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DiploNews – Issue 96 – 3 January 2007

DiploNews – Issue 96 – January 3, 2007

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February 2007 Online Courses

We are currently accepting applications for the upcoming short online course starting in February 2007:

Courses are designed to allow working diplomats and others involved in international relations to continue their education by learning about new topics in the field of diplomacy, or to expand and refresh their knowledge of more traditional topics. Courses require 10 weeks of part-time study, typically 6 to 8 hours per week. Successful participants are awarded a postgraduate level certificate from DiploFoundation.
The application deadline for courses beginning in February 2007 is January 15, 2007. For further information, click on the titles of the courses above, or visit the Diplo website.

Deal on .com Future

The United States government has approved a controversial deal over the future of the lucrative .com net domain. Verisign has run the domain since 1999 and has now won the right to continue its control until 2012. The deal also gives it the right to raise prices to renew .com domains in four of the six years of the contract. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration retains final approval of any price increases and of subsequent renewal of the .com contract. However, when ICANN unveiled the deal, it was criticised for giving Verisign control over .com for such a long period.
The .com domain is by far the most popular of the net’s addresses and, currently, 59 million registered domains use the suffix. Verisign maintains the address books of who owns which .com domain and runs the computers that direct web users’ computers to the right place.
For more details and links, see the BBC news story.

Conference on Diplomacy of Small States

DiploFoundation will hold its annual conference in Malta 8 to 9 February 2007. This year’s conference addresses Diplomacy of Small States and the challenges that small states face in achieving better participation in global affairs with fewer resources. Practitioners and academics will present their ideas on such issues as the organisation of diplomatic services, crisis management, the conduct of complex negotiations, innovative forms of representation, and the use of the Internet and ICT in diplomacy.

Although diplomacy of small states differs from that of larger and more powerful states, small states are viable and active partners within the international community. In the diplomacy of small states, a higher premium is placed on persuasion and consensus-building than on power politics.

The many issues of how small states may participate in the increasingly dynamic arena of global affairs deserve focused consideration within an environment of knowledgeable individuals. This is the purpose of the Conference. Interested contributors may submit a one-page proposal by 05 January 2007.

More information is available at the Conference website.

Internet or internet?

Sometimes lexical detail can carry considerable policy consequences. According to a recent article in the International Herald Tribune, the Internet with capital “I” suggests its uniqueness, while the internet with a lower case “i” suggests that it is just another telecommunication device. This difference may effect policy decisions. The Tribune argues that by suggesting the use of the lower case letter, the International Telecommunications Union is trying to increase its control over the medium by considering it as just another telecommunications device. However, with a capital letter, it would retain a special status and remain out of control of the ITU.

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