2021: The emergence of digital foreign policy

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All countries, albeit with differences in emphasis depending on their circumstances and capabilities, recognise that digitisation plays a role in foreign policy. In the age of digitisation, 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, at 8am – 10:30am EST (14:00–16:30 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 our resources:

The event will be opened by:

  • Federal Councillor Mr Ignazio Cassis, Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Switzerland
  • Mr Houlin Zhao, Secretary General, International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Amb. Mohamed Edrees, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of Egypt to the UN in New York
  • 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, Netherlands
  • 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)

More information on speakers and the conference programme to follow shortly.

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