24 April 2017, Monday
EDA Hosts Joachim Bergström for a Lecture on “Foreign Policy of Sweden and Scandinavian Countries in the Middle East”

Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA), the UAE’s leading international relations and diplomacy, education, executive training and research institution, welcomed Ambassador Joachim Bergström to share insights from his esteemed diplomatic career at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Stockholm, and from serving as the Ambassador to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and Special Envoy to Combat Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism.

As part of the EDA course, “Preparing for 21st Century Diplomacy”, Ambassador Bergström discussed the topic of the Foreign Policy of Sweden and Scandinavian countries in the Middle East, while also providing an understanding of the OIC, and the Special Envoy, as well as best practices in Sweden’s work to combat racism and religious conflicts. The engaging lecture created a unique opportunity to learn about important diplomatic efforts, and international work to foster a culture of tolerance, peace and co-existence.

Furthermore, the afternoon’s session showcased the Academy as a platform for engagement with the wider community. Students from the Politics and International Relations programs at Middlesex University Dubai visited EDA, and joined the lecture to contribute towards the dialogue, drawing from their own diverse backgrounds and varying interests. Everyone in attendance was able to learn more about EDA and develop a better understanding of the skills necessary to become diplomats.

His Excellency Bernardino León, President of EDA, highlighted the impact of the lecture: “EDA is excited to build upon our prominent position in the UAE -- opening dialogues on important issues related to international affairs and diplomacy, and forging lasting partnerships with leaders and institutions. Ambassador Bergström’s lecture provided a great example of the expertise and insights that we seek to elevate. We were pleased to offer this opportunity, while at the same time, developing closer ties with Middlesex University and welcoming their talented students to our Academy”.

In the session, Ambassador Bergström said: "At the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the fight against Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, we work to develop our relationships with international organizations, to eradicate the most immediate threat globally, which is Islamophobia and racism. I appreciated this opportunity to join with EDA to raise awareness on these important issues and to collaborate in combating these challenges."

Ambassador Bergström holds a PhD in history from the University of Tokyo with a dissertation on transnational public memory of war crimes during World War II. He is also a clinical psychologist and former journalist working for media organisations in Sweden, Japan, and the United States. Since joining the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, he has been posted to Tokyo, Riyadh and Washington, DC.

EDA regularly invites high-profile leaders and practitioners to enhance the educational experience of the UAE’s future diplomats, and Ambassador Bergström’s lecture was a great example of how real world lessons can better prepare students to meet the challenges they will face in the future.