Our round-up of news, notes, tips, and Tweets exhibiting how public diplomacy effects the world each and every day.
The 2013 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the body tasked with destroying Syria stocks of chemical weapons.
Thorbjorn Jagland, the former Norwegian prime minister who is chairman of the panel, said chemical weapons had been used by Hitler’s armies in their campaign of mass extermination and on many other occasions by states and terrorists. He denied that the award to a body based in The Hague represented a eurocentric shift after last year’s award to the European Union. “It’s global,” he said. The organization, known often by its initials O.P.C.W., was set up in 1997 to implement the Chemical Weapons Convention which entered into force that year. The convention has four aims: to seek the destruction of all chemical weapons under international verification; to prevent the creation of new chemical weapons; to help countries protect themselves against chemical attack; and to foster international cooperation in the peaceful use of chemistry. [New York Times]
— Nobelprize_org (@Nobelprize_org) October 11, 2013
Nobel runner-up: IAEA, with hopes they close down Iran’s nuclear weapons development.
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) October 11, 2013
Africa continues to be ignored by the Western media and public diplomacy practitioners, however there are some promising steps being taken using public diplomacy 2.0.
Africa remains, however, a dynamic continent, one that deserves more consideration—from both the U.S. media and public diplomacy practitioners working at every level. The current range of public diplomacy 2.0 activities taking place in different African countries represent a first step in leveraging the opportunities for more sustained engagement wrought by the dissemination of new communication technologies across the continent. They may provide critical infrastructure, if and when the Obama and subsequent administrations decide to move away from short-term outreach based on crisis management or furthering U.S. economic or military interests and towards a long-term goal built on collaboration and dialogue with a diverse range of African publics. [CPD Blog]
Australia’s education minister announced a new strategy based on outward international education exchanges to improve the country’s soft power in the region.
The new strategy for the sector would “deepen our engagement with Asia and complement the New Colombo Plan”. Under that plan, the government hopes to send thousands of undergraduates into the region for study and internship. “It’s not just about education, it’s about Australia’s soft diplomatic capacity, and our place in a region where relationships are so important,” the minister said. “We want future Australian professionals to take for granted friendships and relationships formed at times of mutual professional development with their peers in our region.” [The Australian]
— APDS (@USC_APDS) October 11, 2013
If it was a precedent for future actions, Russia’s rediscovery of soft power tools in recent months could lead to better communication between it and other countries.
The pen, the television, the smartphone – Moscow may have discovered that these are often more powerful than the sword. Whether Russia’s growing soft power will prove to be a positive change remains to be seen. Hopefully op-ed columns and television channels will replace Bay of Pigs style standoffs and international assassinations, because for too long there has indeed been “insufficient communication between our societies.” [Over the Edge]
The University of Southern California hosted a panel on the renaissance of Mexican film and its potential as a soft power tool.
Panel Discussion with filmmakers Gaz Alazraki, Eugenio Derbez, Michel Franco, and Michael Rowe, alongside Rossana Fuentes-Berain and Simon Levy-Dabbah, about how Mexican cinema has become a new and powerful tool of Mexican “soft power” in international affairs. Moderated by Rafael Fernandez de Castro. [Trojan Vision]
— Soraya Aydin (@soraya_aydin) October 10, 2013
UNESCO will launch the Euro Mediterranean Music Academy for Peace (EMMA for Peace) at the end of the month to promote music education and cultural dialogue between the Mediterranean and the Middle East.
The Italian conductor Riccardo Muti has been made honorary president of EMMA for Peace, and artists including cellist Gautier Capuçon, pianists Katia & Marielle Labèque and violinist Tasmin Little have all lent their support to the project. ‘It is a great pleasure for me to be associated with EMMA for peace,’ says Little. ‘Music is one of the highest forms of communication, crossing the boundary of spoken language and transcending barriers of prejudice, racism, division and fear. It is universal, international, non-political and non-racial – it is the perfect way to unite us all as human beings, inspiring us towards the most worthy and noble aims.’ [Classical-Music.com]
DiploFoundation is hosting a survey to gauge the public’s understanding of how diplomats should respond to questions and requests received over the Internet.
How diplomats should respond to questions and requests received over the Internet is an issue that poses a problem for many. It came up again at a recent webinar on e-politeness, organised by DiploFoundation and Istituto Diplomatico in Rome. Formal policies on e-response are still largely in the making and are more the exception than the rule. Most institutions do not have an official policy on how to e-interact with their publics. Some, though, do have informal guidelines. For example, the EEAS requires its officials to respond to all reasonable questions and comments (e.g. not spam) received via e-mail and Twitter. [DiploFoundation]
— Emily Schatzle (@schatzlemnatzle) October 10, 2013
The Public Diplomacy Council announced its line-up for their 2013 Fall Forum.
The Public Diplomacy Council (PDC) is excited to announce key updates regarding the November 12th Fall Forum, “U.S. Public Diplomacy: A Look to the Past, A Look to the Future.” The all-day conference, held at the U.S. Department of State’s George C. Marshall Conference Center, will feature a keynote speech, a commemoration of USIA and State Department alumni, two morning panels, lunch, six breakout sessions, a third panel, closing remarks, and photo gallery. [Public Diplomacy Council]
— Lena O (@LenaOsipova) October 10, 2013
At a “Go to Europe” Investment Forum, prominent Chinese government officials explain how businesses going into Europe create win-win situations for everyone involved.
Zhai Jun, is Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs. He highlighted ways both sides could boost their relationship: “First, the two sides should insist on mutual respect and equality and strengthen mutual trust. Second, both sides should expand cooperative scale and improve cooperative quality in a bid to get win-win. Third, the two sides should promote cross-cultural exchange and understanding. Fourth, both sides should strengthen communication and coordination in international affairs.” [CRI English]
— ArtsDiplomacyNetwork (@ArtsDiplomacy) October 11, 2013
Russia continues to have trouble promoting its businesses in East Asia, weak economic diplomacy is partially to blame.
Another factor is insufficient efficiency and qualification of our economic diplomacy. A substantial shift in orientation “from the West to the East” requires from our economic diplomacy more energetic efforts in concluding economic alliances at the level of separate companies and regions. In their addresses to the Russian diplomatic corps, Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin have been sending this message more than once over the past few years. [Valdai Discussion Club]
— Michael Bassett (@bassett_mike) October 11, 2013