07 October 2017, Saturday
Emirates Diplomatic Academy Students Gain Insights from Former New Zealand Foreign Minister

The Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA), the UAE’s leading diplomacy and international relations education, executive training and research institution, hosted a lecture by His Excellency Murray McCully, former Foreign Minister of New Zealand.

Speaking to an audience of EDA faculty and students, His Excellency shared perspectives from his distinguished diplomatic and political career, spanning over 30 years. He provided an overview of New Zealand’s foreign policy and diplomacy, and emphasised the vital contribution of the country during its two-year term as an elected member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) between January 2015 and December 2016. In his talk, he drove home the vital need for smaller nations of the world to play a more active role in global decision-making.

During His Excellency’s stint as the Foreign Minister, New Zealand was among the first non-permanent members of UNSC to re-introduce Resolution 2334 demanding the cessation of all Israeli settlement activities in the occupied West Bank including Eastern Jerusalem. The resolution stated that it was illegal for the country to establish settlements in the occupied territories as it had been doing since 1967. Furthermore, it highlighted the importance of intensifying regional and global diplomatic efforts to achieve lasting peace in the Middle East under just terms.

His Excellency Murray McCully praised the pivotal role the UAE plays in international relations, and the outstanding success the country has achieved in positioning itself as a leader in diplomacy and global cooperation. He also applauded the mutually beneficial collaboration between the UAE and New Zealand, particularly in investments, economy, education and food security.

Following the lecture, His Excellency Murray McCully discussed pressing issues in international relations and diplomacy with the audience, and offered students practical career advice. The lively debate highlighted the significance of diplomacy in decision-making and consensus-building on an international level, as well as the importance of respect and commitment in the diplomatic vocation.

His Excellency Bernardino León, Director General of EDA, said: “I thank His Excellency Murray McCully for his insightful lecture that provided a great example of the expertise we seek to cultivate at the Academy. With his wealth of experience in serving his country and his remarkable achievements at the helm of the New Zealand diplomatic corps, he is the perfect role model for our students. It has been a true honour to host him.”

He added: “The lecture demonstrated EDA’s commitment to pioneering diplomatic approaches, promoting international best practice, empowering the next generation of UAE diplomats and reinforcing the UAE’s leading role in foreign policy.”

Concurrently with his role as Foreign Minister of New Zealand, His Excellency Murray McCully also served as Associate Minister for Sport and Recreation. He started his political career as a member of the New Zealand Parliament in 1987, after winning the Auckland seat of East Coast Bays, and was appointed a Minister in October 1991. He has held several cabinet portfolios including Customs, Housing, Tourism, ACC, Rugby World Cup, and Sport, Fitness and Leisure. For his services to foreign policy, he was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2015.

The lecture is the latest in a series of presentations in which the EDA hosts distinguished speakers. Reflecting its mandate to train the UAE’s future diplomatic cadre and offer thought leadership on international affairs, the Academy is gaining a growing reputation as a platform for discussion on pertinent regional and global topics.