Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Workshop success to add value to diplomacy

Remmy Nweke in Malta

A ten-day workshop on Diplomacy and Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) began Tuesday in Malta with the Director of Multilateral Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Valletta, Malta, Mr. Giovanni Miceli, declaring that the success of the seminar would add value to diplomatic engagements globally.

This workshop would be followed immediately with a three-day international conference with the theme, ‘Internet Governance: The Way Forward’ also to be held at Coastline Hotel, Malta.

The programme focuses on a broad spectrum of issues, including the work of diplomats in today’s world, new topics on diplomatic agendas and the use of information and communications technology (ICT) tools for diplomatic activities.

Participants were drawn from practicing diplomats, civil servants, and others who work in international relations, wishing to refresh or expand their knowledge under the guidance of experienced practitioners and academics as well as students of diplomacy or international relations wishing to study topics not offered through their university programmes or diplomatic academies in addition to Journalists, Non-Government Organisation’s (NGO) staff, international organization’s staff, translators, business people and others who work with diplomats interested in improving their understanding of diplomacy-related topics.

Welcoming participants to the event, Mr. Miceli in his address to
the occasion said that the success of the workshop would not only contribute to participants’ personal upliftment in their chosen careers, but would also add value to the building of global diplomatic emancipation and growth.

He enjoined participants to make good use of the period of the seminar while expressing Maltese gratitude to the organizers of the event, Diplo Foundation in collaboration with University of Malta, which he noted was heavily supported by the Commonwealth Secretariat.

Also speaking, Educational Programme Director at Diplo, Ms Hannah Slavik noted that the programme has online as its base, would be deliberating on introduction to post graduate diploma in contemporary diplomacy and textus learning, language and diplomacy, information management and time management.

She equally said that media skills and negotiation, diplomatic reporting, diplomatic protocol, and verbal communication would form part of the workshop topics.

The seminar heralds the beginning of Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary Diplomacy (PGD) organized by Diplo Foundation and accredited by the University of Malta through its Faculty of Arts.

The workshop consists of a ten-day introductory workshop in Malta and participation in five online courses, each lasting ten weeks for selected participants from Libya, Bosnia and Herzegovian, Nigeria, Romania, Malawi, Peru, Samoa, Namibia, Bahamas, Burkina Faso, Barbados and Malta.

Whereas the conference on Internet Governance: The Way Forward comes up from Feburary 10 through 12, as the result of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) which held in Tunis last December and demanded the establishment of an Internet Governance Forum (IGF).

The decision taken by parties at the WSIS last December, indicated according to organizers, what the forum should do and who should be involved especially through multi-stakeholder approach.

However, the organisers noted that there remains to be seen how the forum will be evolve, hence the conference aims to provide an initial mapping, through addressing questions such as how it could be structured appropriately to involve various stakeholders covering a wide range of issues.


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