Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA), the UAE’s leading international relations and diplomacy, education, executive training and research institution, is sending two delegations abroad as part of an educational and cultural exchange. The project aligns with the Academy’s strategy of strengthening ties with partner organisations in Europe and Asia.
During the two week-long trips, over 65 students and faculty will visit a selection of high-profile international, government and educational institutions. In addition, they will stop over at several world-renowned cultural sites and offer their foreign counterparts insights into the UAE’s rich cultural heritage.
The EDA delegation to Europe will start in Belgium, where the Academy delegates will attend sessions at the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), as well as meet Gilles de Kerchove, a Belgian senior European Union (EU) official at the EU headquarters, and Margaritis Schinas, the current Chief Spokesperson of the European Commission. The delegates will then proceed to the Netherlands to visit the Dutch Parliament and Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as prestigious international institutions, such as the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague.
As part of EDA’s drive to build relationships with leading European educational institutions, the students and faculty will visit the College of Europe in Bruges and the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael.
In parallel, the EDA delegation to China will travel to Beijing and Shanghai, where the future diplomats will attend meetings at key national government agencies including China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National People’s Congress.
The students and faculty will also visit Peking University, China Foreign Affairs University, Zayed Center for Arabic Language and Islamic Studies at Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU), and the Middle East Studies Institute at Shanghai International Studies University (SISU). Finally, they will engage in briefings on the Chinese international security framework, and One Road One Belt Initiative (OROB).
Bernardino León, President of EDA emphasised the crucial role the delegation programme serves for the academy: “The annual international delegation is an integral component of our academic programme. Travelling abroad and gaining first-hand experience is an important part of the learning process, and it provides future diplomats an opportunity to put their training into practice, while improving understanding of the UAE abroad. The trips represent tremendous opportunities for EDA students to expand their horizons and to build relationships that will benefit not only the Academy but the UAE as a whole.”
In 2016, EDA previously sent a delegation to the U.S. on its inaugural international delegation programme.