Clingendael Academy delivered a 3-day training course at the Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA) in Abu Dhabi. This programme for diplomats from the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Foreign Affairs focused on various topics in the fields of Diplomacy and International Relations. Sixteen participants with 1-5 years of working experience within their Ministry took part in this particular course, which is part of a broader cooperation between the Clingendael Academy and the EDA. Throughout 2015 and 2016, Clingendael will facilitate various skills training modules of the EDA’s courses for executives and postgraduate students.
The three days of training were divided into three blocks: traditional diplomacy, new forms of diplomacy, and diplomatic functions.
Traditional diplomacy focused on the time-honored role of diplomats in the international system, and addressed issues such as international law, the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (VCDR) and the United Nations. Theory was alternated with practical case studies and practical examples. For instance, the participants had to work on a variety of cases in which the VCDR had been violated, and how governments could act in these circumstances.
A Modern Diplomat
During the second day the discussion revolved around the job of a modern-day diplomat in the 21st century, and what aspects of the profession have changed in recent years. In the morning, participants brainstormed on the way the international system has developed in recent years, how diplomacy copes with these changes and challenges, and what type of skillset the modern diplomat should possess today. In the afternoon the focus was put on the digitalization of a diplomat’s work: virtual diplomacy. This topic does not only include the use of social media by diplomats, but is also concerned with issues such as data and knowledge management, the role of new actors in the digital landscape and (online) consular services.
Diplomats in Conflict Situations
On the third and last day, a multitude of topics was addressed. The morning kicked off with a session on the role of diplomats in international conflict situations. What are the various stages of conflict, and what can diplomats do at which stages in order to prevent or try to solve a conflict? Other topics that were discussed were the diplomatic roles on missions and embassies, diplomatic protocol, and regional international organizations.
- 17 November 2015