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CIC Victoria: The Future of Diplomacy – Reforming Global Affairs Canada

October 12, 2023 @ 11:30 am - 1:30 pm PDT

When: Thursday, 12 October
Where: The Union Club, 805 Gordon Street
Time: 11:30-1:30 pm (doors open at 11:30 am)

Global challenges today know no borders, and the prosperity, well-being and security of Canadians is directly affected by events abroad. This was evident at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when disruptions in global supply chains led to increased prices and product shortages in Canada. Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine has also driven up the cost of food and gas worldwide, including in communities across Canada. And rising tensions and greater instability in many regions of the world mean Canadians travelling and living abroad can face unexpected peril. Today, close to 14,000 Global Affairs Canada staff serve at headquarters in the National Capital Region, in regional offices across Canada, and in 178 diplomatic missions in 110 countries across 6 continents.

With all of this in mind, our next lunch will focus on Global Affairs Canada and Foreign Minister Melanie Joly’s ambitious transformation plans stemming from a June 2023 government discussion paper called “The Future of Diplomacy”. Her aim is to address shortfalls in the department across an array of aspects from building new policy expertise, revamping recruitment, training, and career management policies to increasing Canada’s diplomatic presence abroad, which is already taking place with new embassies opening in Armenia, Estonia, Lithuania, and Slovakia. For many current and former employees of Global Affairs Canada the issues facing the department will come as no surprise and a key question is why has it taken the Department so long to get to them? Many of the suggestions in the paper, as our speaker will discuss, will struggle to be realized without a major injection of funds.

For our October lunch, we are delighted to welcome Paul Meyer from Vancouver, who will discuss the “Future of Diplomacy” paper, the department’s likely transformation plans and the challenges their implementation will face. Paul is a Fellow in International Security and Adjunct Professor of International Studies at Simon Fraser University. He is also a founding Fellow of the Outer Space Institute, a senior advisor to ICT4Peace and a Director of the Canadian Pugwash Group. Prior to assuming his current positions in 2011, Mr. Meyer had a 35-year career with the Canadian Foreign Service, including serving as Canada’s Ambassador to the United Nations and to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva (2003-2007). He teaches a course on diplomacy at SFU’s School for International Studies and writes on issues of Canadian diplomacy, nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, outer space security and international cyber security.

The cost to attend is $40 for CIC members, $45 for non-members, $30 for CIC young professional members and non-member students and $20 for CIC student members.

To register please email no later than noon on Thursday, 5 October with your name, the names of any guests and any specific dietary restrictions. Along with confirmation of your attendance once we hear from you, eTransfer payment instructions will then be provided and payment by eTransfer is strongly encouraged. Unfortunately, as meals must be pre-ordered and paid for, no refunds are possible unless we have a waiting list.


October 12, 2023
11:30 am - 1:30 pm PDT