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DiploNews – Issue 43 – 22 March 2002

DiploNews – Issue 43 – March 22, 2002

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DiploAward 2002

DiploProjects is organising the second annual award for the best website in the diplomatic community. The aim of this competition is to promote web-culture and awareness among diplomats and diplomatic services.

We are inviting users to nominate their favourite websites in the following categories:

  • Ministries of Foreign Affairs

  • Diplomatic or Consular Missions

  • International Organisations

  • Search Engine/Information Service in Diplomacy

  • Other Actors in Diplomacy (NGOs, Media, etc.) 

Nominated sites will be analysed by DiploProjects experts and users for a short list of twenty sites – five in each of the categories listed above.

E-mail Publication Leads to Diplomatic Row

The use of e-mail for diplomatic correspon-dence has led to some new issues regarding the security of correspondence. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported in February 2002 that Turkey's relations with the EU were suffering due to the publication in the local press of illegally intercepted e-mails written by the EU representative in Ankara. The EU has demanded that the Turkish government take steps to enhance the security of its diplomatic representation in Ankara. The EU pointed out that the correspondence was   protected under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Turkish prime minister Ecevit responded that the government was investigating the case but that "Internet piracy is a very widespread phenomenon across the world. Not a single country in the world has developed legal instruments to fight against it."

Does the US need better public diplomacy?

A December 8, 2001 article in the International Herald Tribune raises the question of whether the US is using adequate public diplomacy to maintain and improve its image abroad. Despite America's success in Afghanistan, nationals of many other countries have an increasingly negative, and according to the article, false impression of America and its values. Muslims see America as anti-Islam, despite the fact that America has saved the lives of tens of thousands of Muslims in the Gulf, Somalia, Bosnia and Kosovo. Europeans also hold misperceptions about many issues in America: crime, the death penalty, gun control, etc. "To correct these misperceptions," the author writes, "the United States must rebuild the power to persuade. Public diplomacy was an effective Cold War weapon. With the ideological war won, the resources and energy devoted to shaping the U.S. image abroad fell into dramatic decline. Yet the success of U.S. foreign policy is inexorably linked to America's ability to understand, inform and influence foreign publics. President George W. Bush should order a crash program to build weapons of mass communication."

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