The future of multilateral diplomacy

All countries, albeit with differences in emphasis depending on their circumstances and capabilities, recognise that digitalisation plays a role in foreign policy. In the age of digitalisation, diplomacy is shifting and adapting. Some countries have launched comprehensive digital foreign policy strategies, others have instantiated dedicated positions such as cyber ambassadors or tech envoys. With existing developments coming to fruition and new developments taking shape, we believe that 2021 is the year where we will see digital foreign policy emerge fully. 

Join us on Tuesday, 2nd March, 13:00 UTC-15:30 UTC (14:00 CET-16:30 CET).

During this event, we want to assess the current situation, share lessons learned, and enter into a discussion with practitioners. We will bring together high-level practitioners and expert researchers to unpack the emergence of digital foreign policy. 

We have three aims in particular:

  • Mapping: What is the current situation regarding countries’ digital foreign policy strategies? What other documents are particularly relevant, and what are the different approaches taken by countries?
  • Analysing: What shape do digital foreign policy strategies take? What is the institutional setting supporting them?
  • Indicating best practices: What can we learn from these strategies and the approaches of various countries regarding their digital foreign policy? What advice can we give to countries seeking to develop such strategies and implementing their digital foreign policies?

In preparation for the event, please consult the following resources:

For more information, please write to us at webinars@diplomacy.edu.

SPEAKERS

Federal Councillor Mr Ignazio Cassis

Federal Councillor Mr Ignazio Cassis

Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Switzerland

Mr Houlin Zhao

Mr Houlin Zhao

Secretary General, International Telecommunications Union (ITU)

Dr Jovan Kurbalija

Dr Jovan Kurbalija

Executive Director of DiploFoundation and Head of the Geneva Internet Platform (GIP)

Amb. Mohamed Edrees

Amb. Mohamed Edrees

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of Egypt to the UN in New York

Dr Jon Fanzun

Dr Jon Fanzun

Special Envoy for Cyber Foreign and Security Policy, Switzerland

Amb. Tobias Feakin

Amb. Tobias Feakin

Ambassador for Cyber Affairs and Critical Technology, Australia

Amb. Nathalie Jaarsma

Amb. Nathalie Jaarsma

Ambassador-at-Large for Security Policy and Cyber, Netherlands

Mr Chris Painter

Mr Chris Painter

President of the GFCE Foundation and former Coordinator for Cyber Issues, US Department of State

Amb. Tadej Rupel

Amb. Tadej Rupel

National Coordinator for External Aspects of Digitalization, AI & Cyber Security, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Slovenia

Amb. Thomas Schneider

Amb. Thomas Schneider

Ambassador and Director of International Affairs at the Swiss Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM)

Mr Moctar Yedaly

Mr Moctar Yedaly

Fmr Director, Head Information Society Division at the African Union Commission

Ms Sabina Carli

Ms Sabina Carli

Human Rights Expert & Digital Attaché, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Slovenia to the UN Office and other international organisations in Geneva

Johan Ekerhult

Mr Johan Ekerhult

First Secretary, Permanent Mission of Sweden to the international organisations in Geneva

Mr Jonas Grätz-Hoffmann

Mr Jonas Grätz-Hoffmann

Political Affairs Officer, Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs

Dr Katharina Höne

Dr Katharina Höne

Director of Research, DiploFoundation

Ms Maricela Muñoz

Ms Maricela Muñoz

Minister Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Costa Rica to the UN in Geneva.

Ms Chrystiane Roy

Ms Chrystiane Roy

First Secretary, Digital Policy and Cybersecurity, Permanent Mission of Canada to the UN in Geneva and the WTO

Charline Van Der Beek

Ms Charline van der Beek

Attachée, Policy Officer, ‎Permanent Mission of Austria to the UN in Geneva

Ms Soraya Zanardo

Ms Soraya Zanardo

Attaché, General Delegation Wallonia-Brussels, Permanent Mission of Belgium to the UN in Geneva

PROGRAMME

13:00–15:30 UTC

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13:00–13:30 UTC High-level opening and welcome
  • Federal Councillor Mr Ignazio Cassis, Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Switzerland
  • Mr Houlin Zhao, Secretary General, International Telecommunications Union (ITU)
  • Dr Jovan Kurbalija, Executive Director of DiploFoundation and Head of the Geneva Internet Platform (GIP)
Watch the recording High-level opening
13:30–14:15 UTC Ambassadors’ roundtable: Diving into digital
Roundtable I: Digital foreign policy ‘on the ground’
  • Amb. Mohamed Edrees, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of Egypt to the UN in New York
  • Mr Chris Painter, President of the GFCE Foundation and former Coordinator for Cyber Issues, US Department of State
  • Amb. Tadej Rupel, National Coordinator for External Aspects of Digitalization, AI & Cyber Security, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Slovenia
  • Amb. Thomas Schneider, Ambassador and Director of International Affairs at the Swiss Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM)

Watch the recording Roundtable I

Roundtable II: Developing and implementing digital foreign policy
  • Dr Jon Fanzun, Special Envoy for Cyber Foreign and Security Policy, Switzerland
  • Amb. Tobias Feakin, Ambassador for Cyber Affairs and Critical Technology, Australia
  • Amb. Nathalie Jaarsma, Ambassador-at-Large for Security Policy and Cyber, the Netherlands
Watch the recording Roundtable II
14:1514:30 UTC Coffee break
14:30–15:00 UTC In-depth and interactive practitioner discussions
Track one: What are whole-of-government, whole-of-country, and whole-of-society approaches to digital foreign policy? What are the benefits?
  • Ms Sabina Carli, Human Rights Expert & Digital Attaché, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Slovenia to the UN Office and other international organisations in Geneva
  • Mr Jonas Grätz-Hoffmann, Political Affairs Officer, Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
Watch the recording Track One
Track two: Who drafts digital foreign policies and which key elements should be included?
  • Mr Johan Ekerhult, First Secretary, Permanent Mission of Sweden to the international organisations in Geneva
  • Ms Chrystiane Roy, First Secretary, Digital Policy and Cybersecurity, Permanent Mission of Canada to the UN in Geneva and the WTO
Watch the recording Track two
Track three: Towards implementing digital foreign policies: what institutional set-up and supporting tools can help?
  • Ms Soraya Zanardo, Attaché, General Delegation Wallonia-Brussels, Permanent Mission of Belgium to the UN in Geneva
  • Dr Katharina Höne, Director of Research, DiploFoundation
Watch the recording track three
Track four: What are the particular challenges for diplomats working on digital foreign policy?
  • Ms Maricela Muñoz, Minister Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Costa Rica to the UN in Geneva.
  • Ms Charline van der Beek, Attachée, Policy Officer, ‎Permanent Mission of Austria to the UN in Geneva
Watch the recording track four
15:00–15:15 UTC Wrapping up: Key points and takeaways
Watch the recording Wrapping up
15:15–15:30 UTC Fireside chat: Africa and digital foreign policy
  • Mr Moctar Yedaly, Fmr Director, Head Information Society Division at the African Union Commission
  • Dr Jovan Kurbalija, Executive Director of DiploFoundation and Head of the Geneva Internet Platform (GIP)
Watch the recording Fireside chat
From 15:30 UTC Post-event networking and cocktail: Continue the discussion