DiploNews - Issue 146 - September 15, 2009

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Workshops on Language and Influence and on Protocol and Etiquette

The workshops, Language and Influence and Business Protocol and Etiquette, organised by DiploFoundation, will be held consecutively in Malta between 5 and 10 October 2009. Based on a knowledge-sharing methodology, the workshops provide training in language and protocol skills, addressing both inter-personal and cross-cultural issues. The workshops are aimed at business executives and professionals in the private and public sector who wish to improve their social and interpersonal skills when dealing with people from different cultural backgrounds. Due to the practical, personal, hands-on nature of the workshops, only a limited number of participants will be accepted. Applicants may choose to attend one of the two workshops or both. Special rates apply for participants attending both workshops, early bird, or group bookings. Note the application deadline: 18 September 2009.

2010 Master / Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary Diplomacy

You are invited to apply for the popular Master/Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary Diplomacy, offered through the University of Malta. This blended learning programme offers a valuable opportunity for diplomats and other international relations professionals to continue studies while remaining on the job. The application deadline is 15 October. For more information and to apply please see the course webpage.

Understanding Diplomacy - Workshop for Journalists

Diplomats and journalists are among the main protagonists of international affairs. Together on the same stage of international affairs, but with different roles, they shape many modern developments. The collaboration between these two professions inevitably brings tensions, misunderstandings and, sometimes conflicts. On 18 September, Diplo will run a workshop in Geneva with the aim to increase the understanding of diplomacy among journalists. The workshop will look “under the bonnet” of modern diplomacy, focussing on procedures, professional cultures and the way diplomacy operates.

Climate Action Letter: 87 Days to Copenhagen

On 10 September, the foreign ministers of the United Kingdom, Denmark, France, Finland, Sweden, and Spain published a joint letter to newspaper editors entitled “87 Days to Copenhagen.” The letter points to the “enormous diplomatic challenge” that the Copenhagen negotiations in December will pose and represents a renewed commitment to “press for a deal at Copenhagen of sufficient ambition to keep global warming to a maximum of 2 degrees.” The full letter can be found at the website of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Books on Diplomacy in September

As we know that diplomats have little time to fit reading and study into their schedules, we hope that a monthly review of new publications may assist in choosing some of the most relevant.

In Negotiating with Iran: Wrestling the Ghosts of History (United States Institute of Peace Press), the author, J. W. Limbert, addresses the issue of how to engage Iran diplomatically. Limbert has organised the book into case studies of past successes and failures (the Azerbaijan Crisis of 1945–47, the Oil Nationalization Crisis of 1951–53, the Embassy Hostage Crisis of 1979–81, and others) designed to serve as lessons for future negotiations. At the end, the author points out “Fourteen Steps to Success.” Part of a series on cross-cultural negotiation, the book gives ample consideration to historic and cultural dimensions. John Limbert is a career diplomat and, since 2006, Distinguished Professor of International Affairs at the U.S. Naval Academy. He is a student of the Persian language, and of the history and customs of Iran and has been a teacher in Iran. He also was one of the American diplomats held hostage in Iran between 1979 and 1981. More information, including two sample chapters, can be obtained from the publisher’s website.

A Journey on the Dark Side of the Moon 

Review of: Michael Soussan’s
Backstabbing for Beginners: My Crash Course in International Diplomacy
2008, New York, Nation Books, 332 pages

Review by Petru Dumitriu

On 21 April 2004, the Security Council adopted resolution 1538(2004), the most embarrassing resolution in the history of the United Nations. The resolution appointed a independent high-level inquiry whose mandate was to examine the administration and management of the Oil-for-Food Programme, including allegations of fraud and corruption on the part of United Nations officials. In this book, Michael Soussan presents an attractive version of his own on the facts revealed by the Independent Inquiry Committee, known as the “Volcker Committee.” The author does not compile information; rather, he is a witness and a protagonist, a journalist who had the chance to become the United Nations civil servant in charge of the Oil-for-Food operation. For the full review, see the Diplo website.

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