London conference 2023

Strategic cooperation: Principles and priorities for a modern multilateralism.

Special event
29 June 2023 — 8:00AM TO 7:00PM
UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly speaking at the 2023 London Conference.

The world continues to face an uncertain global picture with Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, a resurgence in geopolitical competition between China and the West, and many countries battling inflationary pressures and the aftershocks of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addressing these challenges, the international system of rules, laws and pacts appears to be foundering. Globalization, economic integration, and cooperation are giving way in the contest over resources and inflation.

Yet many global problems cannot be addressed without cooperation between allies and between strategic competitors. The ideals, principles and incentives that lead to consensus need to be renewed. The 2023 London Conference explored how this could be done.

Plenary sessions were on the record.                   


About Chatham House

Chatham House’s mission is to help governments and societies build a sustainably secure, prosperous and just world. We pursue this through dialogue, analysis and solutions-based ideas, and by empowering the next generation to build a better world.

About London Conference

The London Conference is our flagship event launched in 2014 where solutions to global challenges are explored, bringing together an internationally diverse and multigenerational gathering of policymakers and representatives from the private sector, academia, NGOs, and civil society.

View all London Conference 2023 transcripts


Thursday 29 June (timings subject to change)

Registration and refreshments



  • Why does multilateralism matter?

  • What gives multilateral systems authority and legitimacy?

  • How can it work in a world of geopolitical rivalries and strategic competition?

Chair: Bronwen Maddox, Director and Chief Executive, Chatham House


Opening address | The UK in the world

The Rt Hon James Cleverly MP, Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, UK
Chair: Bronwen Maddox, Director and Chief Executive, Chatham House


Plenary session 1 | How can there be a lasting peace in Ukraine?

  • How is the war reshaping the global security order?

  • What are the dangers inherent in quick fixes and premature peace deals?

  • What have been the lessons for multilateral responses to security crises and threats of armed conflict?

  • When is the right time to negotiate with Russia?

Address: Olha Stefanishyna, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Government of Ukraine
Orysia Lutsevych, Deputy Director, Russia and Eurasia Programme; Head, Ukraine Forum, Chatham House
Garry Kasparov, Chairman, Human Rights Foundation
Jonathan Powell, Director, Inter Mediate
Julianne Smith, US Ambassador to NATO
Chair: Lindsey Hilsum, International Editor, Channel 4


In conversation | Geopolitics, energy security and climate change

Dr Fatih Birol, Executive Director, International Energy Agency
Chair: Antony Froggatt, Deputy Director, Environment and Society Programme, Chatham House




Plenary session 2 | How can countries respond to great power competition?

  • Can the multilateral system manage geopolitical flashpoints between rival powers? Can it prevent clashes from escalating into conflict?

  • What lessons can be drawn from global responses to intensified competition between the US and China

  • What are the security and economic implications for middle powers of a return to great power competition?

Wu Hongbo, Special Representative on European Affairs, Chinese Government
Martin Wolf, Chief Economics Commentator, Financial Times
Norbert Röttgen MdB, Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, German Bundestag
Sanam Vakil, Director, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House
Robert Kagan, Stephen & Barbara Friedman Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution
Chair: Leslie Vinjamuri, Director, US and the Americas programme; Dean, Queen Elizabeth II Academy for Leadership in International Affairs, Chatham House




In conversation | Conflict, humanitarian crises, and the limits of multilateralism

Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed, Prime Minister of Yemen
Chair: Lyse Doucet, Chief International Correspondent, BBC


In conversation | The new security order and the UK’s strategy refresh

The Rt Hon James Heappey MP, Minister of State for Armed Forces and Veterans, UK
Chair: Patricia Lewis, Research Director, International Security, Chatham House


Plenary session 3 | How can countries shield against economic shocks?

  • Is ‘deglobalization’ continuing? Is economic nationalism on the rise? 

  • How can governments work through multilateral institutions to pre-empt economic shocks and crises?

  • How will geopolitical considerations shape decisions on international trade and investment?

Isabelle Mateos y Lago, Managing Director, Global Head of the Official Institutions Group, BlackRock
Karthik Ramanna, Professor of Business and Public Policy, Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford
Raghuram Rajan, Katherine Dusak Miller Distinguished Service Professor of Finance, University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Jonathan Black, Heywood Fellow, Blavatnik School of Government; UK G7 & G20 Sherpa (2019 – 2022)
Chair: Juliet Samuel, Columnist, The Times


Afternoon break


Plenary session 4 | How can the world address the climate emergency?

  • Has Russia’s invasion of Ukraine accelerated the energy transition?

  • Is there a need for revised systems for international energy governance?

  • How can climate action be protected from the ebbs and flows of geopolitics and international relations?

  • Does the existing international climate architecture help or hinder the delivery of the commitments of the Paris Agreement? Can it be improved, or should it be abolished?

Jennifer Morgan, State Secretary and Special Envoy for International Climate Action, German Federal Foreign Office
The Rt Hon Edward Miliband MP, Shadow Secretary of State of Climate Change and Net Zero, UK Government 
Thomas Thune Andersen, Chairperson, Ørsted and Lloyds Register
Nancy Karigithu, Principal Secretary, State Department for Shipping and Maritime, Kenya 
Chair: Bernice Lee, Hoffmann Distinguished Fellow for Sustainability; Chair, Sustainability Accelerator Advisory Board, Chatham House


Closing address


Closing remarks and end of conference


Drinks reception


Conference dinner (by invitation)