While it’s more coincidental than official, the week of June 12 is shaping up to be an impromptu ambassadors’ week in Atlanta, with top diplomats from four countries dropping in on the city.
It all starts that Monday with Canadian Ambassador David McNaughton, who will be hosted by the World Affairs Council of Atlanta for a discussion on NAFTA modernization and Canada’s trade ties with the U.S.
The next day, the law firm of Taylor English is hosting Ambassador Mohamed Siad Doualeh of Djibouti for two days of meetings in Atlanta, including a visit to the Atlanta Center for International Arbitration and Mediation at Georgia State University.
The East African nation bordering Ethiopia and Somalia at the intersection on the Red Sea is strategic for the U.S. military, which operates a base there with some 4,000 personnel. Other nations like France and more recently, China, have opened Djibouti bases as well, taking advantage of the country’s stability in a restive region that is vital for the world’s trade and energy supply.
On Wednesday, June 14, the attention shifts to Belgium, as Dirk Wouters, the envoy for the nation of 10 million at the center of the European Union, talks about trade and business as the bloc reorganizes. This one is also hosted by the World Affairs Council.
The following day, June 15 the council is co-hosting an Atlanta Council on International Relations event with Stanley Kao, the Republic of China (Taiwan) representative to the United States.
Mr. Kao was posted in Atlanta at the Taipei Economic and Trade Office when the Atlanta Braves won their only World Series championship in 1995. During this upcoming trip, he’ll throw the first pitch at the June 16 game against the Miami Marlins.
Not to be outdone, the World Trade Center Atlanta and the Hong Kong Association of Atlanta are hosting their own Asia-focused luncheon Tuesday, June 13, as Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office Director Steve Barclay visits to speak about Chinese sovereignty issues 20 years after the handover of Hong Kong from the British to the Chinese.
Global Atlanta is hosting its latest Consular Conversation with United Kingdom Consul General Jeremy Pilmore-Bedford on June 15.
All in all, it’s shaping up to be a busy week for Atlanta’s international community.