Clingendael Academy recently welcomed a group of senior diplomats from the Organisation of American States (OAS) for an online training on regional cooperation in a weeklong programme. This first online training aimed at both strengthening the individual diplomatic skills of the (deputy) Ambassadors, as well as to offer them tools and a platform for strategic planning for the OAS as an organization. Participants were representatives of their country or were members of the secretariat to the OAS in Washington DC.
The course proved to be a unique opportunity for the (deputy) Ambassadors and members of the Secretariat to exchange insights, analyse contemporary developments and provided a platform for discussion on the future development of the OAS. The course was structured on the basis of six policy fields framed in line with the theme of the General Assembly "Towards Renewal in the Americas":
Recovery: Global Health and (COVID-19) pandemic management
Renewal: Institutional Development of the OAS
Rebuild: Economic partnerships and post-COVID-19 economy
Regrow: Climate Change and Sustainable Development
Re-Connect: Managing polarization and the role of civil society in the digital age
Reinforce: Human Rights & Democracy in light of the 20th Anniversary of the IADC
Diplomatic skills and strategic policy planning
In this context, Clingendael training fellows provided senior diplomats with advanced trainings in sharpening their negotiation skills, practicing effective influencing and consensus communication techniques relevant to the OAS, and discussing how to successfully chair at multilateral meetings.
The training also provided strategic policy analysis and scenario planning workshops. In subgroups, the participants drafted possible scenarios for where they see the OAS as an organization in 2030. This provided a unique opportunity to constructively think about strengthening the organization, by discussing the opportunities and challenges the organization faces the coming years.