To mark the International Day of Women in Diplomacy, the EU Delegation to the UK together with LSE IDEAS and the Aspen Institute UK, are bringing together leading diplomats to discuss the role of women in global governance.
Women have played an important role in international diplomacy throughout history, and a number of international organisations are currently led by women. More women are serving as ambassadors to the UN and strategically important powers such as the US and China, and they are playing leading roles in multilateral negotiations such as those on climate change. Yet women are still underrepresented in many international organisations and multilateral negotiations. This free, public event will explore women’s participation in diplomacy, delving into both the challenges and opportunities for women at all levels of decision-making and complex international negotiations. How can we make sure women have a seat at the table?
Ahead of the panel there will be short presentations by H.E. Ambassador of Romania, Laura Popescu, on behalf of the Women in Diplomacy London network and Professor Karen E. Smith of LSE IDEAS and the International Relations Department.
Doors open at 16:30, the panel discussion will be from 17:00-18:00 followed by a networking reception from 18:00.
Professor Chris Alden – Professor Alden teaches International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and is Director of LSE IDEAS. He is a Research Associate with South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA). He is author/co-author of numerous books, including Apartheid’s Last Stand – the Rise and Fall of the South African Security State (Palgrave 1996), Mozambique and the Construction of the New African State (Palgrave 2003), The South and World Politics (Palgrave 2010), Foreign Policy Analysis – New Approaches 2nd edition (Routledge 2017), as well as having written numerous articles in internationally recognised journals. Professor Alden has held fellowships at Cambridge University, Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo; Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto; Ecole Normale Superieure (Cachan), Paris; CERI, Paris; and University of Pretoria.
On the panel:
Sally Axworthy – Sally Axworthy is Deputy Director and Head of Negotiations and Peace Processes Department in the FCDO’s Office for Conflict, Stabilisation and Mediation, working to enhance UK effectiveness in reducing the frequency and intensity of conflict. She was British Ambassador to the Holy See from 2016 to 2021, during which time she ran initiatives on climate change and tackling religiously-inspired violence. Her previous roles in the former FCO include Joint Head of North Africa Department, with a focus on reducing conflict in Libya; Head of Somalia Unit, responsible for policy for the first two London Somalia conferences; and Director of Corporate Services in India, modernising the High Commission’s corporate services. She has also been posted to Germany, Ukraine and Russia. She was seconded to the Government Office South West in Plymouth working on vulnerable adults’ access to government services, and local initiatives to address deprivation.
H.E Dr Fatou Bensouda – Her Excellency Dr Fatou Bensouda is High Commissioner of Gambia to the United Kingdom. Previously, she served as Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court from 2012-2021, having assumed office in 2012. Between 1987 and 2000, Dr. Bensouda was successively State Counsel, Senior State Counsel, Principal State Counsel, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Solicitor General and Legal Secretary of the Republic, and Attorney General and Minister of Justice of The Republic of The Gambia. Dr. Bensouda currently serves as The Gambian High Commissioner to the Court of St James’s and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, the Republics of Austria, Ireland, Finland and the State of Israel and the Vatican City.
Amb. Sophie Katsarava – Her Excellency Sophie Katsarava is Ambassador of Georgia to the UK. Prior to this appointment she was Chair of the Parliament of Georgia’s Foreign Affairs Committee. Before becoming an MP in the Parliament of Georgia, Ms. Katsarava worked at the British Embassy in Tbilisi for many years, initially holding a position as Communications & Public Affairs Manager before being promoted to Political Officer. She was awarded an MBE (Honorary Member of the British Empire) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for her contribution to strengthening bilateral relations between the UK and Georgia. In April 2023, Sophie Katsarava was awarded “The Diplomat of the Year 2023” in London.
Amb. Natalia Royo – Her Excellency Natalia Royo is the Ambassador of the Republic of Panama to the United Kingdom. She studied journalism at New York University (NYU) in the United States and has a master’s degree in International Relations from the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University and a further master’s degree in Political Communication. Prior to her current post, Ambassador Royo held several positions in the Panamanian foreign service. She was Counsellor at the Mission of Panama to the United Nations and was also the coordinator for the Rio Group, formed by 14 Latin American countries, in charge of conciliating the group’s positions before the United Nations and presenting them to the various commissions.