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DiploNews – Issue 130 – 4 December 2008

DiploNews – Issue 130 – December 4, 2008

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Diplo at the Internet Governance Forum

This week, Diplo staff members and associates from dozens of countries worldwide are meeting in Hyderabad, India, to participate in the Internet Governance Forum (3-6 December 2008). Diplo is playing a prominent role in this event, offering workshops on “Net Neutrality: Examining the Issues and Implications for Development,” “Best Practices Forum: Internet Governance Capacity Building,” “Youth and Internet Governance: Challenges for the Future,” and contributing on the main panel, “Dimensions of Cyber Security and Cyber Crime.” Please see the website for Diplo’s planned events. In an effort to spread participation in this important event beyond the confines of the conference centre in Hyderabad, Diplo associates have organised an innovative means of remote participation through hubs in Bogota, Belgrade, Madrid, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Pune, Lahore, and Barcelona. Along with webcasting of the whole event, in each city a meeting will promote local debate and awareness, and each hub may send contributions to the event in India.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office Launches Bilateral Diplomacy E-learning Course

On 6 November 2008, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office formally launched its ‘Bilateral Diplomacy’ e-learning course in London, in the presence of an invited audience that represented senior officials of the FCO, other UK government departments and those that had contributed to the development of the course. Speaking at the launch, Darryl Langton (Head of E-Learning Programme, HRD – RADICAL) noted that Kishan Rana’s book Bilateral Diplomacy served as the basis of the course.

Scott Wightman (Director – Asia-Pacific) said: “It's for local staff overseas, for people not working on policy issues at the moment, and for those who have only just joined us. It has the potential to be a very useful tool to help you understand this key aspect of the FCO’s business.” He also called it very interactive, and believed it would engage people. Agnes Annells, a recently recruited desk officer called the course clear and interesting, adding: “it shows you how foreign policy is put into action by several characters in a fictional embassy. That brings the concepts to life and makes it very engaging.”

The FCO believes that this training method will be in greater use in the future. It is developing two new courses covering “Creative Thinking” and “Strategic Thinking.”

Diplo adds: Kishan Rana’s book was used as a platform for a distance learning course developed by DiploFoundation, which in turn was acquired by the FCO, and adapted for its use by Walkgrove Learning and Development, which in turn relied on several subject matter experts. This adaptation was further refined by the FCO’s own experts. The end product is a very effective e-learning programme that covers one of the key building blocks of diplomacy. It is typically completed in about two hours, giving the user flexibility in pursuing it as per the user’s convenience.

February 2009 Courses

Diplo invites you to apply for the following courses, beginning the week of 23 February 2009:

These courses are available as University of Malta Accredited Courses (application deadline 22 December 2008) and as Diplo Certificate Courses (application deadline 19 January 2009). For further information or to apply, click on the titles of the courses above, or visit our courses website.

Master's Graduation – University of Malta

Congratulations to the six candidates who graduated with the Master in Contemporary Diplomacy from the University of Malta and Diplo, on Monday, 24 November 2008. The graduation ceremony took place at the Jesuit’s church in Valletta, Malta. The graduates and their research topics were: Patricia Duran Cotrina (The European Union and the Latin American and the Caribbean Dialogue: Building a Strong Partnership); Shkendije Geci (Kosovo’s Final Status Negotiation Process: A Way Out or Cul-de-Sac?); Eleonora Merlicco (The Italian Public Administration: Ideas for Innovation); Ibrahim Naeem (Economic and Commercial Diplomacy in Micro-states: A Case Study of the Maldives and Mauritius); Antonis Sammoutis (Bilateral Relations between Cyprus and Germany: 1960 – 1968); and Ljuben Tevdovski (Cultural Diplomacy:  An Essential and Creative Component in the Toolkit of Contemporary Diplomacy – Theoretical and Comparative Study with a Special Focus on Macedonia). We would like to thank the Diplo faculty members who supervised the work of these graduates.

The International Energy Agency Endorses Climate Change and Energy Policy

After reviewing the 2008 “climate change and energy package” of the European Union, the International Energy Agency has spoken highly of the “bold and innovative” policies. The most significant features of the package are the development of carbon capture and storage ideas, and the proposal of national renewable energy targets for each member state. The International Energy Agency has commented that, if successfully implemented, these policies will transform the way the Union produces and uses energy. The package also further liberalises its energy market to promote clean energy sources such as wind, and establishes sound relationships with important supply nations. However, the Union now faces serious challenges in funding. To turn policies into reality, the EU must significantly increase research investment. For more information, please visit the website of the International Energy Agency.

— thanks to JingJing Xia

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