In this Talking Humanitarianism episode, you will hear reflections from outgoing Permanent Representative of the IFRC to the African Union, Mr. Itonde Kakoma, in conversation with International Relations specialist, Dr. Salla Turunen.
Together they discuss how the IFRC is situated within the humanitarian landscape, particularly with regards to humanitarian diplomacy. They also discuss multilateral engagement in the context of the establishment of the new African Humanitarian Agency and what this means for the future of humanitarian diplomacy.
At the time of recording, Itonde was preparing to leave his role as Permanent Representative of the IFRC and take up the presidency of Interpeace. As such, their conversation then explores the synergies and differences between humanitarian diplomacy and peace diplomacy and mediation.
Itonde Kakoma is a highly experienced practitioner in peace mediation, conflict resolution and humanitarian diplomacy. At the time of recording in September 2023, Itonde was the outgoing Permanent Representative of the IFRC to the African Union and International Organisations, where he also served as the focal point and coordinator for global humanitarian diplomacy at IFRC. From 2 October 2023, Itonde took up the role of President at Interpeace. Prior to the IFRC he has also had roles with CMI — Martti Ahtisaari Peace Foundation, including as its Director for Global Strategy, and with The Carter Center in its Conflict Resolution Program.
Dr. Salla Turunen is an International Relations specialist with a combined practitioner and researcher background with the United Nations. As social science researcher, Salla has published a number of articles on humanitarian diplomacy, which have been widely accessed across scholarly, practitioner and policy audiences. Currently, she is the Manager at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) at its Centre for Women, Peace and Security, and the UKRI GCRF Gender, Justice and Security Hub.