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DiploNews – Issue 149 – 4 November 2009

DiploNews – Issue 149 – November 4, 2009

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Diplo in 2009 'Top 10 Who Are Changing the World of Internet and Politics'

On October 22, at the World e-Democracy Forum award ceremony in the French National Assembly, DiploFoundation received a prestigious award for its capacity development programme in Internet governance. Other laureates for 2009 included Google and Twitter. Through online training, online policy research, and policy immersion, Diplo has helped many developing countries, organisations, and individuals participate meaningfully in the global governance of the Internet. At the ceremony, Dr Jovan Kurbalija, founding director of Diplo, said: “Inclusive and diverse governance is the only way to address global issues such as climate change, migration, and the Internet.” He added: “Diplo’s capacity development programme assists small and developing countries who are often absent from global negotiations.” For more on the Internet governance programme, please see Diplo’s Internet Governance and Policy website. To read more about the award, please visit the World E-Democracy Forum website.

Professional Development Workshops in November

Public Speaking: “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you're right!” This short adage describes people’s attitudes to public speaking very succinctly: our mindset in large part determines our ability. The rest is practice, practice, practice, backed by a few handy insights into language and rhetoric. Diplo’s Public Speaking Workshop provides a comfortable environment in which to acquire a can-do attitude, in which to practice, and in which to learn various tricks and pitfalls of public speaking.

Time (Stress) Management: Information technologies have given us the ability to communicate almost instantly to others across the globe (via e-mail, instant messaging, smart phones, SMS, notebook computers, and wi-fi). This has extended the working day for many people to 24 hours. While this new culture has become popular, it raises concern among scientific and medical communities that it becomes a recipe for poor performance, unhealthy levels of stress and, when driving a vehicle, lethal consequences. Diplo’s workshop on Time (Stress) Management will focus on making the most of one’s efforts, and offers practical hints and tips on how to make time (since one will never find it) and focus on an appropriate work-life balance.

Crisis Communications: Crisis communication and crisis management may not touch everyone everyday, but dealing with crises can be high stress events. Diplo’s workshop on Crisis Communications will provide guidelines on successful practices in dealing with crises and, in particular, in dealing with the media.


For more information on all workshops please visit Diplo’s Professional Development website.

2010 Master/Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary Diplomacy

You are invited to apply for the popular Master/Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary Diplomacy, offered through the University of Malta. This blended learning programme offers a valuable opportunity for diplomats and other international relations professionals to continue studies while remaining on the job. Applications will be accepted as long as places remain in the programme. For more information and to apply please see the course webpage. 

US State Department Uses “Proxy” Diplomats to Resolve Crises 

An interesting article concerning “proxy” diplomats appeared in The Washington Times recently. The article’s focus was US Senator Kerry’s recent trip to Afghanistan and his talks with president Karzai, the third time that the US administration has used so-called proxy diplomats to intervene in a major crisis abroad (after Senator Jim Webb’s trip to Myanmar and former president Bill Clinton’s visit to North Korea, both in August). Generally, those activities seem to fall under the idea of “expanding the diplomatic tools in the toolbox.” The article looks into the three cases and raises questions about the political implications of using proxy diplomats.

New Social Media: Use and Misuse

Last week, ABC News reported on the US Helsinki Commission’s hearing on new media in authoritarian regimes. The Commission’s findings are not surprising, but important to bear in mind. One of the most important points is that social media will give a voice and power to all kinds of social and political movements, not just the forces that those in the West would like to see empowered. On the one hand, we see Iranian protesters using Twitter and Facebook; on the other, “the Internet has made it much more effective and cheaper to spread propaganda.”

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