership, even though it is a fantasy.  This last observation is based on two interrelated facts. First, NATO takes all decisions by consensus – a unit veto; and second, many allies have already made clear that would never be willing, in response to aggression against Ukraine (on Russia’s border), to invoke Article 5 of the NATO Treaty: that “…an armed attack against one or more [ally]….shall be considered an attack against them all…” Thus Ukraine will never be admitted to NATO.

    Nothing can justify what Putin has been doing, including what are clearly war crimes.  And it is necessary, not just for Ukraine but also for the future of European security, that Russia not prevail and that any settlement of the conflict, even short-term, must include withdrawal of all Russian forces from Ukraine. Indeed, the “will become members” statement, repeated over and over, created a political and moral commitment to Ukraine (and to Georgia), raising legitimate expectations but with no honest intention of fulfilling them, while providing no deterrence of possible (now actual) Russian aggression: for these two countries the worst of all worlds.

    By extension, the failure of NATO, especially its leader, the United States, at least so far to honor the full meaning of the “will become members” pledge is creating a deep crisis of credibility for both NATO and the US. This is not to argue that the United States should have risked major escalation by Biden’s not declaring at the outset of Russia’s current invasion of Ukraine that the US would not become directly involved militarily.  (He had valid reasons: both because the American people want no new wars where the United States is not itself attacked; and Biden could see that most allies would take time to step up to the mark, even on imposing sanctions, much less on providing military aid to Ukraine.)

    But even with these plausible arguments, thoughtful European leaders are beginning to ponder whether the US Article 5 commitment to the security of NATO countries remains sacrosanct. Reflecting on the war in Ukraine, even though it is not formally a member of NATO, would the United States really go to war for a European ally if the US itself were not under attack?

    Doubts fostered by President Donald Trump, because of his erratic behavior toward European security and relations with Russia, were supposedly redeemed by Biden’s becoming US president.  But now doubts are reemerging. They have several sources.  Most pertinent: if Putin were to get away with crushing Ukraine, would the three Baltic states feel safe if he moved militarily in their direction? Everyone knows that they are militarily indefensible, like West Berlin in the Cold War.  But the “correlation of forces” and shared risks of escalation do not this time provide a basis for deterring the Russians as the Soviet Union was deterred then.  Second, if Ukraine from 2008 onward was judged to be sufficiently important strategically to “will become” a member of NATO, what does that say for countries which, while having formal NATO membership, have less strategic value? On the Eastern edges of NATO, only Poland has first-line strategic importance.

    The European allies are dependent on the role of the United States in dealing with any challenge from Russia: this has been clear since the late 1940s. That mostly explains why the European allies invoked NATO’s Article 5 for the United States the day after 9/11 (Washington didn’t ask for it); and why they sent troops to Afghanistan: primarily so that the United States would not be heavily distracted from its critical role in dealing with Russia.

    No one in the Alliance has yet wondered out loud whether the US commitment to NATO security is any longer sufficiently credible.  But the analysis already exists, based on America’s failing to understand the geopolitical folly of pressing for a MAP for Ukraine (and Georgia) in 2008 and still being committed to the “open door” right up to the eve of this year’s war.  European doubts about US credibility have also stemmed from US emphasis on a “pivot” to Asia, the muddled withdrawal from Afghanistan last year (though withdrawing itself gained approval), and what has seemed to many Europeans to be a lower American priority for several years for relations with Europe, including in security terms.

    Restoring US (and hence NATO) credibility to the level it must have is a tall order. (US credibility in Europe is also important for East Asian allies and partners.)  It has to begin at the Brussels NATO summit, beyond actions against Russia’s invasion that focus on radical increases in military support to Ukraine, plus steps to bolster security of exposed NATO members and an end to misleading Kyiv that Ukraine will be able to join NATO. The alliance, and particularly the United States, must also recognize, if only sotto voce for now, how serious the credibility problem has become and the need for it to rise to the top of the long-term US and NATO foreign policy agenda.

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  • Wednesday, March 02, 2022 12:07 PM | Tim Horgan (Administrator)

    The World Affairs Council of New Hampshire thanks Senator Hassan for providing this statement on the ongoing invasion of Ukraine. We are working with New Hampshire's Congressional Delegation, as well as the Governor to collect their statements, to provide as information to our audiences. If we receive additional statements, we will share them here.

    "Russia's unprovoked and unconscionable invasion of a sovereign nation is a direct threat not only to the people of Ukraine, but to peace, freedom, and security in every corner of the world. In face of Russian aggression, we have seen the bravery of Ukrainian citizens on full display as they have fought - and continue to fight - against the Russian army. We offer our prayers and compassion for them as we continue to work with our allies to counter Vladimir Putin.

    The United States and our allies have already begun to levy crippling consequences on Putin and the Russian economy as a whole. We are also working to provide support to the Ukrainian people and our NATO allies. The sanctions announced by the White House last week and the new financial restrictions announced this week are unprecedented in scope and will severely impact Putin, his cronies, and the Russian economy.

    We are also working to support Ukrainians who are in the United States. This week, I joined with a bipartisan group of my colleagues in urging the Biden administration to designate Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status. This enables the administration to allow Ukrainian nationals who are already in the United States, whether for work or study, to stay here so that they are not forced to return to Ukraine amid the ongoing conflict.

    Additionally, the Biden administration must take strong action to mitigate the economic consequences of this crisis for the American people. I urge the President and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to come together to lower costs for Americans.

    The world must continue to act swiftly and decisively. Americans must also stand united – and with our allies – against Putin’s aggression and in support of the Ukrainian people." - Senator Maggie Hassan


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