GDL Members at the Bled Strategic Forum 2022 (29-31 August 2022)
In a fast changing world with its principles of multilaterism and democracy trembling, how can the human dignity and human connection be put at the centre of diplomacy and international rules? This not-so-easy-to-answer question was at the heart of the GDL’s Session at the Bled Strategic Forum this year.
Within the framework of the overarching theme „The rule of power or the power of rules“, the Bled Strategic Forum (BSF) took part in 2022 from August 29 – 31 in Bled, Slovenia. The topic was already touched upon in the previous year, but now the discussions were intensified during the three day long forum.
For the 7th time now, the Global Diplomacy Lab was invited to host an interactive session at the BSF. This year, the GDL Members Maia Mazurkiewicz, Rocío Cañas, Trinidad Saona, Carolina Sheinfeld, and Dalya Salinas represented the GDL in Bled. All of them had already supported last year’s GDL Members Elif Çavuşlu and Burak Ünveren during the BSF and are part of the Taskforce „Care and Diplomacy“ of the Gender Alliance.
How can we establish and emphasise the need for a more humane connection in a fast-changing world? This question was the centre of their session hosted at the BSF: “Ethics of care – a New Vision for countering Disinformation.
The audience was invited to disucss questions like „What would international cooperation look like if it was care-based?“ or „How to prevent furhter polarisation giving an example of refugees from Ukraine to the EU countries“ within the framework of a group work, before coming together in a fishbowl discussion. The concluded findings and outcomes where wrapped up in the end, combining the hosts input and the participants‘ conclusions.
The approach of the five GDL Members is based on the principles of inclusiveness and care with a focus on the latter at the BSF this year. For them, care descirbes a paradigm that includes all measures taken to maintain, contain and repair the ‚world‘ in order to secure a life as well as possible there. Care contains a range of attributes, often described as ‚feminine‘ such as attentive listening, ect,pp. The neccessity for the ‚ethics of care‘ derives from a growing social divide caused by the latest global developements, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the russian war against ukraine. These challenges have further disadvantaged already vulnerable groups.
The hosts of the session see diplomacy based on care and inclusiveness as one possible way to overcome or at least reduce social friction. This is especially important since threats so democracy and stability not only come from classic hard power, weapons and cyber attacks but also from the manipulation of the citizens behaviour. This includes polarisation or targeted misinformation through digital media. The principles of care and inclusiveness are therefore seen as a measure to counter these developements.
In line with the topic of the BSF – the rule of power or the power of rules – the hosts point out that it is necessary to develop a leadership that embraces the fact that there is no single universal set of principles, but that there are various means of action which can and should be re-thought depending on the time and context. In the bigger pictures, this means a re-evaluation of how diplomacy should be done. The Hosts therefore see the adoption of a Female Foreign Policy (FFP) as an important step to create an intersectional foreign policy based on the priciples of care and inclusiveness.
If you want to learn more about their approach, the hosts also wrote an article for the bled strategic times which can be found here.
Maia Mazurkiewicz, Rocío Cañas, Trinidad Saona, Carolina Sheinfeld, and Dalya Salinas were not the only GDL Members present at the BSF: Kathryn Bryk Friedman and hydrologist Irena Creed who played a key role in the Lab on Water Diplomacy 4.0 this year also took part in the panel on water-proofing peace actions and conflict-proofing water actions after hosting and participating in the GDL Lab on Water Diplomacy 4.0 in Slovenia.