In our monthly WebDebate, which is organised in the context of the International Forum on Diplomatic Training (IFDT), we looked at Multilateral diplomacy in times of COVID-19. When we observe the responses to the COVID-19 crisis, we seem to encounter...
 9 Apr 2020

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If ever there was a time for governments to get their communications right, it is now. Governments everywhere are under scrutiny for what they say, how accurately they report facts, and what actions they are proposing. COVID-19 is spreading faster th...
 7 Apr 2020

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We all know that language changes over time, but we rarely have the chance to watch it mutate in real time, and few of us could have imagined that it would change as fast as it has in the last few weeks. From the coinage of new words (social distanci...
 2 Apr 2020

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The coronavirus has been credited with catalysing a shift from a self-centred ‘I’ society to another-centred ‘we’ society. The focus on individual well-being and material wealth that has shaped many people’s identity and aspirations for the last half...
 26 Mar 2020

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Two Caribbean nations, Guyana and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, currently hold important positions within the United Nations. At its plenary meeting on 22 November 2019, the Group of 77 (G77) at the United Nations – a coalition of 135 developing ...
 12 Feb 2020

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The US Department of State has announced its conclusion that requiring Anne Sacoolas to return to the UK to face a criminal charge would set a precedent that would weaken diplomatic law. However, a closer look at diplomatic law reveals that this clai...
 30 Jan 2020

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When Greta Thunberg travelled by boat and train to attend the recent UN Climate Change Summit in 2019, she sent a wake-up call to diplomats and policymakers to search for innovative digital diplomacy tools, such as online conferencing, to reduce flyi...
 8 Jan 2020

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Artificial intelligence (AI) is starting to influence decision-making in foreign affairs and diplomacy. It has been reported that in recent years, a Chinese AI ​​system has reviewed almost every foreign investment project. The Chinese Department of E...
 17 Dec 2019

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Nine students have just graduated Master in Contemporary Diplomacy from the University of Malta and DiploFoundation. Four of the students undertook a specialisation in Internet governance. The graduates and their research topics were:  Amir Kiyaei ...
 22 Nov 2019

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When the abuse of diplomatic immunity is alleged to have occurred it usually refers to diplomatic officers taking advantage of their special status under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961) (VCDR) to avoid penalties for misdemeanours...
 15 Oct 2019

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A week has passed since the opening of the annual General Debate of the UN General Assembly (UNGA). The time is just about right for a stocktake of what has been discussed.  National delegations took the stage at the UN Headquarters in New York on 2...
 3 Oct 2019

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In our May WebDebate, we discussed science diplomacy, focusing on the question of preparing the future generation of diplomats for this emerging field. We unpacked the concept of science diplomacy and discussed its growing implications and importance...
 18 Sep 2019

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  'Who do I call if I want to call Europe?' asked Kissinger a few decades ago. The essence of Kissinger’s question could easily translate to the digital context: who do we call to solve our digital problems? And I would even go a step further and as...
 5 Sep 2019

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The practice of diplomacy is changing. Unlike some years ago, it now involves new actors and subjects. These changes have necessarily created new ways of interactions. Governments, the private sector, academia, and the science community all have a ne...
 25 Jun 2019

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A total of 104 participants successfully finished five Diplo courses which ran between February and May this year. These five courses had a widespread reach. In fact, participants hailed from 58 countries all around the world. This marks an overal...
 18 Jun 2019

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In our June WebDebate, we explored the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) for peacemaking:  the opportunities AI tools offer for mediation, the feasibility of these tools, and how they fit into the role and work of the mediator. We were joined...
 17 Jun 2019

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In this blog post, I want to respond to some of the questions that were raised during our recent WebDebate on humanising immigration. This is crucial for keeping the discussion going and doing justice to all the valuable questions and comments we rec...
 13 Mar 2019

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Our March WebDebate explored conflicting narratives on immigration and delved into the challenges and opportunities of intercultural relations in the context of diplomatic practice. We were joined by Ms Ifigenia Georgiadou (Hellenic Culture Centre, G...
 13 Mar 2019

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In our February WebDebate, we looked at Arctic diplomacy. We were joined by Dr Danita Catherine Burke (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellow at the Center for War Studies at the University of Southern Denmark), Prof. Paul Berkman (Professor of Pra...
 13 Feb 2019

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Earlier this year, we were intrigued by the discovery of the oldest intact shipwreck ever found – a Greek vessel from about 400BCE – on the bottom of the Black Sea. Ships such as this one carried trade, and with it diplomatic relations, between the c...
 18 Dec 2018

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Eleven students have graduatedMaster in Contemporary Diplomacyfrom theUniversity of Malta and DiploFoundation. Six of the students undertook a specialisation in Internet governance. The graduates and their research topi...
 28 Nov 2018

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In the debates surrounding the sustainable development goals (SDGs), a huge emphasis has been placed on having the right kind of data in working towards the global goals. We are encouraged to ‘measure what we treasure’ to achieve the 2030 development...
 10 Nov 2018

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The world is full of diplomacies and diplomats – and in Denmark, the classic diplomat in the foreign office often has an educational background in politics and economics. But understanding emotions and human behaviour is an important skill to have if...
 29 Oct 2018

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Some points of law concerning this sickening and profoundly worrying case need clearing up. I am not a diplomatic lawyer and I have no knowledge of any relevant recent case law but I have had occasion in the past to brood on theVienna Conventio...
 22 Oct 2018

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You do not have to be a fan of conspiracy theories to worry about the precedent that Apple, YouTube and Facebook set by banning Alex Jones and Infowars.com. Jones complained that it was like ‘something out of “1984”’, as he does not know how to rebut...
 2 Oct 2018

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Last Friday, the German newspaper Die Zeit organised its third Artificial Intelligence (AI) conference. I was born in Germany and have just moved back after a nine-year stint in Great Britain, so I went to get my first direct impression of the countr...
 3 Sep 2018

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Educators as diplomats The act of teaching and learning is a form of intercultural communication. Teachers and students bridge generational, cultural, and linguistic differences daily in the classroom, and educators’ reflection on this ongoing int...
 1 Sep 2018

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In public international law, the subjects of the law are generally considered to be states and international organisations (IOs); people, corporations and other entities are not bound by, nor entitled to, the benefits of international law. It is ofte...
 17 Aug 2018

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As someone who has worked in public diplomacy since 2011, I do not remember a time when public diplomacy did not also mean digital diplomacy and, consequently, some manner of data diplomacy. From the beginning, the data we gleaned from social media w...
 6 Aug 2018

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We often discuss the issue of immunity of diplomats and consular officers from the jurisdiction of the receiving state. Rarely is the reverse considered; diplomats may sometimes require protection from their sending state.(1) An article by the Can...
 24 Jul 2018

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No true believer ever wavers! No true warrior dies in his bed! No true Norwegian takes sugar in coffee! No true American dishonours the stars and stripes! The No-true-Scotsman fallacy or ‘move’, as it is formally known, is an attempt to defend a gene...
 25 Jun 2018

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Can diplomacy be utilised by a state for its own domestic economic reforms? I attempt to answer this rather unconventional question – particularly focusing on the Philippine context – in my Master in Contemporary Diplomacy dissertation entitled Econo...
 14 Jun 2018

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This blog is the first in a series in which I explore intercultural communication (ICC) through the lens of logical fallacies, linking each fallacy to a current trend or event. I have chosen fallacies in the first instance because, as their name sugg...
 12 Jun 2018

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Many teachers use global literature to teach cultural and moral sensitivity and a global understanding of peace and wars. Yet the use of Arab and Jewish literature by teachers in the formation of attitudes is still vague. Noddings (2005, p. 132) r...
 22 May 2018

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In May 2017, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Denmark appointed the World's first 'tech ambassador' to Silicon Valley. The decision was quickly criticised in Denmark for providing a unnecessarily prominent platform for direc...
 2 May 2018

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The tech industry of the US California Bay Area has an unprecedented impact on the digital world. In addition to the technological advancements, it affects the economy, policy, and society, and engages with people worldwide. Technology is becoming sy...
 30 Apr 2018

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Microsoft has acknowledged that ‘the world needs new international rules to protect the public from nation state threats in cyberspace, and that ‘in short, the world needs a Digital Geneva Convention’. Mr Brad Smith, President and Chief Legal Offi...
 15 Mar 2018

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We leave digital footprints everywhere. Modern society is marked by data which is continuously generated through various devices and in numerous ways – such as through social media, Internet browsing, and through satellite images, among others. This ...
 13 Feb 2018

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Download the Press Release in PDF format Geneva, Switzerland, 8 February 2018: DiploFoundation has published a new report on Data Diplomacy: Updating Diplomacy to the Big Data Era, commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finla...
 9 Feb 2018

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Is diplomacy better off with the Internet? This question was on my mind as I was following the Twitter exchange between President Trump and the leaders of Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey. Each tweet escalated the rhetoric and moved us further from a peace...
 2 Feb 2018

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Two years ago, Diplo introduced a new capacity development programme, the Advanced Diploma in Internet Governance. The programme was built around a selection of online courses focussing on Internet governance (IG) issues: Introduction to Internet Gov...
 26 Jan 2018

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I am a little late to this particular party; however, in the middle of last year, a very interesting debate broke out between the blogs of Shaun Riordan, Katharina Hone and others on the subject of ‘new’ diplomacies. Does the proliferation of new ‘ki...
 22 Jan 2018

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Many issues in Internet governance are discussed on both the global and regional levels. For example, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) makes policy on domain names, while the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) discusses a ...
 16 Jan 2018

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The purpose of this blog is to give a new impulse to the discussion on the role of private business in today’s public diplomacy and to open the question on what exactly private public diplomacy means, and whether it should exist as a concept. If ther...
 2 Jan 2018

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Continued from Diplomacy in the Age of Trump – Part 1 Today, the neglect of the Foreign Service which has characterized our national security bureaucracy since the end of the Cold War has been replaced by an active attempt to destroy it. Other ins...
 8 Dec 2017

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When the conference organizers asked for a quick title for this talk, I came up with “Diplomacy in the Age of Trump”. But no matter how you measure it, an age is longer than this administration is likely to last, and a thorough discussion of the foll...
 8 Dec 2017

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Download the Press Release in PDF format Geneva, Switzerland, 6 December, 2017: The work done by the United Nations, international organisations, non-governmental organisations and other institutions in Geneva, has a global impact. It is...
 6 Dec 2017

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In November, Diplo celebrated 15 years of DiploFoundation and 25 years of research and training on Internet and diplomacy. To mark this milestone, we reflected on the role of diplomacy in the modern era, and the impact of technology and other area...
 5 Dec 2017

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In 2006, as I was selected by my country to fulfil the role of ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to the Republic of Indonesia, and I found myself searching for options to further my education in the diplomatic field, without having to susp...
 14 Nov 2017

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Disruption is today’s norm. International affairs are not exempt. Ability to handle disruption is needed in all professions. Disruption does not only come via technology, and can affect any area of activity. By its nature, it is unpredictable. We ...
 23 Oct 2017

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The 9th BRICS summit which took place from 3-5 September, in Xiamen, has once again stimulated a debate about whether the grouping has become a new dominant actor for global governance. Alongside the G7 (Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan...
 18 Oct 2017

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Data and statistics have been gaining increased attention at the global level. One of the main discussions right now surrounds the value and use of data. The Economist asserts that ‘the value of data is increasing,’ and that ‘data are to this c...
 10 Oct 2017

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If they existed, could AI robots have helped resolve the USA-North Korean crisis? How long will it take for AI to be used in negotiations, or to alter diplomatic practice as we know it today? Negotiations are one of the most human-intensive ...
 15 Sep 2017

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DiploFoundation’s September WebDebate asked whether we should take new diplomacies seriously. As moderator Dr Katharina Höne noted, with the term ‘new diplomacy’ gaining traction, it is important to debate and raise critical questions about it and it...
 12 Sep 2017

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Diplo is pleased to announce a new partnership on diplomatic training with the National Foreign Service Institute (ISEN) of Argentina. This summer, the two institutions signed a memorandum of understanding with the aim to promote and develop mutual c...
 12 Sep 2017

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Can poetry help diplomacy? A joke, surely! Poetry and diplomacy are worlds apart and have nothing in common other than using language as a medium. Diplomacy is devoid of poetry unless, that is, we count the alliteration in President Trump’s ‘fire and...
 9 Sep 2017

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In 2016, according to a Gallup poll, 73% of Americans cited cyberterrorism as a leading threat to vital US interests in the next 10 years. However, what does it really mean when we deduce that there is a threat of cyberterrorism? Do we know who the t...
 3 Aug 2017

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‘We must end the obsession with creating new “types” of diplomacy.’ writes Shaun Riordan in his recent post for the blog of the Center on Public Diplomacy. Indeed, those practices we describe as diplomacy are expanding. We are seeing discussions on d...
 30 Jun 2017

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Information has always been at the core of diplomacy. The increase in quantity and quality of information on which states and other actors in international relations can rely for decision-making presents an opportunity for the advancement of diplomat...
 15 Jun 2017

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Our June WebDebate A New Bilateralism in a Changing World took place on 6 June 2017. The emerging trend of isolationism and skepticism toward multilateralism has helped revive interest in the subject of bilateral diplomacy. Since Ambassador Kishan ...
 12 Jun 2017

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Download the Press Release in PDF format Geneva, Switzerland, 9 June, 2017: Graduates of the Just-in-Time Course on Digital Commerce were in for something innovative as they attended their graduation ceremony on 7 June, at the WMO Buildi...
 9 Jun 2017

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Digital devices play an increasingly central role in many people's lives and analogue tools are becoming quickly outdated. Phone books, travel agencies, and taxi companies are becoming obsolete with the advent of mobile phones, Airbnb, Uber, and coun...
 16 May 2017

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Public speaking ranks among the top five things that scare people. Some of us would rather jump into a pool of spiders, hug a clown, or willingly sit through a dental procedure without anaesthesia, just to avoid the possibility of being publicl...
 8 May 2017

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What makes one set of words more convincing than another, and how can language best be put to work in the service of diplomacy, international relations, business, and all other aspects of contemporary life? How do digital communication channels aff...
 23 Mar 2017

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In our March WebDebate, we explored the contribution of diplomats to literature and cultural heritage and also looked at how art and diplomacy can be usefully combined. We asked: What can we learn from diplomats who also engage in the arts? What role...
 14 Mar 2017

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On 8 February 2017, the Geneva Engage Awards recognised the outstanding efforts of Geneva-based organisations in social media engagement during last year. The awards, now an annual event, form part of the Geneva Engage initiative. On the occasion of ...
 3 Mar 2017

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While studying documents on the ‘treaty of friendship’signed between the State Department and the CIA in 1977, which – by providing assurances that Agency operations would no longer cause nasty surprises to diplomats – was designed to improve r...
 13 Feb 2017

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‘Who would want to be a diplomat now? Civil servants are judged as though they are reality TV contestants, while reality TV stars have inherited the Earth.’ So writes one of theGuardian’s sharpest columnists,Marina Hyde, in the wake of th...
 13 Feb 2017

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Filter bubbles describe how our online experiences are taking place in a tailor-made, personalised world that shows like-minded visions and hides views we might not agree with. In 2016, discussions about filter bubbles were on a rise, growing in forc...
 12 Jan 2017

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Collective decision making is not alien to African culture. In many traditional societies, decisions were made by a council after listening to the views of different age groups and other societal groupings. In Kenya for example, bodies such as the Bu...
 19 Dec 2016

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Co-authored with Ms Diana Madibekova Diplomacy as a practice crucially depends on the use of language. The words of diplomats can foster agreement, persuade, or create tensions. Similarly, international law creates meaning and obligations through ...
 6 Nov 2016

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Our October WebDebatefocused on the key skills that the next generation of diplomats needs in order to succeed in a changing world. While there seems to be a core and timeless skill-set for diplomats, an increasingly connected world places new ...
 12 Oct 2016

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Gender equality is undeniably important in diplomacy. The need for women’s political participation has been repeatedly emphasised. The UN Secretary-General’s 2012 Five-Year Action Agenda stressed the importance of promoting ‘women’s political partici...
 15 Sep 2016

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Can negotiation skills be taught? Some argue that they cannot; they are only acquired through practice. But while it is true that any skill is honed through deliberative practice, Prof. Raymond Saner, teacher of international and multi-stakeholder ne...
 14 Sep 2016

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We negotiate throughout our lives. We first learn to negotiate by simply imitating adults and then continue by somehow automatically developing our own patterns and approaches. The measure of our accomplishment is in how we succeed in daily life a...
 29 Aug 2016

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The book50 Years of Malta's Foreign Policy (1964-2014)is a new publication edited by Ambassador Saviour F. Borg, which gathers the speeches delivered by Malta’s Prime Ministers, Ministers, and Representatives in the General Debate of succ...
 27 Aug 2016

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As a continuation of our June blog post, let me put forward the following logical question: If sociology of diplomacy really is missing in the observation of this ancient phenomenon, what is it and how can we define it? As a starting point, let us tr...
 23 Aug 2016

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I am currently contributing to a study on Portugal’s public diplomacy. The aim is to provide recommendations for a renewed dialogue between the ministry and stakeholders at home and abroad. The study follows the call by Foreign Minister Augusto Sa...
 3 Aug 2016

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With the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit just ahead, many activities this month focused on the ASEM process. Diplo participated in the launch of the ASEF Outlook Report 2016/2017, which took place on 7 July, and trained more than 130 young people f...
 14 Jul 2016

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OurJuly WebDebatefocused on the question whether diplomacy could be learned through on the job training alone, and the dynamics between traditional training for diplomats and workplace learning. Our speakers,Dr Cecilia Mornata, from...
 11 Jul 2016

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DiploFoundation is proud to announce a new initiative aimed at supporting the work of its alumni, in recognition of their achievements. The new Alumni Hub, at www.diplomacy.edu/alumni, will feature articles, events, webinars, alumni dissertations,...
 11 Jul 2016

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This month, Asia will be at the centre of many Diplo activities. Here is a round-up of what to expect. More updates will be made available during the month. In the preparations for the ModelASEM summit in Ulaanbaatar (6-10 July), Diplo’s ...
 4 Jul 2016

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Brexit has been viewed by some commentators as a protest vote against the globalisation paradigm. As the Internet is the technological basis for global integration, and the medium through which billions of people experience globalisation, Brexit shou...
 28 Jun 2016

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This morning, two centuries ago, Frankenstein appeared to Mary Shelley in a dream. According to astronomic research, this dream happened between 1 and 2 am on 16 June 1816: ‘I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he ha...
 16 Jun 2016

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There is increasing interest among researchers of diplomacy in studying the field from various angles, from legal aspects and governance structures, to anthropological and cultural studies. Researchers often look at whether, and how, diplomacy contri...
 14 Jun 2016

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This question popped into my head during one of my Geneva walks. That day, on my daily attempt to pass 12,000 steps, I came across a poster that made me curios to visit an exhibition T’es où? (in English Where are you?) at the Geneva Science Mu...
 12 Jun 2016

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Quantum theory represents not only one of the biggest advancements in our understanding of nature, but it is also a fertile ground to inspire thought experiments and new ideas in fields other than physics. A diplomat who is in two places at the same ...
 10 Jun 2016

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Athletic metaphors describe diplomacy well. Diplomacy involves both ‘marathons’ of long negotiations, taking months or even years; and fast ‘sprints’ when country leaders make deals in a matter of hours. Diplomats have always had to be able to run bo...
 25 May 2016

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diplomacy – Diplomacy – DIPLOMACY: the three different ways of writing this word illustrate three different ways in which diplomacy is perceived today. diplomacy – written in lower-case letters – reflects our daily experience. At home, at work, an...
 17 May 2016

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Diplomatic training has been transformed by technology: diplomats now have access to vast amounts of information and resources, and diplomatic training can be conducted online. Other aspects, such as new approaches in knowledge management and the ran...
 5 May 2016

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The use of online tools together with traditional diplomatic approaches is how Saint Kitts and Nevis can ensure representation in multilateral diplomacy in Geneva and globally, Dr Jovan Kurbalija said during an e-diplomacy workshop for diplomats of t...
 18 Apr 2016

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We’re proud to announce a new series of WebDebates, aimed at discussing key topics related to the future of diplomacy. The era of connectivity brings about many challenges for diplomacy. How relevant is the diplomatic service? What changes can ...
 1 Apr 2016

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The complexity of international relations has forced states to change how they conduct diplomacy institutionally. There has been growing debate about the proliferation of a kind of diplomacy that occurs through the activities of civil society. To the...
 25 Mar 2016

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Lecture by Swiss Minister in Malta is livestreamed for DiploFoundation participantsworldwide Safeguarding foreign interests, and mediation and facilitation, are two types of good offices offered by Switzerland. Both types are about bridge-bu...
 11 Mar 2016

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‘The exercise of power is determined by thousands of interactions between the world of the powerful and that of the powerless’, remembered Vaclav Havel in his assumption that power is something held and exerted by ordinary people. This ar...
 17 Feb 2016

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DiploFoundation and the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) recently signed a new memorandum of understanding on training for capacity development. The MoU builds on the established cooperation between Diplo and the Learning Network for Capac...
 7 Jan 2016

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New research on Internet governance, digital diplomacy, public diplomacy, and international relations Time for celebration! After months of hard and creative work, thirteen students graduated with the Master in Contemporary Diplomacy in late Nove...
 4 Dec 2015

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On Monday, 2nd November, I addressed the conference ‘The CERN Model, United Nations and Global Public Goods’. The underlying theme of the conference was the interplay between science (CERN) and diplomacy (UN) in the globally unique settin...
 4 Nov 2015

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Managing complex governance arrangements in the absence of trust is the new million dollar (bitcoin?) question. We currently have the lowest level of trust in financial institutions, following the economic downturn of 2008 and the multiple market ...
 21 Sep 2015

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Soneel Ram, International Humanitarian Law Dissemination and Communications Officer at the Fiji Red Cross Society, recently completed the online diploma course on Humanitarian Diplomacy offered by DiploFoundation and the International Federation of R...
 17 Jul 2015

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On 19 June, Diplo and the Geneva Internet Platform held a panel that explored the potential analogy of the law of the sea with a possible law of the Internet, examining whether the latter could be considered as common heritage of mankind. The discuss...
 23 Jun 2015

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From 25 to 29 May 2015, the ICT development community, joined by diplomats, academics, and business representatives, gathered to discuss topics related to Internet governance (IG). This year’s forum had the subtitle ‘Innovating together: Enabling ICT...
 4 Jun 2015

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'New diplomacy' has become somewhat of a buzzword. In its current form it mainly describes new actors becoming more visible in the diplomatic process. We have also seen new terms such as health diplomacy being used more frequently. Here, I am...
 11 Mar 2015

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Students currently following the University of Malta's Master/Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary Diplomacy, run by DiploFoundation, were last week invited to the University of Malta's Faculty of Arts library by the Dean of the Faculty, Prof...
 11 Feb 2015

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It was gratifying that such a banal theme seemed to resonate with so many, to the point we had over 100 registered for the Webinar. My thanks to all of you. And my apologies if I did not respond to all the points made. In the following, please find m...
 2 Feb 2015

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As more than 40 heads of state and dignitaries visited Paris on Sunday to show their solidarity with the people of France under the banner of anti-terrorism and freedom of speech, some in Budapest were wondering why Prime Minister Viktor Orbán...
 13 Jan 2015

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Diplomacy, like any other profession, has had to move with the times. Diplomats ignore the power of social media at their peril. Whether or not they themselves choose to engage with Twitter or Facebook or blogs, there's a good chance that at some...
 29 Sep 2014

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Some of the distinguished participants in Diplo’s course on multilateral diplomacy believe in the magic of figures. They deem that under normal circumstances, rebus sic stantibus, Article 100 of the United Nations Charter should have contents o...
 10 Aug 2014

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In a world where information moves with the speed of a click, much has changed. Not long ago many of us were touched by the plight of several hundred young girls kidnapped in Northern Nigeria. A Twitter campaign, #save our girls, was launched. Michel...
 6 Aug 2014

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Diplomacy has been around since there have been sovereign states with a need to coexist, but the word is a relatively recent coinage. It has little to do with folded papers, deriving from ‘diplomatics’, the study of ancestry and titles. The term firs...
 1 Aug 2014

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Muhammad Aslam works with the Canadian Red Cross Delegation in Pakistan, as a programme coordinator. He has 14 years experience in humanitarian and development work in Pakistan and Afghanistan. In June 2014, he successfully completed the online diplo...
 18 Jul 2014

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The fifth session of the online Humanitarian Diplomacy diploma course, run by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and DiploFoundation, has just come to an end. One of the participants was Richard Slade, Assista...
 5 Jul 2014

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In his welcoming remarks at the roundtable discussion convened in Bern 23 June on issues and challenges facing small island states, Ambassador Jürg Lauber described International Geneva as Switzerland’s contribution to the international co...
 3 Jul 2014

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This is the third and final blog post in a series looking at diplomatic law, privileges and immunities. The blogs are written by Diplo lecturer Alan Franklin in follow-up to his 20 May webinar. Part one looked at breaches of the VCCR and VCDR in rela...
 23 Jun 2014

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One of the key moments of the NSA-affair from a German perspective was the revelation that the phone of German chancellor Angela Merkel had been tapped. She reacted by stating that "spying among friends, that cannot be" and bemoaned a loss ...
 13 Jun 2014

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This is the second blog post in a series looking at diplomatic law, privileges and immunities. The blogs are written by Diplo lecturer Alan Franklin in follow-up to his 20 May webinar. In case you missed it, Part one looked at breaches of the VCCR an...
 6 Jun 2014

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Last week I was struck by a photo I spotted on Facebook: three graduates of our 2008 Master/Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary Diplomacy happened to meet up in New York. Coming from Suriname, Kosovo, and Samoa, this was the first time their paths h...
 23 May 2014

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Last week, I watched the movie Diplomacy, a fascinating story about Raoul Nordling, a Swedish diplomat who saved Paris in 1944 from Nazi destruction. The movie is a vivid testimony to the relevance of diplomacy and persuasion for human society. Raoul...
 12 May 2014

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‘Diplo’s work on making diplomacy more inclusive and effective is a necessity of our time. We need to engage the broader society in crucial discussions on the future of our world’, explained the Hon. Dr Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca du...
 20 Mar 2014

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There is a mantra in UN circles concerning Syria which says that “the humanitarian situation will continue to deteriorate in the absence of a political solution.” It makes eminent sense to assume that a lasting peace cannot be sec...
 26 Feb 2014

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The Geneva II talks have just ended with little to show for them, or so the press claims. They started out with an undiplomatic outburst by the Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem directed at UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, when he was asked to r...
 5 Feb 2014

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As a lot is being written these days about a great man, I thought I’d add a few lines about what he meant to me. Before I went to South Africa three years ago he was a remarkable historical figure, but somehow distant, belonging to the te...
 17 Dec 2013

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This webinar first discussed why international law has not been a subject much discussed or widely understood by diplomats, despite the fact that they are in the front lines, creating international law on a daily basis. We then discussed the so...
 16 Dec 2013

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In sharp contrast to the openness and transparency of our time, the Iran nuke deal, a major diplomatic development, was negotiated covertly in Oman and discretely in Geneva. Is this the return of diplomacy to ‘normality’ after a...
 27 Nov 2013

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This evening, 21st November, 2013, Europe met Asia on the lush and verdant lawns of the Spanish Ambassador’s residence in New Delhi. Two of the greatest performers of Flamenco guitar music, with a singer and accompanist and a powerfully express...
 22 Nov 2013

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I have attended a seminar on the subject of “Democratizing public space”. This is the text of my intervention. I argued, somewhat paradoxically, that “public space” is shaped by “what is not seen” more than by the ...
 20 Nov 2013

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Last week, HE Dr Alex Sceberras Trigona presented his credentials as Permanent Representative of the Republic of Malta to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva. Alex has been involved with DiploFoundation since its inception and is an active ...
 2 Nov 2013

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The Economist of 31 August 2013 carried a rare short report on the institution of the honorary consul. It read: 'Honorary consuls - abooming trade', (with the subheading, 'Foreign ministries employ ever more amateur...
 30 Sep 2013

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The extradition case of Edward Snowden, a former consultant with the US National Security Administration, received global attention. It generated more heat than light, as the top leadership in the United States attempted to browbeat leadership in oth...
 27 Aug 2013

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In today’s world, we increasingly witness how much migration features in international affairs. It is a complex issue that affects the destination countries that act as magnets for undocumented migrants, and the countries from which originate t...
 20 Aug 2013

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The world attention was focussed on the historic General Elections in Pakistan in May 2013, amidst an air of excitement and trepidation, as these signified transfer of civilian power, for the first time in the 67 years of its existence. T...
 12 Aug 2013

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YouTube videos and TV footage, whether captured by professionals or what are now known as ‘citizen journalists’, portray what the documentarist sees, i.e. the action that is unfolding in front of them. The trend is quickening, with the gr...
 26 Jul 2013

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A network of friendships and mutual dependencies draws diplomats and correspondents into an elite community of foreign affairs specialists (Phillips Davidson, 1975). There is a distinct, if subtle, difference between a journalist and a diplomatic co...
 8 Jul 2013

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Is a norm still a norm when you feel free to ignore it at will? The Guardian reports today that a hidden microphone was found in the embassy of Ecuador to the UK. The Ecuadorian embassy hosts Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, who has been sta...
 4 Jul 2013

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Social media has taken the world by storm. Citizen journalists are increasing pressure on diplomats to deliver timely and accurate reporting of what is happening on the ground. A recent survey of 105 practising diplomats from five regions: Americas, ...
 3 Jul 2013

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So of course there's no such thing anymore as effective diplomacy that doesn't put a sophisticated use of technology at the center of all we're doing to help advance our foreign policy objectives, bridge gaps between people across the glo...
 1 Jul 2013

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This is amodest attempt to respond to the very pertinent comment with which Aldo Matteucci adorned my previous article “When Stalin’s dream came true”. Petru * * * As far as we, the insiders, can see it, communism c...
 31 May 2013

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Why do we succeed in some activities, and fail in others? This question was on my mind during the signing by Malta, Mexico and Switzerland of the extension of the MoU on online diplomatic training. The MoU provides the formal framework for the very s...
 31 May 2013

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Stalin would not have listened to his advisers had they told him, between two consecutive death sentences, to be careful what he wished for! This may explain why Stalin was not very popular among his collaborators, including those who, by some miracl...
 29 May 2013

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“A most unfortunate misunderstanding in US social media”, as the Czech ambassador to the US called the confusion of many American social media users that the two suspects of the Boston marathon bombings come from the Czech republic, a cou...
 21 Apr 2013

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The book Persuasion, the essence of diplomacy was presented to Prof. Dietrich Kappeler during a seminar organised in Geneva on 3 April 2013 by DiploFoundation and the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies. In a lively debate, academics, diploma...
 4 Apr 2013

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When we hear the term 'green economy', the first thing that often springs to mind is the environment - we tend to associate being 'green' with being environmentally friendly. We think of carbon emissions, protection of rainforests, ou...
 4 Apr 2013

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Allow me to paraphrase John F.Kennedy in my way and say: My fellow Diplo lecturers, praise not what you can ask the students, praise what the students can ask you! The magic of Diplo’s courses on multilateral diplomacy is not about what ...
 3 Apr 2013

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Today, Diplo gathers to discuss “Persuasion, The Essence of Diplomacy.” I am intrigued by the conference contributions. Reading about the conference topic also inspired some new thinking on metaphors, an issue that has been my companion o...
 2 Apr 2013

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It is fascinating to see how Russia entered the heart of Europe as a consequence of the Napoleonic defeat, was thrown out again after the Revoluation and the end of World War I, came back in as a consequence of German defeat in World War II, and thre...
 16 Mar 2013

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At present, with a bit of effort, the media can fabricate ephemeral legends daily. But the genuine legends are those that outlast the tests of time and the winds of history. In the United Nations few legends remain despite the hard work done by the ...
 7 Mar 2013

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According to Joseph Nye, politics in an information age can be seen as a “contest of competitive credibility”, one in which success is measured by “whose story wins”.[1] In this posting, I consider what makes a winning story b...
 17 Feb 2013

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Put your finger to the pulse of language, and you will detect the heartbeat of conviction, the blood pressure of aspiration. The close reading of a speech does not simply expose stylistic flourishes, it provides an insight into the very fabric of the...
 31 Jan 2013

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The world is looking at the United Nations through distorting lenses. People are used to seeing just a part of it at first sight. In most cases they will stop at the first glance and will not explore deeper. In terms of areas of responsibility, ther...
 23 Jan 2013

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Public diplomacy has become a ‘hot button’ issue, not just for diplomats but for a whole clutch of non-state actors – those active in business, culture, education, the media, public affairs and scholars, and even tourism – all of whom contribute to P...
 22 Jan 2013

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As is customary in many countries, the diplomatic corps is invited to exchange New Year’s greetings with the Head of State and other leading dignitaries. Malta is no exception. The diplomatic corps accredited to Malta was recently invited to ex...
 22 Jan 2013

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'We cannot afford to get wise slowly' was the answer from one junior diplomat to my question about how young diplomats, attending last week's Seminar on 'Excellence in Diplomacy' in Belgrade, demonstrated so much wisdom. Wisdom is...
 21 Dec 2012

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Europe has been going through difficult times lately. From economic challenges in several countries, to political crisis that threatens to dismantle the unity that the EU is built on, the struggle continues. Yet, in the midst of this crisis, the EU&r...
 22 Nov 2012

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Implicit communication, the unsaid – how important is this in an age of supposed transparency and openness? This and other questions were raised in a presentation by Dr Biljana Scott at Diplo’s conference on Innovation in Diplomacy. Scot...
 20 Nov 2012

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Diplo Foundation is ten years old. More importantly, the Innovation in Diplomacy Conference this week in Malta, Diplo's birthplace, is firmly focused on the next ten years. It might not be terribly polite to sing Diplo's praises in this blog,...
 19 Nov 2012

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Geza Jeszenszky, Hungary’s ambassador to Norway, has ticked off about 100 University teachers, students and researchers with text he used in a university text book which they think ‘stigmatises’ the Roma minority. The textbook that...
 1 Nov 2012

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Last night I attended the 5th anniversary of the Global Journal in the plush Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues. In front of the hotel on any given day you can see a fleet of Rolls Royces and Bentleys. Some of the guests are wealthier than some countries...
 10 Oct 2012

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I’ve long argued that teaching diplomacy is an exercise in Pollyanna-type thinking as long as one major aspect goes unacknowledged: the “darker side” of diplomacy. In fact, it was one of my very first blogs: number 07 http://deepdip...
 21 Sep 2012

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The recent attacks on diplomatic missions in the Middle East have brought into focus the discussion on embassies and the tension between their function and protection. It reminds me of sessions in the early 1990s when I assisted young Maltese archite...
 16 Sep 2012

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I’ve just woken up after many hours of driving, shopping, and cooking (I believe in cooking as chain production). As I am going through the backlog of mail, I’m struck once more by the power of analogy, which Katharina loves. The Assange ...
 26 Aug 2012

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Metaphors matter in the world of diplomats.Negotiations can be derailed; diplomacy is a game of chess; and states are people. In an earlier blog, I suggested three ways in which they do matter. Each of these areas highlights a different take o...
 24 Aug 2012

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Two interesting articles by Prof. Dietrich Kappeler and Mr Aldo Matteucci on the role played by Switzerland including the pivotal role played by Ambassador Long in the successful resolution of the Algerian question 50 years ago. Indeed, these article...
 22 Aug 2012

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To understand why the UK’s handling of the Assange asylum case has provoked such a strong reaction in the global public, we need to go back in time – way back. Back to the point where our predecessors first realized that it was better to ...
 21 Aug 2012

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Over the last few days, one of the underlying questions in the Assange asylum has been if the frequently quoted 1987 UK Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act is against international law. The short answer is the Act is in accordance with international...
 20 Aug 2012

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What is the difference between diplomatic, territorial and political asylums? Diplomatic asylum differs from territorial asylum in the place where is it requested. Diplomatic asylum is requested in diplomatic missions, while territorial asyl...
 20 Aug 2012

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So London 2012 has begun and finally the British public seems to have got behind the Games. Some journalists are still niggling away, although the BBC, which is covering all events 24/7, is now taking a positive, not to say positively mawkish, stand....
 28 Jul 2012

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I’ve recently read about an enterprising project called Branding Romania, not, as one might imagine, an official nation-branding exercise but a summer school offering personal and professional training to youngsters to motivate them to contribu...
 16 Jul 2012

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The political spectrum in Hungary has been providing lots of food for thought and discussion in recent weeks.Topics like Internet governance, media censorship, anti-Semitism and europhobia are being tossed around in daily conversation. There&#3...
 7 Jul 2012

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Background Algeria had been conquered by France in 1830-47 and annexed as an integral part of metropolitan France. In November 1954 several Algerian groups seeking independence of their country launched an armed revolt. Over the following years a...
 4 Jul 2012

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The European Union is in trouble. And I’m not talking about the economy or euro now… The trouble goes deeper than that. The idealistic project sketched in the post WW2 years with great visions had slowly and little by little started taki...
 13 Jun 2012

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‘America rightly honors its great generals who protect the nation and win our wars. We should also recognize our great diplomats who outwit our enemies, open new roads to the future, and win the peace.’ Writes Nicola Burns in his text Mas...
 17 Apr 2012

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It is a question as old as humanity. There are many historical speeches with have moved people and influenced history. Today, rhetoric faces serious limits. Even, great speeches by Obama have had just a very modest impact on public opinio...
 2 Apr 2012

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