Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for July 24, 2022

Newsline: Advocating for a Global Commitment to Science Diplomacy

The Vienna Statement on Science Diplomacy, a document advocating for a renewed global commitment to international scientific cooperation to help countries build stronger relations for the benefit of all of humanity, has been endorsed by more than one hundred eminent personalities from the academic and policymaking community. The Vienna Statement on Science Diplomacy is the product of a high-level event organized by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in June this year to discuss the crucial role of international scientific cooperation in enabling researchers to access additional expertise and gain new perspectives on research, unlocking scientific discoveries, and promoting scientific advancement. (https://www.newswise.com/articles/advocating-for-a-global-commitment-to-science-diplomacy) Discussions at the event also explored how international scientific cooperation helps countries to build stronger relations and how it contributes through evidence-based solutions to international negotiations and increased prospects for peaceful co-existence.

Newsline: Russia’s top diplomat visits Egypt, part of Africa trip

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is in Cairo for talks Sunday with Egyptian officials as his country seeks to break diplomatic isolation and sanctions by the West. Lavrov landed in Cairo late Saturday, the first leg of his Africa trip that will also include stops in Ethiopia, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to Russia’s state-run RT. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/russia-fm-visits-egypt-part-of-africa-trip-amid-ukraine-war/2022/07/24/html) The Egyptian Foreign Ministry said Foreign Minister Sameh Shukry was holding talks with Lavrov Sunday morning. The Russian chief diplomat was scheduled to meet later Sunday with the Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit. He will also address the permanent representatives of the pan-Arab organization, RT reported.

Newsline: U.S. Embassies in Africa Are Chronically Short-Staffed

U.S. embassies across Africa are facing chronic staffing shortages that are undercutting U.S. foreign-policy goals on the continent and sapping the morale of the diplomatic corps, according to U.S. officials and experts. The problem has caught the attention of top U.S. lawmakers, who have raised alarm bells about the long-term impact of understaffed embassies. “The persistent and acute understaffing of career foreign service positions at U.S. missions in Africa is a significant concern,” Sen. Jim Risch, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told Foreign Policy. “While the global need and demands on the department are immense, the dire staffing and human resource situation reflects Africa as an afterthought rather than a priority of global significance.” (https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/07/22/africa-embassies-short-staffed-us-sahel-china-russia/) Senior officials at the State Department say they are working to fill the gaps as quickly as they can.