lighting, Diplomacy

[WebDebate] Strategies for African states in multilateral diplomacy

06 March 2018 -


Event description

Looking at some of the key venues of multilateral diplomacy – such as the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly – it is easy to get the impression that multilateral diplomacy is dominated by a few powerful Western states. In our next WebDebate, we will focus on the strategies for African states to engage successfully in multilateral diplomacy. We will debate the obstacles faced and discuss potential responses and future directions.

Watch the recording:

YouTube player

and read the summary from our March WebDebate

How can African states navigate multilateral diplomacy successfully?

Although African states are incredibly diverse in terms of the challenges and opportunities they face, the question of how to engage more effectively in multilateral fora is common to all of them, and will be crucial for navigating towards a more prosperous future.

Some of the questions we will debate include.

  • To what extent is African diplomacy informed by the common experience of colonialism?
  • With no permanent representation on the UN Security Council, how can proper representation of key concerns be ensured?
  • To what extent is it useful to work through the African Union and groups such as the Group of 77 and the Non-Aligned Movement?
  • What is the importance of regional groupings and organisations such as the Economic Community of West African States and the South African Development Community?



Ambassador Amr Aljowaily is Egypt’s Ambassador to Serbia. He has held leading positions in multilateral negotiations including Rapporteur of the United Nations’ Special Committee on Peacekeeping in 2015, Coordinator for Peacekeeping of the African Group Experts in NY in 2015, and Coordinator for Disarmament of the Arab Group Experts in New York from 2011 to 2015. His previous diplomatic postings were New York, Geneva, and Washington, DC. At the Foreign Ministry, he served as Deputy Assistant Foreign Minister for United Nations Affairs and Director of UN Affairs. Read more about him.

Dr Yolanda Kemp Spies is a senior research fellow at the University of Johannesburg’s Chair in African Diplomacy and Foreign Policy. She was a diplomat for 18 years before she joined academia, to specialise in diplomatic studies. She has designed and presented diplomatic training programmes to South African as well as foreign groups of diplomats, and received her own diplomatic training at the Department of Foreign Affairs in South Africa and at Oxford University.

Join us on Tuesday, 6th March 2018, at 12:00 UTC (13:00 CET).& Register to reserve your place.


About our WebDebates

The WebDebates on the future of diplomacy are live streamed on the first Tuesday of every month. They are organised by Diplo within the framework of the International Forum on Diplomatic Training (IFDT). Learn more about our series of WebDebates.

If you form part of a dynamic circle of practitioners in your community, we encourage you to establish a diplomatic hub to follow the WebDebates and to facilitate discussions. For more information, contact Diplo’s Ms Mina Mudric.