Director's Foreword Newsletter January 2021
Welcome to our first newsletter of 2021. As you can see, things have changed!
I sincerely hope this message finds you safe and healthy, and coping as well as can be expected. The first threshold of uncertainty caused by the COVID crisis has passed and we have cause for hope now that the new vaccines have been developed. Of course, we all know that it will be some time yet before we know the long-term impacts of the virus and the effects of the crisis. But there is light at the end of the tunnel and it allows us to focus a little more optimistically on our ambitions for 2021.
As stated in our mission: The unique role of the Hub is to connect allies, partners and international, non-governmental and civil organizations by creating frank and effective dialogue resulting in universal understanding, trust and stability. Although the COVID crisis has impinged upon these goals, we pushed through the steep learning curve of conducting activities online. We miss meeting in person. But necessity is the mother of inventions, and until we all get through this, we shall continue in this vein. This revamped newsletter is an example of our determination.
Although we have succeeded in keeping contact with our partners in the South, developing online engagements and continuing the sharing of knowledge, it is the Hub’s biggest ambition for 2021 to reconnect and re-engage with our partners in person, whether in their surroundings or by invitation to visit us here at the Hub. Such connection allows us all to share our insights and identify lessons learned more directly, building them into our modus operandi, working together towards cooperative security.
This continuous contact has been instrumental in building up a chain of insights, improving our collective ability to see the bigger picture in a 360˚ manner. We are now able to go further; rather than focusing on individual events, we now have relationships which allow us to monitor trends. We will continue to elaborate the process of monitoring, analysing underlying causes and identifying opportunities for projecting greater stability together. As an example, we continue to monitor terrorism trends in the Sahel while also looking at its drivers, especially in combination with broader trends such as the youth unemployment, climate change, etc.
And so it will be that when, not if, this crisis ends, we will be ready and able to restart working together more closely. If this pandemic has shown us one positive thing, it is that we can still rely on each other, and this makes us even stronger together.