More Links in News & Events

Trip Report by Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter to the Netherlands, Belgium, United Kingdom, and Norway, October 2-6, 2011

Thanks to the fine work of John Hardman, Phil Wise, Don Hopkins, David Carroll, Hrair Balian, Larry Frankel, Nicole Kruse, Curtis Kohlhaas, and others, I completed an interesting and successful series of visits with leaders in these four countries and in the United Nations, the European Union, and other international organizations.

Predictably, many of the political discussions involved all aspects of the "Arab Spring" and prospects for progress toward peace in the Middle East. Since The Carter Center has an almost unique commitment to maintain communications with all the involved parties, our views were sought avidly by key political leaders, news media, and the general public. Despite intense political and financial pressures from Washington, there is a strong and growing commitment in Europe for a two-state solution based on slightly modified 1967 borders, with independence for a Palestinian state. Accepting U.S. blockage of this effort in the Security Council, there is an effort underway to draft a Palestinian application to the General Assembly that will be acceptable to the Arab League and the Europeans.

I also found great interest in our current election monitoring activities in Tunisia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Liberia, as well as our sustained activities in Southern Sudan and prospectively in Egypt. I was grateful for Norway's continuing support for our efforts to help establish a stable democratic government in Nepal.

Along with President Jerzy Buzek and Lady Catherine Ashton (leaders of the European Community), I participated in the 6th annual meeting of International Election Observation organizations in Brussels, an effort that has been led by David Carroll since its inception. 

In London, we had a luncheon hosted by David Giampaolo with about 50 of Britain's most influential citizens. I spoke and answered their questions, and John, Phil, and Curtis remained behind to solidify their potential financial commitments for the future. Susan Gibson, a Trustee in our Carter Center organization in the United Kingdom, was very helpful. In the evening, more than 2,500 paid attendees participated in a discussion at the Royal Festival Hall between Jon Snow and me about a wide range of subjects, with an emphasis on those in which our Center is directly involved. In addition, there were numerous press conferences and private interviews throughout the trip. 

Whenever possible, I emphasized our Center's extensive health programs. In a ceremony attended by Gates Foundation representatives and WHO Director, Dr. Margaret Chan, the British government pledged one-third of our total financial budget to complete the eradication of Guinea worm, laying the financial groundwork for a successful conclusion of this extensive project. Officials in charge of development assistance in the other three countries received a thorough briefing on our peace and health plans, and their ties with The Carter Center were clarified and strengthened.

With large financial commitments, prospects for future support, and extensive publicity gained for all aspects of The Carter Center's work, the trip exceeded our expectations.

Donate Now

Sign Up For Email

Please sign up below for important news about the work of The Carter Center and special event invitations.

Please leave this field empty
Now, we invite you to Get Involved
Back To Top