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Diplomatic

A Business, Diplomacy & Foreign Policy Publication

JANUARY – FEBRUARY 2017 • $7.95

BUSINESS • POLITICS • TRAVEL • ENTERTAINMENT • CONGRESS • MILITARY & DEFENSE

H.E. KATALIN ANNAMÁRIA BOGYAY AMBASSADOR OF HUNGARY TO THE UNITED NATIONS

H.E. DAVID MACNAUGHTON AMBASSADOR OF CANADA TO THE UNITED STATES

H.E. ASHOK KUMAR MIRPURI AMBASSADOR OF SINGAPORE TO THE UNITED STATES

PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVES TO THE UNITED NATIONS AT THE HUNGARIAN MISSION IN NEW YORK


NewYork-Presbyterian's Executive Health Program You are often away from home, and your travel

You want to get the best care possible from the best

schedule is tight.

hospital in New York.

We offer you a full physical exam, specialized

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York by US News & World Report for 16 years.

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a clear picture of your overall health—all in one

world-class specialists representing every field

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exercise, or dietary changes). We also give recommendations for any needed diagnostic or treatment services to keep you at your best. And we provide periodic follow-up after your visit.

START YOUR PATH TO WELLNESS. Make an appointment today: Call +1.212.746.9129 or +1.212.746.9100 Email executivehealth@nyp.org nyp.org/exechealth


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Givewith us NewYork-Presbyterian, a day and we’ll givethey youused the their undivided researchattention to developoftreatments that top trigger physicians and delivering a comprehensive patients’ ownspecialists immune systems to recognize cancer and destroy it. assessment of your health, it’s plus a customized plan to keep It’s all pretty amazing–and happening right here at NewYork-Presbyterian. youToatfind your best.specialist, By anycall measure, that’s a day well spent. a cancer 877-NYP-WELL. to make an appointment or to learn more, visit nyp.org/exechealth


Medical Experts

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William Anderson, M.D., Ph.D. and Kelly Mills, M.D.

The Johns Hopkins Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Clinic Neurologist Kelly Mills, M.D., and neurosurgeon William Anderson, M.D., Ph.D., are committed to working collaboratively with you and your physician to provide the best care available. Johns Hopkins movement disorder specialists are now available in the Washington metro area to provide comprehensive diagnosis and treatment options for people with movement disorders, including complicated or advanced Parkinson’s disease.

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You don’t have to go far to begin your wellness journey

Johns Hopkins Medicine—with convenient locations in Maryland, the Washington, D.C., metro area and Florida—is ready to connect international patients and their families with our respected experts, cutting-edge research and innovative treatments at the most convenient location. We understand that medical issues can cause a great deal of stress and encourage you to take advantage of our complimentary medical concierge services so you can focus on your health. From your first inquiry, you’ll be paired with a medical concierge who will serve as your personal liaison to the experts at Johns Hopkins Medicine. Expert care, close to home. One less thing to worry about.

To learn more or schedule an appointment: 1-855-88-HOPKINS (U.S. Toll-Free) +1-410-402-5041 (International)

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Medical Experts

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Vivek Kumbhari, M.B.Ch.B Vivek Kumbhari, M.B.Ch.B., is assistant professor of medicine, director of endoscopy for Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and director of bariatric endoscopy for The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Kumbhari was born and raised in Sydney, Australia, where he became one of the youngest ever to become an attending GI physician in Australia. After completing the two-year Johns Hopkins Advanced Endoscopy Fellowship program, he joined the GI faculty at Johns Hopkins and began to take on several leadership roles. From a research perspective, he boasts 100 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters and invited reviews. His areas of expertise include minimally invasive, nonsurgical therapies to facilitate weight loss and the treatment of obesityrelated diseases, such as hypertension and diabetes. Dr. Kumbhari is also internationally renowned for minimally invasive, nonsurgical methods to manage complications of surgery. Dr. Kumbhari understands the holistic nature of losing weight and works intimately with colleagues who are expert nutritionists and bariatricians. He believes in arming patients with knowledge and providing them with the most up-to-date therapeutic options.

To learn more or request an appointment: 1-855-88-HOPKINS (U.S. Toll-Free) +1-410-402-5041 (International) PromiseofMedicine.org

Vivek Kumbhari, M.B.Ch.B

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SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Medical Experts

Armine Smith, M.D. Armine Smith, M.D., is an assistant professor of urology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the director of urologic oncology at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C. She completed her residency in urology at Cleveland Clinic and a urologic oncology fellowship at the National Cancer Institute, where she focused on the development of personalized targeted therapies for bladder cancer. Dr. Smith is highly trained in advanced urologic surgery, including both open and minimally invasive approaches, as well as the use of the latest robotic technologies. Dr. Smith’s expertise spans a wide range of urologic malignancies, including bladder, prostate, kidney, adrenal, testicular and penile cancers. She is a member of the Society of Urologic Oncology, the Society of Women in Urology and the American Urological Association. Dr. Smith sees patients at the Sibley Medical Building at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C., and at Johns Hopkins Community Physicians in Arlington, VA.

To learn more or request an appointment: 1-855-88-HOPKINS (U.S. Toll-Free) +1-410-402-5041 (International) PromiseofMedicine.org

Armine Smith, M.D. Assistant Professor of Urology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Director of Urologic Oncology, Sibley Memorial Hospital

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Medical Experts

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Nizar Zein, M.D. Cleveland Clinic Digestive Disease Program Cleveland Clinic’s Digestive Disease & Surgery Institute is regarded as one of the top digestive disease programs in the country offering a fully integrated model of care aimed at optimizing the patient experience. U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals” survey has ranked Cleveland Clinic No. 2 in the nation for gastroenterology and GI surgery. The Mikati Center for Liver Diseases offers experienced liver specialists to accurately diagnose and treat all types of liver diseases. Established in 2013, the Mikati Center is dedicated to sustaining and improving the lives of those with liver diseases through advances in research, innovation and education. The center unites specialists in one setting and helps create individualized treatment plans that are best for each patient. In addition to benefiting from our clinical experience, our patients also have the advantage of an active research team that continues to play a key role in developing and testing new treatments otherwise unavailable.

To learn more or request an appointment: 1.800.223.2273, ext. 47000 (US toll-free) clevelandclinic.org/digestive

Nizar Zein, M.D. Mikati Foundation Endowed Chair and Chief, Department of Hepatology Chairman, Global Patient Services

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195 countries on earth. People from 161 have come to us for world class care. Same-day appointments available.

clevelandclinic.org /global D I P L O M AT I C C O N N E C T I O N S B U S I N E S S E D I T I O N | J A N U A R Y – F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 7

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INTERCONTINENTAL CLEVELAND. WORLD-CLASS HOSPITALITY ON CLEVELAND CLINIC’S MAIN CAMPUS.

World-class hospitality meets world-class care. We are connected to Cleveland Clinic via skywalk and just minutes from museums, sports, shopping, theater, galleries and unique dining destinations. When you stay with us, you’ll experience exceptional accommodations and guest services that are unparalleled in the area. We welcome guests from across the country, and around the world, every day.

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Meet Dr. Leonid Poretsky

Leonid Poretsky, MD joined Lenox Hill Hospital as Chief of the Division of Endocrinology in 2014. He is leading the effort to develop academic and clinical programs and is Director of the Gerald J. Friedman Diabetes Institute at Lenox Hill Hospital.

Leonid Poretsky, M.D. Director of the Friedman Diabetes Institute Chief of Endocrinology at Lenox Hill Hospital Professor of Medicine at Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine

While working as a research fellow at Harvard in the early 1980s, Dr. Poretsky became known for discovering, describing and characterizing insulin receptors in the human ovary. Dr. Poretsky’s finding established the ovary as a target for regulation by insulin, and introduced a new paradigm of the gonadotropic function of insulin. Poretsky had initially been researching the causes of hyperandrogenism in patients with extreme forms of insulin resistance, for example in women with insulin receptor gene mutations. Subsequently, his work became important for understanding more common disorders, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which affects up to 10% of reproductive age women and is associated with infertility and diabetes. Dr. Poretsky’s work helped develop the use of insulin-sensitizing agents in patients with PCOS. Dr. Poretsky and his co-workers also characterized related receptors in the ovary (insulin-like growth factor receptors, peroxisome-proliferator activated receptor-gamma), and he conceptualized the insulin-related ovarian regulatory system. Dr. Porestsky’s research interests include mechanisms of insulin action in the ovary, endocrinological aspects of AIDS and clinical outcomes in diabetes. Current studies involve laboratory work on the effects of a recently discovered hormone, irisin, in the reproductive system, the potential role of Vitamin D in preventing type 2 diabetes; and developing clinical strategies to reduce readmission rates in patients with diabetes. Dr. Poretsky has authored over 100 publications and has served on the National Institutes of Health review committees and on the editorial boards of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism and other endocrine journals. He is also the editor of a 9000 page textbook entitled “Principles of Diabetes Mellitus.” The book’s third edition is scheduled for publication early in 2017. In addition, he is regularly included in several lists of top physicians including the New York Times Magazine Best Doctors list and was recently named into the Hall of Fame by Super Doctors, Incorporated.

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For more information or to schedule an appointment: signature@northwell.edu or (212) 434-6000 or visit www.northwell.edu/signatureservices


Lenox Hill Hospital is proud to announce the opening of the

Gerald J. Friedman Diabetes Institute “Diabetes should not prevent anyone from achieving their life goals,” said Leonid Poretsky MD, director of the Gerald J. Friedman Diabetes Institute and chief of endocrinology at Lenox Hill Hospital. “Our Institute was created to provide patients with diabetes educators, nutritionists, social workers, exercise trainers and other specialists to help patients improve the management of the disease and help them live longer healthier lives.” The Friedman Institute, with its programs for diabetes care and education, is designed to meet three important goals for combating diabetes: -Control blood sugar, cholesterol, weight and blood pressure; -Provide education about diabetes to patients, their families, communities and professionals (nurses, nutritionists, medical students and physicians). -Conduct basic and clinical research. The number of people affected by diabetes is significant and growing. To address this epidemic, the Friedman Diabetes Institute offers innovative methods to help patients control blood sugar levels and avoid serious health complications from diabetes.

Key features of the institute include: - A demonstration and teaching kitchen, where staff dietitians provide cooking demonstrations for patients. - A teaching gym for individual exercise training sessions. - Support groups for patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, patients on insulin pumps and parents of children with type 1 diabetes. - Weight management and diabetes self-management classes.

To learn more about the innovative care at the Friedman Diabetes Institute and the Signature Services program, please call : (212) 434-6000 or email us at

signature@northwell.edu

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Meet Dr. Mitchell S. Roslin

Mitchell S. Roslin, M.D., F.A.C.S. Chief of Bariatric Surgery Lenox Hill Hospital Professor, Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine

Mitchell S. Roslin, M.D., F.A.C.S. has dedicated his professional career to the treatment of patients who suffer from obesity. He is well known throughout the world for his work as a bariatric surgeon and has been performing weight loss surgery since 1994 and laparoscopic obesity surgery since 2000. He was part of the LAP-BANDŽ System clinical trial and has expertise in duodenal switch, revisional bariatric surgery and SIPS surgery which Dr. Roslin and his team have pioneered. The Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery is a world-renowned practice offering comprehensive services for patients with severe or Class 3 obesity. Our multidisciplinary team of minimally invasive bariatric surgeons, nutritionists, weight management counselors and psychologists, educate and treat the emotional and physical demands of being overweight or obese. Under the direction of Mitchell Roslin, MD, the program is leading the field in developing optimal procedures for bariatric surgery. He has been a visiting scholar and professor, operating and speaking in Spain, Italy, Turkey, Israel, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait. In 2000, he was named Chief of Bariatric Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital and has developed an internationally known program. Dr. Roslin has received numerous awards during his career: - He has been voted one of the outstanding doctors in New York, by both Castle and Connolly and New York Magazine. - Dr. Roslin recently has been selected as one of the best minimally invasive surgeons in New York. Dr. Roslin has written numerous articles. The most recent was published in the Journal of Obesity Surgery, 26(9), 2098-2104 “Stomach Intestinal Pylorus Sparing (SIPS) Surgery for Morbid Obesity: Retrospective Analyses of Our Preliminary Experience.

For more information or to schedule an appointment: signature@northwell.edu or (212) 434-6000 or visit www.northwell.edu/signatureservices 12


Meet Dr. Peter D. Costantino Peter D. Costantino, MD leads clinical, academic and programmatic direction for Otolaryngology services across the Northwell Health System. Within the clinical arena, he is one of the few surgeons in the United States experienced in virtually all aspects of cranial base surgery and capable of removing tumors by either an “open” approach involving an external incision on the scalp or face, or by minimally invasive endoscopic surgery. Dr. Costantino specializes in reconstruction of the face, facial nerve for facial paralysis and skull. Dr. Costantino is an innovator and leader in his field of cranial based surgery and craniofacial reconstruction. He is the first surgeon in the United States to have obtained New York State Department of Health approval for a facial tissue allograft transfer (face transplant). Dr. Costantino was also the first surgeon to re-grow a missing segment of jawbone, utilizing distraction osteogenesis and to remove skull base tumors through the nose without external incisions. He is one of the few surgeons in the United States routinely performing such endoscopic nasopharyngeal resections, which result in significantly less deformity and loss of function compared to standard “open” methods of removing recurrent naso-pharyngeal cancers. As a recognized researcher in biomaterials and tissue engineering for over two decades, Dr. Costantino has been responsible for the development of several commercially successful reconstructive implants.

Peter D. Costantino, MD Professor & Chairman Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery Lenox Hill Hospital – Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital Executive Director & Senior Vice President The New York Head & Neck Institute The Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, Northwell Health System

Dr. Costantino is the recipient of numerous awards including New York Super Doctors, New York Times Magazine, Top Doctor in New York Metro Area, Castle Connolly Medical LTD, Best Doctors in America, Better Living Magazine, Physician’s Honor Award, American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and the Ira Tresley Award The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

For more information or to schedule an appointment: signature@northwell.edu or (212) 434-6000 or visit www.northwell.edu/signatureservices

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Medical Experts

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Gaby Moawad, M.D. Dr. Gaby Moawad is a board-certified gynecologic surgeon at The George Washington University Hospital and Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. He specializes in advanced gynecologic procedures, including minimally invasive and robotic techniques. Dr. Moawad’s areas of focus include menstrual disorders and fibroids, treatment of endometriosis and pelvic pain, and management of pelvic organ prolapse. He is committed to providing his patients with a minimally invasive surgical approach. His advanced robotic techniques include singlesite, reduced port, robotic cerclage, robotic hysterectomy, robotic myomectomy and robotic surgery for endometriosis. He is a published academician with a particular interest in fibroids, endometriosis and minimally invasive gynecologic procedures. Internationally recognized in robotic gynecologic surgery, Dr. Moawad is a fellow of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and a member of the American Association of Laparoscopic Gynecologists (AAGL).

Gaby Moawad, MD

Dr. Moawad completed his undergraduate medical training at the Lebanese University. Afterward, he excelled during his fouryear residency at The George Washington University and completed an AAAGL fellowship in minimally invasive surgery. Dr. Moawad has received several awards, including the prestigious AAGL award for excellence in endoscopic surgery and the Institute for Research into Cancer of the Digestive System (IRCAD) award for best gynecologic surgery paper.

To learn more or request an appointment: 1-202-715-5028 www.gwhospital.com/international 14

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The International Patient Program at the George Washington University Hospital Caring for Our Diplomats and International Community We provide a boutique concierge program that offers personalized healthcare services for diplomats, international patients, and U.S. and non-U.S. citizens. The International Patient Program can help you and your family with: • Complimentary language interpretation • Physician and hospital appointment scheduling • A complimentary personal escort to medical appointments • Medical cost estimates

Photo: Shiv Vachhani

To learn more, contact the program director at 202-715-5028 or Helen.Salazar@gwu-hospital.com

— LEARN MORE AT —

www.gwhospital.com/international

Physicians are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of the George Washington University Hospital. The hospital shall not be liable for actions or treatments provided by physicians. 161355

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Diplomatic

E V A S

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Dawn Parker

DIPLOMATIC CONNECTIONS IS HOSTING

THREE (3) NEW INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMAT APPRECIATION RECEPTIONSTM MARCH

28 EMBASSY OF HUNGARY WASHINGTON, D.C.

17 CONSULATE GENERAL OF SWITZERLAND

CONTRIBUTING DESIGNER Larry Smith DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENTS and CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Roland Flamini, James Winship, PhD, Monica Frim and Michael D. Mosettig

DIPLOMATIC CONNECTIONS WEBSITE DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT IMS (Inquiry Management Systems) 304 Park Avenue South, 11th Floor New York, NY 10010 Marc Highbloom, Vice President marc@ims.ca Maria D’Urso, Project Manager Mariad@ims.ca CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHY Christophe Avril; Dr. John Frim; Paula Morrision; Hungarian Mission article, UN Women/Ryan Brown; UN/Eskinder Debebe; Marianna Sarkozy To order photos from the events go to: www.diplomaticconnections.com

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DESIGN & CREATIVE Betty Watson

To contact an advertising executive CALL: 202.536.4810 EMAIL: info@diplomaticconnections.com

LOS ANGELES

2017

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT EXECUTIVES Evan Strianese, Scott Goss, Robin Bradshaw

EVENT COORDINATOR ASSISTANT Xin Guo

MAY

Upcoming

DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS OPERATIONS Lauren Peace

Send any name or address changes in writing to: Diplomatic Connections 4410 Massachusetts Avenue / #200 Washington, DC 20016 Diplomatic Connections Business Edition is published bi-monthly. Diplomatic Connections does not endorse any of the goods or services offered herein this publication. Copyright 2016 by Diplomatic Connections All rights reserved. Cover photo credits: H.E. Katalin Annamaria Bogyay, Permanent Representative of Hungary to the United Nations, United Nations Headquarters by Marianna Sarkozy; H.E. David MacNaughton, Ambassador of Canada to the United States, Paula Morrison, Diplomatic Connections; H.E. Ashok Kumar Mirpuri, Ambassador of Singapore to the United States, Embassy of Singapore; Permanent Representatives to the United Nations at the Hungarian Mission in New York, Christophe Avril, Diplomatic Connections


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Diplomatic

D I P L O M AT I C C O N N E C T I O N S BUSINESS EDITION

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APARTMENTS, CONDOMINIUMS and HOUSING

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CALL: 202.536.4810 EMAIL: info@diplomaticconnections.com 18

HUMANITARIAN

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Featured Physician . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

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SINGAPO I

t is almost a cliche in diplomatic circles to assert that the tiny city-state of Singapore, with five and a half million people, punches way above its weight in world affairs. A dot on the end of the Malay peninsula, about three and a half times the size of Washington, D.C., and with a diverse population 75 percent ethnic Chinese, 13 percent Malay and 9 percent Indian, Singapore has developed into a key diplomatic player among its Southeast Asian neighbors, in the wider Asia-Pacific region with a voice that is listened to in the West. One indicator: President Obama hosted state visits for major Asian leaders of China, Japan, India and South Korea. This past summer, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was added to that list. As one commentator noted, that was the equivalent of a team of point guards making the NBA quarter finals. Lee’s father, Lee Kuan Yew, considered the father of post-colonial, independent Singapore also received private audiences with an array of world figures from Obama and U.S. Presidents going back to Lyndon Johnson, to Tony Blair and Henry Kissinger, before he died in 2015.

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In a parliamentary system, Lee’s People’s Action Party has won every election since, though it received a bit of a scare in 2011, with only a 60 percent margin. But it bounced back four years later with nearly 70 percent of the vote. The once poor nation that had to import its water, energy and food, Singapore now has a per capital GDP equal to that of the United States and is the world’s fourth largest financial center after New York, London and Hong Kong. It is now home to tens of thousands of Americans and Europeans. Singapore, with a diplomatic service the size of India’s, practices a friends-with-everyone diplomacy and faces no immediate threats, but is among the few remaining nations in the world with compulsory male military service. Its diplomats such as Tommy Koh, Kishore Mahbubani and former Washington Ambassador Chan Heng Chee remain international figures well into official retirement.


RE BY MICHAEL D. MOSETTIG

H.E. ASHOK KUMAR MIRPURI AMBASSADOR OF THE REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE TO THE UNITED STATES

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(L-R) Ho Ching, first lady Michelle Obama, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore and U.S. President Barack Obama pose for this photograph in the North Portico of the White House on August 2, 2016 in Washington, D.C. The Obamas hosted the prime minister and his wife for an official state dinner.

Diplomatic Connections talked with Singapore’s current Ambassador, career diplomat Ashok Kumar Mirpuri, who arrived in Washington in 2012.

Ashok Kumar Mirpuri

Ambassador of the Republic of Singapore Excellency, welcome to this conversation with Diplomatic Connections....

Diplomatic Connections: No one doubts the world is going through turbulence. Respected analysts such as the former head of British intelligence John Sawers talk of a return to 24

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great power politics. There is an old African expression, “When elephants make war, the grass gets trampled.” What happens to a small country like Singapore in a world of intensified great power politics? Ambassador Mirpuri: It seems to me it is too premature to say the world has changed. We have always had great power conflicts. I think what has always been important to small countries is setting up international rules. We still have the role of global, multi-lateral organizations. Managing with


great power conflicts, it is part of our policy. It has been there through Singapore independence. It was there before we had our independence in 1965. Its dynamics may have changed, but it is still ongoing and interstate rivalry takes place all the time. For small nations, it is important to emphasize friendship across the board, not to take sides. We also have to have the rules, and that’s where things like the United Nations (UN), the UN Convention of the Law

of the Sea, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) directing air traffic, all these rules become part of the whole complex of global foreign policy. To say that things are shifting dramatically from one to the other is a bit premature. But if these international organizations end up becoming ineffective or start to collapse, obviously we will start reviewing these things together.

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Ye Aung Thu/AFP/Getty Images

(L to R) Myanmar's State Councellor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi; Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong; Thailand's Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha; Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc; U.S. President Barack Obama; Laos Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith; Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay; Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah; Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen; Indonesia's President Joko Widodo; Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak pose for group photos during the 4th ASEAN US Summit in Vientiane on September 8, 2016.

Diplomatic Connections: But there has been an equal amount of commentary of the fears that what they call the global “rulesbased” order, in large part put together by the United States after the Second World War that is now under threat. Ambassador Mirpuri: It has always been under question. The “rules-based” order always requires a scheme to enforce issues. As people have said, the UN has no army. So what are you left with? You are left with the best intentions of large powers, the United States, other members of the Permanent Five of the Security Council to then say these rules benefit all of us and we need to maintain some of these rules. People respect that we don’t want a UN General Assembly resolution critical of you, even if it is completely meaningless. It is the voice of the international community. Small countries have to reinforce these things. In New York, we are very active in something called the Forum of Small States, pulling small states together, reinforcing that it is not just a world of large states, but large states, small states, international organizations and international norms that apply in these things. Diplomatic Connections: The new incoming President has said one of his first actions will be to take the U.S. out of the Trans26

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Pacific Partnership (TPP). Can there be a TPP without the United States? Ambassador Mirpuri: I think you need to give the new President time to decide what direction and change he may want to move the United States towards. He has been elected by the people of this nation. The TPP and international trade agreements were generally an issue of big discussion in the course of the campaign on both sides. I think more important than whatever decision the United States takes, it is imperative to recognize the significance of regional and international structures such as the TPP. The value of TPP, a grouping of 12 countries led by the United States has been to move the standards up of various countries that meet U.S. requirements where the role of TPP has become meaningful in linking up regional supply chains. First and foremost, TPP and similar arrangements where the U.S. has a very strong leadership role, has been to put the strong economic anchor of the United States in the region. The United States has a very critical part in the Asia-Pacific and the TPP has been one way to manifest the strong strategic role, not just in the security sense but in the economic sense. If the President-elect


decides that this may not be, at this time, something he wants to go forward with, we would still be looking to see what approach the next administration takes towards the Asia-Pacific. There is a deep understanding in the United States that the Asia-Pacific is of great value to this nation, it helps secure U.S. markets and its sense of security. I think this determinative view does not shift administration to administration. It underlines U.S. foreign policy. The TPP is one element of this and we have worked very hard to get it where it is. We will continue to work with the United States to make sure we can get it through. Diplomatic Connections: Because your Australian colleague Joe Hockey has said if the United States does not lead on trade, who will? I think we are already getting the answer on that. There was a lead story in a recent Wall Street Journal titled, “China steps in as U.S. retreats on trade.” Ambassador Mirpuri: It is not binary. China has a very strong economic role in the Asia-Pacific. They are today for most, if not all, Southeast Asia countries, the largest trading partner. Singapore is a very significant trading partner with China. They have a role in the whole economic architecture of the Asia-Pacific as does the United States. From our point of view, there is room for both. It benefits both of these nations; it benefits the countries in the region. I do not see a vacuum yet of U.S. regional leadership in the Asia-Pacific. I think that will continue. I believe any administration will move ahead in that role and I will support them in that. Diplomatic Connections: A keystone of Singapore diplomacy is ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Yet it is a grouping that exists by consensus. Is ASEAN up to the challenges of this new order? Ambassador Mirpuri: It is a very unique regional organization and came out of the Cold War conflict. It was established in 1967, first with five members, now ten, including several who quite opposed ASEAN in the early days. Cobbling together in what is, in many ways, an unnatural partnership, I think is very successful. There is economic cooperation despite the diversity of economic levels. There is political cooperation even with the variety of political systems. There is diplomatic cooperation notwithstanding divergences of strategic choices. The fact that we have kept this going for 50 years, the leaders meet regularly, the whole range of activities that take place. I would always see ASEAN as a work in progress, but where we are pulling together the elements of economic integration. It plays a significant role because economically we happen to be a group between the large emerging

economics of China and India. And that gives us a unique geographical status. We can benefit from the growth of both. And in many ways compete with them coming together collectively. Obviously, there are challenges because of the diversity. The fact we can meet every year and come up with a common decision is a huge plus. Diplomatic Connections: Another keystone of Singapore diplomacy is good relations with China. But one of your most respected diplomats Bilahari Kausikan has said that China has taken to bullying Singapore as part of its more assertive actions in Asia. How does Singapore plot its future relationship with a more assertive China? Ambassador Mirpuri: Again, it is the same way we deal with any large country. Ambassador Kausikan is now retired from the diplomatic service. But in terms of where we position our relationship with China, we have economic and political links that are growing. We have engaged with China at various levels, building up government to government economic agreements. There is a close interaction that takes place. Obviously, there will be differences and that’s normal. There are differences we have with the United States and with European countries. These are part and parcel of diplomatic life. If it was all going smooth, perhaps I would think we are not pushing the diplomatic envelope enough. The rise of China has been the biggest geopolitical event of the past half century. We should all see that for what it is, respect and understand it and then find our balances in that. Diplomatic Connections: And hope they respect you, of course. Ambassador Mirpuri: Small nations always have this problem anyway. It is not exclusive to Singapore; it is not unique to our relationship to China. There is obviously a hierarchy of diplomatic relationships around the world; there are big countries and small countries. And that is where I come back to my first point on the rules. The rules give us an equal voice in global organizations like the UN. Diplomatic Connections: Singapore, with its remarkable economic progress, has also become a model of a society in which different ethnic groups and religious traditions--Hakka Chinese, Malay and Tamil --can live and work together in remarkable harmony. Does this model work only in a small compact nation like yours or are there lessons for other nations in Asia and beyond? Ambassador Mirpuri: We’re modest to say that we don’t offer lessons to anyone. It is for us a difficult model even to maintain and is a constant work in progress. You can never say you have arrived into a steady position where you can

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take for granted the inter-ethnic inter-religious differences. It is a fact of life in Singapore. We are proud of what we have achieved and it’s done well. People growing up cheek and jowl with other ethnic groups and other religions; they understanding each other. It’s been something that emerged because of our various generations of migration, into Singapore. And you had people coming from around the region. In many ways, they’ve added to the strands of Singapore, the diversity of Singapore. But, it is something that has to be very carefully preserved and managed as well, whether in the schools, the workplace, whether in the eating places to avoid elements of discrimination based on race or religion. It is a question of leadership that sees how important these things are. Obviously, we work very hard to preserve it. Diplomatic Connections: When and how did your family come to be in Singapore? Ambassador Mirpuri: My father was a trader who came to Singapore from India in the late 1930s. He came before the Second World War, my mother came after. They have been there a long time. Diplomatic Connections: There is one cloud on the horizon. Singapore’s birthrate of 1.29 per woman is among the lowest in Asia? Does the prospect of fewer young workers supporting vastly more aging and ill pensioners threaten your economic progress? Ambassador Mirpuri: There is more than one cloud; there is the demographic cloud. In that, I would say that our aging population is a very fit and active population as well. It is not a decrepit population that is unwell. Life expectancy has increased dramatically in Singapore, which is a success story. We have been fortunate with health care, nutrition, with extended life expectancy, people remain active a lot longer. My parents are in their 80s and still living active, healthy lives. That has been part of the Singapore economic story also. We do have a low birth rate, there are a lot of neo-natal policies that encourage young couples to get married and have children. It is an emotional choice for people to decide how they want to do it. Most young people are very focused on their careers; the choice of stepping out and having a family sometimes becomes more challenging for them. There are lots of measures to try and encourage them to do that. The economy has to adjust to the fact, not just Singapore, all developing economies (the U.S. being an exception because of large migration coming in) face this challenge. 28

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What to do with falling birth rates. Technology helps in some ways, automation, more robotics. But then you have to supplement the working population with people coming in from outside. Foreigners add again to the diversity. Some stay short term, others longer. We just have to adjust the economy to make it a lot more value-added, a lot less focused on labor intensive work but more capital intensive, value-added sort of activities. Diplomatic Connections: Speaking of people coming to Singapore, there are approximately 30,000 Americans living happily there. But there are some critical differences between the societies. For instance, your deputy prime minister said one advantage of Singapore politics is you know who is going to win the next election. Do you see your managed democracy, with one party in the driver’s seat, becoming a model for other nations, especially given the example that devalued American democracy model of gridlock and anger has become in the last election cycle or two. Ambassador Mirpuri: I would not categorize it as a managed democracy. First, the 30,000 or so Americans who live, work, study in Singapore, it’s been a very close relationship. There is a large American school, there are more than 3,000 U.S. companies which use Singapore as a regional hub. We have Singaporean companies entering the United States, creating jobs for American citizens. So that economic relationship is growing. It has helped Singapore’s economic development and by Singapore investors coming here, it contributes to the U.S. as well. In terms of the political processes, I think the political models around the world are being questioned. If you go back to your first question about the great powers, even more important than the adjustment of great power relationships is the adjustment of political models. You just had a fairly bruising election here; it is your system. And, having had an opportunity to have had a front row seat over the past two years, we have seen and learned a quite lot from this. You have very strong institutions that will continue these processes through. We have built up strong institutions. We have a parliamentary system, a different political model from yours. And you know we will adjust it, as it evolves accordingly, and if people want to see change. In terms of anticipating who is going to be in government, I think no one can anticipate that. Diplomatic Connections: Because what we’ve seen in the western world, you talked about opportunity, there is an increasingly angry group of people who feel that they’ve been left behind by globalization. Is there a concern in Singaporean


society or is this a western phenomenon of certain people feeling they are getting left behind by globalization.

minimize the disruptions and difficulties that people have at home.

Ambassador Mirpuri: Globalization disrupts everyone; it is just a fact. What we have tried to do in Singapore and maybe our size helps, is to keep people constantly updated. Work with various parts of society to say that jobs will change, how can we help you acclimate to these new jobs. There is a constant process of programs available to people, a new one was launched about a year ago called SkillsFuture. It means you have opportunities throughout your life to keep learning new skills. The global economy will keep moving and people will need to adjust. Sometimes the adjustment may have been very difficult and that may have led to some of the angry voices you have heard in many other developed countries. But what we try to do at the grassroots level in Singapore and across various industries is to help people to adapt. There are some who find it difficult to make that adjustment so there are other schemes to help them. Again, size helps us deal with some of these challenges. I would not say that we are unaffected by the waves of globalization, but we try to

Diplomatic Connections: Finally, your predecessor, Ambassador Chan, was here for 16 years, became dean of the diplomatic corps. Are you looking to match that record? Ambassador Mirpuri: (Laugh) No one can match Ambassador Chan. She was my professor at university, and I have a deep respect for her. I will stay as long as my government wants me to stay here. Diplomatic Connections: And finally, when are we going to get a top flight Singapore-Malay restaurant in the city of Washington? You can’t use your influence to get a good restaurant? Ambassador Mirpuri: (Laugh) No, I don’t think so. Singapore food is great. The difficulty is that it doesn’t travel as well, partly because the ingredients are quite challenging. Getting the proper ingredients. It is a long complicated process to get these flavors right. It is easier in small batches to do at home. It is very hard for a large restaurant and to keep the standards high. New York’s got a better range of that. A few more now in New York with Singapore flavor. Diplomatic Connections: Thank you, Ambassador Mirpuri.

Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during the G20 Summit at the Hangzhou International Expo Center on September 4, 2016 in Hangzhou, China. World leaders gathered in Hangzhou for the 11th G20 Leaders Summit from September 4 to 5.

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Katalin

AMBASSADOR

ANNAMÁRIA BOGYAY

IS HUNGARY’S PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE AT THE

UNITED NATIONS AND A CIVILITY ENGINEER • JAMES A. WINSHIP, PH.D.

A

mbassador Katalin Annamária Bogyay (Boh-djayee) may be a

Hungarian diplomat and her country’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations in New York, but she is a true cosmopolitan – a citizen of the world and a curator of its diversity. She began her career as a

communications professional specializing in the arts and became a noted television journalist and media personality first on Hungarian National Television and later as an independent London-based broadcaster. Her understanding of the power of the arts to communicate has led her to focus on the importance of cultural diplomacy, a term which she sees as disarmingly all encompassing.

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H.E. KATALIN ANNAMÁRIA BOGYAY AMBASSADOR OF HUNGARY TO THE UNITED NATIONS

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UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Hosting the UN Day Gala Concert.

Ambassador Katalin Annamária Bogyay and her husband, Dr. Tamás Lorinczy, with the President of the General Assembly and Mrs.Thomson.

Today, as a diplomat, she is insistently and persistently determined to build bridges across every kind of divide imaginable - between cultures, between countries, between religious faiths and civilizations, between governments and between peoples. She holds degrees in economics and in communications, but she merits an advanced degree in civility engineering as well. “Through cultural diplomacy,” she insists, “we have the opportunity to engage in long-term bridge building that can overcome even political and ideological differences to build trust and understanding. That is why diplomacy is so exciting.” Ambassador Bogyay is committed to the importance of true dialogue. “Dialogue in many countries,” she notes, “means that they speak and we listen. But that is not dialogue. Dialogue, going back to the Greek understanding, means that there are two or more people who are opening up and who are equally ready to listen as well as to speak. They are trying to understand, and they are open to changing their own views.” She recalls, with a laugh, that this kind of dialogue was the subject of her first speech before the United Nations Security Council after she arrived as Hungary’s Permanent Representative in New York in 2015. “Can you imagine,” she chuckles, “I was talking about the lack of a Greek

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understanding of dialogue in the Security Council. There was notable silence in the room.” Katalin Annamária Bogyay’s exposure to the arts began with her early training as a pianist where she learned the importance of discipline – how to concentrate, to coordinate, to be precise, to memorize. “But the main message,” she says, “was that even if the notes are played perfectly but there is not something in your heart that projects emotion, then there is no music.” That lesson has carried over to her diplomatic practice as well. She brings people together and helps to find the music that will heal their divisions. [The Ambassador also admits that she occasionally slips downstairs from her apartment to play the glorious Bösendorfer grand piano that graces the lower level of the Hungarian Mission.] Her life as a diplomat began only in 1999 when, at the request of the Hungarian Ministry of Culture, she opened a Hungarian Cultural Center in the heart of London’s Covent Garden. So successful were her efforts in London that in 2006 she was asked to return to Budapest as State Secretary for International Affairs at the Hungarian Ministry of Education and Culture. All of Bogyay’s cultural efforts culminated in her appointment as Hungary’s Ambassador to the Paris-based UNESCO, the United Nations Economic, Social and Cultural Organization, where she served from 2009-2014. During that time she served as President of


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UNESCO’s 36th General Conference from 2011-2013. She began her role as Hungary’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in January 2015. Ambassador Bogyay was kind enough not only to host a reception for “Diplomatic Connections” at the Hungarian Mission in New York but also to take time to speak candidly with us about her career and her experiences as a woman, a mother, an artist and the representative of her country at the top levels of multilateral diplomacy. Diplomatic Connections: You began your career as a highly successful television broadcaster and arts critic a decade after communism had come to an end and Hungary had become a parliamentary republic. What factors led to choosing a diplomatic career and a career focused on cultural diplomacy at that? Ambassador Bogyay: Remember that when I began my career we still lived under oppression. Our possibilities were limited. As a journalist I had to learn not only how to read between lines but how to send messages between the lines. I was mainly an arts correspondent, and I interviewed actors and artists from all over the world. But, under communism in my country and in Eastern Europe, the arts and culture were the strongest tools for talking

At the UN Day Gala Concert hosted by Ambassador Katalin Annamária Bogyay with opera soprano Andrea Rost and a young Hungarian dancer.

about major issues. We were sending messages through a painting, through a piece of music, through a film, through a novel or a poem. Ironically, it was the restraints of communism that taught me the power of the arts to offer insight, to imagine

Ambassador Katalin Annamária Bogyay with the Hungarian Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, artists, UN leaders and Dr. László Szabó at the UN Day Concert.

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The symbol of the 1956 revolution, the hole in the national flag is seen with the years’ numbers in front of the parliament building, during a ceremony to mark the 60th anniversary of 1956 anti-Soviet uprising in Budapest on October 23, 2016.

Of course, this knowledge makes decision makers more cautious. Whenever a parent, a leader, a diplomat makes a decision it is no longer personal. That decision has consequences beyond self for family, for country, for the earth. Whenever I said yes or no to any new job offers or possibilities, we three – my son, my husband and I – always sat down and discussed what each possibility might mean for us as a family. That experience is the origin of my insistence on multiple collaborations in all my diplomatic work. resistance, to challenge beliefs, to explore differences, and to offer healing. Diplomatic Connections: How has being a woman and a mother impacted your diplomatic career? Ambassador Bogyay: I don’t believe that you can divide the various aspects of your life. You cannot say, “Up to this point I am an ambassador or a professional and from this point on I’m a mother.” You are really all of these things at once. I believe in a holistic approach to life. Motherhood changes a woman’s perspective on the world. It changes her behavior and her way of thinking. Parenthood changes both parents. Diplomatic Connections: How did those changes directly affect the way diplomacy is approached? Ambassador Bogyay: When my son was born in 1987, no one thought that the Soviet troops would leave Hungary in 1991 and the country would become a parliamentary democracy. At that point, children, especially newborns, were the country’s future and our hope. Mothers, and fathers too, learn what unconditional love is. That child is a responsibility throughout a parent’s life because there was a conscious decision to birth and nurture a child. These two things carry over to diplomacy where diplomats are charged with protecting their country’s interests and nurturing global order and security. Diplomatic representation is responsible for shaping the world in which children grow up and the context in which they and their children will live.

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I always wanted to create a balance, to harmonize my roles as wife, mother and professional, whether in my communications career or as a diplomat. I like to talk about the importance of gender equality, empowering women in their possibilities while cherishing family values at the same time. Diplomatic Connections: Do women bring something different to diplomacy than men bring to the table? Ambassador Bogyay: Women diplomats are as rational, logical and tough as men, but they work with a great deal of empathy, intuition and creativity. They represent the other half of humankind. How can men decide the affairs of the world without involving women, who are the other half of the world? Women are not superior to men in leadership abilities or diplomatic skills. It is necessary to be realistic and pragmatic. I do not believe in stereotyping women’s abilities. Still, if we are not using the knowledge, the experience and the talent of the women in diplomacy, conflict prevention and conflict solution, then we are losing a great deal. Diplomatic Connections: There was a great deal of hope in 2016 that the election of a new United Nations Secretary General might bring a woman to that position for the first time. There were several women candidates, several from Eastern Europe. None of that happened. Are you disappointed? Has an opportunity been missed? Ambassador Bogyay: Hungary, as a country, and my government would have wanted to see an Eastern European and a woman as Secretary General. We were


very vocal about that. There was a group of ambassadors pointing out that no one from the Eastern European region had had the chance to hold the Secretary General’s position. Yes, we are also European but we have different experiences, understandings and knowledge from our Western European colleagues. We have different answers because of our past history living under oppression and occupation with limited access to human rights for so long. Because of that experience we had to learn to adapt constantly to change. Diplomatic Connections: Were you surprised at the election of António Guterres, former Prime Minister of Portugal and more recently UN High Commissioner for Refugees, to be the new Secretary General? Ambassador Bogyay: Clearly, Mr. Guterres was on the top from the first moment that straw polls began being taken and stayed atop the list throughout the selection process leading to his appointment by the General Assembly. He has all the qualities we were looking for in a Secretary General. He was born for the role.

When I congratulated Mr. Guterres on his election as Secretary General, I told him: “Excellency, although you are neither Eastern European nor a woman, I am certain that you will guide the organization gracefully and with great insight. We are very much looking forward to working with you.” But, speaking personally on that matter, I never really thought that there would be a woman this time. The world was not ready yet to have a woman running the United Nations. But, we have started a strong movement and a process of raising awareness. That is very important. Diplomatic Connections: Will the time come when we see a woman as Secretary General? Ambassador Bogyay: This recent selection process for the Secretary General was a beautiful start on making the procedure more transparent, the candidates more visible and more known, and opening up the possibility of a woman being elected as Secretary General in the future.

Attila Kisbenedek/AFP/Getty Images

A former Soviet T-34 tank from the 1956 rovolution drapped with the Hungarian flag.  The hole in the flag is an indelible image of the Revolution, which cut the Communist Red Star out of what was then the Hungarian flag; it remains a powerful symbol of freedom.

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Now that work must be continued and expanded. There will be a good chance that the next Secretary General will be a woman.

with educating children at an early age that the diversity of cultures, religions and civilizations should be seen not as a burden but as a source of inspiration.

But, it is still necessary to work on the mindset of the people and the governments so that they will finally choose a woman. Frankly, it is not that the woman candidates were not capable of doing the job.

In diplomacy and in politics very often wars start because of lack of knowledge, because of ignorance, because of misunderstanding, because of mistrust whether the perceived conflict comes from lack of knowledge or manipulation of information or some other reason. But through cultural communication we are touching another dimension of a person. Through cultural dialogue it is possible to touch the heart and the soul.

By the way, UN Women has started a new program called “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality” in support of the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations, especially SDG #5, which focuses on gender equality and the role of women in society. Under that rubric, I was honored to nominate Hungarian Judit Polgár, who became a chess grandmaster at 15 and was the first woman to be ranked in the top ten chess grandmasters by the World Chess Federation (FIDE), as a “Planet 50-50 by 2030 Champion” in support of UN Women. Her accomplishments proved that gender stereotyping is always dangerous. Yes, a woman can become the best even in a totally male dominated world. Diplomatic Connections: May we look back to your experience at UNESCO and more broadly to your experience in cultural diplomacy? UNESCO has always received a great deal of criticism for much of its cultural work, and yet it has also been very successful. How do you evaluate the importance of cultural diplomacy? So many people see it as a second or third tier of diplomacy. Yet you make a convincing case that it is very much in the mainstream of diplomacy. Ambassador Bogyay: I totally disagree with the people who talk about cultural diplomacy as not an important thing. Through cultural diplomacy at least we have a chance to try not to misunderstand each other. Peace and security start Informal Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly 69th session: concern of a rise in anti-Semitic violence worldwide.

Cultural dialogue is about sharing. This is how I have been working for decades. Through such experiences, relationships are built through words and music and images with people whom we don’t know, who we haven’t previously seen. Diplomatic Connections: Culture reaches people because of shared experience? Ambassador Bogyay: Shared experience and the urge of expression. Culture is always an opening towards another world. Through cultural diplomacy, including science and education and sports, we are building long term bridges between peoples, nations, cultures and countries. This is all investing in a better understanding of the “other” person. Diplomatic Connections: What is UNESCO’s role in nurturing cultural diplomacy? Ambassador Bogyay: UNESCO is about the protection of diversity. It nurtures diversity of cultures, diversity of languages, diversity of the biosphere, diversity of the environment. UNESCO is a place where diversity is celebrated. To be successful in any kind of international political collaboration, it is necessary to understand another’s identity. I don’t like the term tolerance because tolerance is a minimalist concept: I tolerate you, but I do not really hear and accept you. Instead, the goal is mutual acceptance. UNESCO invests in youth, in education, in science. All these are the basis for future peace and security.

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Diplomatic Connections: What is the importance of the United Nations to Hungary’s overall foreign policy goals? What can multilateral diplomacy accomplish that bilateral diplomacy cannot?


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the case of issues that can only be addressed through global action, the UN is the forum where such decisions can be made. The work of the UN is critical to coordinating implementation, pooling resources and ensuring that stakeholders work together. It is in Hungary’s vested interest to have its foreign policy goals properly reflected in the decisions forged at the UN precisely because it creates the framework for common action. Sustainable development, human rights, large scale movement of people, preventing conflicts, and counterterrorism issues are only a few of the current challenges facing us. In today’s interdependent world implementation of national foreign policy goals can only be successful if they are properly understood and integrated into the UN’s functioning international framework. Diplomatic Connections: The year just past, 2016, represented the 60th Anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution, the uprising against Communist Party rule and Soviet domination that was forcibly suppressed by Soviet troops. Many would say that is in the past. It is Cold War history with no relevance to the current day. Why has this moment in history remained so important to you?

(L-R) Simone Monasebian, Director UNODC New York Office; Award-winning actress Gillian Anderson (from the X-Files) and Ambassador Katalin Annamária Bogyay from Hungary participated on a interactive panel discussion on the Role of the Arts in Helping to End Human Trafficking at the UN Headquarters in New York.

Ambassador Bogyay: There is much we can learn from the relationship between the 1956 revolution in Hungary and the actions of the United Nations at that time. These events provide an object lesson in the work of the Security Council.

"Planet 50-50 by 2030 champion," chess grandmaster Judit Polgár signing the agreement with Lakshmi Puri, Deputy Executive Director of UN Women.

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What are the implications of the veto power held by the Permanent Members (P5)? What can the General Assembly accomplish on its own? What kinds of political and economic pressures can the UN bring to bear on regimes that violate international law and undermine global and regional security? Hungary very strongly supports the United Nations reform efforts with an eye to the possible restructuring of core UN institutions. We are part of ACT, the Accountability, Coherence and Transparency Group, a cross-regional effort to offer concrete and pragmatic proposals to improve the working methods of the Security Council. We support the Code of Conduct

which proposes that “the permanent members would agree to suspend their right to veto� in the Security Council if that Council were required to make a decision with regard to a mass crime or alleged genocide. Hungary has just been elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council. There we stand ready to fight for the rights of minorities and other most vulnerable groups, including key rights such as freedom of speech and dissent. Diplomatic Connections: You have been very active in organizing the Circle of Women Ambassadors here at the United Nations. What is the importance of that organization, and how does it function within the context of the UN institutions?

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UN Women/Ryan Brown

UN Women staff representatives welcoming the appointment of Judit Polgar, the strongest female chess player of all time at an event held for Planet 50-50 Champion for Gender Equality.


Ambassador Bogyay: Today there are only 37 women ambassadors among the Permanent Representatives (PRs) of the 193 member states of the United Nations. I keep inviting the women ambassadors to share knowledge and exchange views. Part of representing the concept that we would like to see more women in all areas of diplomacy is that we should know and understand each other well so that we can present our case most effectively. The women ambassadors are particularly dedicated to the cause of protecting women and girls from sexual abuse, especially now in war tormented areas. I am very concerned about the problem of modern-day slavery and trafficking in women and children. There are many

segments in our work where the concerns of women are paramount. Diplomatic Connections: What advice would you give to young women who look to you as a role model, who want to be the builders of bridges and would like to seek careers as a diplomat? How would you help them prepare? Ambassador Bogyay: Be a dreamer. Be an optimist. Be an activist. Develop imagination, motivation, courage and resilience. Always believe in yourself and never give up! Diplomatic Connections: That is a perfect ending to our conversation. Thank you, Ambassador Bogyay.

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DIPLOM AT APPRECIATION RECE PTION

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THE PERMANENT MISSION OF HUNGARY TO THE UN Diplomatic Connections wishes to formally thank Ambassador Bogyay for hosting our New York International Diplomat Appreciation ReceptionTM H.E. AMBASSADOR KATALIN ANNAMÁRIA BOGYAY PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF HUNGARY TO THE UNITED NATIONS

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N Rita Le Diffard ission to the U Hungarian M ate to the y, ar et cr Se Third , Deleg otocol Officer Election and Pr the UN of 5th Committee

Ms. Dora Kaszas, Special Advisor to the Ambassador on Public Diplomacy and Human Rights Expert, Hungarian Mission to the United Nations

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CANADIAN AMBASSADOR

DAVID MacNAUGHTON BRINGS BOTH PRIVATE AND PUBLIC SECTOR EXPERIENCE TO HIS DIPLOMATIC ROLE JAMES A. WINSHIP, PH.D.

David MacNaughton began his professional career right out of college as a political assistant to a Cabinet Minister in Ottawa. “I spent six and a half years doing that,” he recalls, “then at age 28, I decided that I would become an entrepreneur. I had seen businesses come and go making representations to the government, and it occurred to me that I could give advice to business on how to do it better.” Doing it “better” became the mantra of MacNaughton’s professional life and political involvements. His official biography describes him as “a seasoned entrepreneur and political strategist,” and his résumé bears that out. He founded KinMac Associates in 1977 and, following the purchase of Public Affairs International and Decima Research, restructured his company as Public Affairs Resource Group, later acquiring the Washington, D.C. based Government Research Corporation. In the process, MacNaughton transformed the government consulting industry by combining government relations, public opinion research and public relations into a single integrated operation. MacNaughton’s Public Affairs Research Group was purchased by the WPP Group in 1989 and a new company Hill + Knowlton Canada emerged. MacNaughton subsequently became North American President for Hill + Knowlton Strategies. After a fiveyear “earn out,” however, he turned his attention to the financial services sector heading Strathshore Financial, Inc. where he did mergers and acquisitions with a special focus on structuring public-private

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partnerships. He later turned to investment banking as Senior Advisor to CIBC Capital Markets, a subsidiary of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. Never far from political involvement as a Liberal Party activist and campaign strategist, however, MacNaughton served as Principal Secretary to Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario, from 2003 -2005. When he left government service in 2005, it was to become Chairman and Partner of StrategyCorp, Inc. Its website describes StrategyCorp as “Canada’s trusted public affairs, communication and management consulting advisor.” The company’s services include everything from government relations to media training, corporate responsibility, reputation enhancement and protection, national security advising, cyber security and 24/7 crisis response. MacNaughton left the firm early in 2016 in order to assume the post of Ambassador to the United States in the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He presented his credentials as Canada’s Ambassador to the United States on March 3, 2016. David MacNaughton has been credited by Canadian colleagues as having “whip-smart political


H.E. DAVID MACNAUGHTON AMBASSADOR OF CANADA TO THE UNITED STATES

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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau pose upon the Trudeau’s arrival for a State Dinner in their honor at the White House in Washington, D.C, on March 10, 2016.


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President Barack Obama welcomes Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to the White House for an Official Visit during a State Arrival Ceremony in Washington, D.C., on March 10, 2016.

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savvy” and a record of “sound judgment and consensusbuilding that reaches beyond partisan divides.” Former Canadian Ambassador to the United States Derek Burney (1989-1993), a voice of the opposition Conservative party, observes that MacNaughton’s “asset in Washington and Ottawa will be the fact that he is known to have the Prime Minister’s confidence and to have the ability to get to the Prime Minister without having to go through a lot of filters.” Ambassador MacNaughton was kind enough to share his thoughts with Diplomatic Connections after his first whirlwind months on the job. Both his perceptiveness and his sense of humor come through clearly in the interview. Diplomatic Connections: Like the United States, Canada does not always draw its ambassadors from the ranks of career diplomats or even necessarily politicians. You’ve served Canada in a variety of roles at the provincial and federal levels, but most of your experience has been in the private sector. How does that private sector experience factor into your new diplomatic career? Ambassador MacNaughton: Most of the time things in government are measured by how much money you spend on programs and process. But governments don’t always measure outcomes and results very well. I understand how government works, but the private sector has required me to focus on outcomes and results because that is what you have to do to survive in the private sector. The combination of my private and my public experience means that I tend to push much more for outcomes and results than process. Process drives me crazy! Hopefully, the combination serves me well in this new position as Ambassador. Diplomatic Connections: You’ve been in Washington since early last year, but you had to hit the ground running. You had Prime Minister Trudeau here in Washington and President Obama in Ottawa for the North American Leaders Summit with Premier Trudeau and Mexican President Peña Nieto. What is the importance of diplomatic exchanges at the level of heads of government as opposed to the career diplomat or ambassadorial level? Ambassador MacNaughton: When you have a high-level visit, people focus on results. You don’t want to put the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of Canada in a position where they have nothing substantial to announce. These meetings both gave us an agenda and allowed us to cement the progress on climate change, security, and trade issues that had been made.

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Diplomatic Connections: Was it difficult to prepare for these state visits with such limited lead time? Ambassador MacNaughton: It really was very fortuitous for me because no sooner did I arrive in Washington than there was a real agenda with pressing time lines to work on. Along the way, I met a whole series of people vital to my work as Ambassador in a concentrated period of time. The experience was intense, but it was probably the best thing that happened in terms of beginning my tenure here in Washington. I was thrown into the proverbial “deep end of the pool,” and I didn’t quite drown though I may have gurgled a little bit! Diplomatic Connections: Canada has undergone a leadership transition. Now the United States is going through that same process. How does the embassy here in Washington work to help Ottawa understand the particular chaos that is any American political campaign? How do you prepare for a new administration in Washington? Ambassador MacNaughton: We have had a whole team of people working on the various potential outcomes and their implications for the Canada-U.S. agenda. We have had to determine what are the initiatives already in process that we want to continue to make work or improve? And then, what are the new initiatives that we might put on the table for the Trump administration? We are going through a defense policy review and a cultural policy review in Canada. When I go to Ottawa for meetings of the Prime Minister’s Committee on CanadaUnited States Relations, I remind people that it is really important that we take into consideration U.S. views on things like defense, security and trade. That doesn’t mean that we have to change our policy, but we clearly need to understand what is on the mind of the United States. Diplomatic Connections: How will the change of administrations from Obama to Trump affect the Canada-U.S. relationship? Ambassador MacNaughton: The American political system and its institutions are far more complex than the Canadian parliamentary system. We had a transition period in Ottawa that lasted three weeks, here in the United States the transition period is ten weeks or more. Given the outcome of the election we know that the presidency and both houses of Congress will be controlled by the Republican Party. But, even with this reality, it remains the case that both political parties have their own internal disagreements


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Xinhua/Chris Roussakis via Getty Images

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, fifth left first row, in a group photo with his cabinet ministers at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, Canada.


Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Obama arrive at the National Gallery of Canada for the North American Leaders Summit (NALS) in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on June 29, 2016. Leaders from the three NAFTA nations “agree on the need for governments of all major steel-producing countries to make strong and immediate commitments to address the problem of global excess steelmaking capacity,” according to a statement from Trudeau.

and that the workings of American political institutions are built on a complex system of checks and balances. Diplomatic Connections: Did the tone and tenor of the 2016 presidential campaign leave you disillusioned with the American political process? Ambassador MacNaughton: As discouraging as the level of discussion in the recent presidential campaign was, I must tell you that I have confidence in U.S. democracy. As I’ve traveled around the United States, I’ve met people in Congress, people at the state level and people at the municipal level. What I see time and time again are talented people who are optimistic about America’s future and who are really good public servants. These are sensible, rational people who are trying to make a difference – Republicans and Democrats. I am optimistic about U.S. democracy. Diplomatic Connections: What does the Canadian ambassador do on Inauguration Day? 62

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Ambassador MacNaughton: Members of the diplomatic corps are invited guests at the Inauguration itself, and I will attend that ceremony. Following the ceremonial part of the Inauguration, the Embassy will host our own Inauguration event. Four years ago we had more than 1,500 people come through the embassy on Inauguration day. We have one of the best seats for the afternoon’s Inaugural Parade which goes along Pennsylvania Avenue, literally past our front door. I’ll be greeting and talking to people, including many who are part of the new administration coming to power in Washington. Diplomatic Connections: Canada has an important anniversary to celebrate in 2017, the 150th anniversary of Canada’s confederation formed in 1867. What are the themes of that celebration, and what would you like Americans to know about it?


Cole Burston/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Ambassador MacNaughton: We want to talk about Canada as it is today and about how we look to the future. Canada is a dynamic economy with a great deal of innovation and creativity. We have a society that is very much invested in inclusiveness, recognizing the rich variety of the Canadian people and immigrants coming from all over the world.

up with problems in the relationship. To some degree we have taken each other for granted too much. We need to talk about our successes and how deep and how broad the relationship is. Then we will appreciate each other even more, and we can build on that deepened relationship to do even better things.

That focus on inclusiveness also includes a focus on gender parity and opportunity. You may have noticed that Prime Minister Trudeau’s Cabinet has good gender balance in it, 15 female ministers and 15 male ministers, most of them under 50. In Prime Minister Trudeau’s description, it is a Cabinet that “looks like Canada.”

Ambassador MacNaughton: One of the things that people don’t realize is that there are 400,000 border crossings a day, including tourism and business. Part of Prime Minister Trudeau’s visit to Washington and President Obama’s visit to Ottawa was to agree to a whole new set of border crossing procedures based on pre-clearance and information sharing. As a result of legislation Prime Minister Trudeau’s government introduced in the House of Commons, we share much more information with the United States than ever before. We have significantly more data on potential threats to our respective countries.

This government is committed to recognizing the role of Canada’s indigenous peoples in our past but also to making certain that they participate fully in the future of the country. The 150th Anniversary gives us the perfect opportunity to celebrate this heritage. And, of course, this year-long celebration is an opportunity to anticipate Canada’s future. Canadians are proud of our country, and we believe that Canada has a unique role to play in world affairs. We value our relationship with the United States, and we hope that many Americans will come to Canada this year and celebrate with us. Diplomatic Connections: When President Obama visited Ottawa, he called the relationship between the United States and Canada “an extraordinary alliance and a deep friendship.” That said, what are the priority issues on your agenda as you undertake your assignment here in Washington? Ambassador MacNaughton: Our relationship is like siblings in a family, or a marriage or the relationship between really good friends. If you take each other for granted, you end

Diplomatic Connections: Everyone always talks about the long peaceful border between the United States and Canada, and yet border security and border crossing procedures are major concerns. There is a deep concern about terrorism and the porousness of our borders. At the same time there are concerns about trade and the restrictiveness of borders. What is happening between our two governments to improve border security?

Diplomatic Connections: Trade and NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, became almost anathema during the 2016 presidential campaign in the United States. How does Canada look at NAFTA and its impact on the Canadian economy? If it comes to that, will Canada be willing to reopen negotiations on NAFTA? Ambassador MacNaughton: Canada is a trading country with a population of 36 million people. We need to be traders, and I would argue so does the United States. When I was in Michigan I was sitting at lunch with a company started by two entrepreneurs that now has about 250 employees. They export to 40 different countries. Those jobs are dependent on trade, and you need to have rules for trade. NAFTA has been a good agreement. There has been a fourfold increase in trade in North America as a result of NAFTA. Any agreement can always be improved. But, the one thing that people need to realize is that if you open up an agreement for renegotiation it isn’t just going to be a one-way discussion. There are many things that, from a Canadian point of view, could be improved from the current agreement.

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Diplomatic Connections: We have to talk about a very specific issue that has been a persistent trade irritant between the United States and Canada, the softwood lumber trade. What is the status of those negotiations? Ambassador MacNaughton: We continue to negotiate with the United States. We have put forth new initiatives that we hope will break the logjam. It is a difficult issue. The U.S. lumber industry’s allegation that the Canadian government is subsidizing its lumber industry has been disproven time and time again. Canada does not subsidize its lumber industry. We recognize the concerns of the U.S. lumber industry, and we are trying to create a system whereby we can share the gain when markets are good and share the pain when markets are bad. One of the things we have to make sure of is that disputes like this one, which are always going to happen when you have trade on the scale that we do, don’t start affecting the overall relationship. Diplomatic Connections: That said, there were headlines in the Canadian newspapers when the Keystone Pipeline decisions were made that declared, “We Used to Be Friends.” What is the status of the Keystone issue, and how do you expect it to unfold under a new administration in the United States? Ambassador MacNaughton: That is exactly the kind of thing that we don’t want to have happen. We don’t want to have one issue dominate or sour the overall U.S.-Canada relationship. I do not know what Trans-Canada’s intentions are for the future of that project. What is important to realize is that we have a North American energy market. The pipelines run north and south. It isn’t just a bunch of oil pipelines going to the United States. There are gas pipelines that come north into Canada.

If you look at a map and take that border away and look just at the way things flow, they flow in the most efficient way. We have to make sure that we don’t destroy those natural efficiencies that have been established. Diplomatic Connections: It is now the case that the mythical Northwest Passage is no longer myth. The Arctic Ocean is open. There is a good deal of commercial shipping going on and even the beginnings of tourism with cruise ships sailing the Arctic. How does Canada see the future of the Arctic? What are the areas where the United States and Canada can cooperate, especially in the face of what has been quite assertive Russian presence in the Arctic? Ambassador MacNaughton: We have the Arctic Council, which includes Canada, the United States and the Russian Federation among its members. Initiated 20 years ago, the Council has been a very good forum for dialogue, discussion and coordination. It is especially important that we have included in the Arctic forum seats at the table for indigenous people who actually live there. As the navigable waters of the Arctic expand there are both commercial opportunities opening up and militarysecurity issues that must be confronted. You asked about the Russian presence in the Arctic. We are having frank discussions with the Russians in the Arctic Council setting.

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Diplomatic Connections: You mentioned earlier Canada’s international role. What is the future of Canadian peacekeeping involvements? Prime Minister Trudeau seems at least to be hinting at a larger role for Canada than it has had recently. Ambassador MacNaughton: Canada does want to step up and help in some of the world’s conflict torn regions, but such peacekeeping is a very different and a more difficult undertaking than it used to be in the days of the “blue helmets” of the United Nations peacekeepers. We have to make certain that we understand that. Any peacekeeping considerations are all part of Canada’s overall defense policy review.

Canada. Does this complementary relationship have anything to teach the rest of the world? Ambassador MacNaughton: The thing that makes the CanadaU.S. relationship unique is our shared values. There are no two countries, where you have lengthy borders like Canada and the United States yet where each country has a distinct identity and a unique political system, that have developed the peaceful cooperative relations that Canada and the United States have. We focus on practical ways to get things done rather than standing on ceremony or ideology or vocal assertions of sovereignty.

Canada has stepped up and agreed to lead the NATO mission in Latvia. We are part of the overall NATO process of extending the NATO umbrella to its newer members, particularly the Baltic states, in response to a growing concern about Russian threats.

The rest of the world needs to think about how you can maintain your sovereignty but have a fabulous relationship with your neighbors. That is what Canada and the United States have done. It is a relationship unique in the world. That puts a special obligation on us to look not just at North America but to work together in the rest of the world.

Diplomatic Connections: You have talked about the long term relationship and the closeness between the United States and

Diplomatic Connections: Ambassador MacNaughton, thank you very much.

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (C) and Poland’s President Andrzej Duda (R) welcome Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (L) prior to a group photo during the opening of the NATO summit on July 8, 2016, in Warsaw, Poland.

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ONLY 12 MILES FROM NEW YORK CITY Masters offers a challenging academic program and a vibrant learning environment on a 96-acre campus just 12 miles from NYC. • Premier Day and Boarding for Grades 5–12 • Heritage of Educational Excellence Since 1877 • 17 AP Courses | 37 Athletic Teams • Extensive Performing and Visual Arts Program • Diverse Student Body from 30 Countries • New 75,000 sq ft. Athletic & Arts Center 49 Clinton Avenue | Dobbs Ferry, NY | mastersny.org (914) 479-6420 | admission@mastersny.org

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Lupita Nyong’o attends “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology” Costume Institute Gala.

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Rabbani and Solimene Photography/Getty Images

NYONG’O


A Shimmering Star Who Leaves an Indelible Impression . . . on the Screen, on the Stage and on the World LUPITA NYONG’O seemingly rose to fame overnight winning the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 2013 for her role as Patsey in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave. That may have been her breakthrough role as an actor, but it is not in her make-up to rest on her early laurels. Nyong’o has used her initial success to build a multifaceted career on screen and stage and in humanitarian service, everywhere leaving her mark as a stunning young woman and emerging fashion icon, a passionate actress who invests roles with her soul, and a committed conscience for human rights and environmental awareness.

Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

(L-R) Writer Caryn James talks with actors David Oyelowo and Lupita Nyong’o at SAG-AFTRA Foundation “The Queen of Katwe” Q&A at the SAG-AFTRA Foundation Robin Williams Center on September 27, 2016 in New York City.

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Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

(L-R) Executive Vice President of Production, The Walt Disney Studios, Tendo Nagenda; President of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production, Sean Bailey; chaperone Mark Mugwana; Chess Coach and Director of Sports Outreach in Uganda, Robert Katende; Ugandan national chess champion Phiona Mutesi; Director Mira Nair; actors Madina Nalwanga, Lupita Nyong’o, Martin Kabanza, David Oyelowo; screenwriter William Wheeler; and composer Alex Heffes arrive at the U.S. premiere of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. The film, starring David Oyelowo, Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o and newcomer Madina Nalwanga, was directed by Mira Nair. 74

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Isaac Kasamani/AFP/Getty Images

18-year-old Phiona Mutesi plays a game of chess with her colleagues at the chess academy in Kibuye, Kampala, on January 26, 2015. When Phiona Mutesi was a famished nine-year-old foraging for food in Uganda’s sprawling and impoverished Katwe neighborhood, her one meal of the day depended on her ability to plan. “I was very hungry,” said Mutesi, now a national chess champion, whose tale of triumph over adversity has been turned into a Hollywood epic called “Queen of Katwe,” with Oscar-winning Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o playing her mother.

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She has appeared in a remarkable variety of roles. Her body of work already includes everything from an early MTV Base Africa/UNICEF sponsored Kenyan television soap opera dealing with HIV/AIDS prevention to the latest Star Wars adventure and from a TONY nominated Broadway play to two recently released Disney films. Nyong’o is as daring as she is talented, willing to tackle everything from sharing the live stage with five African co-stars in Eclipsed to wearing hundreds of pinpoint lights to record her motions and emotions as she was turned into a computer generated galactic muse – Maz Kanata – for Star Wars: The Force Returns and soon its sequel. She hesitated not a moment to lend her voice to the animated mother wolf, Raksha, who raises the young Mowgli in The Jungle Book, and she has taken on the maternal role once again in Queen of Katwe as the mother of a young Ugandan girl from one of the poorest neighborhoods of Kampala who discovers herself as a chess prodigy and becomes an international champion.

Nyong’o has focused her awareness on questions of identity and enhancing the lives of women and children. Lupita Nyong’o is a daughter of Africa and a child of the world. She was born in Mexico while her parents were in political exile but raised in her family’s Kenyan homeland. She holds both Kenyan and Mexican citizenship. Her first name, Lupita is a diminutive for Guadalupe, a name honoring the temporary political refuge offered her parents by Mexico. At the same time, she received an African name - Amondi, meaning “one born at dawn.” The two names sum up not only Nyongo’s heritage but her commitment to using her fame to highlight issues of global justice and human development. Nyong’o has focused her awareness on questions of identity and enhancing the lives of women and children. She has spoken movingly of the realities of color and discrimination and the nature of beauty. “What is fundamentally beautiful,” she has observed, “is compassion for yourself and those around you. That kind of beauty inflames the heart and enchants the soul.” And, it is that kind of beauty she has attempted not only to embody, but to live. Lupita is known for not only adopting bright, 76

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Mark Sagliocco/FilmMagic

Beyond Beauty to Experience


(L-R) Director Liesl Tommy, Actresses Zainab Jah, Akosua Busia, Lupita Nyong’o, Saycon Sengbloh, Pascale Armand, and Playwright Danai Gurira attend the “Eclipsed” Broadway Opening Night at the Golden Theatre in New York City.

Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

(L-R) Zainab Jah, Saycon Sengbloh, Lupita Nyong’o, Pascale Armand and Akosua Busia take their closing night curtain call for “Eclipsed” on Broadway at The Golden Theatre in New York City just a few months ago in 2016.

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vibrant colors in her wardrobe but for blending global fashion with a variety of African and Asian head wraps to produce a distinctive and intellectually striking as well as beautiful wardrobe.

Transforming Art into Power But, Lupita Nyongo’s commitments go far beyond her performance, her personality and her beauty to project her heart. She has devoted herself to the cause of women’s health by promoting the work of Mother Health International, an organization working to help pregnant women in underdeveloped countries and areas of disaster by teaching safe birth practices, providing sheltered birthing places and offering training classes for midwives and birthing assistants. Her Broadway play, “Eclipsed,” tells the story of five women who have been brought together by the ugliness of two decades of civil war in Liberia. Nyong’o explains that “Eclipsed” explores how “these women’s bodies have been reused as tools of war, as sex slaves, as ‘wives of officers,’ or as soldiers themselves.” What emerges from their traumas is the reality that being thrown together has also offered them the chance to heal. Maternal Health International works to offer care to the needs of war survivors and women with trauma. Its mission, she explains, “is to ease away the trauma, to provide a compassionate, loving environment to give birth, so that women might in some profound way go about the business of ending the cycle of violence and transforming their pain into power.” Nyong’o has extended her compassion to environmental issues and species conservation as a spokesperson for WildAid. Her presence as a voice actress in “The Jungle Book,” where her wolf mother character Raksha turns her nurturing instincts to raising a human child, transfers itself to a real world concern for protecting elephants and rhinos from the ravages of the international ivory trade. “I want to encourage people all over the world to learn more about these incredible animals, “ she pleads. “It is time to ban ivory sales worldwide and to consign the tragedy of the ivory trade to history.”

And Power Into Light Nyongo’s newest project derives directly from her role as Harriet Mutesi, mother of a burgeoning chess prodigy who struggles with her coming of age and her learning while surviving in one of the poorest neighborhoods of

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Kampala, Uganda. “Queen of Katwe,” says Nyong’o, “is a story about commitment to a dream even in the most discouraging conditions. The slum of Katwe is a very difficult place to live, but you see these people living there with dignity and making it day by day. To go there and have that environment to work from really did sober us and enliven us.” So much so, in fact, that Nyong’o has now become a patron of “Soular Backpacks,” an intentional play on words and a deliberate respelling of the term solar, designed to assist children’s learning and underscore a synergy between Disney’s new film and the needs of children like Phiona Mutesi. “Soular” is a start-up social enterprise created by Salima Visram, like Nyong’o a child of Kenya, and a student in International Development Studies at McGill University in Canada. What Visram has done is to develop a school backpack that includes solar panels and a small storage battery. The backpack is utilitarian not only in the sense that it can carry a student’s books on the often long trek to school and back, but after dark at home it can be connected to an LED lamp to provide light for homework and reading. This saves the cost of expensive kerosene, improves student health and helps to protect the environment. Nyong’o has even devised a slogan for Soular Backpacks, “The Power Is in Your Step.”

A New Lens on African Identity Lupita Nyong’o is more than an actor, more than a woman of color, and more than a symbol of beauty, fashion and accomplishment. She is an ethicist who acts on her commitments to the cause of dignity, human potential and responsibility for cultural and natural heritage. Her goal is “to change the narrative and offer a new lens on Africa.” Storytelling says Nyong’o can offer a kind of catharsis, a cleansing that breaks stereotypes and nurtures originality. She believes in the power of stagecraft as an expression of universal myth “given life and interiority. I love the idea of people of color participating in mythical, magical stories, whether that’s as a hero, villain, sage or sorceress.” That is liberating and empowering. And in her career to date, Lupita Nyong’o has played them all. More than that, she has acted on the lessons of human experience she has portrayed in theater to turn them into commitments to action designed to heal a broken world.


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MANAGING OPERATING COSTS OF FOREIGN GOVERNMENT OWNED REAL ESTATE ASSETS IN NEW YORK CITY Foreign Governments See the Financial Value of Ownership in The Big City In NYC most businesses choose to rent their office space rather than own it. However, this is not the case for foreign governments looking for a prestigious piece of “The Big City.” Countries look at NYC as a safe haven to place their investment money. That is why they often do not castoff the opportunity of owning the crown jewel of real estate, as they are in it for the long haul. However, that safety net comes at a substantial price. The majority of businesses avoid the purchase of real estate

Asia and they exist in every market in the U.S., except NYC.

largely due to the sizable upfront costs. Although renting

This is mainly due to the cultural and sociological consumer

offices in Manhattan can aggregate to double the occupancy

behavior differences between regions. A large majority of

costs long-term, conventional businesses often enter leases

businesses in NYC tend to be transient due to the rapid pace

that call for them (the tenant) to pay the cost of property

the city moves in, while foreign government entities tend

taxes regardless of their international status. Governmental

to have a long-term goal for their real estate investments.

organizations have tax-exempt status on their real estate

For example, an owner of a 5,500 square foot office

holdings, which saves them the cost of property taxes.

condominium on 2nd Ave near the UN may pay an average

Commercial condominium (or condo) is an opportunity individually owned unit that is part of a larger multi-unit building with various businesses as owners. A condo owner also receives an undivided interest in the common areas of

of $7,500 per month in common charges. A space rented of that exact size and location can be upwards of $25,000 per month. Yet, office condominiums only make up 2 percent of the NYC office market.

the building, including the hallways, parking areas (a rare

One such condominium where multi-country missions

occurrence in Manhattan), property grounds, etc. There can

and consulates reside is the 15-story office building, 2 Dag

be dozens of unit owners in a 30-story Manhattan office

Hammarskjöld Plaza (named after the Swedish Diplomat and

building. Office condominiums are prevalent in Europe and

2nd secretary-general of the UN). “2 Dag” is a condominium

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office building just steps away from the United Nations HQ

income for the owners whenever and wherever possible.

in NYC and houses the consular offices for Saudi Arabia,

Some nations will hire management companies to oversee

Portugal, Greece, Bahrain, Ethiopia, Morocco, and Jordan

their own income-generating properties while also saving

amongst other commercial offices and retail space. Office

countries money on energy costs, supplies, insurance,

condominium ownership at 2 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza Condo

to even services like electrical and plumbing (due to the

allows countries to lock in their occupancy costs and insulate

management company’s large purchasing power and

themselves from the ever-rising expense of office leasing in

economies of scale). “I can say that unfortunately, that

Midtown Manhattan. Metropolitan Pacific Properties is the

reputation of being rich in cash has reverberated beyond the

Property Management company and Realtor for 2 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza and works exclusively with the diplomatic community to manage their Real Estate assets in NYC. Brandon Osman, COO of the

25-year-old family firm is a fiduciary of hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of foreign real estate assets in midtown-east. He is also in charge of taking care of the day-to-day operation of the building

Metropolitan Pacific Properties

NYC real estate industry.” Osman states. “People recognize that the

is the Property Management

foreign client is an easy target for

company and Realtor for 2 Dag

are not familiar with the region. We

Hammarskjold Plaza and works

price gouging because they often have seen it all too frequently where governments are taken advantage of

exclusively with the diplomatic

by contractors and charged ‘more-

community to manage their

rendered services.” It takes a strong

Real Estate assets in NYC.

than-industry standards’ for the same Property Management company in accordance with the Condominium

including overseeing staff, security and compliance with

Board to fight for every single penny when it comes to

city regulations. The owners of the condominium pay the

spending money on building operations and building

management company in the form of a small monthly

improvement costs.

“common charge” so that they may take care of the property and run it safely and efficiently.

Right now is a great time to buy and own Commercial Real Estate in NYC and a qualified property manager will

Having a property management company run the operations

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of a country’s commercial property is beneficial to owners

for owners no matter what part of the world they come

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from. If you would like to learn more about how a property

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management can help save your country money on building

they can take the stresses out of real estate ownership.

operating costs and earn additional income, call or email

Osman also looks at ways of saving and even generating

us today.

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Diplomatic Connections Jan/Feb 2017  

Ambassadorial interviews. International politics.