Wednesday Feb 26, 2020
LONDON: Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has said no nation, no matter how powerful, can solve all its problems without partnership from others.
Ban Ki-Moon said as he delivered a keynote address at the Global Soft Power Summit along with Dr Maleeha Lodhi, the former Pakistani envoy the UK and USA, and many other speakers.
“We all share a common destiny in peace and prosperity, let’s create a better world using soft power." Ban Ki-Moon said.
Pakistan was placed at No. 53 on the Soft Power index, the US No. 1, and the UK No. 3.
Ban Ki-Moon stated: “In an era of nationalism, soft power is more important than ever before. When Joseph Nye, my former teacher coined this term as the ability to shape the preferences of others through appeal and attraction.
“This is different from hard power which uses coercion through force. In today’s interconnected and globalised world, no country, no matter how powerful it is cannot solve all its problems without partnership from others.”
Dr Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan’s former representative to the United Nations, Amish Tripathi, Founder of the Nehru Centre in London, Sir Ciaran Devane, Chief Executive British Council and other notables also spoke at the event.
Dr Maleeha Lodhi spoke eloquently about Pakistan’s outlook on soft power while mesmerising the audience with the intellect in her speech. She said: “The new dynamics of a transformed global environment creates a greater need and more opportunity for soft power strategies.
“Pakistan is a relative newcomer to the game of incorporating soft power efforts in its diplomatic strategy but it is catching up.”
She gave examples of how Pakistan used public diplomacy and soft power in the UN during her tenure, including the international appeal for projects like the Billion Tree Tsunami which were well received by the global community.
She added: “Countries that are nimble in their public diplomacy and can leverage new tools of our digital age to undertake soft power efforts are more likely to attain their foreign policy goals.”
The former ambassador to the UK and the US also stated that a positive global opinion about a country was a force multiplier for the achievement of diplomatic goals.
The event was attended by journalists, diplomats and policy experts who asked interesting questions from the panel. The issue of Uighur and Kashmir Muslims was also raised when one member of the audience asked whether countries like India could continue to retain their soft power in the long term if they treated their citizens differently based on religion or ethnicity. Press freedom was also declared as an integral pillar of soft power in the modern world.
Japan was ranked number 1 for Business and Trade while China and Russia were ranked high on influence.
Greta Thunberg’s environmental activism earned Sweden the top spot for climate action while Canada was declared as the world’s most generous nation. UAE remained the middle east’s top scorer with advances in Artificial Intelligence and other brand perception techniques earned it this spot. Spain was declared the world’s friendliest nation.