In this interdependent world, diplomacy is no longer just the ethically superior choice to military solutions, but a necessity for solving complex governance issues.

For many, diplomacy is an elitist world of secrecy and black limousines. Traditionally, it has been the organised machinery for maintaining relations among societies. But we believe that it is more than this: diplomacy is a tool for solving conflicts in modern society through negotiation and compromise.

Diplomacy is more important today than ever before. In our interconnected and interdependent world, we cannot solve problems just by using force (consider Iraq and Afghanistan). Diplomacy is therefore not just an ethically superior choice; it is practically the only one left to us.

But diplomacy is undermined by a fundamental imbalance. Small and developing states are in a relatively weak position in the conduct of international policy processes; their limited resources mean that they do not have a large enough pool of professional, confident, competent international staff. As a result, small and developing states are not equally or effectively represented, so the total effect is diminished and lacks the creativity they would bring. Also, they may feel excluded and therefore reluctant to commit to processes that they perceive do not represent their interests and needs.

Diplo is addressing this problem by helping small and developing states build the capacity to engage effectively in international policy processes, negotiations, and diplomacy.

Origins

Diplo emerged from a project to introduce information and communication technology (ICT) tools to the practice of diplomacy, initiated in 1992 at the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies in Malta. In November 2002, Diplo was established as an independent non-profit foundation by the governments of Malta and Switzerland.