EDA Reflection sets out diplomats’ key competences
19 February 2017, Sunday
The EDA is launching a new publication series titled EDA Reflection, which will feature short comments by leading diplomats and innovative thinkers, reflecting on the changing world of diplomacy and global affairs, and how relevant trends and developments relate to the UAE. The first EDA Reflection, titled What Makes a Good Diplomat, speaks to the EDA’s objective of producing a generation of exceptional diplomats, able to take on the challenges facing not just the UAE but the international community. The Reflection explores some historical perspectives on what makes for effective diplomats, and explains that future diplomats should be Capable, Influential and Ethical: Capable • Skillful: they master traditional diplomatic skills (including languages, written and oral communications, negotiating, networking, crisis management, consular) and specific 21st century skills (including digital technology, using big data, brand management and public relations, campaigning, using social media). • Astute: they show good judgment, display abundant tact and earn the trust of their seniors. • Knowledgeable: they possess a robust understanding of international affairs as well as of their own country, and have an insatiable curiosity to learn more. Influential • Leaders: they can set out a vision, build and mobilise networks, relationships and coalitions to achieve specific goals, and organize and motivate staff and stakeholders to achieve them . • Communicators: they are empathetic listeners, who build trust by being honest and authentic, and can write and speak persuasively using multiple media. • Innovators: they are creative and outcome-focused, think critically and outside the box, and adapt flexibly to changing circumstances. Ethical • Courageous: they are resilient under pressure and willing to convey inconvenient truths. • Disciplined: they are punctual, reliable, hardworking and well presented. • Committed: they demonstrate great integrity, are dedicated to promoting their country’s interests and passionate about international cooperation. Please note that EDA’s research outputs do not necessarily represent the views of the UAE government but seek to address issues that foreign-policy experts and practitioners both in the UAE and worldwide will find informative and relevant. Download in English: Download in Arabic:
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Globalisation unstoppable despite rise of protectionism, increased need for diplomats, says former Prime Minister at EDA
15 February 2017, Wednesday
His Excellency José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, Former Prime Minister of Spain and a prominent advocate of human rights and inter-civilisational dialogue, gave a lecture to students at the Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA). Addressing students in the Academy’s Sheikh Zayed Hall, Mr Zapatero’s address dealt with the topic of ‘The Force of Public Diplomacy’. Commenting on the theme of his lecture, Mr Zapatero said: “The inevitable advance of globaliation, facilitated by technological progress and ease of movement, means that we live in an increasingly interconnected world. One important result of this is a growing need for professional and adaptable diplomats. In order to understand other countries, we need to acquire a deep knowledge of their geography and history so that we gain the cultural awareness that can enhance dialogue. “The crucial importance of informed advice requires diplomats committed to the goals of promoting peace, respecting diversity, defending human rights and supporting progress. Most important of all is the need to avoid prejudice, which is a primary cause of conflict and misunderstandings”, added Mr Zapatero. Following the lecture, His Excellency engaged the interested audience in an interactive session where students were able to discuss pressing issues in international relations and diplomacy with the former Prime Minister. During this session the politician highlighted the importance of diplomacy in decision-making and consensus building on a national level. Bernardino León, the President of the EDA, said: “We have been honoured to host His Excellency today, and I would like to thank Mr Zapatero’s for his fascinating and insightful speech. I know from personal experience His Excellency’s abilities when I had the privilege of working with him.” The lecture is the latest in a series of presentations in which distinguished speakers are hosted by the Emirates Diplomatic Academy. 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. “Mr Zapatero’s speech was the latest distinguished contribution to our ongoing series of lectures by senior international leaders and diplomats from around the world. The Academy is establishing a growing reputation as a forum of choice for high-level debate and for preparing the next generation of UAE diplomats to protect and promote their country’s interests”, added Mr Leon. Mr Zapatero is the former Prime Minister of Spain, serving two consecutive terms in 2004 and 2008. In this capacity, Mr Zapatero emphasised that Europe’s future was linked to the global crisis. He strengthened Spain’s presence in Europe and Latin America while also building links with emerging powers like China and areas historically linked to Spain such as the countries in northern Africa. The Emirates Diplomatic Academy provides a comprehensive educational experience designed to prepare future diplomats of the UAE through state-of-the-art teaching methods including lectures and interactive discussions with leading diplomats and decision makers.
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EDA Insight Analyses US Energy and Climate Policy under President Trump
13 February 2017, Monday
The Emirates Diplomatic Academy has published an EDA Insight policy brief titled United States’ Energy and Climate Policy under President Trump: Ramifications for Energy Markets and the GCC, co-authored by Dr Jim Krane and Elsie Hung of the Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. US energy policy is evolving under Trump, and the changes will affect trade, foreign policy and relations with key global energy suppliers, including the GCC member countries. Shifting US policies are also likely to influence global climate action and geopolitics. Based on Trump’s pro-fossil fuel statements and cabinet appointments, and the administration’s noncommittal stance toward climate change, American individuals and firms may feel reduced government pressure to curtail carbon emissions and fossil fuel consumption. US fossil fuel producers may operate under fewer regulatory constraints. This EDA Insight explores how US energy and climate policies could change under the Trump administration, and what implications these could have (i) in the US itself, (ii) for energy markets globally and (iii) for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states. Please note that EDA’s research outputs do not necessarily represent the views of the UAE government but seek to address issues that foreign-policy experts and practitioners both in the UAE and worldwide will find informative and relevant. Download in English: Download in Arabic:
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Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan credits Emirates Diplomatic Academy’s role in strengthening UAE’s status in diplomacy, international relations
12 February 2017, Sunday
His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA), has commended the Academy on its significant role in enhancing the UAE’s achievements in supporting diplomacy and international relations. He also stressed the importance of developing cooperation with leading academic institutions worldwide. His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said: “In light of the changes taking place in the political landscapes around the world, the UAE more than ever before, seeks to build its national diplomatic capacities that can contribute to shaping the UAE’s future in a positive and constructive manner and to represent the UAE’s leadership vision that seeks to promote international peace and security, to the outside world”. His Highness also stressed that, “We perceive the Emirates Diplomatic Academy as a maturing international institution and today the Academy is pursuing a clear strategic path to further strengthening our position and our standing in the world as a collaborative global player”. His Highness added: “That the level of diplomatic knowledge and skills of the Academy’s students and alumni confirms that the Academy is capable of preparing competent diplomats who can face global challenges in the future, and are capable of finding strategic solutions for issues of concern to the Emirates. Praising the Academy’s drive to empower young Emiratis and providing them with the expertise and resources that enhance their understanding of international relations in the context of the UAE’s diplomatic objectives empowering the UAE’s position on a regional and international level. He further highlighted that the Academy works relentlessly to attract the new generation of UAE nationals to the diplomatic field so they can identify strategic solutions to international issues and future challenges through collaborating with global players towards the fulfilment of its overall goals – ensuring peace and security, and achieving sustainable development worldwide. Heading the sixth EDA Board of Trustees meeting today, His Highness discussed the future visions of the Academy and its initiatives planned for the Year of Giving. Also on the agenda were the latest developments in 2017 academic activities, as well as other academic- and administrative affairs. He also reviewed the Post-Graduate Diploma and the Master’s programme, the latter of which will be launched by the Academy this year. Sheikh Abdullah also reinforced the importance of the Year of Giving as an ideal opportunity to start the New Year in an altruistic spirit. In this context, His Highness said the EDA is committed to nurturing a culture of giving among the Academy’s community and empowering them to make positive changes while representing the UAE across the globe. During his visit, His Highness viewed design proposals for the Academy’s new building, inspired by the UAE’s open, collaborative and outward looking culture. Designs were submitted as part of a competition that has drawn the participation of national and international architectural firms. Speaking on the Academy’s action plan, Bernardino León, President of EDA, said: “We aim to provide our students with the highest-quality education, training and research programmes that help them understand the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century, and equip them to assume key roles in the UAE’s diplomatic sector and to become qualified diplomats on an international scale.” He added: “We started 2017 with specialised programmes and training sessions, specifically designed to meet the requirements of the modern age. These include training in digital diplomacy, diplomatic protocol, bilateral and multilateral negotiations, country analysis, consular diplomacy, etiquette, and other programmes that enrich academic life and enhance knowledge.” Members of EDA’s Board of Trustees also reviewed the Academy’s annual report and notable accomplishments for 2016, as well as the recommendations of the fifth meeting and practical steps taken to implement them on the ground. The meeting witnessed the attendance of His Excellency Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of State, His Excellency Ali Mohammad Hammad Al Shamsi, Deputy Secretary-General of the Supreme National Security Council, His Excellency Omar Saif Ghobash, UAE Ambassador to Russia, Her Excellency Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, Permanent Representative of the UAE to the United Nations, and His Excellency Mohamed Issa Abushahab AlSuwaidi, UAE Ambassador to Brussels. The Emirates Diplomatic Academy provides a comprehensive educational experience that helps in well preparing future diplomats of the UAE through advanced teaching methods including lectures and interactive discussions with leading diplomats and decision makers. The Academy also develops international case studies on topics related to general and specialised diplomacy of the 21st century, sustainable development, climate change, nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, renewable energy, and peace and security on both regional and international levels.
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58 students of Emirates Diplomatic Academy receive special skills training
02 February 2017, Thursday
In line with the directive of His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, to equip the nation’s future diplomats with the knowledge and multi-disciplinary skills to support the objectives of the UAE’s foreign policy, Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA) has added special skills training to its curriculum. Throughout the month of January, all 58 students at EDA, the nation’s international relations and diplomacy, education, executive training and research institution, have attended several tailored classes on Etiquette and Protocol, Bilateral and Multilateral Negotiations, Country Analysis, and Consular Diplomacy. The move serves as further evidence of the Academy’s commitment to fostering a cadre of well-rounded diplomats. Bernardino León, President of EDA, said: “As diplomats are often the first touchpoint in shaping relations with other countries and their decision-makers, their conduct and abilities must reflect the values of the UAE. In the near future, EDA graduates will be the driving force behind national and international strategic initiatives.” “Given this mandate, we see it as our responsibility to equip our students not only with traditional academic knowledge but also with multi-disciplinary skills, such as communication, negotiation, analysis, and etiquette. All of these are paramount to succeeding as diplomats in the 21st century.” For her part, Mariam Al Mahmoud, Director of Executive Education at EDA, said: “Aligned with the UAE’s vision, the Academy offers innovative solutions for modern-day diplomats in the form of its constantly-updated portfolio of educational and executive training programmes. For instance, this month's short skills course catered to current and future foreign policy professionals, and leveraged the latest teaching methods and a world-class curriculum.” Maitha Al Tamimi, student of EDA, said: “During the past month of my Post-Graduate Diploma programme, the learning experience has been extraordinary. My skills have developed significantly. It boosted my confidence, strengthened my negotiation skills and broadened my knowledge in consular diplomacy and country analysis. Today, I discovered my real skills lie in negotiations, and I look forward to attend future events that promote peace and security where I can utilise these skills.” Apart from educating future diplomats, EDA also offers a wide range of executive training programmes for established foreign policy professionals that cover topics ranging from economic diplomacy and political analysis to international law and consensus-building.
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UAE and Indian leaders have injected new impetus. Now the hard work starts.
02 February 2017, Thursday
Last week’s high-level visit to India was remarkable in many ways. Both in substance and in appearance it represents a strikingly rapid upgrade in the intensity of relations between the two countries. Before Prime Minister Modi visited the UAE in 2015, the last visit by an Indian prime minister was in 1981. Now there have been three top-level visits in less than two years, and India has accorded the UAE perhaps its highest honour of making it the chief guest at its Republic Day Parade. It is worth taking a step back to reflect on why this is happening now. At least five factors have converged to make this the perfect moment to reboot the India-UAE relationship. The first is that the Obama Administration’s less active role in the Middle East accelerated the UAE’s need to diversify its relations with large external powers who can play a role in helping to underpin the UAE’s and the region’s security. India’s emergence as one of Asia’s great powers and its growing role securing important maritime routes have made it an obvious choice for enhanced defense cooperation. The second is India’s recent economic growth. India’s economy has taken off, growing at an average of more than 7% a year between 2005 and 2015. This has increased the UAE’s incentives for investing in India. At the same time, with Modi’s ‘Make in India’ campaign to boost Indian manufacturing, India is on a quest for investment capital – and sees the UAE as a likely source. The third factor is that this same growth has heightened India’s thirst for energy, which has already made it the world’s third biggest oil consumer. Already, around 58% of India’s oil comes from the Middle East, with Saudi Arabia being the largest supplier, but it is looking for more. The fourth driver may be an increasing confidence in each other as partners in the fight against extremism and terrorism. This was certainly an area of cooperation that received a lot of attention in the Indian media coverage of the visit. The final factor is the role of Mr Modi himself, who has been extremely active on the foreign policy stage. He launched the ‘Link West’ policy – focused on strengthening relations in the Middle East. His predecessor spoke of a ‘Look West’ policy, but did not visit the UAE or invest much political capital in the initiative. Mr Modi appears fully committed to this agenda. There has perhaps never been a more auspicious confluence of factors to support renewal in India’s relations with the UAE. The UAE should therefore capitalize on the current enthusiasm from Mr Modi and his government in order to embed the relationship in a wider set of institutions and stakeholders. The UAE has now established a Strategic Dialogue with India, co-chaired by the respective Ministers of State for Foreign (or External) Affairs. The first meeting reportedly took place in New Delhi as part of the recent visit. The success of this Dialogue will depend on continued interest from leadership in the two countries, on the personal rapport between the co-chairs, and on its ability to engage and mobilise relevant entities within the two governments to deliver on the ambitious agenda. But to embed this renewed relationship for the long term it will be vital to engage non-governmental actors in the UAE and in India who have a long term stake in the success of the relationship. This means working with private sector bodies such as the UAE-India Economic Forum but also working with the Indian diaspora in the UAE as the best possible ‘ambassadors’ for the UAE back home in India. The UAE-India relationship has received a strong boost in the last two years and the recent visit by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has given it another powerful push forward. The challenge now is not to allow the momentum to diminish as the relationship disappears from the front pages of the newspapers. This requires continued top level engagement, hard work by the respective government bureaucracies, and the encouragement of strong business and cultural links. Looking ahead, the UAE-Indian visit was an important milestone in setting up a framework of collaboration in order to meet the world’s future challenges such as a steady population growth, dwindling natural resources, food security and environmental degradation. Now is the time to put both our resources to work and create mutually beneficial synergies. Cooperation, not confrontation, lies at the heart of the UAE’s foreign policy objectives.
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EDA Releases Insight on Marrakesh Climate Conference and Future Expectations
26 December 2016, Monday
The Emirates Diplomatic Academy has released an EDA Insight policy brief titled The UN Marrakesh Climate Change Conference: Aligning the UNFCCC with the Post-Paris Era. The UN Marrakesh Climate Change Conference in November 2016 concluded a year of tremendous success in global climate governance, with the Paris Agreement on climate change entering into force on 4 November 2016 – less than a year after its adoption. This Insight argues that in the post-Paris world the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will have three fundamental functions to fulfil: making the Paris Agreement functional; sending strong political messages to provide certainty for investments; and catalysing thematic multi-stakeholder coalitions that drive the global economic transformation. The Insight evaluates how Marrakesh conference, also known as COP 22, delivered in these three areas and looks at expectations going forward. Regarding the third area outlined above, the paper closes with initial proposals on how the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states could support global climate action in ways that also promote economic diversification and regional cooperation. Please note that EDA’s research outputs do not necessarily represent the views of the UAE government but seek to address issues that foreign-policy experts and practitioners both in the UAE and worldwide will find informative and relevant. Download in English:
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Emirates Diplomatic Academy hosts Ambassador William Burns for 21st Century Diplomacy lecture series
19 December 2016, Monday
The Emirates Diplomatic Academy, EDA, the nation’s international relations and diplomacy, academic, training, best-practice and research institution, welcomed His Excellency Ambassador William J. Burns, President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State. As a guest lecturer for the new ‘21st Century Diplomacy’ lecture series, Ambassador Burns conducted an interactive one-hour session with the EDA Students on diplomacy’s role in a changing international landscape. EDA’s ‘21st Century Diplomacy’ course is a platform to prepare future Emirati diplomats and civil servants for the demands of today’s fast-changing world and new opportunities and challenges. Welcoming Ambassador Burns, Bernardino León, President of EDA, said: “His Excellency William Burns possess a wealth of experience. Not only did he faithfully serve his country for 33-years, entrusted with various positions within the American diplomatic corps, he holds the highest rank in the Foreign Service. Today’s lecture showcases the EDA’s commitment to pioneer new diplomatic approaches, instil best practices and empower the next generation of UAE nationals to become the leading diplomatic corps of tomorrow whilst maintaining the UAE’s leading role in foreign policy.” For his part, His Excellency Omar Al Bitar, Vice President of EDA, said: “Today is an opportunity for the Academy’s students to engage with and learn the skills of statesmanship. We are honoured to host His Excellency William Burns at EDA; a well-versed, accomplished and experienced diplomat and an expert in statecraft. Moreover, at the EDA we pride ourselves in spearheading discussions on the world’s most pressing topics, create on-going discussions with distinguished individuals, institutions and entities and tailor courses to meet the demands of the 21st century.” The Academy offers a wide range of courses, training and research opportunities to prepare future diplomats lead a successful career. Alongside its ‘21st Century Diplomacy’ lecture series, the EDA covers topics including innovation, peace and security in the MENA region, energy, climate change, sustainable development , protocol, leadership and ethics and mediation consensus building.
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EDA publishes Insight on EU Migration Policy and Implications for MENA
19 December 2016, Monday
The EDA has published a new policy paper, titled ‘The EU’s External Migration Policy and Implications for the MENA Region’. The paper is authored by Dr Silvia Colombo, who is a Senior Fellow in the Mediterranean and Middle East Programme at Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) in Rome. This policy brief takes as a starting point the fact that the sharp increase in refugees seeking asylum in Europe has pulled the European Union (EU) into the global humanitarian migration crisis. It has forced EU member states to take urgent action, though the EU has not yet come up with adequate ideas as to how best manage the issue, largely displaying a reactive and nationally-oriented attitude. The author assesses recent developments in the EU’s external migration policy and looks at the implications of these policies for the EU itself as well as for the regional (in)stability of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Download in English:
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Emirates Diplomatic Academy pays tribute to the Nation's fallen heroes
30 November 2016, Wednesday
The Emirates Diplomatic Academy today observed the United Arab Emirates’ Commemoration Day to honour combatants’ gallantry, fortitude and heroism. The morning of Commemoration Day, a nation-wide event, witnessed the UAE national flag flying at half-mast. The EDA community - staff, faculty and students, joined by employees from Abu Dhabi Accountability Authority (ADAA), assembled in the Academy’s garden for a minute of silent prayer at 11:30am, followed by the hoisting of the national flag and playing of the national anthem. Addressing the EDA and ADAA communities His Excellency Omar Al Bitar, Vice-President of the Emirates Diplomatic Academy said: “We are gathered here today to remember the sacrifices of our brothers and sisters who have given their lives for God and country. We owe them a great deal. These martyrs seek no admiration or adoration, they seek a better tomorrow. Diplomats and soldiers are wholeheartedly committed to their country’s prosperity. As diplomats your approach differs; you learn the art of diplomacy, negotiation, connectivity and opportunity; you are the UAE’s international advocate, face, expert and representative and work hand in hand with our country’s great institutions, including our armed forces. Embrace this responsibility and never forget how far we’ve come and how much more we can attain.” November 30, 2016, marks the second annual UAE Commemoration Day- declared by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, to honour and salute the Emirati martyrs’ sacrifices for national peace and stability. This campaigns reinforces appreciation for the country’s heroes, memorialisation of martyrs, nation-wide unity and the espousal of Commemoration Day as a countrywide celebrated event. The EDA is the UAE’s international relations and diplomacy academic, training, best-practice and research institution. The EDA offers a wide range of courses to prepare future diplomats lead a successful career. Moreover, it re-affirms and instils diplomats with 21st century civic duties towards ones country.
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Emirates Diplomatic Academy investing in UAE’s future, says EDA Vice-President on National Day
28 November 2016, Monday
Marking the UAE’s 45th National Day, the Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA), the nation’s international relations and diplomacy, academic, training, best-practice and research institute, today joined other government entities and educational institutions by hosting a variety of activities. Reflecting on the pride in the values and principles that have guided the UAE’s leadership and people since the country’s founding in 1971, EDA organised a special one-day event with a large cultural programme for students and staff. Attending the National Day celebrations in the Academy’s garden were Bernardino Leon, EDA President and Omar Al Bitar, EDA Vice-President. Congratulating His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and the UAE leadership, EDA Vice-President, said, “This truly is a day that calls for celebrations. The United Arab Emirates has undergone tremendous development in the past decades. Our nation is an example of a successful growth model regionally and internationally, based on openness, tolerance and partnership.” “In order to continue the UAE’s successful growth path, the Academy seeks to actively contribute to the success of the nation, not only be honouring this important day, but by actively investing in our nation’s future. By fostering a highly capable future diplomats, and equipping them with the tools, approaches and skills to become a modern 21st century diplomat in support of their county, we are playing our small part in ensuring that the UAE is ready for the next 45 years.”
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UAE Minister, UN Secretary-General discuss latest challenges, counter-terror efforts
26 November 2016, Saturday
H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, received Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, on Friday in Abu Dhabi, and explored ways to strengthen the UAE-UN relations through multilateral partnerships in humanitarian and developmental fields. H.H. Sheikh Abdullah and the visiting UN chief also exchanged views on current regional and global developments of key importance, including efforts to counter terrorism. The UAE minister stressed the country’s commitment to building constructive partnerships with international humanitarian and developmental organisations, consistent with the vision of the UAE leadership. Ban Ki-moon conveyed his thanks and lauded the UAE for supporting the works and activities of the UN and the international community. Present at the meeting were Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemi, Minister of State for International Cooperation, Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State, Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Affairs Authority (EAA), and Yacoub Yousef Al Hosani, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for International Organisations Affairs. As part of his visit to the UAE, the secretary-general has delivered a master class to students, alumni and faculty of the Emirates Diplomatic Academy, the nation’s international relations and diplomacy, academic, training, best-practice and research institution. He shared insights from his career as world’s highest ranking diplomat, and also engaged the students in a discussion over contemporary diplomatic challenges and opportunities, ranging from climate action to women and youth empowerment. Addressing the intimate audience of EDA students, many of whom have just returned from observing the UN General Assembly in New York and the COP 22 climate change negotiations in Marrakech, Ban Ki-moon commended the UAE leadership’s efforts for an outward facing and collaborative approach on global issues as well as the nation’s important role in the United Nations. Noting appreciation for UAE’s contributions to global diplomacy, the secretary-general has highlighted UAE’s achievements as a leading regional and global partner in combatting climate change, congratulating the nation as the first country in the region to ratify the Paris Agreement. He further commended the close collaboration between the UAE and the UN resulting in advancements on other issues like sustainable development, human rights, alleviation of poverty and regional security. The lecture was attended by Bernardino Leon, President of the EDA, and Omar Al Bitar, Vice-President of the EDA.  
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Young Diplomats key to UAE security, stability and prosperity, says Dean of National Defense College at EDA
24 November 2016, Thursday
Addressing the students and faculty of the Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA), the national international relations and diplomacy, academic, training, best-practice and research institution, Dr. John Ballard, Dean of the UAE National Defense College said that the UAE’s future security, stability and prosperity will depend on a modern, flexible and multi-faceted approach to diplomacy but needs to be underpinned by a consistent focus on national interests. The former Dean of Faculty and Academic Programs at the National War College in Washington and senior US Marine officer, delivered a lecture on the topics of ‘UAE National Interests and Foreign Policy’, calling on the diplomats of tomorrow and the country’s youth to build their diplomatic capabilities, skills, approaches and to seize the global opportunities and challenges of a fast moving 21st Century. Dr. Ballard emphasized that UAE diplomacy faces many challenges, from terrorism to migration, cyber security, climate change, and further complicated by a decline in fossil fuel prices. At the same time international trade, finance and tourism offer new opportunities for the country. Identifying those challenges and opportunities and translating them into a cohesive foreign policy goals is key for the UAE’s prosperity and development. During his lecture, which forms a central plank of the Academy’s new 21st Century Diplomacy course, Dr. Ballard stated that “Diplomacy is one of the most important aspects of government relations in the 21st century course, not only because that is primarily how states function with one another on the global stage, but because diplomats are first and foremost the people to coordinate and focus all aspects of national power and influence in the respective country they serve in.” Continuing he said, “Starting a career as a UAE diplomat holds great advantages. The leaders of the UAE have tirelessly worked on acquiring a reputation of reliability and consistency not least achieved through a transparent, tolerant and open-minded approach, paired with long-term vision”. Dean Ballard also underlined that, “I am extremely proud to be involved in the efforts of the EDA. The Academy is a fundamentally important demonstration of how much the UAE values the development of its human resources and how well it is working towards creating a knowledge-based economy. This is not only an educational opportunity for young diplomats in training, but also it will have a powerful impact on the UAE and is going to be hugely beneficial.” Commenting on the occasion, Omar Al Bitar, EDA Vice President, welcomed the highly-experienced speaker with a strong military background, saying “We are extremely proud to welcome Dr. Ballard as part of our distinguished EDA Lecture Series. The lecture on UAE national interests and foreign policy objectives has been extremely informative and interactive in nature. The lecture was most certainly thought-provoking to everybody in the audience to understand the true motivations and global power dynamics.” The lecture was attended by His Highness Youssef Amrani, Minister, Charge de Mission at the Morocco Royal Cabinet, His Excellency Paulo Portas, Former Deputy Prime Minister of Portugal, and Bernardino León, EDA President.
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From robotics to artificial intelligence: Emirates Diplomatic Academy Celebrates Innovation Week
23 November 2016, Wednesday
The Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA), the UAE’s international relations and diplomacy academic, training, best-practice and research institution, has today marked UAE Innovation Week with a designated innovation programme focused on the future of 21st Century diplomacy. Students heard and explored how diplomacy of the future will be shaped by everything from robotics to artificial intelligence and discussed ways they could embrace these new technologies and ways of thinking. The one-day programme builds on the Academy’s vision and solidifies its standing as an innovative platform that prepares UAE diplomats and officials from across government with the right tools and approaches to face the challenges and seize the opportunities of a fast-changing world. Ambassador Tom Fletcher, an EDA adviser, former UK Ambassador to Lebanon and author of ‘Naked Diplomacy’, an authority on digital diplomacy and statecraft, gave a keynote lecture on the innovations that will change diplomacy, including artificial intelligence, data mining, shifts in social media use and robotics, as part of the 2016-17 EDA’s 21st Century Diplomacy course. Manuel Muniz, an international relations scholar and Director of the Program on Transatlantic Relations at Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, shared with EDA students an overview of how to understand the underlying political trends that have created so many surprises in 2016. In honour of the nation-wide held Innovation Week, Bernardino Leon, EDA President, also launched plans for a diplomatic ‘Innovation Hub’ at the Academy, a forum for 21st century diplomats to create and share ideas that have the power to reshape diplomacy. The hub will become a regional centre of excellence for international relations theory and practice, bringing together entities at home and abroad in diverse areas, such as those involved in digital, business and cultural diplomacy and also those pioneering the development and use of new technologies through seminars, conferences and new work streams soon to be announced. The recruitment of a full time researcher for the new 21st Century Diplomacy course was announced. The EDA President said, “We are proud to be supporting the government effort during Innovation Week, in an area, diplomacy and international relations, which, like any vocation, has to continue to innovate and adapt to meet the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century, not least in light of rapid developments on the global stage. Pioneering solutions and a cadre of well equipped and engaged diplomats have the power to build on years of successful engagement and help shape the future direction of our societies and businesses for the common good. Over our first two years, it has been an honour to play our small part in supporting the country’s wider efforts and leadership role in this regard through offering innovative new courses, inviting visiting speakers, hosting practical training and initiating research projects into some of the most pressing areas affecting the UAE’s interests.’ UAE Innovation Week is one of the largest innovation initiatives in the world and a nationwide celebration of innovation for everyone in the UAE in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai which seeks to help create a widespread culture of innovation in the UAE and strengthen its position as a global hub for innovation.
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