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DiploNews – Issue 171 – 3 December 2010

DiploNews – Issue 171 – December 3, 2010

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Online Study for the New Year

Start planning now to make the most of 2011! You are invited to apply for the following courses beginning the week of 21 February 2011:

These courses are available as University of Malta Accredited Courses (application deadline 20 December 2010) and as Diplo Certificate Courses (application deadline 17 January 2011). For further information or to apply, click on the titles of the courses above, or visit our courses website.

WikiLeaks and E-Diplomacy

The bloggers on Diplo’s E-diplomacy website have closely followed recent developments relevant to e-diplomacy, such as the WikiLeaks scandal and the question of security of information in diplomacy. Here's a taste:

In a matter of a few days, Julian Assange managed to direct everyone's attention to WikiLeaks and the release of the diplomatic cables. While WikiLeaks has satiated the curiosity of many, the long-term impact may not be so positive. Jovan Kurbalija’s blog on How will WikiLeaks affect diplomacy?’explores the positive and negative consequences of this leak on diplomacy.

You can find more blogs on edip.diplomacy.edu.

UN Conferences on Biological Diversity and Climate Change

With the tenth meeting of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Nagoya, Japan just behind us and the Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in full swing, the last third of this year seems dedicated to environmental questions. While both cases may yield progress on a small scale, both carry the weight of unfulfilled expectations. Although the meeting on biological diversity has ended with a strong commitment to protect species, a plan for funding these initiatives is still to be drawn up (see, for example, a BBC News report). On the other hand, the Cancún conference faces the failure of last year’s meeting. The general consensus is that a broad and binding agreement on combating climate change is very unlikely, but that progress in some areas such as protecting forests and climate financing is possible. For a general overview see the Guardian report. Apart from the shortcomings in their substance, both conferences raise questions about the usefulness of large-scale UN conferences, with yet another coming soon: the 2012 Earth Summit on Sustainable Development will be held 20 years after the original Rio Conference on Environment and Development, which is the origin of both the above conventions. Maybe not all hope is lost; but a re-assessment of the usefulness of these global events seems in order.

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