Positive diplomatic ties between the UAE and India reinforced at the  Emirates Diplomatic Academy
08 February 2018, Thursday
The Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA), the UAE’s leading international relations and diplomatic institution, today hosted a panel discussion looking at the close symbolic, substantive and strategic ties between the UAE and India. The event comes just a few days ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's expected second visit to the UAE for the World Government Summit, widely seen as evidence of an even closer relationship in UAE-India relations in the future. The panel comprised of H.E. Navdeep Suri, Indian Ambassador to the UAE; H.E. Ahmed Abdullah Al Musalli, Former UAE Ambassador to India; Dr Rahul Sagar, Global Network Associate Professor of Political Science at New York University Abu Dhabi; and Dr N. Janardhan, Senior Research Fellow in the Gulf-Asia Programme at EDA. H.E. Navdeep Suri said: “With Prime Minister Narendra Modi visiting the UAE on 10-11 February, his second in less than three years, growing UAE-India ties will receive further strategic impetus. Since his visit takes place just more than a year after India hosted Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan as chief guest on Republic Day in January 2017, it reflects the special importance the government places on UAE-India ties. Following the signing of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement last year, we have seen major UAE investments in India, significant progress in defence and security cooperation, and our buyer-seller relationship in the energy sector has transformed into a strategic partnership.These are bound to gain further momentum, while we explore new opportunities in other sectors.” Commenting on the EDA, he said: “I am delighted to visit the Emirates Diplomatic Academy today to see first hand the excellent work happening here and to meet some of the students, who are of high calibre. The training they are receiving today will stand them in good stead to continue the important work of UAE diplomats around the world going forward.” The distinguished panelists discussed how the two allies’ bilateral relations across areas such as energy, cross-border investment, defense and technology have evolved, following agreements signed by the governments of the two nations last year in these fields. H.E. Ahmed Abdullah Al Musalli said: “The UAE and India were at very different stages of development two decades ago, but the process of transformation had begun. And, it was evident even then that UAE-India ties were special and had immense scope to develop. Today it is a multi-faceted and strategic relationship. With the fast pace of economic development in the two countries in recent times, it is easy to forget that UAE and India’s relationship actually dates back for centuries. However, I believe this important relationship has never been stronger than it is today, due to the continuous efforts of our leaders, governments, diplomats, business communities and people, who endeavor to bring our countries closer.” His Excellency Bernardino León, Director General of EDA, thanked the panel for their insights. He said: “The UAE and India enjoy a very close relationship, one that we are very proud of, and one that we are looking forward to building even further in the coming years. The panel discussion today provided invaluable insight to our students, the UAE’s diplomats of the future, who I know took away lots of useful information from the session. Coming just a few days ahead of the World Government Summit, it will put the visit of Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, into even greater context for our students. We want to ensure that every EDA graduate is equipped with the essential knowledge, skills and character to further the interests of the UAE long into the future, whether this relates to India or beyond.”
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EDA Insight Recommends Stakeholder Cooperation on SDGs
08 February 2018, Thursday
In this Emirates Diplomatic Academy Insight, Dr Mari Luomi of the EDA’s Energy, Climate Change and Sustainable Development research programme, highlights efforts by Arab countries to date in enhancing the frameworks for regional and domestic governance for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Insight, titled Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals – Early Experiences in the Arab Region, presents an overview of regional cooperation mechanisms and processes focused on the 2030 Agenda and explores several Arab countries’ experiences in integrating the SDGs into national strategies, plans and institutional implementation and monitoring frameworks. The Insight finds that the Arab countries that have shared information about early implementation efforts on the 2030 Agenda all show a high degree of aspirational commitment to aligning development strategies and policy frameworks with the Agenda and its SDGs. Work to mainstream the Agenda is well underway but its institutionalisation is at different stages. A number of commonalities are visible among the countries examined, including the need for further attention to data aggregation and to building robust monitoring and follow-up mechanisms. In addition, there are a number of areas/tasks where collaboration among a broader group of stakeholders could help enhance the implementation of the 2030 Agenda across the Arab region. Many of these tasks could be coordinated by regional knowledge management and capacity-building institutions, the study argues. 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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New EDA Insight explores ‘strategic’ opportunities in UAE-India relations
07 February 2018, Wednesday
In this EDA Insight, Indian former ambassador to the UAE, Talmiz Ahmad, analyses how UAE-India relations have expanded beyond the traditional areas of energy, trade and community. Instead, the author says, the countries are tapping new opportunities in investments, infrastructure development, cooperation in space, nuclear and renewable energy technology, arid agriculture, and, above all, enhanced defence and security links. The author points out that the two countries have framed these new relations in a ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement’ that was signed in New Delhi in January 2017. Amb. Ahmad examines three specific areas of collaboration envisaged in the agreement: food security; enhanced maritime security cooperation in the Indian Ocean; and the promotion of regional stability. Download in English:
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EDA launches Gulf-Asia Research Programme, explores ‘Look East’ policy
06 February 2018, Tuesday
The Emirates Diplomatic Academy launched its Gulf-Asia Research Programme with the publication of a new EDA Working Paper titled “Gulf’s Pivot to Asia: Contextualizing ‘Look East’ Policy”. The author, Dr N. Janardhan, Senior Research Fellow, explores and highlights areas of Gulf-Asia economic complementarity, both in the oil and non-oil sectors, including trade and cross investments. Dr Janardhan discusses a few equally-important non-economic factors that may have contributed to intensifying Gulf-Asia ties. He also points out the potential areas of future cooperation in an era driven by economic diversification in the Gulf. He concludes by arguing that a robust Gulf-Asia relationship should find new ‘strategic’ political and security avenues to intensify collaboration in the future. Download Working Paper: Download Executive Summary:
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UAE Stakeholders Discuss International Carbon Markets
18 January 2018, Thursday
The Emirates Diplomatic Academy’s Energy, Climate Change and Sustainable Development research programme convened a full-day workshop for UAE stakeholders on international carbon markets. The workshop was part of efforts by the EDA to act as a convener of UAE stakeholders around global issues impacting the country to generate new ideas and connections. Led by topic expert Dr Axel Michaelowa of University of Zurich, the workshop explored how the UAE could leverage international market mechanisms for mitigating climate change. The event, which took place during the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, on Thursday 18 January, attracted close to 30 participants from various governmental and non-governmental organisations, business and academia, as well as international organisations. During the workshop, participants received an update on recent global trends and developments in carbon markets globally. They also explored lessons from the UAE’s participation in the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism and discussed developments in the negotiations on market mechanisms under the Paris Agreement. The workshop further examined developments in international aviation where an offsetting mechanism for carbon dioxide emissions is soon entering implementation.
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Former Spanish Foreign Minister Discusses Challenges of 21st Century Diplomacy at Emirates Diplomatic Academy
11 January 2018, Thursday
The Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA), the UAE’s leading international relations and diplomatic institution, today hosted His Excellency Miguel Ángel Moratinos, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain, for a talk on 21st century diplomacy and Europe’s foreign policy in the Middle East. Moratinos addressed EDA students on the changing role of the diplomat in a world of social media and instant media reporting. A veteran who entered the diplomatic service in 1977 and served in Eastern Europe, Northern Africa and the Middle East, he emphasised the importance of creative, flexible and democratic diplomacy. Mr Moratinos said: “Today, with the speed of modern media reporting, there is more emphasis on the diplomat’s ability to analyse the latest developments and promote the interests of their country. The diplomat forms a vital link between homeland and host country, and plays an essential part in building relationships with governments, sourcing knowledge about foreign institutions, and smoothing the path for businesses in foreign markets.” His Excellency Moratinos added: “I am pleased to see such a highly skilled group of young diplomats at the EDA and I look forward to what I believe will be a successful career for them. EDA is the leading diplomatic training centre in the Middle East, and I am honoured to contribute to the education of its students.” His Excellency Bernardino León, Director General of EDA, thanked him for his expertise and insights into the modern world of diplomacy. He said: “As a highly regarded diplomat, this talk was extremely relevant to EDA, where we are preparing outstanding UAE diplomats and government leaders. We want to ensure that every EDA graduate is equipped with the essential knowledge, skills and character to further the interests of the UAE in a landscape where traditional diplomatic concepts are being replaced with contemporary approaches.” During his tenure as Minister, Moratinos held the presidency of the UN Security Council as well as the chairmanships-in-office of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the Council of Europe and the Council of the European Union. More recently, he was a member of the High-Level Advisory Council of the President of the 67th Session of the UN General Assembly.  
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New EDA Insight explores how diplomats can make use of big data
08 January 2018, Monday
In the latest EDA Insight, Research Fellow Seppe Verheyen examines the new frontiers of using big data in diplomatic practices. In the paper, he highlights four different tasks in the day-to-day work where diplomats can use big data: the diplomat as a brand manager, analyst, negotiator and a humanitarian aid worker. Dr Verheyen addresses the challenges of unstructured data in the form of online comments and social media posts and explores how social media and analytics tools can be used to assess those. Social media management and analysis tools permit diplomats to manage the online reputation of a country for public diplomacy purposes and to understand and predict events in other countries. Diplomats can also use advanced data analytics to determine policy positions of other countries through automated content analyses and can even enhance humanitarian aid by using geopolitical data and crowd-source mapping for early-warning systems. Finally, he concludes that to make full use of the potential of big data, Ministries of Foreign Affairs should conduct reviews on how to best use data and how to train diplomats in the use of big data. 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 to Highlight Importance of Diplomacy in Sustainable Development at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2018
07 January 2018, Sunday
The Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA), the UAE’s leading international relations and diplomatic institution, announced its participation at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) 2018, the largest sustainability gathering in the Middle East convening decision makers, politicians, business leaders, and academic researchers from all around the world. EDA’s leadership and students will participate in ADSW’s opening ceremony and the conversation on this year’s theme, ‘Driving the Global Energy Transformation’, to highlight the essential role diplomacy and the impact the youth can play in addressing climate change through participation of various high-level panels and youth interactive forums. Set to run from 13 to 20 January, ADSW 2018 will explore three key global trends that are impacting the shift to sustainable energy – climate change, urbanisation, and digitisation. In recognition of the importance of motivating and inspiring future sustainability leaders, this year’s edition of the annual event will turn the spotlight on the youth. The EDA students will also participate in the upcoming edition of ADSW in a seminar specifically organised for youth that will follow the official opening ceremony on day one. In addition, faculty members from the Academy will take part in knowledge-exchange sessions with international experts, such as Her Excellency Razan Al Mubarak, Secretary General of Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi, Thierry Lepercq, Executive Vice President at Engie, Dr Axel Michaelowa, Head of Research, International Climate Policy at the University of Zurich, and Michael Liebreich, Chairman of the Advisory Board at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. They will also participate in workshops addressing diplomacy’s role in climate action, sustainability efforts, nutrition, and foreign aid and assistance. His Excellency Bernadino León, Director General of EDA, will moderate a panel on the opening day that is set to draw the participation of His Excellency Suhail Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy, His Excellency Dr Abdul-Hussain Bin Ali Mirza, Minister of Electricity & Water Affairs, Kingdom of Bahrain, and His Excellency Adnan Z Amin, Director General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Speaking on EDA’s participation ahead of the landmark event, Bernardino León, said: “Climate change has an adverse effect not only on the environment, but also on the economy, security and society at large. In this context, climate change diplomacy plays an integral part in the global transition to sustainable energy sources and in ensuring that climate, security and development issues are a core focus of national and international agendas. Furthermore, it helps forge international partnerships that address the geopolitical consequences and security implications of climate change.” For her part, Dr Nawal Al Hosany, Deputy Director General of EDA, said: “ADSW 2018 will focus on the next stage of the global energy transformation and the important role of the young generation in ensuring a sustainable future. Through its participation, EDA aims to demonstrate to our youth how diplomats and sustainability leaders can work together to create and implement innovative strategies to mitigate the impact of climate change.”ADSW is the largest sustainability gathering in the Middle East. The event seeks to advance the understanding of the major social, economic and environmental trends shaping sustainable development worldwide, and empower the global community to adopt viable and effective climate action strategies. Throughout Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, EDA’s leadership and students will cover the various activities and share their insight and experiences via social media. Those interested can follow @UAE_EDA on Instagram and Twitter to learn more about EDA’s ongoing participation at ADSW. To learn more about ADSW, please visit www.adsw.ae or follow #ADSW and @ADSWagenda on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
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Latest EDA Insight Analyses Europe’s New Defence Ambitions
16 December 2017, Saturday
In the latest EDA Insight, Senior Research Fellow Saskia van Genugten analyses the newfound political will of EU leaders’ to cooperate on matters of defence and security and looks at the potential implication for EU engagements in the wider MENA region. The author sees in these new European ambitions an acknowledgment of a changing geopolitical outlook, in which both external and internal developments are compromising Europe’s security. The Brexit vote, Trump’s ‘America First’ policies and a more assertive Russia are increasingly forcing the Europeans to become a more autonomous security player. The UK has historically been sceptical about deeper EU cooperation in this area and its decision to leave the EU by March 2019, has quickly lifted the level of ambitions of other key EU member states, France and Germany in particular. She concludes that, given the convergence of threat perceptions of key EU member states around issues related to the MENA region, a more enabling environment is likely to lead to concrete proposals and operational actions in the area of (limited) stabilisation efforts in North Africa and the Sahel. At the same time, the EU is also likely to further strengthen its efforts in the MENA region to cooperate with respective authorities on border management, countering terrorism and countering radicalisation. 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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Amr Moussa focuses on “Future of the Arab World in a New Regional Order” during lecture at Emirates Diplomatic Academy
05 December 2017, Tuesday
Adapting to the 21st century is key to the continued progress of the Arab world, according to Amr Moussa, former Secretary-General of the League of Arab States (Arab League) and former Foreign Minister of the Arab Republic of Egypt. Mr. Moussa made his remarks at an insightful lecture titled ‘The Future of the Arab World in a New Regional Order’ at the Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA) today. During an interactive session with EDA students hosted by His Excellency Bernardino León, Director General of EDA, the veteran diplomat highlighted the importance of an evolved, pre-emptive, multi-directional, and inventive diplomacy in addressing current and future challenges. Amr Moussa has over 50 years of diplomatic experience at a variety of high-level positions, including: former Secretary-General of the League of Arab States (Arab League) in 2001, former Foreign Minister of the Arab Republic of Egypt (1991 – 2001), and Permanent Representative of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the United Nations (1990 – 1991). Most recently, Amr Moussa has released the first volume of his memoirs where he shares his vast experiences as a diplomat and politician. Commending the Academy’s 21st Century Diplomacy programme, Mr. Moussa said: “It is of crucial importance in this day and age to take a step back and assess the tools we are using to educate our future diplomats. Today, diplomats of calibre must demonstrate an ability to appeal to a wide audience, use technology efficiently, and evolve continuously to stay relevant. And I am happy to see that this is at the core of the EDA’s curriculum.” He added: "I believe there is a silver lining to the pessimism that currently prevails in our region and it is our youth. Today, through the use of social and digital media, we have a youth that is globally engaged and striving for continued social and economic progress.” His Excellency Bernardino León, said: "With his diverse experience spanning nearly 50 years in civil service in the region, Mr. Moussa is an aspirational example of not just a successful diplomat but, more importantly, a diplomat who truly understands the value of adaptability in this fast-changing world.” He added: “In addition to his rich experience, Mr. Moussa has a priceless lesson to offer to our students – the lesson on how a seasoned diplomat can adapt to the changing times and environment. His session provided an invaluable opportunity to learn from a distinguished leader of the diplomatic community.” Amr Moussa marks one of the last in the EDA 2017 lecture series. Previous speakers include Her Excellency Noura Al Kaabi, UAE Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, His Excellency Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Børge Brende, former Foreign Minister of Norway, His Excellency Murray McCully, former Foreign Minister of New Zealand, Jeffrey Feltman, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, His Excellency Faihan Al Fayez Chalhub, Ambassador of Colombia, and many others.
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EDA UN Climate Conference Delegation Shares Lessons
04 December 2017, Monday
In November, six students from the Emirates Diplomatic Academy’s postgraduate degree programme participated in the 2017 UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, also known as COP 23. Attending the conference as part of the UAE’s youth delegation gave the students privileged access to the world’s largest intergovernmental negotiating process. On Wednesday, 29 November, they shared their experience with other EDA students and faculty. During the event, held at EDA, the students reflected on the complexity of these negotiations, which take place among 196 countries every year and address more than 100 different issues related to national climate action and international cooperation to tackle the challenge. They also shared with their colleagues examples of innovative climate action in different areas, including cities, water and youth engagement. These examples drew from the students’ participation in the dozens of panel presentations and other special events taking place at COPs where policymakers, experts, businesses, investors and civil society convene to share information and lessons learned. The trip to Bonn was part of a special course on ‘UN Climate Change Negotiations’, offered at EDA annually, during which a selected group of students learn about multilateral climate diplomacy in theory and practice. The course comprises preparatory classes, simulations and workshops, and culminates in a one-week trip to the COP where the students observe the negotiations, attend expert events and produce reports for the national delegation on sessions they attend. In addition to learning about multilateral diplomatic skills, the students also practice their networking and communication skills by observing negotiating group coordination meetings and participating in panel discussions. The course also includes a follow-up component, during which the participants share their experience at various youth events and prepare a report with policy recommendations to the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment. The UN Climate Change Negotiations course are part of the EDA’s research and training activities in the area of ‘Energy, Climate Change and Sustainable Development,’ which also include stakeholder workshops and policy briefs published throughout the year. For more information on the EDA’s research in this area, see: http://eda.ac.ae/research/research-analysis-overview/energy-climate-change-and-sustainable-development Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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EDA Insight Proposes Measures for Supporting CCS through Global Cooperation
04 December 2017, Monday
In the latest Emirates Diplomatic Academy’s EDA Insight, UAE-based energy expert Robin Mills discusses ways to enhance global governance of carbon capture and storage (CCS), and proposes ways for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to support this cooperation. Titled, Global Governance of Carbon Capture and Storage: Role for the GCC?, the Insight also examines the extent to which limited progress in CCS is due to inadequacies in the global governance framework, and suggests how governance can be strengthened and how interested parties can push for such improvements. The Insight finds that numerous multinational and international organisations are engaged in CCS in different ways, including through research, advocacy, funding and deployment. It suggests that the GCC states, with the UAE and Saudi Arabia taking the lead, could cooperate with a small number of key CCS partners and a wider group of interested parties, with the ultimate aim of forming a ‘CCS club’ of countries with consistent and somewhat harmonised policies supportive of development of the CCS industry on a self-sustaining basis. 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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EDA Reflection by IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin Explores the Age of Renewable Energy Diplomacy
28 November 2017, Tuesday
In this EDA Reflection, Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), reflects on how the rise of renewables will change the geopolitical landscape for the better, and how diplomats can make the most of the age of renewable energy. Please note that EDA’s research outputs do not necessarily represent the views of the EDA or 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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Emirates Diplomatic Academy Hosts Panel on Improving Education for Children in Emergencies
21 November 2017, Tuesday
The Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA) hosted a panel discussion titled ‘Improving Education for Children in Emergencies’, shedding light on the importance of addressing one of the world’s most pressing problems – sustainable access to education in challenging times. The event was held as part of an ongoing initiative, Humanitarian Week, running from 19 to 23 November, that aims to raise awareness about the importance of supporting humanitarian work, particularly in the education sector. The event, hosted at the premises of the EDA included an introduction by the Academy’s Director General His Excellency Bernardino León and a keynote speech by His Excellency Mark Lowcock, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator.The keynote speech was followed by a panel moderated by Dr Nawal Al Hosany, Deputy Director of EDA and was attended by Ambassador Abdullah Yahya Al-Mu'alimi, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations, His Excellency Maqsoud Kruse, Executive Director of Hedayah, The International Center of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism, Sophie Barbey, Head of Office of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the UAE, Toby Harward, Head of Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the UAE, and Engineer Rashed Al Dhaheri, Acting Executive Director of the Minister of State Office. In his opening remarks, His Excellency León said: "A lack of education can have detrimental political and socio-economic effects on the future of our world. It is crucial that we continue to seek solutions and shed a light on this challenge. By hosting such events at the Academy, we seek to also ensure that our future diplomats are equipped with the necessary information and tools to continue this fight for human progress.” In his speech, His Excellency Mark Lowcock said: “In my first six weeks as Emergency Relief Coordinator, I travelled to Niger, to Nigeria, to Bangladesh and to Yemen. And in each of these countries, I met children who had fled their homes and schools due to conflict. A single theme pervaded each of their stories: they all stressed their desire, above all else, to attend school." During discussions, panellists emphasized that while education is the first element affected by emergencies; it remains to be last to recover, resulting in a disruptive impact on children that endures for generations. Spurred by EDA’s belief in the significant role of humanitarian diplomacy under current global circumstances, Humanitarian Week addresses topics of critical importance to human progress and development, and provides valuable insights into the work of leading international organisations in the field. Apart from maximising the students’ learning outcomes, the event goes a long way in expanding the Academy’s own knowledge base. During the event, panellists highlighted the increasing number of crises worldwide, their effects on children and education, and the importance of providing safe and protected educational environments that ensure children are receiving the necessary care. They also noted the need to support the right to education and cooperate with governments to implement programmes to reduce risks of disasters. Apart from the panel discussion, the week’s events include a roundtable on the role of education in promoting peace, global citizenship and diversity, and ways of incorporating these values in education curricula for future generations. A book donation campaign, the launch of EDA’s volunteering platform, a field trip for students to the International Humanitarian City in Dubai, a training on humanitarian diplomacy and an internal Q&A session on the UAE's foreign aid policy are also on the agenda. EDA provides a holistic educational experience that enhances the capabilities of the UAE’s future diplomats through advanced teaching methods, interactive lectures and discussions with prominent diplomats and policy makers. The Academy aims to prepare young Emirati talent to face a variety of regional and global challenges when representing their country on the global stage.
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