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DiploNews – Issue MSD – 21 January 2004


DiploNews – Special Issue – Diplomacy and the Multi-stakeholder Approach, January 21, 2004

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The World Summit on the Information Society (Geneva, December 2003) re-confirmed the importance of the multi-stakeholder approach in current international affairs. The framework of traditional multilateral diplomacy is too narrow to address the various social, political and economic issues related to many current issues in the international field, in this case, the information society. The ICT for Development platform, a parallel event to the WSIS, was a successful attempt to involve other stakeholders, beyond states, in the WSIS process.

Activities involving both Internet Governance training and research on the multi-stakeholder approach will be high on Diplo’s agenda for this year. We plan the following events:


Second International Conference on Intercultural Communication and Diplomacy

This conference, to be held from 13-15 February, 2004, in Malta, will focus on communication between organisational and professional cultures; an issue at the core of the multi-stakeholder approach. Several of the papers to be presented at this conference will reflect on experience from the WSIS.

Professor Geert Hofstede, author of Cultures and Organisations: Software of the Mind, and Cultures Consequences: Comparing Values, Behaviors, Institutions and Organizations Across Nations will make a keynote presentation at the conference, on “Diplomats as Cultural Bridge Builders”. For further information and registration visit the conference website.


Multi-stakeholder Approach to Training

DiploFoundation’s first multi-stakeholder course on Information Society Governance concluded in December 2003 with the attendance of course participants at the WSIS in Geneva. The course started with an introductory workshop in Belgrade (September 2003) and continued through an online learning phase (October-November 2003). The participant group consisted of representatives from the ministry of foreign affairs, other governmental departments, NGOs, the business sector and media. Diplo will continue to pursue a multi-stakeholder approach in its training activities planned for 2004. Exposure to a multi-stakeholder approach during training helps diplomats and others involved in international relations interact and communicate better when they meet in the international diplomatic arena.


Research on the Multi-stakeholder Approach

During preparations for the World Summit on the Information Society, Diplo initiated research on the multi-stakeholder approach in the context of the summit. This was a first step towards broader investigations we would like to carry out in this field of high relevance for the future of modern diplomacy. Research should be based on a collaborative effort: we would like to invite institutions and individuals to express an interest to support and/or participate in this research.

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