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Past Programme 2000 - 2009

The new millennium began with fireworks and the dotcom bubble, while the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the subsequent invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq opened up security, terrorism and relations with and within the Middle East for discussion. The effects of these actions coloured our programme for the entire decade. Development Aid, international institutions, climate change and China began to feature prominently as recurring topics in the second half of the decade and the shifting trends of geopolitics and societies were our constant underlying themes.

With regard to the United Kingdom, the full range of security topics featured strongly, as did issues of national identity, immigration, constitutional and social reform and the state of our democracy.

As the decade drew to a close, and as economic uncertainty confronted the world, the question of society’s ability to cope with a myriad of insecurities and challenges, while taking advantage of scientific and political opportunities, influenced the direction of the conference programme. Our last conference in 2009 was ‘Human Rights: the global approach”, a cross-cutting issue of relevance to many of the Ditchley Foundation’s conference topics and an appropriate theme with which to end a tumultuous and challenging decade.