On October 27, 2015, I had the great honor of meeting His Majesty King Felipe VI of Spain. The King inaugurated a two day international policy conference at that was organized by the organization where I am currently interning, Club de Madrid. He spoke English fluently and was taller than any other person at the conference. When he finished his speech, the King greeted other heads of state and conference guests. This is when I seized the moment to introduce myself and speak with the King, as well as take a picture with him.
The conference, entitled “Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism,” brought together approximately 200 former heads of state, experts in international affairs and counter extremism policies, current policy makers, and members of NGOs and other international organizations. Attendees included Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, United States Under Secretary of State Sarah Sewall, and Former Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora. The conference was successful and resulted in the creation of the Global Consensus, a comprehensive document that outlines common principles in the fight against violent extremism. With the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13, 2015, implementing the Global Consensus is integral in preventing further atrocities.
Club de Madrid is comprised of over 100 former Presidents and Prime Ministers from over 60 countries. As the world’s largest independent group of democratic political leaders, this organization promotes democracy, addresses the challenges of democratic transition, and fosters positive change in the lives of others throughout the world.
Below are links to the websites of Club de Madrid and the Global Consensus: