Torontonians will naturally be focussing on local issues like transit and taxes and when they go to the polls in October. But we should also spend some time thinking about how the candidates stack up when it comes to municipal diplomacy, the ability to make smart connections for Toronto in the wider world.
China has been quietly working to recreate one of the most legendary trade routes, "the Silk Road", linking Africa to the Middle East (Iraq and Iran) to India, to Indonesia and all culminating in Beijing, while at the same time the reverse leg of the route goes to Kazakhstan, Moscow and ultimately, Germany. The purpose: "to enhance political and economic ties with southeast Asia and beyond."
The new battle for Africa does not deploy strong-arm tactics, it is now a soft power game: economic and humanitarian aid, interest-free loans, preferential trade agreements and investments in infrastructure are currency across a continent that is, for the world's established and emerging powers, seemingly up for grabs.
In September next year, the United Nations plans to choose a list of development goals for the world to meet by the year 2030. What aspirations should it set for this global campaign to improve the lot of the poor, and how should it choose them? In answering that question, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his advisers are confronted with a task that they often avoid: setting priorities.
The Russian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Nikolay Udovincheko, says Russian Trade Mission to Nigeria will be reopened to promote trade and economic ties between the two countries. Udovincheko stated this during a courtesy visit by the Managing Director of News Agency of Nigeria, Mr Ima Niboro, to the Russian Embassy on Wednesday in Abuja. The ambassador said the embassy was also working towards opening a cultural centre in Nigeria to promote cultural diplomacy between both countries.
Countries join alliances, or entities such as the European Union, because these groups make the benefits and obligations of membership as unambiguous as anything in international relations can be. For Germany and South Korea, however, relationships with historic allies — NATO and the United States, respectively — appear to be changing before our eyes.
The current UNO publication, Numero 17, La Nueva Diplomacia, features articles focusing on new diplomacy and international relations, and includes a piece by CPD Director, Jay Wang titled Nation Branding Revisited. Other articles cover topics ranging from Soft Power and Digital Diplomacy to Economic Diplomacy and the role of non-state actors in diplomatic relations.
It is hard to think of two countries that have more in common than Australia and Britain. We share a language and a rich history – and, in the main, a sense of humour. We are both maritime trading nations. Australia inherited many fine British institutions including parliamentary democracy and the common law. Yet, as a recent Lowy Institute poll demonstrates, too often the relationship is focused on the past rather than the future, on sentiment rather than shared interests. More than eight in 10 Australians see the Australia-Britain bilateral relationship as important.