MIKTA-IPSS seminar draws attention to role of new state-led coalitions
The objective of the seminar was to introduce a new multilateral initiative to an African audience and provide a platform for dialogue on how to deliver more effective multilateral outcomes through the use of new, regional power-led coalitions such as MIKTA
18 December 2017
MIKTA (the partnership among Mexico, India, Korea, Turkey and Australia) and IPSS organized a joint seminar on “New Multilateralism: The Role of State-led Coalitions” on Monday, 18 December 2017 at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The objective of the seminar was to introduce a new multilateral initiative to an African audience and provide a platform for dialogue on how to deliver more effective multilateral outcomes through the use of new, regional power-led coalitions such as MIKTA. MIKTA’s goal is to consult and lead dialogue on a range of perspectives in order to promote consensus and advance the common interests of the broader international community.
As such, the coalition is geared towards strengthening bilateral relations and political dialogue between its members, and promoting consultation and coordination on common interest multilateral issues including the G20 and the UN, with the aim to develop solutions to major global challenges and foster joint cooperation projects.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Kidane Kiros stated that the MIKTA partnership will help to critically assess the challenges and opportunities multilateral partnerships and coalitions can offer in relation to stability and development.
Ambassador Rike Markos Tekle, Director of the Ethiopian Foreign Service Training Institute at the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stressed the importance of MIKTA and the roles of partnership in dealing with poverty eradication, peace and security, counter-terrorism and sustainable development. He also said that the Ethiopian government has played an active role in creating partnership for sustainable development and peace and security.
Ambassador Fatih Ulusoy, Ambassador of Turkey to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union (AU), gave a press briefing on the genesis of MIKTA and its efforts since its establishment. The Ambassador pointed out the importance of transparency, inclusiveness, cooperation and a rule-based international system, and one that is against all forms of intolerance, xenophobia and exclusive policies.
He shared that MIKTA has seven priority areas, namely: i) international energy governance and energy access, ii) global security and counter terrorism, iii) peacekeeping iv) trade and economy, v) gender equality, vi) democracy, human rights and good governance, and vii) sustainable development. Finally, he expounded on the influence of MIKTA’s voice at the international level, holding meetings with the Secretary General of the United Nations, UNDP officials, UNHCR, IOM, WTO, academics. These meetings have looked at Israel-Palestine relations, inter-Korean relations, and political conditions in Myanmar and Venezuela to name a few.
The next session was presented by Dr. Jochen Prantl, Deputy Director (International Engagement), Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy, Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, Australian National University and Mr. Yoon Ji Wan, Director for Policy Analysis in the Foreign Ministry of Republic of Korea. The session focused on MIKTA as a new global multilateral actor, and highlighted the importance of establishing a new coalition to address the current challenges of global governance, and the role of strategic diplomacy. Dr. Prantl noted the need to adjust “the way we do diplomacy in an increasingly complex world”.
In the subsequent session, Mr. Thomas Kwesi Quartey, Deputy Chairperson at the African Union Commission (AUC), and Mr. Patrick Gonzague H. Balagizi, Chief of Protocol & Public Relations, peace and security analyst, Embassy of DR Congo, shared their perspectives of the AU as a global multilateral actor. “Kagame's report on AU reform shows that partners can only do so much for you, we have to be clear about what we want and where we're hoping to get to,” Mr. Quartey said.
Session III, presented by Dr. Kidane Kiros, Director of IPSS, examined the role of academic institutions in building new coalitions. Dr. Kidane explained how IPSS activities and programmes contribute to building partnerships.
Next, the five MIKTA ambassadors, or their representatives, made presentations on the partnership from the perspectives of their individual countries. Presentations were made by: Amb. Victor Manuel Treviño Escudero, Ambassador of Mexico to Ethiopia; Amb. Imam Santoso, Ambassador of Indonesia to Ethiopia; Mr. Il Park, Charge d’Affaires, Embassy of Korea in Ethiopia; Amb. Fatih Ulusoy, Ambassador of Turkey to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the Africa Union (AU); and Amb. Mark Sawers, Ambassador to CAR, Djibouti, Ethiopia and South Sudan; Permanent Representative to AU, UNECA and IGAD.
The final session questioned what African multilateral coalitions in the UN Security Council can learn from MIKTA. The panellists noted that formal institutional membership is not all that matters - finding consensus with different actors is more important.
In conclusion, Michelle Ndiaye, Director of the Africa Peace and Security Programme at IPSS, said, “This MIKTA-IPSS seminar was an opportunity to question the current multilateral set up.” She stated that MIKTA must move forward on leveraging a relationship with the AU and the latter, she added, could also benefit from learning how to build a coalition from MIKTA.
Click here to view photos from the seminar.