In an increasingly interconnected world, multilateral cooperation becomes more important as countries are forced to work together to address new global challenges. Traditionally, multilateral fora have provided a stage for small countries to exercise influence and act internationally. The lecture will discuss why small countries have a set of assets at their disposal compared to larger countries that give them a comparative advantage in a multilateral world order. Through a number of examples based on first-hand experience, the lecture will examine how small countries seek to pursue political influence in multilateral organisations. It will also explore how every small country with ambitions to play a role internationally should carefully consider the following questions when investing resources in the multilateral arena:
How have developments in the international architecture changed the game – is there a new role for small and smart players?
What are the particular assets that small countries have at their disposal compared to larger countries – i.e. what constitutes the comparative advantages of small countries?
How can these assets be used in a ‘smart’ way to compensate for smallness and lack of ‘hard’ means of pursuing policies, and thus allow small states to punch above their weight?
Maria Nilaus Tarp
Maria Nilaus Tarp is a Danish Career Diplomat currently working as Deputy Head of Department in the Danish Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Copenhagen. She has previously worked for UNDP as Policy Advisor to UNDP's Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery. Maria was previously posted to the Danish Embassy in Kabul, Afganistan, and the Danish Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York.
This lecture is organised within the framework of the Executive Course on Global Health Diplomacy.
List of Participants
Maria Nilaus Tarp, Size and Influence