Click HERE to view the Sedona Forum 2023 Highlight Video
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following the McCain Institute’s 2023 Sedona Forum, held May 5-7 in Sedona, Ariz., McCain Institute Executive Director Dr. Evelyn Farkas shares her analysis from the 10th annual gathering. The theme for Sedona Forum 2023 was “Indispensable Power,” and it examined the diplomatic, military, and economic means necessary to protect democracy, human rights, and America’s global competitive edge. The McCain Institute also released a highlight video from the event, which can be viewed HERE.
Statement from McCain Institute Executive Director Evelyn Farkas:
“The 10th annual Sedona Forum convened political, corporate, and non-profit leaders, journalists, and activists from 14 countries. We met for two days to consider the indispensable power of America and its allies and the power we wield as individuals. We considered the gravest threats and brightest opportunities we face in our world today. We addressed the impact of Russia’s brutal assault on humanity playing out on Ukraine’s territory and the economic and military dangers posed by the Chinese Communist Party. We agreed that global peace – the ability to avoid a third world war – depends on harnessing our technological and human edge through a whole-of-nation approach to repel Russia’s invasion and deter China from destabilizing behavior.
“We applauded the role of corporations in supporting democracy and national security interests, including Ukraine’s fight to stop Russia’s assault on its sovereignty and the international order. We explored how private-sector innovation can help democracies deter autocracies and safeguard freedom. And we conversely agree that democratic governments must work in concert to ensure that new technologies are developed and used in ways that align with democratic values, individual rights, and the welfare of humanity.
“We spoke of why America’s edge in innovation needs to be complimented by soft power and moral reasoning. We heard from General Laura Richardson who asked for more diplomats, Nate Mook on the impact that fresh meals can have on a bombarded population, Kelvin Beachum Jr. of the Arizona Cardinals who implored those in business and politics to listen more, and Seohyun Lee of North Korea who urged democracies to keep up the pressure on autocrats, saying that only free societies can last in the long run. We agreed that there must be accountability for genocide and human suffering all over the world, including in semi-closed societies like North Korea and on the battlefields in Ukraine. This is the only way to deter more atrocity and restore faith in the rule of law.
“Finally, we looked inward. Throughout the Western world, including here in America, faith in institutions is falling and giving way to malign actors who divide people. We resolved to rebuild trust, protect our democracy, and establish America as an example for others around the world to follow.
“Our meeting in Sedona was a reminder for all of us that what we in this community share, despite different interests and political perspectives, is our commitment to support U.S. global engagement and democratic values and human rights for all peoples.”
About the Sedona Forum
Established by Senator John McCain, the Sedona Forum is held each spring to advance the mission of the McCain Institute – fighting for democracy, human dignity, and security. As the McCain Institute’s signature annual event, the forum provides a unique opportunity for the United States and world leaders to have informal, face-to-face discussions about real solutions to the problems facing our world today. This year’s theme, “Indispensable Power,” examined the diplomatic, military, and economic means employed to protect democracy, human rights, and the global competitive edge. Panels featured lawmakers, journalists, military leaders, business executives, and more, and CBS News and Politico served as media partners. To learn more, visit TheSedonaForum.org.
About the McCain Institute at Arizona State University
The McCain Institute is a nonpartisan organization inspired by Senator John McCain and his family’s dedication to public service. We are part of Arizona State University and based in Washington, D.C. Our programs advance democracy and human rights, empower character-driven leaders, combat human trafficking, and prevent targeted violence. Our unique power to convene leaders across the global political spectrum enables us to make a real impact on the world’s most pressing challenges. Our goal is action, not talk, and like Senator McCain, we are fighting to create a free, safe, and just world for all.
About Arizona State University
Arizona State University has developed a new model for the American research university, creating an institution that is committed to access, excellence and impact. ASU measures itself by those it includes, not by those it excludes. As the prototype for a New American University, ASU pursues research that contributes to the public good, and ASU assumes major responsibility for the economic, social and cultural vitality of the communities that surround it.