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New: ASEF, in partnership with DiploFoundation, will organise a Model ASEM - a 3-day youth conference and political simulation of the actual ASEM Summit. Model ASEM is a platform for political debate and negotiation where over 150 participants from the 51 ASEM countries have the possibility to experience first-hand Asia-Europe diplomacy through role-play exercises, practical training, as well as meetings with the ASEM Leaders of today. Read more and apply here.

Face-to-face training, Bangkok, August 2015

The “Asia-Europe Public Diplomacy Training Initiative” was set up in 2013 by DiploFoundation, the Asia-Europe Foundation, and the National Centre for Research on Europe – University of Canterbury, to help promote and facilitate skills training for diplomats and civil society actors. The aim of the initiative is to improve public diplomacy efforts between the countries of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) process.

The initiative utilises the findings of the existing ASEF dual perceptions studies, EU through the Eyes of Asia and Asia in the Eyes of Europe, in developing tool-kits and training modules focused on improving capacity among diplomats and civil society actors. The materials consist of vast amount of information that looks at how the EU is seen across Asia and vice versa.

Excerpt from the course material

Public diplomacy activities aim to help diplomats and other actors better understand the attitudes of foreign and domestic publics towards foreign policy, and to influence and shape their views on these issues. Effective public diplomacy can establish dialogue to improve the understanding between and among actors, and to inform and shape more positive mutual perceptions.

The studies offer feedback from 18 different countries in Asia and Europe during a pivotal period for both regions. This feedback includes the results of public opinion surveys of over 16,000 respondents, the analysis of over 9,000 news items, and the insights from face-to-face interviews with over 450 influential figures in Asia and Europe. The course materials/tool-kits incorporate this rich set of data to provide unique insights for diplomats and professionals and help them develop a deeper understanding of current perceptions, and provide useful information for their work in promoting Asia-Europe relations.

The project brings together a panel of experts on public diplomacy and perceptions who developed training modules, sector specific course materials and tool-kits. The materials form the basis for an 8-week online course and a 3-day face-to-face training module designed for early career diplomats and civil society actors invested in improving Asia-Europe relations.  To date, 204 participants split between 4 online courses and 3 face-to-face trainings attended the programme. The face-to-face trainings were held in Geneva (July 2014), Kuala Lumpur (March 2015), and Bangkok (August 2015).

This course gave me tremendous insight on public diplomacy and how to conduct a PD campaign in a receiving country. It is the most comprehensive and extensive online course I have ever joined; it let me explore opportunities to engage with high professional diplomats, professors, researchers, and other vigilant colleagues from both Asia and Europe. It is a very pro-active way of building an intercontinental diplomatic network.

Samnang Un, ASEM desk official, Europe Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Cambodia

 

The project is supported by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland and the Asia-Europe Foundation.

For more information, please contact Andrej Skrinjaric at andrejs@diplomacy.edu

Follow us on Twitter: #AsiaEurPD

 

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