By Alex Gould
The U.S. Embassy in Peru knows that twenty-first century diplomacy is not limited to the conference room. Seeking innovative ways to convene diplomatic counterparts in the post-pandemic era, the embassy’s political section, with support from its public affairs section, launched a new initiative called Politics and Pours. In the first iteration, Alex Gould, one of the team’s political officers (who is also a certified sommelier), led nearly thirty diplomats from a dozen embassies in a guided tasting of six American wines—providing cultural and historical context for the wines while pairing each with a discussion question about Peruvian politics and international relations. Represented missions included Australia, Canada, the European Union, Greece, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and Uruguay.
In both breakout sessions and together as a group, participants addressed the biggest challenges facing Peru’s government. They discussed recent elections, Peru’s external relations, human rights, press freedoms, and cultural patrimony. Attendees also discussed collaboration opportunities including joint demarches, which allow likeminded embassies to approach the Peruvian government with a strong, unified front on shared priorities. In Peru, these joint demarches have been particularly successful on votes related to Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine. In the face of new global challenges to democracy, participants also toasted to the importance of longstanding alliances and partnerships.
The conversation and drinks will keep on flowing in Lima. The political section plans to feature American bourbons in its next iteration of Politics and Pours.
Alex Gould is a political officer at Embassy Lima.