International Conference

21st of March 2024, Athénée Palace, Le Diplomate Hall

Bucharest, ROMANIA

Emerging disruptive technologies (EDTs) – including cyberspace and artificial intelligence (AI) – are becoming increasingly entangled with geopolitics while at the same time posing challenges to diplomats and diplomacy. Technological capabilities ate seen as a measure of geopolitical prowess. Governments fight out their geopolitical rivalries through technology as much as trade.

The big technology companies are becoming geopolitical actors in their own right, even though some are slow to recognise this. EDTs are generating problems at an international level which require multilateral regulation at the same time that multilateral institutions are finding it harder function. Smart city technologies not only improve the lives of citizens within individual cities but also strengthen the abilities of cities to network with each other generating a new level of diplomatic activity.

Both governments and major technology companies need to develop a new technology diplomacy, or Techplomacy, to allow them to engage effectively over these issues.

Conference Agenda

08:45 – 09:30 — Registration, Welcome Coffee & Networking

09:30 – 10:00  Official opening

Mr. Claudiu LUCACI – Conference Moderator

Opening remarks: Mr. Valentin PREDA – founder Diplomacy360

Message of the Prime Minister of Romania H.E. Mr. Marcel CIOLACU delivered by Mr. Nicolae COMĂNESCU, State Counsellor for Foreign Policy and Strategic Affairs

Mr. Valeriu ZGONEA – President of ANCOM – National Authority for Management and Regulation in Communications

Mr. Mihnea COSTOIU – Rector of the University Politehnica of Bucharest

Mr. Preetam MALOOR – Head of the Emerging Technologies Division at the International Telecommunication Union (online from ITU Geneva)

10:00 – 11:00 Panel 1:  Emerging Disruptive Technologies in the geopolitical arena

H.E. Mr. Kap-soo RIM – Ambassador of the Republic of Korea

Mr. Rami Teplitskiy, Deputy Chief of Mission – Embassy of Israel

MG (Ret.) Paul HURMUZ – Career Military Diplomat

Moderator: Mr. Shaun RIORDAN – Director of the Chair in Diplomacy and Cyberspace at the EIIS

Major powers, in general, prefer to avoid direct military conflict because of the risks of escalation. Great power rivalries therefore tend to be fought out in other areas like trade and technology. This has been evident in restrictions on the trade in high technology products (e.g. microchips), the adoption of technological superiority as a measure of Great Power status and the debates about the security of 5/6 G networks. Harmonising 5G networks (which may include issues surrounding the forthcoming 6G mobile telephony) and the issues surrounding digital inclusion.
The panel will explore how governments use EDTs to pursue national interests and geopolitical rivalries. The reduction of access to key raw resources and components (chip wars). The threats to underwater internet cables and other key infrastructure. Concerns about cybersecurity and dependence on components from geopolitical rivals. The conflicts over 5G and 6G and the threat to international industrial standards.

11:00 – 11:15 — Coffee Break & Networking

11:15 – 12:15 Panel 2:  The International Challenges of AI

H.E. Ms Willemijn van Haaften – Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

H.E. Dr. Peer GEBAUER – Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany

Mr. Andi CRISTEA – MP, General Rapporteur on science and technology impact assessment and Rapporteur on the Metaverse file for Council of Europe

Moderator: Vlad DRAGUS – Expert, Romanian National Cyber Security Directorate

The geopolitics of AI – virtual and physical infrastructure. AI poses new challenges to cybersecurity. It can enhance both cyber offence and cyber defence, potentially leading to an AI arms race between cyber-attack and defence.
The development of even newer technologies like quantum computing have implications for encryption, key to the safe transfer of data. How to prevent an ever grater digital divide. Regulating how AI is used and to prevent the reinforcement of existing discrimination and prejudice.

AI has its own dependencies in terms of energy consumption and rare earth materials which could further increase cyber dependencies. AI in automotive industry.
Opportunities and threats of using AI in managing international relations.
International norms on human oversight of AI.

Military uses of AI and Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems.

12:15 – 12:30 —  Coffee Break & Networking

12:30 – 13:30 Panel 3:  Technology Companies as Geopolitical Actors

H.E. Ms Therese HYDEN – Ambassador of the Kingdom of Sweden

H.E. Mr. Uffe A. BALSLEV – Ambassador of the Kingdom of Denmark

Ms Alexandra OLARU – Director Legal & External Affairs, Vodafone

Moderator: Mr. Valentin PREDA – founder DIPLOMACY360

Conference Rapporteur: Mr Emanuel CERNAT – Managing Partner: Corporate Affairs Strategies

Explore how the major internet and technology companies increasingly act as geopolitical actors in their own right, whether shaping the geopolitical environment, being used as tools in geopolitical rivalries or directly participating in geopolitical conflicts.
The implications for government diplomacy including engaging with internet and technology companies in debates about international technology regulation.
Some countries have appointed ambassadors to the tech sector to engage with these companies on political and geopolitical as well as commercial issues. This panel will discuss the best ways of engaging with technology and internet companies, including the idea of “techambassadors”,

How technology and internet companies can develop their own Techplomacy for engaging with governments and other actors.

13:30 – 15:00 — Lunch Break & Networking


The event will be held in English language


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Governments need to engage with technology companies as Technology companies need to engage with governments

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The Geopolitics and Diplomacy of Emerging Disruptive Technologies International Conference

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