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WIIS Brussels Voices

#E1 - Whats's Next for NATO in a Digital Age?

Season 1, Ep. 1

This 5-episode series is the result of a project led by WIIS Brussels with 3 others WIIS chapters, which enabled 6 WIIS members from across the globe to attend NATO Engages in December 2019 in London & pair up to co-write policy briefs on key topics for the Alliance. 

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Voice : Pauline Massart

Music : Anthony Ferrando

Production : Free Range Productions, Florence Ferrando

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  • 23. Women Leaders: Africa All Around

    As the world grapples with the ructions of recent global disorder, focus has often turned to the global south and its reactions. Notably, the African continent has become of great interest, not least because of its varied positions on events in Ukraine and the Middle East, alongside the manifest attempts of China, Russia, the US and the EU to garner support and attention.Africa is a continent of 54 separate states, with over 18% of the global population — so the mere attempt to speak of it as a whole is flawed. From regions to states, each faces unique challenges. Equally, while some states remain stable over time, others have been prone to descend into disorder. From August 2022 to 2023, there were a staggering seven military coups, largely in the Sahel region, creating a ripple effect of fear and concerns about contagion.To better understand the continent, the coups and the potentials, Ilana Bet-El hosts a thought-provoking discussion with Comfort Ero, President and CEO at the International Crisis Group, and Nina Wilén, Director of the Africa Program at Egmont, Royal Institute for International Relations. Both women leaders bring extensive experience and fascinating insights to navigate the rhyme and reason of the continent; the eternal problems of governing and governance; the difference between military and constitutional coups and the reasons why citizens of African states have both embraced and rejected them; the role and potential of the African Union with a seat at the G20; and the over-hyped position of Russia in Africa.This episode was recorded on November 14 2023 and features:Ilana Bet-El Comfort Ero LinkedIn & TwitterNina Wilén LinkedIn & TwitterCurious to learn more? Follow the link for more resources from our guests!CreditsMusic: Free from copyrightProduction: Florence FerrandoThis episode is sponsored by the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union! Learn more about them:WebsiteTwitterInstagramLinkedInSpotify
  • 22. Women Leaders: Short Cuts #4

    Exactly one month after the Hamas attack on Israel, global disorder continues apace. To gain a broad perspective on the cascade of news and events, Ilana Bet El is joined by Oksana Antonenko, Visiting Fellow at the Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies in Florence and long-standing expert and advisor on geopolitics, crisis and risk.This is a lively discussion covering the latest moves of the US, the big picture on Russia’s posture and interests in the Israel / Hamas confrontation and the broader Middle East as well as its real perspective on Ukraine and the west. Iran and China are part of this perspective, but also have differing interests in the global disorder, while not publicly squabbling appears the main achievement of the EU.These issues and others bring a new and refreshing perspective on global events, connecting the dots between a multitude of actors with very differing agendas.This episode was recorded on 4 November October 2023.CreditsMusic: Free from copyrightProduction: Florence Ferrando
  • 21. Women Leaders: Short Cuts #3

    The third week after the Hamas attack on Israel, the third week of ongoing war in Israel and Gaza not just on the battlefield, but also on social media, the third week of Europe not dealing with war in the Middle East and Ukraine — the third week of spiralling disorder.Olga Oliker, Program Director, Europe and Central Asia at International Crisis Group joins Ilana Bet-El to analyse developments, and bring some significant insights on the Russian position, the war on social media, the problems in the US and the irrelevance of Europe.What can we expect from U.S foreign policy? What role do diasporas around the world play in this conflict? Does President Vladimir Putin enjoy the chaos and helplessness of the EU? Why does the EU continue to struggle to express a voice? And what of world order?This episode was recorded on 28 October 2023.CreditsMusic: Free from copyrightProduction: Florence Ferrando
  • 20. Women Leaders: Latin America on the Global Stage — Missing In Action?

    Historians of the future will spend much time deciding whether we entered the world of disorder in the Covid pandemic or because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022 or because of worsening US-China relations or because of the Hamas attack on Israel on 7 October — or because of many other reasons. However, when they come to analyse the events, they will find the voice of Latin America was relatively absent from the global stage, or indeed in the multilateral institutions such as the UN. This is an anomaly, as nearly 10% of the global population live in Latin America, and over centuries many exceptional people have emerged from the continent to contribute much to the global good.Two such exceptional women are María Ángela Holguín, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia, and Jessica Faieta, a native of Ecuador and former UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean. They join Ilana Bet-El in a deep and wide ranging discussion about the continent — from the difficulties of women gaining high office in some states to the perceived absence of leadership in many Latina states, the declining state of democracy and the immense rise in violence and homicide related to drug wars and trafficking. They also reflect on the perceptions of global affairs in Latin America — from the war against Ukraine to the rise of China and its interests in Latin America to the decline of the UN. It is a fascinating and important perspective on the world.This episode was recorded on 18 October 2023, and features:Ilana Bet-El Jessica Faieta, LinkedIn & TwitterMaría Ángela Holguín Cuellar Want to learn more?WIIS Global report: Enhancing Security - Women’s Participation in the Security Forces in Latin America and the CaribbeanCreditsMusic: Free from copyrightProduction: Florence FerrandoThis episode is sponsored by the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union! Learn more about them:WebsiteTwitterInstagramLinkedInSpotify
  • 19. Women Leaders: Short Cuts #2

    As the world grapples with ever-shifting news, join us for an exploration of key events from the second week of world disorder following horrendous events in Israel and Gaza — and escalating tensions throughout the Middle East.Nathalie Tocci, Director of the Istituto Affari Internazionali, shares her insights on the rapidly shifting sands in the region and far beyond in a discussion with Ilana Bet-El.Will long-standing, contained regional tensions extend the conflict further? How is the conflict in Ukraine being affected by events in the Middle East? Is the EU capable of speaking in a coherent voice ? And above all, is there any vision beyond the immediate limitation of deaths and casualties?CreditsMusic: Free from copyrightProduction: Florence Ferrando
  • 18. Women Leaders: Short Cuts

    As news unfolded dramatically and horrifically on Saturday, October 7, 2023 in Israel and throughout the week in both Israel and Gaza, it became clear we were witnessing something potentially bigger: yet another escalation in global instability and dysfunction.This called for a short sharp burst of explanation and assessment with a Woman Leader.Anna Sauerbrey, Foreign Editor at Germany's prestigious Die Zeit and a columnist for The New York Times, engaged in a one-on-one conversation with Ilana Bet-El. Their mission: to delve deep into the repercussions that followed the Hamas attack in Israel and the ensuing crisis in the Gaza Strip.Will the war spread? Has the EU the ability to deal with two wars? Will the US rise to the challenge? What are the far-reaching consequences of this recent turmoil? Get the answers in this short, raw discussion.This episode was recorded on Saturday, October 14, 2023.CreditsMusic: Free from copyrightProduction: Florence Ferrando
  • 17. Women Leaders: Afghanistan - The Collapse of a House of Cards

    At 23:59 on August 30 2021 the last US soldier left Kabul, and Afghanistan — and 20 years of international intervention came to an abrupt, final and appalling end. Abrupt, because despite the departure date being known at least since the start of the year, the speed with which the Taliban captured territory vacated by international forces, and the speed with which the internationally trained Afghan army collapsed, meant that the withdrawal became a rapid evacuation, with scenes of chaos and shooting at the airport. On August 15 the Taliban also entered Kabul, the capital: A black day for Afghanistan, as many Afghans put it.Final, because other than basic humanitarian agencies, all other international bodies had either left or were swiftly told to leave by the jubilant Taliban, the new masters of the state. At the same time, most international aid was halted.Appalling, because the lives of the people in Afghanistan have become intolerable. Over 75% — some estimates say 90% — of the population now live in abject poverty, made worse by droughts, other effects of climate change, and a regime that makes little effort to provide even basic services. Within that, the situation of women is, if possible, even worse, as noted by UN Women, "Through over 50 edicts, orders and restrictions, the Taliban have left no aspect of women’s lives untouched, no freedom spared.” Women and girls are now effectively non-people.The fall of Afghanistan has largely become obscured by the appalling war of aggression in Ukraine, but it was and remains both a bleeding international sore, and a blight upon the Afghan people, both in-country and the diaspora. Join Ilana Bet-El in a fascinating, in-depth and very human exploration of these realities with two impressive women of Afghanistan: Dr Habiba Sarābi, a Minister of Women’s affairs in Afghanistan and a member of the former government negotiating team with the Taliban, who was sitting with them in Doha as Afghanistan fell, and Dr Tabasum Akseer, Senior Advisor at the Asia Foundation who was in Kabul as events were unfolding. This episode was recorded on August 18 2023, and features:Ilana Bet-El Habiba Sarabi Twitter & WikipediaTabasum Akseer LinkedIn & Asia FoundationCreditsMusic: Free from copyrightProduction: Florence FerrandoThis episode is sponsored by the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union! Learn more about them:WebsiteTwitterInstagramLinkedInSpotify
  • 16. Women Leaders: Speaking to Everyone, Staying on Message - The Spokesperson Crucial Role

    In a rapidly evolving landscape of media and journalism, spokespersons hold a crucial position, acting as a bridge between politicians, decision-makers, administrations and the public. They are the lynchpin.Ever wondered why international organisations need spokespersons? Curious about the intricacies of navigating complex institutions like NATO, the European Union, and the United Nations while effectively delivering key messages to the public? Look no further, as we uncover the mysteries and daily challenges faced by these spokespersons amidst the storm of global events. Join Ilana Bet-El as she explores these and many other issues with two of the most experienced people in the business: Oana Lungescu, Principal Spokesperson at NATO, and Cristina Gallach, formerly UN Undersecretary General for Communications and Public information after serving as Head of Public Relations at the EU Directorate General for Information and Communications. Both women have been at the forefront of many international events, not least during our current tumultuous times, and they deliver insights and explanations as to how these big and complex machines actually work. From the team work and the interface with both leaders and journalists to the crucial need for coordination and the challenges posed by the addition of social media to the equation, this is another crucial WIIS Women Leaders insight into how the world really works. This episode was recorded on 19 July 2023 and features: Ilana Bet-El Oana Lungescu LinkedIn & TwitterCristina Gallach LinkedIn & TwitterCreditsMusic: Free from copyrightProduction: Florence Ferrando
  • 6. #Bonus - Climate security reality check

    In this miniseries, WIIS Brussels invites women to share their experience and expertise on the multi-dimension of climate security.For this bonus episode, recorded a year after the miniseries publication, Sabrine Dao, Sofiia Shevchuk and Mona Koehler-Schindler look back at what we've learned through the miniseries and share their expertises.Mona and Sofiia with their diverse rich professional and personal experiences share their insights on the reality check of climate security situations across different geographical areas, such as Afghanistan, Ukraine and more.The episode is introduced by Laura Djuragic, Deputy Public Affairs Adviser, US Mission to NATO. We want to express our gratitude to the US Mission to NATO for providing funding for this mini-series on climate security.Follow and connect with our guests and hosts:Mona Koehler-Schindler, LinkedInSofiia Shevchuk, LinkedIn, Twitter, website, VONASabrine Dao, Human Rights Advisors (HRA)Learn more by looking at:WIIS Brussels Event “Climate Security Risks: Towards more inter-institutional cooperation?” with Kathy Giles-Diaz, Dr Simon Sparsø Damkjaer, Jordan Koop & Iina LietzénSofiia Shevchuk’s publication “Ecological Consequences of Russia’s Full-Scale Invasion of Ukraine: Accountability, Compensation, and Sustainable Recovery”, published with the European Liberal Forum Study "Designed in Brussels, Made in Ukraine: Future of EU-Ukraine Relations"This episode was funded by a grant from the United States Department of State. The opinions, findings and conclusions stated herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the United States Department of StateCredits Music: Original creationProduction: Sabrine Dao (All At Once Entertainment)