The global increase in forced displacement is a humanitarian and security crisis. Opening the discussion, Dr. Peter Laugharn, President & CEO of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, asked why U.S. leadership on this topic is important. As Amb. Mark Green, President, Director & CEO of The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and Concordia Leadership Council Member, explained, there is an immediate need for assistance, which the U.S. can offer.
Longer-term assistance is crucial, agreed Henrietta Fore, Chairman & CEO of Holsman International, though she noted that without addressing the root causes, the situation will not improve. We must focus specifically on children, implored Sherrie Rollins Westin, President of Sesame Workshop and Concordia Senior Advisor. The first five years of a child’s life are critical to their development and long-term health; they have the most to lose. The panelists agreed that the U.S. needs to play a role because of its resources, ingenuity, and global leadership.
Closing the session, Laugharn asked the panelists to provide one final thought. Green noted that this global problem requires that we all become very clear about what we see and how to properly address it. Fore offered that we must attend to the needs of displaced people but also to the community around them. Westin reaffirmed that we must prioritize those in early childhood. War takes away everything; the only thing it doesn’t take away is education so we have to invest in that.
“If you don’t address longer-term development, you are just being palliative, you’re not being helpful.”
Henrietta Fore, Chairman & CEO, Holsman International
“We don’t need workarounds, we need to embrace the challenges and opportunities that are in every human being.”
Amb. Mark Green, President, Director & CEO, The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; Concordia Leadership Council Member
“We have to redouble efforts to get across a message that we know what works, we know how to do it, and it can be done efficiently.”
Dr. Peter Laugharn, President & CEO, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
“We have to put children on a path forward to thrive, or how can they possibly have the skills they need to help rebuild society?”
Sherrie Rollins Westin, President, Sesame Workshop; Concordia Senior Advisor