#BlueStarBrief May 2023

This Month in the #BlueStarBrief
Transatlantic Perspectives on Labor Relations

EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive

U.S.-Dominican Republic Relations

Nordic Innovation & Sustainability Forum

Cities Summit of the Americas Recap

Paraguay Election Results

G7 Hiroshima Summit Preview

Transatlantic Perspectives:
U.S. & EU Labor Relations

This month, our U.S. and EU teams present perspectives on the current state of government-labor union relations.

Click here to read our U.S. perspective, by Karen A. Tramontano.

Click here to read our European perspective, by Mathilde Defarges.

EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive
By Elise Cadot

In 2013, the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh killed over one thousand workers who manufactured clothes for many major U.S. and European brands. A little over ten years later, the EU’s efforts to strengthen corporate due diligence and prevent a repeat of that tragedy are now on the cusp of succeeding.

Click here to read more.

United States-Dominican Republic Relations
Sally Painter was interviewed by CDN's 55 Minutos con Julissa Céspedes on the importance of the U.S.-Dominican Republic bilateral relationship and its role in advancing critical interests of both countries.

Click here to watch.

Nordic Innovation & Sustainability Forum
Jesica Lindgren moderated the second annual Nordic Innovation & Sustainability Forum, hosted by the House of Sweden in Washington, DC. Jesica serves as President of the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce of Washington D.C.

The 2023 forum focused on sustainable architecture and transportation solutions and included discussions and presentations by global experts, policymakers, and practitioners. The event highlighted the role played by the Nordic region—Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden—in developing innovative solutions for addressing shared global challenges.

Click here to learn more.


Cities Summit of the Americas
"Cities, when you come down to it, are where democracy is closest to its people. And when cities are responsive to the needs of residents, they demonstrate democracy’s greatest strength: its ability to improve on itself, to empower citizens to hold their leaders accountable, to try out different solutions, and to allow the best ideas to rise to the top."
- U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken

Jeremiah Baronberg attended the first Cities Summit of the Americas in Denver, Colorado, part of a new U.S. State Department initiative aimed at cultivating regional cooperation and strengthening city-to-city ties throughout the Western Hemisphere. Global cities are playing an increasingly important role in international engagement, working to shape world affairs and advance city-based solutions to global challenges.

In recognition of this trend and to further support this work, the
Biden administration announced the appointment of a first ever ambassador-level U.S. Representative for City and State Diplomacy, Nina Hachigian,
who will also lead a newly established Office of Subnational Diplomacy. Ambassador Hachigian previously served as first Deputy Mayor for International Affairs for the City of Los Angeles.

The rise of "subnational diplomacy" is seen as having increasingly tangible benefits for cities and states as local leaders look to take advantage of a globalized economy, expand export and investment, and attract FDI to their region.


Paraguay Elections Results
On April 30, Paraguay held general elections to elect the president, vice president, National Congress, and departmental governors. Pro-government leader Santiago Peña won the presidency and will be inaugurated in August 2023. Peña, of the conservative Colorado Party, received 43% of the votes while Efrain Alegre who led a center-left coalition came in second with 27.4%.

The Colorado Party has been in power almost uninterruptedly for more than 70 years and president-elect Peña will give the country continuity despite allegations of corruption against former president and current party leader, Horacio Cartes.

This election comes during an important time, as Paraguay is one of the few countries in the world with formal diplomatic ties to Taiwan in a region where China’s presence continues to expand. Presidential candidate Alegre had been very vocal about establishing a relationship with Beijing and removing Paraguay's support from Taipei. President-elect Peña’s election, then, will give continuity to Paraguay’s relationship with Taiwan and further limits China’s influence in the country while strengthening ties with the United States.

G7 Hiroshima Summit

"The stakes are high for leaders of the G7 gathering in Hiroshima... not only to demonstrate a united front, but provide a roadmap that will highlight how a rules-based international order can champion human security and sustainable growth."
- Prospects for G7 Leadership in a Fractured World, Wilson Center

The 49th annual Group of Seven industrialized nations G7 Leaders Summit will take place in Hiroshima, Japan, May 19-21, 2023. With Japan assuming the G7 Presidency, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will chair the annual meeting, hosting member heads of state and government from Canada, Germany, Italy, France, UK, and U.S.

This year's summit will address a range of topics, including efforts to achieve net-zero energy emissions by 2050 and ensuring food and nutrition security amidst a global food crisis. The summit will also review the Russian invasion of Ukraine and actions aimed at resolving the conflict. By choosing to convene the event in Hiroshima given its historical legacy, the summit will also focus on confronting nuclear proliferation and the risks of geopolitical conflict. As host, Japan will draw attention to specific security challenges in the Indo-Pacific region such as North Korea’s nuclear expansion and China’s recent threatening geopolitical actions such as in its conflict with Taiwan.

Finally, this year's summit will feature a broadened range of regional and global participants, including leaders from Australia, India, South Korea, Vietnam, and Ukraine as well as multilateral organizations from around the world. Stay tuned as we monitor the G7 summit for specific outcomes and deliverables.

Thank you for reading this month’s #BlueStarBrief.

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