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Bernard Kouchner

Former French Minister of Foreign & European Affairs
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Biography

A medical doctor by training, Bernard Kouchner is best known as the co-founder and former president of Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), the Nobel Peace Prize-winning humanitarian organization made up of voluntary medical personnel who contribute their time and expertise to assist in situations of emergency or inadequate medical care in the developing world. He has organized humanitarian operations in Somalia, El Salvador, Lebanon, and Vietnam, as well as led field operations in Cambodia, Thailand, Uruguay, Peru, Guatemala, and Honduras.

The first person to challenge the Red Cross's stance of neutrality and silence in wars and massacres, Kouchner has played an important role in international humanitarian efforts for more than 20 years. As France's Minister of Health and Humanitarian affairs, he convinced the UN to accept "the right to interfere" resolution, and after devastating civil wars in the Balkans, served as Special Representative to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in Kosovo.

An influential person in the French political scene, having held a number of ministerial positions in different French governments for more than 18 years, he served as France's Minister of Foreign and European Affairs until November 2010, and before that as minister in charge of both health and humanitarian action. He was also the professor of public health at the Health and Development Department of the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM). He is the author of several books and the co-founder of the news magazines L'Evénement and Actuel. He is the recipient of several human rights awards, including the Dag Hammarskjold Prize and the Prix Europa.

Bernard Kouchner continues to promote universal access to medical care and to take part in international efforts in the fight against AIDS. In his unique keynotes, he shares what happens behind the scenes and what he feels can be done for a better future.

Topics

Humanitarianism & the Responsibility of Developed Nations

Universal Access to Healthcare

The Peace Process & the Middle East

Europe & the Eurozone: What Are the Issues for the Future?

Managing Aid in Catastrophes & War-Torn Countries

Globalization, International Politics & Society

Conflict Resolution

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