Twenty Years After Madrid: Lessons Learned and the Way Forward for Arab-Israeli Peacemaking

On Nov. 2, the Baker Institute and the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) co-hosted "Twenty Years After Madrid: Lessons Learned and the Way Forward for Arab-Israeli Peacemaking," an all-day conference in Washington, D.C., at the USIP's new facility on the National Mall.

The conference began with opening remarks from Baker Institute founding director Edward Djerejian and USIP president Richard Solomon, followed by a video interview with former President George H.W. Bush and a keynote speech by The Honorable James A. Baker, III, 61st secretary of state.

The Madrid Peace Conference, convened on Oct. 30, 1991, was the first official face-to-face peace negotiation involving Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinians. It was a watershed moment for American diplomacy, but the two decades since have witnessed a region facing substantial challenges and instability, with major uncertainty regarding future efforts toward peace.

PDF iconDownload a policy report with recommendations from the conference.

The video of President Bush's interview follows. Below the video is a full conference agenda with links to view video of other conference panels as available.

  • Opening Session (video)
    • Video Address -- The Honorable George H.W. Bush (video)
    • Opening Keynote -- The Honorable James A. Baker, III (video, PDF icontranscript, article)
  • Plenary Session -- Lessons from Madrid and the Way Forward for Arab-Israeli Peacemaking (video)
  • Lunch Panel -- Getting to Madrid: Personal Reflections (video)
  • Panel I -- Mapping Peace Between Israelis and Palestinians: Borders and Security; Sovereignty and Recognition (no video, but see the Baker Institute special report, "Getting to the Territorial Endgame of an Israeli-Palestinian Peace Settlement" for more information)
  • Panel II -- "Economy of Peace: The Impacts of Aid and Economic Reforms" (article)
  • Panel III --  "Identity Politics, Public Opinion, and the Peace Process: The Challenges and Opportunities for Bringing Publics on Board"
  • Panel IV -- "The Impact of U.S. Diplomacy Since Madrid" (videoaudio, article)
  • Panel V -- "Arab World Transitions: The Impact on the Arab-Israeli Conflict and Prospects for Peace" (video, article)
  • Panel VI  -- Uprising in Syria: How will it End and What Does it Mean for Middle East Peace?
  • Panel VII  -- Security and Peace: What Can be Done to Overcome Spoilers and Prevent Violence?
  • Concluding Session -- Arab-Israeli Peacemaking and a Changing Middle East: Questions for the United States (video)



Members of the U.S. delegation to the 1991 Madrid Peace Conference (from left to right): Gemal Helal; The Honorable Daniel Kurtzer; The Honorable James A. Baker, III; The Honorable Edward P. Djerejian; The Honorable Dennis Ross; and Aaron David Miller. (Photo courtesy of USIP.)

Speaker James Baker, III

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Wed, Nov. 2, 2011
9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
(GMT-0500) America/Chicago