The Scottish Council on Global Affairs enjoyed an event to mark our launch at Edinburgh Castle on the 27th April 2022. Such an ambitious, global and pan-Scotland project had, of course, seen months and months of planning, formalising and networking, but the public face of SCGA had not been seen prior to this event.
Event marking our launch, Edinburgh Castle, April 27th 2022
The Scottish Council on Global Affairs was officially launched at an event held at Edinburgh castle, attended by representatives of the three founding universities, the Scottish Government, the UK Government, and a range of invited guests. The launch received extensive coverage and commentary, and the Council has received backing and recognition from across the political spectrum.
Each of our three universities went on to publish their own press release, each of which do more than hint at the potential of SCGA: Glasgow, St Andrews, Edinburgh. The Principal of St Andrews University, Sally Mapstone FRSE can be seen speaking at the launch event in this video, we have a series of short-form interviews from the event here, and, speaking shortly after the event, our founding Executive Director, Professor Peter Jackson, shares some background on the thinking and circumstances that informed our creation in this Scotsman piece.
The Edinburgh event was attended by Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Cabinet Secretary Angus Robertson, who said of us:
“Although the Scottish Government warmly welcomes and supports the establishment of the Scottish Council on Global Affairs – as committed to in our latest Programme for Government – this initiative is independent, supported as it is by parties across the political spectrum, making it truly non-partisan.”Angus Robertson MSP, Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, External Affairs and Culture
The Scottish Council on Global Affairs is also working with, and is supported by, the UK Government, and Amanda Milling MP, Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office Minister, said this at the time of our Edinburgh launch:
“The UK Government is proud to be working with the Scottish Council on Global Affairs. Bringing three great universities together to create a new foreign policy Think Tank will provide tremendous benefit to Scotland, and the whole of the United Kingdom.”Amanda Milling MP, Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office Minister
Networking Event, Lancaster House, June 13th 2022
Fast forward a few weeks and we we received the support of the UK Government at an event held in London.
The networking event was hosted by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) at its historic Lancaster House venue, and was attended by representatives of the UK Government – Scottish Secretary Alister Jack & Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office Minister Vicky Ford.
Also in attendance were representatives of three founding universities – Glasgow, St Andrews and Edinburgh – as well as diplomats from countries including Australia, Germany, Italy and Spain.
We are delighted at the support from FCDO and The Secretary of State for Scotland and thankful for this event recognising the launch of the Scottish Council on Global Affairs.”Professor Juliet Kaarbo (SCGA), Edinburgh University
Again, our three universities issued press releases and the event received significant press coverage – read more here.
Further Global Reach
In May of 2022 during a visit to the USA, the Brookings Initiative on Climate Research and Action hosted the First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon for keynote remarks followed by a conversation with Samantha Gross, director of the Energy Security and Climate Initiative at Brookings.
You can see the relevant clip on this page, where there’s also a link through to the full video.
As recently as November a team from SCGA was in (i) Canada talking about ‘Scotland’s place in a changing world’ – the full video from that event can be seen here, and (ii) Brussels for a Policy Dialogue on ‘The international response to Russia’s war in Ukraine’ – an event write-up can be seen here.
Closer to home
We have chaired, supported, sponsored, and been actively involved in a whole host of events over 2022, and will be continuing very much along these lines in 2023. We welcomed Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office Minister Rehman Chishti to Glasgow to discuss ‘Key Challenges facing the United Kingdom in 2022’. Events have ranged from ‘Future Global Shocks’ to ‘Lessons from the Pandemic on Civil Liberties and Social Justice’; we’ve had workshops and an opinion paper on ‘Feminist Foreign Policy’, covered Citizenship in Europe, Youth Peacebuilding, Global Security, Conflict Management, and the Ukraine. Articles on all of these events can be viewed in our News section.
We launched our first Call for Funding Proposals, and early next year will be implementing a system that allows Scotland-based global affairs scholars to showcase the global affairs research being done and advertise their work to a broader audience.
We already have a couple of key events lined up for January 2023 – more on those soon – and we have various interesting developments in hand. Thank you to everyone that has been involved in making our auspicious first year such a success, thank you to everyone we’ve worked with and met along the way, and do please follow us on Twitter and sign-up for our newsletter.