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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Diplo’s Conference Tech Lab organised another web discussion focusing on the technological implications of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Moderated by Dr Jovan Kurbalija (Founding Director of DiploFoundation and Head of the Geneva Internet P...
 25 Mar 2020

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Artificial intelligence (AI) is a broad term that encompasses high-end technologies capable of ‘performing human-like cognitive processes such as learning, understanding, reasoning and interacting’, according to Szczepanski. Nowadays, societies are e...
 16 Mar 2020

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November 2019, when the film Bladerunner is set, came and went. How well did this film – made in 1982 – predict the future? Well, we don’t have androids (replicants) that think and look like us, and there are no flying cars (yet). But, technology has...
 9 Mar 2020

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The second edition of the course ‘Artificial Intelligence: Technology, Governance and Policy Frameworks’ offered by DiploFoundation took place from 4 October to 13 December 2019. One of the goals of the course was to combine sound theoretical knowled...
 3 Mar 2020

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‘The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window, or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work, when you go to church, when you pay your taxes. It is...
 3 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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Just as other aspects of our everyday lives have benefited significantly from the advancement of technology, so has our health. These advancements in technology not only provide us with tools to encourage us to monitor our health, but also help us st...
 6 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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As the new year begins, let’s take a look back at the major developments that shaped digital policy in 2019.  Some issues were in focus throughout the year, such as those related to tackling the spread of online misinformation and violent extremism....
 20 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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One could say that the wish list for cyber-peace was already written in 2015, when states agreed on some rules of behaviour in cyberspace - including that existing international law applies to it. Are we good to go? Not so fast. The devil is in the d...
 4 Dec 2019

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In December of last year, New York City was the place for diplomats to write a long list of New Year cyber-wishes, which came in the form of resolutions that established the first UN Open-Ended Working Group on Developments in the Field of ICTs in th...
 4 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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The interplay between tech and humanity stands at the core of the discussion on the future of AI (and our society). It is often centred around a few topics as described in the Socratic-style dialogues below. Please let us know your reflections on the...
 20 Nov 2019

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No single global entity regulates the Internet. Digital policies are in constant flux as the spread of technology and culture have repercussions around the world. The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has caused the rest of the world to re...
 12 Nov 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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  The most recent Report on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) estimates that 6% of the world’s population is likely to continue living in extreme poverty by 2030, and least developing countries will most likely fail to meet their industrialisatio...
 24 Sep 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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In May we ran our new online course, ‘Artificial Intelligence: Technology, Governance, and Policy Frameworks’ for the first time. It was a fantastic experience to develop and deliver a course around such a timely topic. In this blog post, we want to ...
 5 Sep 2019

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Over the years, Diplo’s alumni base grew to over 6,000 professionals from 201 countries. Our websites, home to the latest information on all that we’ve been doing, have attracted thousands of monthly visitors from all around the globe, with an intere...
 2 Sep 2019

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Frequency of reference to digital technology during the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development Statistics show that 821 million people were undernourished in 2017 and over half of schools in Sub-Saharan Africa lack access to the Inter...
 29 Jul 2019

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Barbados will host the 15th United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) quadrennial meeting in October 2020. It will be the first small state to host the conference. According to the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Motley, hosti...
 22 Jul 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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Legend has it that in the 13th century Dominican friar Albertus Magnus built an artificial ‘brazen head’ that could talk and answer any question asked. According to story, his student, philosopher Thomas Aquinas, eventually smashed the head for ‘talk...
 22 May 2019

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UNCTAD eCommerce Week took place from 1-5 April in Geneva, focusing on the theme ‘From Digitalization to Development’. Discussions emphasised the need to break down silos among different groups of actors and to foster collaboration in order for e-com...
 16 Apr 2019

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In December 2018, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) approved the creation of two distinct groups to further explore issues related to responsible state behaviour in cyberspace: an Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) and a new Group of Government...
 20 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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Populism is spreading. The global economy is more fragile. A trade war between the USA and China is under way. And tech companies are arousing growing angst. This is how The Economist has described the start of 2019. The digital realm is mirroring...
 5 Feb 2019

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Since its creation, the Internet has been regarded as a world of opportunities. Whereas it gives access to information, knowledge, and ideas, and contributes to faster communication and new business models, online engagement can also result in negati...
 30 Jan 2019

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Have you seen the recent 10-year challenge on social media - people posting their personal photos from 2008 and 2018 side by side? Our collective data consciousness increased after Cambridge Analytica, so the probable purpose of this meme was quickly...
 30 Jan 2019

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Low and middle income countries are rolling out sophisticated digital identification systems. Will they be a panacea for social and economic inclusion, or are they another way to control people’s personal information? For generations, peopl...
 21 Jan 2019

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With this event we asked: ‘What can sci-fi teach us about digital politics and its future?’ and brought together policy makers, diplomats, designers, writers, and other creative people. The introductory remarks were delivered by Prof. Jovan Kurbal...
 18 Jan 2019

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3 January 2019 marks the ten year anniversary of the first blockchain block created. On this day back in 2009 the first block, called the ‘Genesis block’, was mined in the bitcoin blockchain by anonymous online entity, Satoshi Nakamoto, presenting ...
 11 Jan 2019

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On 20 December 2018 the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 73/257 entitled ‘Judgment of the International Court of Justice of 31 March 2004 concerning Avena and Other Mexican Nationals: Need for immediate compliance’ at the request of Mexico...
 9 Jan 2019

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The event organised by DiploFoundation and the Think Tank Hub, and hosted by the Geneva Internet Platform, focused on the application of artificial intelligence (AI) to diplomatic practices. Advances in AI have become an important part of the everyda...
 10 Dec 2018

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Aesop once said that, ‘in union there is strength’. One can argue that this a perfect reflection of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) 2018 opening session where multilateralism, reform of the UN, and sustainable development prevailed. The 73rd UNGA o...
 2 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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In this blog post, I share my perspective as a diplomat and as a professional involved in community meetings rather than as a regional producer of statistics. From its inception in 1973, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has recognised the importa...
 22 Oct 2018

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Diplo has launched a new initiative dedicated to artificial intelligence (AI). Diplo’s AI Lab is a multifaceted initiative that includes research and analysis on AI policy, capacity development in the field of AI and related areas, report...
 18 Sep 2018

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Note from the editor: In this blog, we look at key issues in diplomacy and digital politics from ‘the other side’. Diplo’s blogsphere often features blogs from key experts and diplomatic practitioners. But we also need to wonder: how do these same is...
 23 Aug 2018

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Issues related to the digital economy have gained prominance in the last few years. The volume of e-commerce is soaring, and the impact of cross-border data flows on gross domestic product (GDP) growth is now larger than the impact of the traditional...
 27 Jun 2018

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News of a fatal crash involving a prototype self-driving Uber car and a pedestrian recently made tech headlines across the world. The incident, which took place in Arizona in March this year, marks the first casualty from an autonomous vehicle. Th...
 10 Apr 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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If you are reading this blog, you probably have at least a few things in common with me. Obviously, you can read and write. In English. You have access to an Internet connection, probably from your own smartphone or computer. You probably have electr...
 13 Dec 2017

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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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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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Diplo’s recent conference on the Future of Diplomacy included a session on the hype and reality of online learning. Panellists and participants discussed whether diplomacy can be taught online, and how. They looked at just-in-time and blended learnin...
 1 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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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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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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DiploFoundation has become a member of the eTrade for All initiative, launched during the 2017 UNCTAD E-commerce Week. The initiative aims to expand the positive impact of e-commerce on development. It provides a hub for actors to find information, o...
 25 Aug 2017

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Dr Roxana Radu, Programme Manager at the Geneva Internet Platform (GIP),has been awarded the Swiss Network for International Studies Award 2017(SNIS) forher PhD thesis,Global Rules for Emerging Issue Domains: Negotiating the G...
 1 Jul 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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Download the Press Release in PDF format Geneva, Switzerland, 27 April, 2017: The Just-In-time Course on Digital Commerce was launched yesterday during UNCTAD’s E-commerce Week 2017. The five-week blended course, which will run until the...
 27 Apr 2017

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An underlying theme of the discussion during the visit to Diplo’s CreativeLab in Belgrade by students from the Geneva University of Art and Design (HEAD) was on how: ‘Digital art and digital policy are disciplines that deal with the same issues from ...
 21 Apr 2017

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Olga Algayerova, a Diplo and the University of Malta alumnus, of Slovakia, has just been appointed Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). She will succeed Christian Friis Bach of Denmark, whose term in off...
 21 Apr 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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Eight students recently graduated Master in Contemporary Diplomacy from the University of Malta and DiploFoundation. Two of the students undertook a specialisation in Internet governance. The graduates and their research topics were: Alexander...
 16 Dec 2016

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By the year 2030, the United Nations hopes to realise their 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These are concrete objectives that are simple to understand albeit challenging to achieve. The eighth SDG is about promoting “Decent Work and Economi...
 28 Nov 2016

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Some takeaways from the Internet & Jurisdiction Conference, held in Paris, France, from 14 to 16 November 2016 The transborder nature of the Internet has posed considerable challenges to the territorially based concept of national jurisdiction...
 17 Nov 2016

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Exactly a year ago on November 11th, the Singles’ Day- an entertaining festival widespread among young Chinese people, to celebrate the fact that they are proud of being single -Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant made $14.3 billion, largely throug...
 11 Nov 2016

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DiploFoundation is strengthening its team of experts on digital policy and Internet governance. We are proud to welcome two well-known names in the IG field as full-time staff members: Marília Maciel and Sorina Teleanu. Both Marília and Sorina wil...
 3 Aug 2016

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Conviction without experience makes for harshness Flannery O’CONNOR The internet is an enabler. Arguably, the internet has been the most transforming event in the last thousand years – akin, in its impact, to writing, or the do...
 26 Aug 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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After a few months of online work, Diplo’s Creative Lab team met in Geneva. We locked ourselves in a room for three days (20‒22 May) to further advance the development of Digital Watch in preparation for the launch of the Alpha version at the e...
 26 May 2015

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Diplo's illustrated cybersecurity postcards from cyberspace aim at raising awareness about main challenges and issues related to cybersecurity, while allowing us to send our own message to others. This week, the Global Conference on Cyberspace...
 15 Apr 2015

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As the old saying goes, there are two sides to every coin. Some positive and also some negative movements have been noticed lately around Bitcoin. Finally, after a long period of decline, the Bitcoin price has started to increase. It has passed the $...
 5 Mar 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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2014 was a very interesting year for Bitcoin: even though its price dropped 67%, there were major moves in terms of trade, transactions, and capital investments. Big brand names like Microsoft, Dell, Expedia, Dell, NewEgg, and Overstock started to ac...
 28 Jan 2015

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There is a freedom beyond the freedom of speech, and that is the freedom of satire. Freedom of speech is already curtailed in countries which otherwise uphold it as a basic right through the criminalization of hate-speech, holocaust denial and incite...
 8 Jan 2015

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For those of us who prefer to avoid the in-store mania that is part and parcel of the Christmas shopping season, Bitcoin offers a quiet alternative. More and more businesses are accepting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as payment for their produc...
 22 Dec 2014

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Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, is on the day after American Thanksgiving so Black Friday 2014 was on 28 November. While the majority of users paid for their items in cash and credit cards, bitcoin’s friends weren’t left out; t...
 9 Dec 2014

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As we follow Bitcoin’s expansion, we see that a lot of retailers are now accepting Bitcoin as a payment method. Some non-profit organisations have also decided to make a change and say yes to donations in bitcoins. Bitcoin’s philanthropic...
 3 Nov 2014

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Since the last DiploFoundation/GIP conference on this topic, a lot of changes have occurred with Bitcoin, a software-based online payment system. More than 60,000 online retailers now accept virtual currencies worldwide. This growing popularity has s...
 28 Oct 2014

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Yesterday, at the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Lausanne, Switzerland, more than 100 people gathered to watch a debate between the ‘Bitcoin Jesus’ Roger Ver and the IMD’s Professor of Financ...
 3 Oct 2014

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During the summer, Budapest joined other cities in the world (New York, Dallas, Canberra, Johannesburg, and Douglas, Isle of Man) as its first first Bitcoin ATM (aka BTM - Bitcoin teller machine), was unveiled in a bar (Anker Klub on Anker köz),...
 1 Oct 2014

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Margarita Griffith is Learning Officer for the America Zone Office of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in Panama. When she was given the task to promote the Humanitarian Diplomacy online diploma course (offe...
 12 Jun 2014

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I usually communicate by drawing. This time, I will write a text. There is a saying that one picture conveys a thousand words. Sometimes I wonder if the opposite applies to me. I am part of Diplo’s Creative Lab, and Professor of Drawing and Pri...
 12 May 2014

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Online crowd funding is deeply fashionable so we ventured into this new world with some trepidation. Just how valuable is Diplo’s work in supporting small and developing states develop capacity for effective engagement in international meetings...
 7 May 2014

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By its nature, diplomacy cuts across cultures, bringing people from many different backgrounds together in the same room. Creating an environment that is conducive to cooperation and knowledge sharing is important. Sylvana Busuttil has been running ...
 8 Apr 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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Links between Switzerland and the Balkans are numerous, starting with those that are easily visible. Every Christmas and Easter, thousands of cars with Swiss plates carry families to their home countries for the holidays. Swiss cuckoo clocks hang on ...
 16 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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Back in 1981, people were excited about being able to get their newspaper content sent over the phone to their home computers. At a rate of $5 per hour, and taking two hours to transmit, this electronic paper didn't pose much competition for the ...
 18 Jan 2014

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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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Today I was an e-squatter, a new type of conference participant. In big events, like the Internet Governance Forum, with more than 2000 participants and many parallel sessions, it’s possible to find a conference room with good wifi connection a...
 23 Oct 2013

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Kwetching about 'multi-stakeholderism' “Multi-stakeholderism” – addressing issues and solving problems in international relations within a coalition of willing participants – has been touted as institutional solution ...
 2 Oct 2013

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(A simplistic view) If I correctly remember Google’s early mission statement, it sounds something like: “We want to know today, what you will do tomorrow.” So does your government. I am not sure I want either of them to know this. ...
 23 Sep 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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I’ve pointed out previously that “war” covers two very different kinds of affray: raids and conquest. This distinction is fundamental – yet it is hardly mentioned in international fora dealing with international and humanitari...
 12 Aug 2013

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I perused the UNESCO World Heritage list, recently. As I scrolled the “properties” that made it, I asked myself: would my life change in any way, were these cultural sites to disappear, one and all? The honest answer is: I’d feel sa...
 11 Aug 2013

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At a champagne and caviar event, referring to Gödel’s theorem identifies the speaker as pleasantly and ironically post-modern. Suavely dropping the name Gödel is akin to be seen driving the Rolls Royce of learned ignorance. Alas, G...
 10 Aug 2013

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Ambassador Dumitriu has thrown down the gauntlet on the issue of “lethal autonomous robots.”[1] As Contrarian in Residence, I could not forego the challenge. Ambassador Dumitriu begins his two-part blog with a quote from the UN Charter t...
 8 Aug 2013

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Daniel Beaudoin is a consultant on humanitarian diplomacy and civil-military affairs, as well as a lecturer on humanitarian diplomacy and aid operations at Tel Aviv University. He joined the online diploma course on Humanitarian Diplomacy offered by ...
 19 Jul 2013

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Browse through the world’s weekly journals and you will face a number of articles discussing the fears of cyberwarfare with reference to attacks on Estonia or a Stuxnet virus attack on Iran, or analysing the economic consequences of cybercrime....
 17 Jul 2013

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Fine Tuitupou-Arnold, who works as Advocacy and Policy Advisor for the Cook Islands Red Cross Society, took some time out to talk to us about the Humanitarian Diplomacy online course she took with Diplo and the International Federation of Red Cross a...
 17 Jul 2013

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Alasdair MACINTYRE is a well-known philosopher.[1] His After virtue. A study in moral theory is considered a classic. I’ve started reading it, but I have encountered “heavy weather” with his metaphors – in fact on the very fir...
 15 Jul 2013

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Wikipedia is the most popular encyclopedia of our time. It influences public understanding of events and it is a relevant platform for public diplomacy. This blog post addresses the way Wikipedia coverage has reflected unfolding political development...
 12 Jul 2013

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In this short interview from June 2013, Mohamed Keramot Ali, Field Coordinator of the Community-based Development Initiatives (CDI) Program at the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society, explains how he put the skills he developed during the Humanitarian Di...
 9 Jul 2013

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Diplo was born in the small island state of Malta; since then, diplomats from small island states have always had a special place in Diplo’s courses. Many small island state diplomats attended our Postgraduate Diploma programme (which has evolv...
 30 May 2013

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Humanitarian diplomacy is persuading decision makers and opinion leaders to act, at all times, in the interests of vulnerable people, and with full respect for fundamental humanitarian principles. DiploFoundation and the International Federation of ...
 23 May 2013

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A diplomatic fall-out from Saturday’s Eurovision contest has embroiled heads of State and Foreign Ministers: apparently some points assigned to the Russian entry by Azeri televoters have gone missing. These would have made no difference to the ...
 22 May 2013

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'Azerbaijanis better start watching their online language. Any unkind word thrown into cyber space may soon result in a legal action if plans to censor publicly accessible virtual conversations go through.' So reports Giorgi Lomsadze on euras...
 3 May 2013

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Could we get another Talleyrand or Metternich through an online course? Diplomatic protocol, negotiations and other practical topics in diplomatic training – is it a “learning by doing” exercise or can you teach these efficiently in...
 29 Apr 2013

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Last Wednesday (17 April 2013) we discussed the key dilemmas of online learning. This lively event involved more than 70 people and 3 panels with 2 panellists debating the following questions: Can social media tools enrich online learning? ...
 20 Apr 2013

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I enjoyed Pete's post: Social Media and online learning - is it such an obvious marriage?as much as I enjoyed the original debate, Social media can enrich online learning as part of Diplo's Online Learning Day. This is my response: ...
 17 Apr 2013

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It seems a no-brainer: learning is social, online media are social, ergo social media and learning are made for each other. It's not quite so easy, I believe. I was asked to participate in Diplo Foundation's recentOnline Learning Day, w...
 17 Apr 2013

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In October 2005, Hans Blix, the former UN weapons inspector, said that the US administration misled itself and the world. He went on to qualify: “I've never maintained that the administration deliberately misled" the public, ''...
 22 Mar 2013

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Language is riddled with gaps. Some are yawning gulfs, such as the abyss between what you meant to say and what you actually said when it came out all wrong, or between what you thought you’d said and what the other party understood. Others are so sm...
 4 Mar 2013

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For two thousand years, we have read the Greek classics. We have done so in a peculiar fashion. Their gods were central to their worldview. We discarded their gods, which we despised as mere idols. In doing so, we’ve lost much of the deeper mea...
 3 Mar 2013

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The vagueness of the concept If you want to be a public intellectual in the US, find the catchy turn of phrase and then beat the chicken-peas-mashed potatoes circuit with it, writing op-eds in the NYTimes on week-ends using it to uplifting effect. T...
 18 Feb 2013

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Listening to the gay-marriage debate in the British House of Commons was like stumbling into a fallacy fest: False choices stood in the guise of bouncers at the door (freedom of faith versus equal marriage); slippery slopes slopped underfoot (as Sir ...
 8 Feb 2013

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DiploFoundation has been selected among the top 100 NGOs which include the Wikimedia Foundation, Médecins Sans Frontières, and Amnesty International. Global Journal's selection was based on criteria such as impact, innovation, and s...
 4 Feb 2013

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We interviewed a number of people at the Geneva E-diplomacy Day, 10 days ago, interested to see how this audience compared to others. Paul Connealy from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has the depth of experience and range of contacts...
 27 Nov 2012

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(Beautifully Presented Bull S*t) This articulate and articulated graph is on view in http://bit.ly/V70CUH. Good for a rainy Monday morning: ...
 26 Nov 2012

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The scope of the uncertainly in which we are living is growing exponentially. When it comes to handling this new reality, we can no longer think in terms of certainties; we need to move to thinking in terms of probabilities and adapt accordingly. &nb...
 20 Nov 2012

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One of the beauties of the internet is sharing “interesting” information. It’s like real life: if you need to rush to the hospital, you’ll ask the cop on the beat. If you need to find the street your friend lives in, you&rsquo...
 16 Nov 2012

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I've often maintained that any experience - even one we do not consider important - may become transformative. I've just come across a good historical instance, which I'd like to share. It has to do with the long term consequences of the...
 9 Nov 2012

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Have you ever had a problem reading a person’s name from their conference badge? You can usually find about the name of the conference, although you already know what conference you are attending. You can find the name of the venue, altho...
 7 Nov 2012

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Thomas C. SCHELLING won the 2005 “Nobel” Prize in Economics for his “having enhanced our understanding of conflict and cooperation through game-theory analysis”. In fact, much of his work found immediate application in arms co...
 6 Nov 2012

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Sometimes a little fun is worth a ton of authority here is a new version of Air New Zerand's safety instructions (those you always disregard when you fly to another destination (I hope the link works) http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=play...
 1 Nov 2012

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A Snapshot in Foreign Affairs [1] provides a good summary of the current state of international “hydro-politics” around the world. Here the main results: 1. In short, predictions of a Water World War are overwrought. However, te...
 26 Oct 2012

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Before the UN General Assembly PM Benyamin NETANYAHU has argued that the UN should “red-line” Iran. The country should face the foreseeable threat of foreign military intervention, should its nuclear capability reach inadmissible levels. ...
 26 Oct 2012

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The “command and control” (or “principal – agent”) approach is built on the assumption that by achieving “information dominance” a government can shape events to suits one’s purposes. Karl Rove famously...
 24 Oct 2012

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Our hunter/gatherer ancestors had say 300 SKU (stock keeping units) – the managerial term for kinds of worldly goods. In New York City alone the SKU is well over 10 billion nowadays[1]. If you think nature is multifarious, think again: we have ...
 22 Oct 2012

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The Peace of Augsburg 1555, and then the Peace of Westphalia (1648) marked the end of common rules that would apply across emergent national states in Europe. Henceforth each state was autocratic within and autonomous without. The border was the boun...
 19 Oct 2012

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The Chinese world is creating interesting on-line newspapers. Ciaxin online - out of Beijing – is one of them. I now have an opportunity to introduce you to it. Andy XIE, a West-trained economist based in Shanghai, http://bit.ly/W9K1NX has ...
 12 Oct 2012

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Essentially we are landlubbers. For us the oceans are a strange place. Sure we can navigate them, but we do not understand how they function, or the life that’s in it (we are still at the "hunter/gatherer" stage, as far as the oceans ...
 12 Oct 2012

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Retired ambassadors used to write poetry (Claudel, St. John Perse) and then memoirs: either of a negotiation they took part in (e.g. Oliver LONG) or autobiographies (the classical: been there, done that). Retired ambassadors are becoming politica...
 6 Oct 2012

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Better than I could ever do so this blog by Amanda Glassman from the Center for Global Development http://bit.ly/Szq4Pndiscusses the pitfalls of distributing scarce medical resources among many claimants with different conditions when treatment...
 3 Oct 2012

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From time to time I peruse Asia Times online . In my experience it has more detailed and more informed analysis on what’s happening in Asia. I strongly recommend it as vital supplement – lemon juice against Western press scurvy. Asia ...
 30 Sep 2012

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The conventional trope is that democracy emerged in Athens, 2’500 years ago. Never mind that it did not last long and enjoyed a thoroughly bad press after the political experiment failed (Plato for one hated it, and Aristophanes savaged it is h...
 2 Sep 2012

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In one of his most advanced reflections on diplomacy (147: Is war a biological trait?) Aldo Matteucci eloquently discussed one issue which is of key importance to diplomatic theory and practice, the issue of the causes of war. He briefly commented on...
 20 Aug 2012

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The US embassy in Rome over the past seven years is probably one of the best vantage points from which to survey the growth of eDiplomacy and its impact on diplomats and their work. Antonio Deruda, a journalist by training, was one of their Press Lia...
 9 Aug 2012

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Somehow, online learning re-appears in the global media every summer. Last year, there was a lot of excitement about Udacity, an MIT initiative. The year before, it was Peer-to-Peer University. Do newspapers opt for online learning in the absence of ...
 3 Aug 2012

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Seen from on high our planet is blue tinged – the reflection of the oceans. How much water is there, come to think of it? &nb...
 21 Jun 2012

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Aini is a young Asian diplomat struggling to make sense of the Internet issues that she often has to deal with in her job. Diplomat's job is increasingly moving from traditional issues to specialised ones, including Internet, climate change and m...
 4 May 2012

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A major renovation of the UN building in New York is almost complete. It required a lot of diplomacy from the project’s executive director, New York architect Michael Adlerstein, who said that the UN ‘is far more complicated than any orga...
 7 Mar 2012

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As Ireland's national day - St Patrick's Day - draws near, and people around the world get ready for the 'wearin' of the green', the papers will soon be full of retrospective pieces on Ireland's recent descent from economic grace. I've been Irish for...
 5 Mar 2012

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Ambiguity in diplomacy came in useful again last week. On Friday, Serbia and Kosovo reached an agreement for Kosovo representation at regional fora. Till now, Serbia, who opposes Kosovo’s independence, was blocking Kosovo’s participation in regional ...
 26 Feb 2012

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The terms ‘training’ and ‘capacity development’ are sometimes confused or used interchangeably. E-diplomacy illustrates very well the difference between training and capacity development. Training is just one element of ...
 23 Feb 2012

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Excerpt from Aldo Matteucci's lates blog "Controlling the Narrative" Diplomacy in the end is also (today even mainly) about “controlling the narrative”. A good diplomat will be keenly aware of this. There are two in...
 26 Jan 2012

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‘Cartoons and jokes are very useful as a teaching tool. Students love it when you present them with something amusing that also illustrates a main point in the lecture’, said Stan Dubinsky from the University of South Carolina, summ...
 9 Jan 2012

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Possibly more boring than watching paint dry is being asked to look around a newly decorated flat. But we have done more than re-design our new site and we are keen to hear if we have interpreted correctly what we have been hearing from our communiti...
 14 Dec 2011

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If you landed on the Diplo website and realised that it is different, please do not worry. It is not a fake Diplo website. It is the beta version of our new website. The website is the key part of our attempt to communicate what we do and what we can...
 24 Nov 2011

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Louise Lassonde (Coping with Population Challenges, London: Earthscan Publications Limited, 1996, 7) provides the following example: "In the Cairo Programme, various formulations which were contradictory a priori were worded in such a way as to ...
 29 Jun 2002

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Ambiguous formulations are used in diplomacy to allow for a degree of consensus when parties to a negotiation cannot come to an agreement. Drazen Pehar explains If two parties have strong and contradictory interests, and if it seems that neither ...
 29 Jun 2002

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Arguments can be found both against and for the use of ambiguity in diplomacy. Opponents point out that an ambiguous formulation in a treaty or agreement does not actually resolve a problem but simply puts it off until a later time, or allows the par...
 29 Jun 2002

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