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DiploNews – Issue 26 – 11 October 2000

DiploNews – Issue 26 – October 11, 2000

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Internet Guide for Diplomats, Second Edition

DiploPublishing announces the second edition of the Internet Guide for Diplomats. The first edition of this popular publication sold out within 6 months of printing, and we decided to publish a second edition rather than simply reprinting, in order to keep the information as up-to-date as possible. DiploProjects presented the Internet Guide for Diplomats to the United Nations Diplomatic Community in New York in September, 2000. More information about this presentation is available. More information on the Internet Guide and order forms is also available.

Internet Chat with the European Union

The European Union has begun to employ information technology as one means to publicise its work. An Internet chat, open to the public, has been scheduled with Pascal Lamy, European Trade Commissioner, for 16 October, 2000, from 18.00 to 20.00 (CET), on the topic "About time for a new round – let's go for it!" You can visit the website for further information (available in 11 languages).

Thanks to Dalibor Milenkovic for bringing this article to our attention.

US State Department and Information Technology

"The status quo is not an option," said Ira Magaziner, a keynote speaker at NetDiplomacy 2000, a conference on the Internet and Diplomacy attended predominantly by State Department Employees. This conference, beginning on October 2, 2000, addressed the need for change in the US Department of State to accommodate the role of new information technologies in diplomacy. Magaziner, a former White House advisor, pointed out that the role of the diplomat in the future will be more challenging: "While diplomats have traditionally worked with government, business and journalistic elites, the future will demand that they communicate with all levels of society in an interactive, timely manner." The steady increase in Internet access globally means that this future is not so far off. As the public becomes accustomed to increased participation via the Internet, they will come to expect more openness from public officials. Magaziner recommends that public diplomacy, in response, should become more responsive and interactive, suggesting the development of interactive websites which would invite visitors to join e-mail discussions of posted policy documents.

Magaziner is optimistic about the overall impact of information technology on a globalised world: he predicts that IT-based changes in public diplomacy will ultimately benefit US foreign policy goals and will promote American values around the world. "The Internet will make it impossible for repressive governments to close channels of information to people…improved global flow of information will advance democratic principles." At the same time, economic integration will increase. "All of these trends will combine to create improved international understanding, as people build communities in the digital world and learn to see a broader world beyond the one in which they live."

Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs , US Department of State.

Thanks to Stefano Baldi for sending us this article.

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