- H.E. DR. Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-SabahFormer Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Foreign AffairsDr. Al-Sabah is the former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Kuwait. He has previously held the posts of Ambassador to the United States of America, Acting Minister of Social Affairs and Labor as well as Acting Minister of Planning. From 2003–2011, Dr. Al-Sabah was Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development and a Visiting Fellow at Oxford University from 2012–2013.
He also served as an Associate Professor of Economics at Kuwait University and is currently Chairman of the Board of Directors to the Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah Foundation. Dr. Al-Sabah is a member of the High-Level Informal Advisory Panel of the President of the United Nations General Assembly, member of the Board of Trustees for the Council for Arab and International Relations, member of the Board of Trustees of the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies at Oxford University, United Kingdom and a member of the Advisory Council of the Kuwait Program at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, United States.
He has an Honorary Doctorate Degree of Law from Claremont McKenna College, United States, and received a First Class Order of Bahrain in 2004. Dr. Al-Sabah holds a Doctorate and Masters in Economics from Harvard University and a Bachelor’s Degree (Cum Laude) in Economics from Claremont McKenna College, United States.
- H.E. DR. Fayez Al-TarawnehChief of the Royal Hashemite Court & Former Prime MinisterDr. Al-Tarawneh is Chief of the Royal Hashemite Court and Honorary President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM). Dr. Al-Tarawneh previously served as Prime Minister of Jordan and has held the post of Minister of Defence and Minister of Foreign Affairs.
He has also held the post of President of the Political and Security Affairs Committee of PAM, served as Ambassador to the United States and occupied a number of posts in the Jordanian government including Minister of State, Minister of Supply and as Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister.
He was also Head of the Jordanian Delegation for Peace Talks in 1993 -1994. Dr. Al Tarawneh earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of Jordan and his Masters and Doctorate in Economics from the University of Southern California, United States.
- H.E. MR. Mohamed BenaissaFormer Minister of Foreign AffairsMr. Benaïssa is former Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Kingdom of Morocco (1999–2007) and previous Ambassador to the United States. He is currently Mayor of Asilah and Secretary General of the Assilah Forum Foundation. He previously held the post of Minister of Culture and was a member of the Moroccan House of Representatives from 1977 to 1992. Mr. Benaïssa has also served with the United Nations and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (1965–1976), and is a Founder and Vice President of the Council for Arab and International Relations. He is a holder of the Aga Khan Award for Islamic Architecture for the rehabilitation
of Assilah (1988), and was the Laureate of the Foundation of Arab Thought, Beirut (2003) (Cultural Man of the Year); the Laureate of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award (2008); and the Laureate of the Sharjah Prize of Arab Culture (2011). Mr. Benaïssa is member of many regional and international organizations, including the Aspen Foreign Affairs Forum and the Aspen Food Security Strategy.
He is also a member of the Nomination Committee for the Isa Award for Service to Humanity in Bahrain. Mr. Benaïssa received a Bachelor's Degree in Communications from the University of Minnesota, USA and in 2007 was granted a Doctorate of Laws Honoris Causa, also from the University of Minnesota.
- H.E. Professor Jaap De Hoop SchefferFromer Secretary General, NATOProf. de Hoop Scheffer is a former Netherlands Minister of Foreign Affairs and former Secretary-General of NATO (2004–2009). He currently holds the chair on International Relations and Diplomatic Practice at the Campus The Hague of the University of Leiden. During his diplomatic career, Prof. de Hoop Scheffer served at
the Netherland’s Embassy in Accra (Ghana) and later at the Permanent Delegation to NATO in Brussels. He was subsequently in charge of the private office of four
successive Dutch Ministers of Foreign Affairs. He was elected to the House of Representatives of the States General for the Christian Democratic Alliance (CDA)
in June 1986, becoming the party’s spokesperson on foreign policy and served on the Permanent Committees on Justice, European Affairs and Defence. In 1990,
during the Gulf crisis, he served as the Western European Union (WEU) rapporteur on the consequences of the invasion of Kuwait and continuing operations in the
Gulf region. He also served as Leader of the CDA parliamentary party in the House of Representatives. Prof. de Hoop Scheffer studied Law at Leiden University.
Currently he serves on the Board of Air France-KLM and is the Chairman of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. He is a Council member on the European Council on Foreign Relations and holds different positions in non-profit organizations.
- H.E. MR. Dominique De VillepinFormer Prime MinisterMr. de Villepin was Prime Minister of the Republic of France from 2005 to 2007. His political career began in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1980, where he became Secretary of Foreign Affairs in the Department for African Affairs.
Since then, he has held international positions at the embassies in both Washington and New Delhi. From 1995 to 2002, he was Chief of Staff to the President of the Republic before becoming Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2002 to 2004 and Minister of the Interior, Internal Security and Local Rights from 2004 to 2005.
Born in Morocco in 1953, Mr. de Villepin holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Law and graduated from the Paris Institute of Political Sciences and the prestigious Ecole Nationale d’Administration.
- H.E. DR. Nabil ElarabySecretary General, Arab LeagueDr. Elaraby is the Secretary-General of the Arab League and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Arab Republic of Egypt. Prior to this Dr. Elaraby was Director at the Cairo Regional Center for International Commercial Arbitration.
He previously held the posts of Commissioner at the United Nations Compensation Commission, Member of the International Court of Justice, Member of the International Law Commission of the United Nations and Judge with the Judicial Tribunal of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Dr. Elaraby has held numerous positions within the United Nations including President of the Security Council and Vice President of the General Assembly.
He has also previously served as Egypt's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York and Permanent Representative to the UN Office, Geneva. Dr. Elaraby has occupied a number of government positions including Legal Adviser to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador to India, Head of the Egyptian delegation to the Taba negotiations from 1985 to 1989 and legal advisor to the Egyptian delegation to the Camp David Middle East peace conference.
Dr. Elaraby was previously a member of the governing board of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. He holds a Masters of Laws (L.L.M) and Doctor of Juridical Science (J.S.D) from New York University School of Law and a Bachelor’s Degree in Law from Cairo University.
- H.E. MR. Miguel Ángel MoratinosFormer Minister of Foreign AffairsMr. Moratinos held the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Kingdom of Spain from 2004 -2010. He has since held the presidency of the United Nations Security Council and chaired the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Council of Europe and the Council of the European Union.
He was instrumental in fostering the implementation of the Treaty of Lisbon and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. Previously, Mr. Moratinos served as Ambassador to Israel and as the EU Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process.
He has held the post of Director of the Institute of Cooperation with the Arab World and Director General of Foreign Policy for Africa and the Middle East, where he took part in the organization of the historic Middle East Peace Conference in Madrid in 1992. Mr. Moratinos has also served as Head of the Eastern Europe Coordination Desk, Deputy General for Northern Africa and served as First Secretary and then Charge d’affaires at the Spanish Embassy in Yugoslavia and as political advisor in Morocco.
In 2010, he was elected Director-General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and in January 2012, he joined the Global Dry Land Alliance in Qatar. Mr. Moratinos is the recipient of a number of honorary degrees including from the University of Granada, Saint-Petersburg University, Ben Gurion University and Al-Quds University. He graduated in Law and Political Science from the University Complutense, Madrid, and in Diplomatic Studies from the Spanish Diplomatic School.
- H.E. MR. Andres PastranaFormer PresidentMr. Pastrana was President of Colombia from 1998 to 2002. He began his career as a journalist, later co-founding the Guion magazine and directing TV Hoy, twice
winning the King of Spain journalism award, the Spanish equivalent of the Pulitzer Price. In 1982, he formally began his political career gaining a seat on the local Bogotá council and became Mayor of Bogota in 1988. Mr. Pastrana founded the New Democratic Force movement in 1991 and was elected President of Colombia in 1998, following in the footsteps of his father, Misael Pastrana, who was President from 1970 to 1974. During his presidency, Mr. Pastrana made important steps towards negotiating a peace process with the FARC and the ELN guerrilla groups.
Mr. Pastrana obtained his Bachelor and Master Degrees in Public Law from Our Lady of the Rosary University, Bogota and completed a Fellowship at the Center of International Affairs of Harvard University, United States. Mr. Pastrana is also Honorary President of the Unión de Partidos Latinoamericanos (UPLA) and member of the Club of Madrid and the InterAction Council.
- H.E. MR. Terje RØD-LarsenUN Under-Secretary-General Plitical Affairs/ Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary-General. President, International Peace InstituteMr. Rød-Larsen has been President of the International Peace Institute since January 2005. He serves concurrently as UN Under-Secretary-General and the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Implementation of Security Council Resolution 1559 (2004). Mr. Rød-Larsen began his career as an academic, teaching sociology, political science, and philosophy at the Universities of Bergen and Oslo, before establishing the Fafo Institute for Applied Sciences in Oslo in 1981.
As Director of Fafo, Mr. Rød-Larsen initiated a research project into the living conditions of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which led to a request by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the government of Israel in 1992, that he establish a secret channel for negotiations between the PLO and the government of Israel. The subsequent talks concluded with the signing of the Declaration of Principles at the White House on September 13, 1993.
In 1993, Mr. Rød-Larsen was appointed Ambassador and Special Adviser for the Middle East peace process to the Norwegian Foreign Minister. He then held the post of United Nations Special Coordinator in the Occupied Territories at the rank of Under-Secretary-General and in 1996, Mr. Rød-Larsen became the Norwegian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Planning and Cooperation.
From 1999 to December 2004, he served as UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority, holding the rank of Under-Secretary-General.
In 1999, Mr. Rød-Larsen was appointed Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General to Lebanon and negotiated with Syria, Lebanon and Israel the Israeli withdrawal from Southern Lebanon and the end of the Israeli occupation. In 2005 he negotiated, on behalf of the UN Secretary-General, the Syrian military withdrawal from Lebanon.
- H.E. MR. Kevin RuddFormer Prime MinisterMr. Rudd is a former Prime Minister and former Foreign Minister of Australia. As Prime Minister from 2007 - 2010, Mr. Rudd led Australia’s response during the Global Financial Crisis. Australia was the only major advanced economy not to go into recession. Mr. Rudd is internationally recognized as one of the founders of the G20, and as a driving force behind the 2010 decision to expand the East Asia Summit to include the United States. As Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Mr. Rudd also oversaw the doubling of Australian foreign aid over five years, making Australia the seventh largest aid donor in the world. Mr. Rudd remains engaged in major international challenges including global economic management, the rise of
China, and the global challenge of sustainable development. He was a co-author of the 2012 report of the United Nations Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Global Sustainability – “Resilient People, Resilient Planet”. Nationally, he remains deeply engaged on the questions of Australia’s strategic and economic future in Asia, aboriginal reconciliation, the teaching of Asian languages, homelessness and organ donation.