Commentary: Atlanta has become a hub for negotiations
The United States and 11 other Pacific Rim nations agreed to a trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership in Atlanta on Oct. 4. It took more than five years of difficult negotiations to hammer out this agreement.
Atlanta’s spirit of mediation fits right into the image that came out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks.
Hala Moddelmog, president of the Metro Atlanta Chamber, called it a “thrill to host the final meeting — the one when they reached an agreement — in Atlanta.”
Some would say conflict resolution is in Atlanta’s DNA. During the civil rights era, Atlanta stood out as the one city in the South where black and white leaders could meet and work through the tense transition from segregation to integration.
Atlanta is home to problem-solving institutions like the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights and the Carter Center — a gathering place for international leaders to address key issues impacting the world.
And a high-level group of local business leaders with a global focus established the new Atlanta Center for International Arbitration and Mediation at Georgia State University.
A.J. Robinson, president of Central Atlanta Progress, pointed out the city’s advantages, saying: “We’ve got a big airport. We have got great meeting facilities. We are not expensive. And we are hospitable. It’s a great place to solve a problem. Maybe because of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, we will be discovered.”
I agree. After all, mediation and conflict resolution is in our DNA.