Bled Strategic Forum, August 31, 2020




Diplomacy and Foreign Relations, Global Governance

GDL Members host a Virtual Session at the
Bled Strategic Forum

A group of dedicated GDL members hosted a virtual session on the topics of City Diplomacy and the Future of Multilateralism at this years Bled Strategic Forum (BSF). For the fifth time in a row, GDL and BSF pooled their efforts to confront some of the most important global challenges. The 15th BSF addressed the urgent need to support and develop a resilient and sustainable global community and – for the first time – included a strong digital component.

The virtual GDL session at this year’s BSF was conceptualised by GDL members Annegret Warth and Max Bouchet. It explored how cross-border collaboration and experience-sharing between cities is enabling them to lead the way in addressing global challenges. Pragmatism and problem-solving, rather than geopolitical interests, are driving the global multilateral cooperation of the age and cities are emerging as global players with their own agenda.

Over the course of 90 minutes, the participants had the opportunity to learn from the experience of frontline researchers and practitioners in the field during a panel discussion, moderated by Chi Nguyen. Afterwards an exchange in breakout sessions dived deeper into specific aspects of the topic.

What has City Diplomacy to do with the Future of Mulitlateralism?

As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations and face one of the greatest health and economic crises of our age, the multilateral environment seems weakened by the renewed unilateralism of major powers and the gridlock in international cooperation on migration, global health and climate. Looking ahead, rapid population growth in urban areas means that many of our global challenges and the responses to them will be concentrated in cities. Meanwhile, mayors and local governments have been coming together and filling the gap by connecting across borders in city networks such as C40 Cities and the Urban 20 (U20) to coordinate their efforts to influence global agendas.

Further Activities

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