The world has not become a simpler place since Francis Fukuyama declared the ‘end of history’ in 1992 following the collapse of the Soviet Union. We know now that Fukuyama was wrong. Badly wrong. We are in fact confronting a ‘New World Disorder’ - an era of complex and evolving inter-relationships, the unravelling of existing certainties, stalling multilateralism, and rising regionalism. In fact, the end of the Cold War and ‘globalisation’ have together imposed new points of reference for the conduct of diplomacy.
Since the Melian Dialogue in 416 BC when a small state (Melos) was provided a brutal and existential reality check in its relationship with a large one (Athens), there has been one constant in international diplomacy - small states still need to find ways to effectively navigate the international system to protect and advance their own national interests (or a balance thereof).
Put simply, effective diplomacy matters. In fact, it matters most for small states. But how do small states conceive of their diplomacy? And, in practical terms how do they ‘win friends and influence people?’
Ambassador Vengalis Vitalis studied politics and economics at Auckland and Harvard. His diplomatic experience includes a tour as Deputy High Commissioner in Canberra and as New Zealand’s chief negotiator on trade and investment negotiations with China, ASEAN, Malaysia and Australia. He also worked for the OECD. Vangelis speaks German, Greek and Russian. He is a fanatical supporter of the Wellington Phoenix, Olympiakos and the New Zealand All Whites football teams.
On Thursday 12 February at 18:00 come and join YPFP at the New Zealand Ambassador to the EU and NATO, Vangelis Vitalis for a glass (or three!) of New Zealand wine and canapés and an interactive discussion on small state diplomacy as practiced by New Zealand.
This event is for YPFP Members only.
Not a member? Find out how to join here!
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