The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) proclaim 17 goals to end poverty in all its forms everywhere and ensure healthy lives, quality education, gender equality, access to justice, modern energy for all, sustainable economic growth, resilient infrastructure and industrialisation, make human settlements inclusive, combat climate change and strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development. The complex webs of SDGs demand that Africa fosters development diplomacy systems and leadership at all level of the implementation of the SDGs. Development diplomacy is the art and practice of conducting aid negotiations on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Overseas Aid between representatives of states and donors. It is a form of public diplomacy that deals with the influence of public attitudes on the formation and execution of foreign policies. It encompasses dimensions of international relations beyond traditional diplomacy; the cultivation by governments of public opinion in other countries; the interaction of private groups and interests in one country with another; the reporting of foreign affairs and its impact on policy; communication between those whose job is communication, as diplomats and foreign correspondents; and the process of intercultural communications.
On the other hand, The Washington Consensus has spun opportunities and threats to social stability and political sustainability. The intent of this guest lecture is to develop ideas for discourse, dialogue, and build consensus on vital issues of diplomacy, democracy and development. Democratic development derives from the attainment of widespread literacy and education, or a shared sense among citizens of national unity. These explanatory factors operate at different levels of analysis: a socio-economic structural approach, a contingent approach and advancement in the promotion of rules and institutions. With reference to governance, the relevant rules concern administrative accountability, transparency and predictability. Rules may or may not be formalised. The Washington Consensus, which was meant to reinforce the above, included ten broad sets of recommendations. These revolve around fiscal policy discipline, redirection of public spending from subsidies to pro-poor services, tax, interest and interest rate reform, liberalisation of trade and FDI, privatisation, deregulation, prudent oversight of financial institutions and legal security for property rights. The Consensus has been the target of sharp criticism that it is a way to open up less developed countries to investments from large multinational corporations and their wealthy owners in advanced First World economies.
Key words: Development diplomacy, Public diplomacy, SDGs, The Washington Consensus
A Princeton PhD, was a US diplomat for over 20 years, mostly in Eastern Europe, and was promoted to the Senior Foreign Service in 1997. For the Open World Leadership Center, he speaks with
its delegates from Europe/Eurasia on the topic, "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United." Affiliated with Georgetown University for over ten years, he shares ideas with students about public diplomacy.
The papers of his deceased father -- poet and diplomat John L. Brown -- are stored at Georgetown University Special Collections at the Lauinger Library. They are manuscript materials valuable to scholars interested in post-WWII U.S.-European cultural relations.
This blog is dedicated to him, Dr. John L. Brown, a remarkable linguist/humanist who wrote in the Foreign Service Journal (1964) -- years before "soft power" was ever coined -- that "The CAO [Cultural Affairs Officer] soon comes to realize that his job is really a form of love-making and that making love is never really successful unless both partners are participating."