2016 is a significant year in our history, with several anniversaries being marked over the coming months.
Of most note is our 70th anniversary itself. Established in the wake of the Second World War to foster links with Germany and support the building up of its democracy, we later expanded our remit to tackle a broad array of often intractable issues facing the globe.
Key to our success and appeal is our home at Wiston House in the Sussex countryside, at which we have now been in residence for 65 years.
A highlight in our calendar is our annual week long Nuclear Non-Proliferation event, which takes place in December. The 2016 meeting marks the 20th anniversary of this NPT focussed dialogue, and this year will discuss strategies for success at the 2020 Review Conference.
An older annual fixture is our British German Forum for young leaders. Created by Margaret Thatcher and Helmut Kohl in 1985 the first meeting took place at Wiston House in 1986 – 30 years ago. This year’s Forum takes place just two weeks after the British voted to leave the European Union, and participants from Germany and the UK will discuss the implications of the UK vote for the UK, Germany and the EU, and the future of the bilateral relationship.
2016 is itself a significant year: in addition to the UK’s EU membership referendum, NATO’s Summit will be held in Warsaw next month; and elections are taking place for the new UN Secretary General and the US President.
For 70 years, Wilton Park has been a place for frank, discrete discussion on issues of paramount importance to global stability and prosperity. It looks forward to continuing this role for the next 70.