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Jocelyn Coulon

Jocelyn Coulon

Advisor

Biography

Jocelyn Coulon is an analyst, author and researcher, specializing in peace operations and Canadian foreign policy. He was a foreign affairs advisor for Justin Trudeau in 2014-2015, and a senior policy advisor to foreign minister Stephane Dion in 2016-2017. He is the author of Canada is Not Back: How Justin Trudeau is in Over His Head on Foreign Policy, Lorimer, 2019.

In the past few years, he has published a number of books, including, in 1998, Soldiers of Diplomacy. The United Nations, Peacekeeping, and The New World Order, University of Toronto Press, and in 2020, À quoi sert le Conseil de sécurité des Nations Unies?, Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal. 

He is a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) and a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI).

From This Expert

Publications

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Jocelyn Coulon pour L’actualité — Les temps incertains
Conseiller de l'IPD Jocelyn Coulon écrit dans L’actualité que « La Chine cristallise les revendications,...
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Jocelyn Coulon pour Le Devoir — Que les Européens cessent de pleurnichers
Conseiller de l'IPD Jocelyn Coulon écrit dans Le Devoir que « Les Européens s’accrochent à l’article...
Meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Foreign Ministers session, with Finland and Sweden - Meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign AffairsBucharest, Romania
Jocelyn Coulon in The Hill Times — Joly’s ‘Pragmatic Diplomacy’ an Understanding of the Realities of the World
IPD Advisor Jocelyn Coulon was quoted by The Hill Times about Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly's...
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly meets Canada's Melanie Joly
Jocelyn Coulon pour Le Devoir — Joly Amorce Un Important Virage Diplomatique
Pour Le Devoir, Jocelyn Coulon, conseiller de l'IPD, écrit sur la prononcement 'realiste' de Melanie...
Justin Trudeau Melanie Joly
Jocelyn Coulon pour Le Devoir — Le Canada Peut-Il Encore Se Faire Une Place Sur La Scène Internationale?
Pour Le Devoir, Jocelyn Coulon, conseiller de l'IPD, écrit sur les bourdes accumulées par la diplomatie...
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Jocelyn Coulon en Le Journal de Montréal — Le Canada Risque De Se Retrouver Seul Dans Son Conflit Diplomatique Face À l’Inde
Conseiller de l'IPD, Jocelyn Coulon, a été cité en Le Journal de Montréal sur le conflit diplomatique...
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Jocelyn Coulon pour Le Devoir — Un monde en Pleine Recomposition
À l'ouverture de l'Assemblée générale des Nations Unies, Jocelyn Coulon, conseiller de l'IPD, écrit pour...
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Jocelyn Coulon pour La Presse — Les BRICS peuvent-ils mordre ?
Conseiller de l'IPD Jocelyn Coulon s'est questionné pour La Presse si les BRICS peuvent hisser au niveau...
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Jocelyn Coulon pour La Presse — Justin Trudeau a raison
Conseiller de l'IPD Jocelyn Coulon s'est commenté pour La Presse que "Le premier ministre a raison -...
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Jocelyn Coulon pour La Presse — Et si le Nord écoutait le Sud ?
Les Occidentaux sont-ils disposés à ouvrir le jeu, à répondre aux aspirations du Sud, à cesser de croire...
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Jocelyn Coulon dans Libre Média — Le Canada n’est vraiment pas à la hauteur
Libre Média a discuté avec conseiller de l'IPD Jocelyn Coulon sur la document pour rénover la diplomatie...
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Jocelyn Coulon dans Le Devoir — La difficile entreprise de transformer l’exercice de la diplomatie canadienne
L’initiative visant à transformer l’exercice de la diplomatie canadienne est un premier pas pour redonner...
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Jocelyn Coulon dans Le Devoir — S’éloigner de la Chine pour s’arrimer aux États-Unis?
La question de nos relations avec la Chine ne peut se penser à partir d’absolus comme rompre les liens,...
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Jocelyn Coulon dans Le Devoir: L’opinion publique face à la guerre en Ukraine
Le Sud réclame une réforme du système de gouvernance mondiale, une nouvelle répartition du pouvoir au...
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Jocelyn Coulon dans Libre Média: Pourquoi le conflit russo-ukrainien pourrait perdurer des années
Jocelyn Coulon a été interviewé par Libre Média où il a parlé de l'Ukraine, de la politique étrangère...
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Jocelyn Coulon dans La Presse: Le multilatéralisme tient bon
Jocelyn Coulon, conseiller de l'IPD, a publié un article pour La Press sur la façon dont la conférence...
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Jocelyn Coulon dans Le Devoir: Le difficile exercice de renouer avec la Chine
Jocelyn Coulon, conseiller de l'IPD, a publié un article pour Le Devoir sur la voix de Mélanie Joly dans...
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Jocelyn Coulon dans Le Devoir: Mélanie Joly reprend la main en politique étrangère
Jocelyn Coulon, conseiller de l'IPD, a publié un article pour Le Devoir sur un discours de la ministre...
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Jocelyn Coulon dans Le Devoir: L'impossible réforme du Conseil de sécurité
Jocelyn Coulon, conseiller de l'IPD, a publié un article pour La Presse sur la possibilité de réformer...
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Jocelyn Coulon dans La Presse: Un nouveau paysage géopolitique se dessine à l’ONU
Jocelyn Coulon, conseiller de l'IPD, a publié un article pour La Presse sur l'évolution de l'ordre international.
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Jocelyn Coulon dans Le Devoir: La solidarité internationale avec l'Ukraine s'émousse
Jocelyn Coulon, conseiller de l’IPD, a publié un article pour Le Devoir sur le déclin du soutien international...
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Jocelyn Coulon Quoted in La Presse: How the world has changed
IPD Advisor Jocelyn Coulon provided comments (in French) to a recent report for La Presse on the Global...
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Jocelyn Coulon in Le Devoir: Is Canada isolated on the world stage?
IPD Advisor Jocelyn Coulon wrote an op-ed (in French) for Le Devoir to reflect on conversations with...
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Jocelyn Coulon in Le Devoir: When the South says no to the North
IPD Advisor Jocelyn Coulon wrote an op-ed (in French) for Le Devoir on the Global South's resistance...
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Jocelyn Coulon Quoted by Anadolu Agency: On Anniversary, NATO Tested on Ukraine
IPD Advisor Jocelyn Coulon provided comments (in French) to the Anadolu Agency on NATO's changing strategic...
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Jocelyn Coulon Quoted in Le Devoir: Is Canada at War with Russia?
IPD Advisor Jocelyn Coulon provided comments (in French) to Le Devoir on defining Canada's belligerent...
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Jocelyn Coulon in La Presse — War in Ukraine Can Still Avoid the Worst
IPD Advisor Jocelyn Coulon wrote an op-ed (in French) for La Presse on bilateral negotiations between...
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Jocelyn Coulon Quoted by Radio-Canada: Goodbye Truckers, Hello Europe
IPD Advisor Jocelyn Coulon provided comments (in French) in a recent report for Radio-Canada on Prime...
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Jocelyn Coulon in Le Devoir: A Strong Solidarity, but for What Result?
IPD Advisor Jocelyn Coulon wrote an op-ed (in French) for Le Devoir on the UN General Assembly votes...
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Jocelyn Coulon Quoted in La Presse: War in Ukraine - A Whole Region Destabilised
IPD Advisor Jocelyn Coulon commented in a recent report for La Presse on war in Ukraine, the risk of...
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Jocelyn Coulon in Le Devoir: Getting Back on the Negotiating Track
IPD Advisor Jocelyn Coulon wrote an op-ed (in French) for Le Devoir on the need to return to the negotiating...
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Jocelyn Coulon in La Presse: The Ball is in the Ukrainian Camp
IPD Advisor Jocelyn Coulon wrote an op-ed (in French) for La Presse on Ukraine's non-implementation of...
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Jocelyn Coulon in La Presse: Ukraine Must Make a Move
IPD Advisor Jocelyn Coulon wrote an op-ed (in French) for La Presse on the potential for Ukrainian neutrality...
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Jocelyn Coulon in Le Devoir: Canada Can Play a Role in Ukraine's Future
IPD Advisor, Jocelyn Coulon wrote a piece (in French) for Le Devoir arguing that the West must rethink...
Meetings of the Foreign Ministers at NATO Headquarters in Brussels - Meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission (NUC)
Jocelyn Coulon in Le Devoir: We Must Rethink the European Security Architecture
IPD Advisor, Jocelyn Coulon wrote a piece (in French) for Le Devoir arguing that the West must rethink...
What Is it to Be Human in the Fourth Industrial Revolution?
Jocelyn Coulon Quoted in The Hill Times: A fifth foreign affairs minister for Trudeau
IPD Advisor, Jocelyn Coulon commented on a recent report by the Hill Times to discuss the state of foreign...

Events

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Lancement de livre — Marginalisé: réflexions sur l'isolement du Canada dans les relations internationales
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Panel — A Multi-Partisan Consensus on Canada's National Interests?

In the Press

Jocelyn Coulon in Agence France-Presse — India Denies Involvement in Slaying of Sikh Leader in Canada
Jocelyn Coulon dans Libre Média — Le Canada ne joue plus de rôle important sur la scène internationale
Jocelyn Coulon sur Radio-Canada: Guerre en Ukraine: L’heure de négocier est-elle arrivée?
Jocelyn Coulon on Radio-Canada: Canada's Place on the World Stage
Jocelyn Coulon on Radio-Canada: On NATO, its purpose, and its history
Jocelyn Coulon on Culture at a Crossroads: On foreign affairs and Canada's tenuous relations with Russia
Jocelyn Coulon on TVA Nouvelles: Nuclear Escalation and Ukraine
Jocelyn Coulon on Radio-Canada — The Impact of a No-fly Zone in Ukraine
Jocelyn Coulon on Radio-Canada: Analyzing the Macron-Putin Meeting
Jocelyn Coulon on Radio-Canada: Negotiations Around Ukraine, Macron-Putin Talks
Panel 4: Pathways to Manage Non-Proliferation in the Middle East (4:30 PM - 5:45 PM ET)

The Western powers have failed to effectively manage the increasing threat of proliferation in the Middle East. While the international community is concerned with Iran’s nuclear program, Saudi Arabia has moved forward with developing its own nuclear program, and independent studies show that Israel has longed possessed dozens of nuclear warheads. The former is a member of the treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), while the latter has refused to sign the international agreement. 

On Middle East policy, the Biden campaign had staunchly criticized the Trump administration’s unilateral withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), more commonly known as the Iran Nuclear Deal and it has begun re-engaging Iran on the nuclear dossier since assuming office in January 2021. However, serious obstacles remain for responsible actors in expanding non-proliferation efforts toward a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East. 

This panel will discuss how Western powers and multilateral institutions, such as the IAEA, can play a more effective role in managing non-proliferation efforts in the Middle East.  

Panelists:

Peggy Mason: Canada’s former Ambassador to the UN for Disarmament

Mark Fitzpatrick: Associate Fellow & Former Executive Director, International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS)

Ali Vaez: Iran Project Director, International Crisis Group

Negar Mortazavi: Journalist and Political Analyst, Host of Iran Podcast

David Albright: Founder and President of the Institute for Science and International Security

 

Closing (5:45 PM – 6:00 PM ET)

Panel 3: Trade and Business Diplomacy in the Middle East (3:00 PM - 4:15 PM ET)

What is the current economic landscape in the Middle East? While global foreign direct investment is expected to fall drastically in the post-COVID era, the World Bank reported a 5% contraction in the economic output of the Middle East and North African (MENA) countries in 2020 due to the pandemic. While oil prices are expected to rebound with normalization in demand, political instability, regional and geopolitical tensions, domestic corruption, and a volatile regulatory and legal environment all threaten economic recovery in the Middle East. What is the prospect for economic growth and development in the region post-pandemic, and how could MENA nations promote sustainable growth and regional trade moving forward?

At the same time, Middle Eastern diaspora communities have become financially successful and can help promote trade between North America and the region. In this respect, the diaspora can become vital intermediaries for advancing U.S. and Canada’s business interests abroad. Promoting business diplomacy can both benefit the MENA region and be an effective and positive way to advance engagement and achieve foreign policy goals of the North Atlantic.

This panel will investigate the trade and investment opportunities in the Middle East, discuss how facilitating economic engagement with the region can benefit Canadian and American national interests, and explore relevant policy prescriptions.

Panelists:

Hon. Sergio Marchi: Canada’s Former Minister of International Trade

Scott Jolliffe: Chairperson, Canada Arab Business Council

Esfandyar Batmanghelidj: Founder and Publisher of Bourse & Bazaar

Nizar Ghanem: Director of Research and Co-founder at Triangle

Nicki Siamaki: Researcher at Control Risks

Panel 2: Arms Race and Terrorism in the Middle East (12:00 PM - 1:15 PM ET)

The Middle East continues to grapple with violence and instability, particularly in Yemen, Syria and Iraq. Fueled by government incompetence and foreign interventions, terrorist insurgencies have imposed severe humanitarian and economic costs on the region. Meanwhile, regional actors have engaged in an unprecedented pursuit of arms accumulation. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have imported billions of both Western and Russian-made weapons and funded militant groups across the region, intending to contain their regional adversaries, particularly Iran. Tehran has also provided sophisticated weaponry to various militia groups across the region to strengthen its geopolitical position against Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Israel. 

On the other hand, with international terrorist networks and intense regional rivalry in the Middle East, it is impractical to discuss peace and security without addressing terrorism and the arms race in the region. This panel will primarily discuss the implications of the ongoing arms race in the region and the role of Western powers and multilateral organizations in facilitating trust-building security arrangements among regional stakeholders to limit the proliferation of arms across the Middle East.

 

Panelists:

Luciano Zaccara: Assistant Professor, Qatar University

Dania Thafer: Executive Director, Gulf International Forum

Kayhan Barzegar: Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science and International Relations at the Science and Research Branch of Azad University

Barbara Slavin: Director of Iran Initiative, Atlantic Council

Sanam Shantyaei: Senior Journalist at France24 & host of Middle East Matters

Panel 1: Future of Diplomacy and Engagement in the Middle East (10:30 AM-11:45 AM ET)

The emerging regional order in West Asia will have wide-ranging implications for global security. The Biden administration has begun re-engaging Iran on the nuclear dossier, an initiative staunchly opposed by Israel, while also taking a harder line on Saudi Arabia’s intervention in Yemen. Meanwhile, key regional actors, including Qatar, Iraq, and Oman, have engaged in backchannel efforts to bring Iran and Saudi Arabia to the negotiating table. From a broader geopolitical perspective, with the need to secure its energy imports, China is also expected to increase its footprint in the region and influence the mentioned challenges. 

In this evolving landscape, Western powers will be compelled to redefine their strategic priorities and adjust their policies with the new realities in the region. In this panel, we will discuss how the West, including the United States and its allies, can utilize multilateral diplomacy with its adversaries to prevent military escalation in the region. Most importantly, the panel will discuss if a multilateral security dialogue in the Persian Gulf region, proposed by some regional actors, can help reduce tensions among regional foes and produce sustainable peace and development for the region. 

Panelists:

Abdullah Baabood: Academic Researcher and Former Director of the Centre for Gulf Studies, Qatar University

Trita Parsi: Executive Vice-President, Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft

Ebtesam Al-Ketbi: President, Emirates Policy Centre​

Jon Allen: Canada’s Former Ambassador to Israel

Elizabeth Hagedorn: Washington correspondent for Al-Monitor

Panel 4: Humanitarian Diplomacy: An Underused Foreign Policy Tool in the Middle East (4:30 PM - 5:30 PM ET)

Military interventions, political and economic instabilities, and civil unrest in the Middle East have led to a global refugee crisis with an increasing wave of refugees and asylum seekers to Europe and Canada. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has, in myriad ways, exacerbated and contributed to the ongoing security threats and destabilization of the region.

While these challenges pose serious risks to Canadian security, Ottawa will also have the opportunity to limit such risks and prevent a spillover effect vis-à-vis effective humanitarian initiatives in the region. In this panel, we will primarily investigate Canada’s Middle East Strategy’s degree of success in providing humanitarian aid to the region. Secondly, the panel will discuss what programs and initiatives Canada can introduce to further build on the renewed strategy. and more specifically, how Canada can utilize its policy instruments to more effectively deal with the increasing influx of refugees from the Middle East. 

 

Panelists:

Erica Di Ruggiero: Director of Centre for Global Health, University of Toronto

Reyhana Patel: Head of Communications & Government Relations, Islamic Relief Canada

Amir Barmaki: Former Head of UN OCHA in Iran

Catherine Gribbin: Senior Legal Advisor for International and Humanitarian Law, Canadian Red Cross

Panel 3: A Review of Canada’s Middle East Engagement and Defense Strategy (3:00 PM - 4:15 PM ET)

In 2016, Canada launched an ambitious five-year “Middle East Engagement Strategy” (2016-2021), committing to investing CA$3.5 billion over five years to help establish the necessary conditions for security and stability, alleviate human suffering and enable stabilization programs in the region. In the latest development, during the meeting of the Global Coalition against ISIS, Minister of Foreign Affairs Marc Garneau announced more than $43.6 million in Peace and Stabilization Operations Program funding for 11 projects in Syria and Iraq.

With Canada’s Middle East Engagement Strategy expiring this year, it is time to examine and evaluate this massive investment in the Middle East region in the past five years. More importantly, the panel will discuss a principled and strategic roadmap for the future of Canada’s short-term and long-term engagement in the Middle East.

Panelists:

Ferry de Kerckhove: Canada’s Former Ambassador to Egypt

Dennis Horak: Canada’s Former Ambassador to Saudi Arabia

Chris Kilford: Former Canadian Defence Attaché in Turkey, member of the national board of the Canadian International Council (CIC)

David Dewitt: University Professor Emeritus, York University

Panel 2: The Great Power Competition in the Middle East (12:00 PM - 1:15 PM ET)

While the United States continues to pull back from certain regional conflicts, reflected by the Biden administration’s decision to halt American backing for Saudi Arabia’s intervention in Yemen and the expected withdrawal from Afghanistan, US troops continue to be stationed across the region. Meanwhile, Russia and China have significantly maintained and even expanded their regional activities. On one hand, the Kremlin has maintained its military presence in Syria, and on the other hand, China has signed an unprecedented 25-year strategic agreement with Iran.

As the global power structure continues to shift, it is essential to analyze the future of the US regional presence under the Biden administration, explore the emerging global rivalry with Russia and China, and at last, investigate the implications of such competition for peace and security in the Middle East.

Panelists:

Dmitri Trenin: Director of Carnegie Moscow Center

Joost R. Hiltermann: Director of MENA Programme, International Crisis Group

Roxane Farmanfarmaian: Affiliated Lecturer in International Relations of the Middle East and North Africa, University of Cambridge

Andrew A. Michta: Dean of the College of International and Security Studies at Marshall Center

Kelley Vlahos: Senior Advisor, Quincy Institute

Panel 1: A New Middle East Security Architecture in the Making (10:30 AM -11:45 AM ET)

The security architecture of the Middle East has undergone rapid transformations in an exceptionally short period. Notable developments include the United States gradual withdrawal from the region, rapprochement between Israel and some GCC states through the Abraham Accords and the rise of Chinese and Russian regional engagement.

With these new trends in the Middle East, it is timely to investigate the security implications of the Biden administration’s Middle East policy. In this respect, we will discuss the Biden team’s new approach vis-à-vis Iran, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and Israel. The panel will also discuss the role of other major powers, including China and Russia in shaping this new security environment in the region, and how the Biden administration will respond to these powers’ increasing regional presence.

 

Panelists:

Sanam Vakil: Deputy Director of MENA Programme at Chatham House

Denise Natali: Acting Director, Institute for National Strategic Studies & Director of the Center for Strategic Research, National Defense University

Hassan Ahmadian: Professor of the Middle East and North Africa Studies, University of Tehran

Abdulaziz Sagar: Chairman, Gulf Research Center

Andrew Parasiliti: President, Al-Monitor