In this mutating world, pressures on States’ stability have increased with war, pandemics and natural disasters, shaking the international system to the core. The resurgence of war in Europe has reshuffled the cards of world geopolitics. Energy shortages, inflation, amplification of populist narratives and an overall fragmentation are all exacerbated in a world recovering from a global pandemic.

The African continent and the Global South are particularly suffering from the slow restart of the post-pandemic economy and the ongoing conflicts in the West with far-reaching implications and repercussions. As exposed witnesses of the confrontation between Russia and Ukraine and of the ever-growing discordance between the United States and China, and as a region standing to be the most impacted by the compounded crises, states in the Global South are reviving the nonaligned movement. Are they in a position to advance their own views and secure their interests? In the aftermath of a pandemic and in the midst of War, the Global South could contribute to policy prescriptions regarding how to best to navigate the turbulence ahead. How can the Global South manage and mitigate worse effects, and turn the current crisis into an opportunity to engage in meaningful conversation around collaborative North-South efforts aimed at action, genuine partnerships, and cooperation?

Stakes are high. Cooperation on the global, regional, state and individual levels is the only way to cope and overcome these unprecedented challenges. As advocates for the Global South, the implementation of an enhanced and effective multilateral world order is one of the compasses that leads our action. The Atlantic Dialogues conference has always channeled this strong willingness of increased and reformed multilateralism by creating innovative spaces of dialogue between the North and South Atlantic. This conference is the opportunity to conceptualize the wider Atlantic and advocates for innovative and bold ideas for a peaceful, more balanced and prosperous future.

Agenda

14 december
11:30
12:30
Launch of the 9th Edition of the Atlantic Currents: An Annual Report on Wider Atlantic Perspectives and Patterns

This session will present and discuss the 9th edition of Atlantic Currents report, one of the flagship annual publications of the Policy Center for the New South. This report comes along with the high-level Atlantic Dialogues conference and explores key global issues facing the Atlantic from a Southern viewpoint.

In line with the theme of the Atlantic Dialogues Conference, this 9th edition will be devoted to “Collaboration in a Mutating World: Opportunities of the Wider Atlantic”. It will analyze the political, economic, social and security developments reshaping societies and relationships in the Atlantic Basin as well as the opportunities they present for further cooperation and common strategies.

12:30
14:20
Lunch
14:30
14:45
AD Connect
14:45
15:00
Welcoming Remarks
15:00
16:15
Plenary I - Compounded Crises: The Wider Atlantic Taking Stock

Since 2020, the international community has been witnessing seismic changes in several spheres. COVID-19 has disrupted global production and its supply chains. The war in Ukraine has sparked an energy crisis, induced food insecurity, resulting in acute effects for the most vulnerable. The multilateral system has been profoundly challenged, and climate change and nuclear war threats are on the table. In the context of these compounded crises, the Wider Atlantic has emerged as a crucial element of geopolitical and geoeconomic analysis in world affairs. The session will discuss the prospects of cooperation in the Wider Atlantic that would make it possible for states to collectively tackle common issues. It will also investigate the extent to which such cooperation might shift the gaze from Asia and the Pacific into a Wider Atlantic.

 

- What are some of the features characterizing the impacts of these compounded crises?

- What are the security, political and economic drivers of the Wider Atlantic—being at the intersection between the Americas, Europe and Africa—in the current global context?

- Would a Wider Atlantic unified strategy be useful as an attempt to quell the crisis?

- What is the role of Africa and Latin America in (re)shaping the Wider Atlantic dynamics?

16:15
16:45
Coffee Break
16:45
18:00
Plenary II - Thinking the Unthinkable: The Consequences of Inflation

Inflation is back on the agenda. The rise of inflation occurred in the aftermath of the global activity rebound out of the COVID-19 when global value chains were severely disrupted and have been contending to recover since then. The Russia-Ukraine conflict added new strains over the global economy, raising energy and food prices. Inflation brings more uncertainty in the operation of an economy and introduces new transaction costs for economic agents, constrained to hedge against it. A more granular assessment indicates that vulnerable households were severely affected on two fronts. Their real disposable income shrunk while at the same time their savings slushed considerably, as their holdings are not generally inflation-immune. Besides, the aggressive reaction it generated from macroeconomic policy makers and its implications worldwide, this inflation trend could be the catalyst of ongoing transformations. It could strengthen even further the hand of those preaching globalization and advocating for self-reliance behaviors. In addition, inflation can also lead to questioning the balance of power between workers and capital holders, heralding a new era in labor markets negotiations. 

 

- Are we heading toward a new inflation age?

- What are the drivers of today’s inflation and how similar/different is it from the 1970s?

- How can domestic policies cope with this issue? Can a collective international response prove to be effective?

- Beyond classic implications, can this inflation trend trigger more profound transformation of the worldwide economic system?

18:00
19:15
Plenary III - Two-Speed Multilateralism in the Wider Atlantic

After decades of economic integration, the world seems to be fragmenting again, epitomized best, perhaps, by the return of geopolitics, protectionism, unilateral sanctions, treaty withdrawals, and even military and economic coercions. The war in Ukraine seemed to further deepen this impression of a suffering international order especially in the Wider Atlantic, where a difference of views divides the West and the global South. Concomitantly, institutions of multilateralism, such as the United Nations and its manifold agencies, have been criticized for their lack of efficiency and their institutional sclerosis. They have, additionally, been challenged by the global South, notably the African continent, for their unfair governing structures with increasing pressures to add two African seats to the Security Council. Unlike countries of the northern Atlantic, the southern Atlantic still lacks mechanisms of effective collaboration and the willingness to align positions on the international scene.

 

- How can we bridge the gap between positions and posture between the global South and the global North?

- Is the Wider Atlantic a viable space for cooperation and dialogue between states?

- Is multilateralism in need of a global reform? What is the role of the global South in this overhaul?

20:00
22:00
Broadcast - FIFA World Cup Semi-Finals & Cocktail Dinner in the Foyer/ Moroccan Dinner
22:00
23:30
Night Owls

Night Owl I - Atlantic Multilateralism and Prospects for a Pan Atlantic Community

Night Owl II - Financing Development in and for the South

15 december
09h30
10h45
Plenary IV - Street Power, Willpower, and Democracy

Whether a sign of a healthy democratic experience or that of a deep and generalized discontent, in recent years, the world has witnessed a multitude of protest movements. From the “Occupy” movement, the "Indignados", the social riots in some Latin American countries, the so-called “Arab Spring”, to the more recent “Gilets Jaunes” or “Antivax”, the world registered a clear increase in dissents since the financial crisis (2007-08). These social movements have clearly demonstrated the growing frustration from socioeconomic policies. They have also pointed at some dysfunctions in democracies in terms of good governance, political representation, and economic justice. Hence, with street power seemingly coming back at the center of world geopolitics, governments are increasingly brought back to the fundamentals of the balance between power and people. Governments are challenged by mass protests, social media polemics and even boycott campaigns that can sometimes lead to damaging instability.

- How can we preserve values of democracy in today’s mutating world?

- What’s at stake in today’s world governance?

- In an era of proven instances of manipulation and interference in news and social media, how can governments ensure freedom of expression while addressing these challenges?

10h45
11h15
Coffee Break
11:15
12:30
Plenary V - NATO, the South Atlantic, and the Global Strategic Balance

The growing tensions in international relations that culminated in the war in Ukraine and the Sino-American rivalry put NATO and the dialectic of the transatlantic alliance back at the forefront of global strategic affairs. The 2022 Strategic Concept falls within this dynamic by confirming the intentions at consolidating the capabilities of NATO for the benefit of the defense and collective security of all the Allies. This adjustment leads us to consider the current period as a transition phase, and to rethink the Alliance's relationship with the enlarged Atlantic in the light of Cooperative Security. The Euro-Atlantic certainly has the strategic and economic means as well as the capabilities to occupy the preponderant place in the enlarged Atlantic space. On the other hand, the Latin American and Afro-Atlantic subgroups, marked by a long history of development and security research, are rising in power, as great emerging powers for some, due to their new global geopolitical postures and their desire for diplomatic and strategic autonomy. Therefore, the wider Atlantic cannot be reduced to a vast and simple space segmented between the Euro-Atlantic and the South Atlantic, but it must also be thought of as a relevant space for cooperative security and economic prosperity. However, there are still many questions as to how this could take shape in a world full of uncertainties.

- What is the South Atlantic’s room for manoeuvre?

- What are the intentions of the Atlantic Alliance?

- What are the consequences of the global powers’ play on the region?

- Are there opportunities for cooperation in the Wider Atlantic?

12:30
14:30
Lunch
14:30
15:45
Plenary VI - Fighting Inequalities: The Role of the Social State in the Wider Atlantic

The rise of inequality is becoming one of the biggest concerns for developed, developing and emerging economies. Nowadays, more than ever, it is becoming an extremely important issue facing many economies around the world, not only from an equity point of view but also from an economic and social perspectives.

The recent COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the weaknesses of the global economic system and has also put strong emphasis on the importance of the social state in fighting inequalities. Indeed, during this pandemic, we have seen that a large part of the population, mainly in the southern part of the Atlantic, has been left overnight without financial means to cover its basic daily needs. This situation has been aggravated by the low levels of access to social protection, and by the low qualification of workers in several economic sectors and in particular in the informal sector, which does not allow them to keep their job or to find a new one that can be carried out remotely from home.

- What is the role of social state in fighting inequality? what are the main policies that governments should prioritize, to help reduce within-country inequality and ensure that economic gains are well shared ?

- How can governments strengthen their capacity to raise the necessary tax revenues, in order to finance the social investment needed to reduce inequalities without discouraging economic activity?

- What is the cost of tax havens for developing countries and what role can international cooperation play in dealing with this issue?

- How can governance be made more effective to help fight within countries inequality?

15:45
17:00
Plenary VII - The Security-Development Nexus in the Sahel: The Challenge of Implementation

The rise of geopolitical tensions in the world has added a new threat in the Sahel, an area already riddled with economic and security uncertainties. The withdrawal of European troops and the drastic reduction in the number of French troops has created a vacuum where the Sahelian states were already struggling to spread their administrative authority in their vast territories. The very concept of foreign intervention and its architecture in the case of the Sahel zone must be reformulated and reassessed in the light of recent events. Part of the answers require the empowerment of local armies and the establishment of regional peacekeeping mechanisms. These initiatives to expand counter-terrorism strategies still suffer from lack of funding and coordination. The efficiency of regional approaches and their coordination with other international entities and the question of the financing of these initiatives is at the heart of the new security deal in the Sahel. In that sense, an approach centered on economic development and the security-development nexus is insistently demanded by the States of the Sahel who reject a mere security and military approach.

- How can the current crisis be interpreted and how can regional initiatives like the G5 Sahel tackle the current security crisis?

- How can new approaches against violent extremism  be implemented to help states stabilize their territories?

- How can long-term political stability be restored in the Sahel and the link ensured between security and development approaches?

17:00
17:30
Coffee Break
17:30
18:00
AD Talk I - Water and Energy (In)Security in the Atlantic

The rising concerns regarding water scarcity are fueled by the drastic decline in rainfall, long periods of drought and aggravating water deficits. Regarding  energy, the outlook has been darkened by the war in Ukraine, resulting in gas supply shortage and higher oil prices. The perspectives of a colder winter in some of the Atlantic countries are also arousing fears of energy insecurity.

Repercussions of both water and energy insecurity are spread across several sectors, among which agriculture, industry, and transportation stand as most affected. Moreover, water and energy are both essential resources for the development of all economic activities, and uncertainty around energy supply and sufficiency strengthens the need for a stronger leverage on renewable energy.

However, while water scarcity already motivates underperformance in agriculture as well as economic development, the efficiency of several renewable energy sources relies heavily on water availability. In that context, growing population and the worsening outlook of climate change are worrying.

This session will assess where countries of the Atlantic basin stand in terms of water and energy endowments and what solutions are springing up to resolve this issue.

- Given the Atlantic basin countries’ heterogeneous struggle, what are some of the proposed solutions to withstand water and energy insecurities?

- How are energy and water insecurities linked? And is it possible to leverage on common solutions to tackle both?

- Would coordinated efforts for a collective response prove efficient for Atlantic countries, or should we rather envisage specific country-tailored actions, particularly for low-income countries?

18:00
19:15
Plenary VIII - Facing the Food Security Challenge Together in the Wider Atlantic

The first half of 2022 witnessed one of the biggest shocks in the global food market in decades. As countries recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chains struggled to keep up with the growing demand for food and put pressure on prices. In addition, the war in Ukraine intensified record-high prices for food, fertilizer, and energy. As a result, the food price index has reached a record high, further threatening the food security of vulnerable countries, some of which are in the Atlantic basin, already fragile. Thus, the latest estimates show that 45 countries worldwide, including 33 in Africa, 2 in Latin America, and 1 in Europe, will need external assistance for food. Other exogenous challenges, notably climate change, increasing resource scarcity, and decreasing productivity, are also significant concerns. In facing these compelling challenges, policymakers must find solutions to create stronger, safer, more resilient communities. Improving the technological content of agricultural inputs and technical practices is essential to building this resilience, particularly in rural areas where the population is predominantly poor and vulnerable. This session explores solutions for building resilience to overlapping crises through a comprehensive and coordinated effort to align incentives, accelerate innovation, and scale up investment.

- In the current context of the price crisis, climate change, and food insecurity, what urgent solutions and actions are needed in the short term to overcome this crisis in the Atlantic?

- How could policy and incentive measures help address the impact of the food crisis in the Atlantic basin?

- What forms of collaboration, such as regional trade, agricultural research, and extension, should governments put in place to transform agriculture and strengthen national/regional food security? 

20:00
22:00
Breakout Dinners
  1. L’Atlantique euro-africain: Un espace de coopération digne d’intérêt(in French)
  2. Leveling Commitment to Unlock the Energy Transition
  3. L’impact des crises récentes sur les chaînes d'approvisionnement et les commodités (In French)
  4. Aftermath of Europe’s War: The West vs. Africa and the Rest
  5. Powering Peace in Africa
  6. Rivalries in the South Atlantic
  7. U.S.-Africa: An Opportunity Lost or Found?  
  8. The Atlantic and the Future of the European Union
  9. Banking on Climate Finance: A Call to Action
  10. Asia, Africa, and the Wider Atlantic
  11. Women’s Leadership in Times of Crises
  12. Towards an Inclusive AfCFTA: Opportunities for Women and Youth
  13. New Digital Technologies for Development
  14. هجرة الكفاآت: الوجه الآخر للهجرة وحركية الساكنة في حوض البحر الابيض المتوسط (in Arabic)
  15. The Challenges of Human Development in the Context of Mixed Crises
  16. What Commons in the Wider Atlantic?
16 december
10:15
11:30
Plenary IX - Climate Change Cooperation

An unprecedented threat to humanity, the climate crisis has been worsening for decades. Global warming is profoundly impacting the environment, the global economy, and the international peace and stability on which humanity depends. Food production, access to fresh water, and livable ambient temperatures are increasingly at risk. These crises create significant hardship and pose risks to all, but above all, to vulnerable developing countries. Today, many climate-related issues have become increasingly important areas for international cooperation, such as reducing methane emissions, building resilience to climate-related extreme weather events, prioritizing a green recovery from COVID-19, and the role of public financial institutions. However, while interests in addressing climate change may overlap, priorities often differ. In this sense, the issue of climate finance remains contentious but must be addressed to overcome lingering bottlenecks and accelerate adaptation and resilience to climate change.

- What is the current state of climate change cooperation in the Atlantic Basin?

- Will the “Loss and Damage” agreement, adopted during COP27, truly contribute to scaling up finance for climate action?

- How can countries overcome their differences to improve climate change cooperation?

 

11:30
12:00
AD Talk II - Climate Change and Inequality: Are Central Banks’ Mandates Expanding?

The current context is shaped by growing uncertainties resulting from persistent inflationary pressures, stagflation risks and increasing climate change concerns. Many central banks have focused on their price stability mandate by narrowing path to soft landing through more aggressive monetary policies. Growing concerns linked to ethical issues such as climate change and inequality have shaped the current policy discussions on the role of central banks. Climate-related risks have important implications for price stability and could, therefore, affect central banks’ ability to fulfill their mandates. Moreover, the causality between income inequality and monetary policy cuts both ways. On the one hand, monetary policies have a distributional impact on different groups of the economy. On the other hand, rising inequality affects the effectiveness of central banks’ monetary policy. This session will contribute to the current debate on the new trade-offs facing central banks and whether they should incorporate distributional and environmental considerations within the scope of their mandates and expand their conventional policy toolkit.

- Operating in a more complex and challenging environment, what are the new trade-offs facing central banks and what do they mean for monetary policy?

- How does climate change undermine central banks’ conventional mandates? And how can they mitigate climate-related risks?

- Given that governments have a more direct impact on income distribution through fiscal and structural policies, what would be the contribution of central banks’ monetary policy in the policy mix to achieve an equitable society?

12:00
12:30
AD Talk III - The World at a Crossroad: Regionalization, Slowbalization, or Fragmentation?
12:30
14:30
Lunch
14:30
15:45
Plenary X - In Search of a Consolidated Latin America: Opportunities for Change

Latin America (LATAM) was severely affected by COVID-19 as it accounted for a high mortality rate, a decelerating economic performance and food insecurity has been on the rise. Soaring inflation has therefore taken place with no abating signs. However, opportunities for growth, investment and poverty reduction lurk for LATAM amidst the Eastern Europe conflict. LATAM states, especially large commodity exporters, are presented before a historical chance to take advantage of the current geopolitical turmoil. Raising commodity prices and diversifying its exports from primary to manufacturing products could eventually pay enormous dividends for LATAM. Nevertheless, addressing inflationary pressures cannot be fully realized without a strong interstate cooperation that would form a consolidated region, regardless of internal divisions and ideological differences.

- How is a potentially consolidated LATAM perceived, despite power asymmetries between its member states?

- Will existing trade agreements in LATAM, such as Mercosur, the Central American Common Market (CACM), and the Andean community, forge the path to a unified region with sufficient capabilities to fight the crisis?

- What are the odds of LATAM considerably replacing Russia’s role as a major raw material exporter in the status quo? What effects on the Wider Atlantic?

15:45
17:00
Plenary XI - Emerging Leaders Closing Plenary
17:00
17:15
Closing Remarks