Contributing to Wales’s International Strategy
The Learned Society and the Welsh Centre for International Affairs have produced a set of recommendations and reflections for the Welsh Government’s emerging International Strategy.
Responding to an invitation from the Minister for International Relations and Welsh Language, we convened representatives of Wales’s civil society networks and academics with an interest in international development, equality, climate change, human rights and other global issues.
The Minister has spoken of the need for the International Strategy to be underpinned by strong values. Our participants responded to this call by proposing four broad values:
- An inclusive, cosmopolitan approach – based on Wales sharing its strong social and cultural identity internationally, while remaining open to learning from others
- Respect for global standards of law, human rights, freedom, justice and equality
- Cooperation and solidarity with communities across the world, including support for those who are marginalised
- A strong ethical approach that embeds all of the other values – this includes how Wales acts to deliver global standards and achieve sustainable development
Our report recommends that Welsh Government takes the opportunity to define a visionary, long-term strategy that will considerably strengthen Wales’ standing internationally. The strategy should recognise the intrinsic connections between local and global issues, and Welsh Government should seek to align its domestic policies fully with the International Strategy. A strong approach to sustainability and ethics at home, as well as internationally, will help Wales to be distinctive and to flourish in the global community.
The report identifies a number of existing areas of Welsh practice which can be celebrated internationally, and can be part of the soft power exercised by Wales. These include the Wales for Africa programme, Welsh contributions to peace and international relations, Fair Trade Nation status, and the Welsh language and bilingual culture.
We also recommend that Welsh Government goes beyond ‘selling’ existing initiatives and sets out areas for Wales to learn from and develop further, so that there is a ‘pipeline’ of achievements to celebrate in future.