TRT World Forum 2021, which offered a unique digital experience to participants with native software, was completed with the title “Power and Paradox: Understanding Grand Strategy in the 21st Century”. The event, which brought the world together with high technology, included 9 public sessions, 7 expert roundtables, special “reflection sessions” and live performances, performed by famous artists. Nearly 100 national and international expert speakers from more than 30 countries addressed many crucial global issues.
“The need for reform in the United Nations and other international organizations can no longer be disregarded.”
President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave the opening speech of TRT World Forum, as the guest of honor and stated that the system after World Wars has failed to produce justice and stability for a long time and continued:
“This system, whose foundations were laid following World War I, and solidified after World War II, has failed to produce justice and stability for a long time. It is impossible for this system to continue in its current structure, in which the Islamic world has no say, the demands of Africa, Latin America, and South Asia are ignored, and only the interests of the five most powerful countries are taken into account. The need for reform in the United Nations and other international organizations can no longer be disregarded.”
Minister of Foreign Affairs Cavusoglu: “We are the most generous country in terms of humanitarian aid”
Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavuoglu gave the keynote speech for TRT World Forum and gave examples from the proactive foreign policy of Turkey: “Power must be compassionate. We are not the richest but the most generous country in terms of humanitarian aid.”
Minister Cavusoglu underlined that Turkey uses hard power only when other options are exhausted, and only to initiate dialogue and diplomacy and included “Our presence in Syria and Libya led to stability on the ground, prevented irregular migration and terrorism, and paved the way for diplomacy”
Communications Director of Republic of Turkey Altun: "Global Problems Require Global Solutions"
Communications Director of Republic of Turkey Altun told that global problems require global solutions and Turkey has followed the challenges in the system and taken steps to respond to these challenges, continued:
“Under the leadership of our President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, we have revised our foreign policy strategy to respond not only to our immediate security concerns but also to regional and global problems. Turkey took every step during the crisis to cooperate with and support other countries in this pandemic and it will continue to do so. Constructive and innovative diplomacy and international engagement will be key in the process of containing these challenges. Turkey is playing its role and is ready to work together with other nations.”
Director General of TRT Sobaci: “We Bring Up Global Problems to World’s Agenda”
Director General of TRT Mehmet Zahid Sobaci highlighted that they strive to be the voice of disadvantaged geographies, societies and individuals with their human-centered broadcasting approach, said “We have to develop new ideas and set new goals through international platforms such as the TRT World Forum.”
Sobaci, stating that the digitalization process sometimes fails to contribute to expected democratization, continued:
“With the TRT World Forum, we bring global and regional issues to the agenda of the international community from a multivocal and multidimensional perspective. We strive to be the voice of disadvantaged geographies, societies, and individuals with our human-centered broadcasting approach. In accordance with our broadcasting principles, we communicate our sensitivity to all crises that threaten our globe to 7 continents in 41 languages and dialects through our television and radio channels, as well as our digital platforms.”
“Turkey’s signing the Paris Agreement is extremely significant”
UK Foreign Secretary's Special Representative for Climate Change Nick Bridge spoke in the session “Climate and Global Health Crises as Strategic Threats” and suggested that it is important for Turkey to sign the Paris Agreement and continued “President’s Erdogan’s announcing that by 2050, Turkey will be carbon neutral is really important. Turkey is an extremely significant country for low carbon consumption.”
Former Foreign Secretary of Pakistan Janjua: “Turkey – Pakistan relations are vital to Pakistan’s interest”
Former Foreign Secretary of Pakistan Tehmina Janjua attended the “Global Governance and the Challenges and Opportunities of Multipolarity” session and highlighted that Turkey – Pakistan relations are vital to Pakistan’s interest and added, “There is a strong relationship between two countries. The power of Pakistan – Turkey relationship can be observed through high-level visits, including the interaction between President Erdogan and Prime Minister Imran Khan.”
Director of Centre for Conflict & Humanitarian Studies Barakat: “Americans pushed the Afghan army to fight the Taliban”
Sultan Barakat, Director of Centre for Conflict & Humanitarian Studies, spoke in “The Taliban Returns: Lessons Learned and Lost” session and highlighted that the real change started in 2014 with the major reduction in forces, the mission change, and when Americans took the backstage and pushed the Afghan army to fight the Taliban.”
Nadir Naim, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Kabul Institute of Peace, stated that the billions of dollars spent in Afghanistan seems to have vanished without making a sustainable impact on most Afghan people and continued “The international community must be sensitive, not to push the Taliban into the corner and isolation, and it should offer some time for them to fulfill their promise.”
“NATO was not present in countries such as Libya and Syria”
Senior Adviser to the President of Republic of Turkey Gülnur Aybet, who spoke in “The Trans-Atlantic Relationship and the Future of the ‘West’” session, stated that Turkey achieved success in Afghanistan not only being a part of NATO forces but also gaining the trust of the locals. Aybet continued, “We offered to bring the airport under control but it has not happened yet. In our dialogues with the Taliban, we highlighted the importance of their forming detailed management and paying the utmost attention to women's rights. As we consider NATO’s duty in Afghanistan, it was a long-termed interference. During these long-termed interferences, the realities of regions may change. NATO was not as successful in providing stability to the country as it prevented terrorism in the region. In addition to this, NATO was not present in regions Turkey pays attention like Libya and Syria, which created a disappointment in NATO’s actions.”
Former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Jeffrey: Erdogan was a well-versed leader in the regional geopolitics
Former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey and Chair of the Middle East Program of Wilson Center James Franklin Jeffrey, who spoke in the Great Power Rivalry and the Future of the Middle East” session suggested that Biden government has taken slow but important steps. Jeffrey reminded that President Erdogan was a well-versed leader in the regional geopolitics and added that he is “cautiously optimistic” about the future of Erdogan-Biden relationship. Former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Jordan Nasser Judeh, who attended the same session, underlined that “Turkey cannot be thought separately from North Atlantic, Middle East and Europe. Strategical stability in Middle East is more important than everything.”
Alistair Burt, Vice-Chancellor of Lancaster University, drew attention to the decision-making problem in United Nations and added “UN Security Council did not fulfill its duty. Besides, it was impossible to fulfill the duty with veto power. Director and Senior Fellow of Brookings Doha Center Tarik Yousef highlighted the most important problem of both the Middle East and the world would be economic concentration after pandemics.
The world’s agenda was discussed in TRT World Forum 2021
The 5th TRT World Forum, completed with the participation of nearly 100 national and international expert speakers from more than 30 countries, included 9 public sessions, 7 expert roundtables, special “reflection sessions” and live performances, performed by famous artists. Important issues were discussed in sessions, including “The Future of Sovereignty in an Interdependent World”, “Great Power Rivalry and the Future of the Middle East”, “Digital Governance: Policymaking and Statecraft in the Digital Age”, “Turkey’s Grand Strategy: Regional and Global Challenges”.
TRT World Forum brought the world together with high technology
TRT World Forum 2021 offered a unique digital experience to participants with a native software. The digital event, in which augmented reality was used, was different from other online events. The technology, which was developed by a Turkish software company, allowed moderators and experts to come together in virtual studios. Participants visited a virtual foyer and attended the sessions they were interested in. Forum, which used Turkish simultaneous translation, offered a real event experience to participants with virtual exhibition areas, digital libraries and booths.