Emirates Diplomatic Academy commences new academic year with student orientation
26 August 2016, Friday
The Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA), the UAE’s international relations and diplomacy academic, training, best practice and research platform, today welcomed its second cohort of students. Over 50 new entrants attended the first of two days of orientation at the Academy campus. These students follow in the footsteps of many great UAE diplomats and the country’s strong tradition of diplomacy in the UAE which has seen UAE achieve a truly significant influence on the global stage. The orientation included an introduction to the Academy departments as well as its executive education and research and analyses teams in preparation for their Post Graduate Diploma in International Relations and UAE Diplomacy. The diploma will equip aspiring national representatives with a greater armory of tools, options and insights to ensure they are ready to tackle the challenges of the 21st century as the country’s top diplomats and representatives in multiple sectors. Deputy Director General keynote address Welcoming the students, recently appointed Deputy Director General, His Excellency, Omar Al Bitar emphasized, ‘the Academy is an institution that plays a pivotal role in nurturing a generation that will be tasked with enhancing international connectivity to ensure we are fit to face the challenges of our times. As the Academy moves into its second year, we are working to continually improve our offerings to give our diplomats what they need to succeed.’ He continued: “Diplomacy is the sharp end of foreign policy and is more than just theory but a true profession - a skill, an art and a behavior which reflects our standing in the world and our effectiveness in getting things done. Diplomats and soldiers are two sides of the same coin, representing and working for our country on the front line, although in very different ways. It is a practice continually learned and honed in different environments, whether by an aspiring diplomat or a seasoned government official. The Academy stands front and centre in ensuring we are all as good as we can be in a profession which is all-encompassing; a true vocation for life.’Al Bitar added: “In light of emerging global challenges and opportunities, it is vital that the next generation of UAE diplomats learns how to engage with an increasingly fast paced and uncertain world, and masters the tools to further UAE’s national interests.” This year will mark the beginning of new courses, including “Preparing for 21st Century Diplomacy”, covering new trends in diplomatic practice such as the use of digital tools, the Academy’s flagship new module to be taught by former UK Ambassador Tom Fletcher, a renowned international diplomat and leading academic. A further addition this year will be an innovative new course, ‘Modern Leadership and Ethics’, taught by the Deputy Director General. A course taught only at the world’s most elite institutions, it will tackle the sometimes difficult balance between decisive action and ethics while also emphasizing how the best leaders will always keep ethics at the forefront of their decisions. Another key course will be spearheaded by Bernardino Leon, Director General of EDA and former UN diplomat who will pass over his experience of working with the top echelons of global diplomacy and multinational organisations. Additional courses as part of the diploma will bring together pioneering new diplomatic approaches and global best practices to the classroom which were a great success in last year’s courses. These courses will aim to strike the balance between teaching students’ theories and practice of international relations, security and conflict resolution, political economy, UAE history and culture, international law, foreign policy and contemporary politics of Middle East. Student testimonials and quotes Student Asma Hassan AlHammadi, looking forward to the course said, ‘It is really exciting to be able to learn from some of the world’s leading diplomats and thinkers on international relations as we prepare to represent the UAE abroad. I am looking forward to developing my skills and applying them in practice.’ Another new student Saud Salman Al Suwaidi said, ‘this is such an important time for diplomacy with new trade agreements to support the UAE’s hyper growth industries and areas of expertise, the UAE taking leadership positions on key global issues, the emergence of new regional powers, ongoing shifts in the global economy, social reform agendas and civil strife, threats to global institutions, rapidly developing technologies, the impact of climate change, the threat of global extremism, vast population growth and movements and the increased power of global corporations. I am excited by the opportunity to learn more theory and practice to make a difference on behalf of the UAE on the world stage in these debates.’
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Emirates Diplomatic Academy greets the Academic Year with new courses for the next generation of UAE diplomats
26 August 2016, Friday
The United Arab Emirates is a comparatively small country. Yet the nation has secured itself a prominent place on the world map thanks to a continuous positive, open and outward facing approach to the world coupled with a leadership role on global issues and challenges. UAE diplomats abroad have been the backbone to these efforts, helping the UAE achieve a truly significant influence on the global stage. The UAE’s position in the world rests on a few key pillars: its international connectivity and farsighted outlook, as well as political and commercial partnerships. The UAE’s ability to prepare for and embrace the future has always been a national trademark, and it is now at work to train the next generation of diplomats and future, well-rounded leaders, in a fast-changing world. A core plank of this is Emirates Diplomatic Academy. The national international relations and diplomatic teaching, training and research institution and platform, has just launched a new, comprehensive curriculum for the next 2016/17 academic year with over 50 students starting their courses later this month. It will help equip aspiring national representatives with a greater armory of tools, options and insights to ensure they are ready to tackle the challenges of the 21st century as the country’s leaders and representatives in multiple sectors. New courses for a new era: embracing 21st century diplomacy “Preparing for 21st Century Diplomacy”, the Academy’s flagship new module to be taught by Tom Fletcher, a renowned international diplomat and leading academic, sets the symbolic tone for the whole critical thinking and analysis themed curriculum of the diploma. As a newly appointed Senior Adviser to the EDA’s Director General Bernardino Leon, Fletcher will educate students on both time tested and the latest, most innovative diplomatic approaches, including looking at way they can be joined-up and integrated to create a modern, all-round approach to diplomatic theory and practice. The course will be split in three parts covering the topics of ‘Communicating with Power’, ‘The Future of Diplomacy’ and ‘What Makes a Great 21st Century Diplomat?’ with a particular emphasis on the role of digital communications and tools. “Reconciling age old diplomatic practices with digital tactics – the most powerful form of communication in today’s 24/7 world – is crucial in ensuring diplomats are both well-equipped and able to talk and engage with multiple people and organisations in relevant ways. I hope that the students will be able to work with this approach, and come up with new and more personalised ways to apply these teachings to their future careers. At the end of the day, it is these bright UAE nationals that will be on the frontlines of national representation and amplify UAE’s long standing tradition of global leadership,” said Tom Fletcher. A dynamic group of world-class professors and experts in the field will bring further rigour to UAE’s most ambitious academic institution through not just lectures but practical training, simulations, guest speakers, language courses and even undertaking a detailed ‘capstone’ research project into a relevant diplomatic and international relations subject of their choice. Addressing the critical problems of our time through recommendations, these projects bring not only academic reward but also in depth insight and value add to the UAE with the best each year given a high profile prize and the opportunity for further research. A further addition this year will be an innovative new course, ‘Modern Leadership and Ethics’. A course taught only at the world’s most elite institutions, it will tackle the sometimes difficult balance between decisive action and ethics while also empahsising how the best leaders will always keep ethics as at the forefront of their decisions, a virtue reflected in the great leaders throughout history. Ethical decision making ensures effective leadership that has people’s trust, loyalty and reflects the credibility, sustainability and long-term thinking of the decision maker, making them more effective and influential in the process. Another key course will be spearheaded by Bernardino Leon, Director General of EDA and former UN diplomat who will pass over his experience of working with the top echelons of global diplomacy and multinational organisations. Additional courses as part of the diploma will bring together pioneering new diplomatic approaches and global best practices to the classroom which were a great success in last year’s courses. These courses will aim to strike the balance between teaching students theories and practice of international relations, security and conflict resolution, political economy, UAE history and culture, international law, foreign policy and contemporary politics of Middle East. Student Asma Hassan AlHammadi, looking forward to the course said, ‘It is really exciting to be able to learn from some of the world’s leading diplomats and thinkers on international relations as we prepare to represent the UAE abroad. I am looking forward to developing my skills and applying them in practice.’ Upskilling: courses for seasoned UAE government officials In line with its commitment to support senior officials from across government and its ministries, the Academy will also offer new executive training courses which are shorter and targeted at seasoned professionals who already have expertise in representing the nation at home and abroad. The Executive Education Department at the EDA also offers specific courses that teach a range of hard and soft skills pertinent to an employee’s career success. Soft skills courses will focus on work ethic, attitude, communication skills and emotional intelligence, while hard skills programmes will encompass technical abilities required to successfully complete a task, and include logical, analytical and strategic thinking and planning. Ahmed Saeed Al Neyadi who has taken place in these courses before said, ‘They say that you never stop learning in the university of life and that could not be truer in the areas in which we work, especially in a dynamic and international country like the UAE. These courses at the Academy are incredibly useful to ensure we remain at the top of our game and incorporate new thinking and approaches into our everyday work and I look forward to this year’s agenda.’ These courses will be available throughout July to November, 2016. Looking to the UAE’s future: diplomats of tomorrow To maintain the UAE’s reputation as a global powerhouse for diplomacy and international cooperation, the country must first look inwards to its own people. It is only by educating, arming, and empowering the UAE population with innovative tools and approaches to convey the UAE’s collaborative spirit and combat increasing global issues, that the country will maintain, and grow, its prosperity and well-being. The list of evolving opportunities and challenges is endless: new trade agreements to support the UAE’s hyper growth industries and areas of expertise, the UAE taking leadership positions on key global issues, the emergence of new regional powers, ongoing shifts in the global economy, social reform agendas and civil strife, threats to global institutions, rapidly developing technologies, the impact of climate change, the threat of global extremism, vast population growth and movements and the increased power of global corporations. A time for a new generation to contribute to the UAE’s Foreign Service has come. It is a national responsibility to pioneer new approaches to global issues and help the potential candidates become the faces of UAE on the world stage through giving them the skills, the insights and the tools to be highly effective modern diplomats; the change makers of tomorrow. And Emirates Diplomatic Academy is taking on the mandate to elevate the art of diplomacy to new heights and nuture the energies and talent of the diplomats of tomorrow in the national interest.
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EDA Launches Insight Video Exploring Paris Agreement Opportunities for the GCC
17 August 2016, Wednesday
The Emirates Diplomatic Academy has launched its EDA Insight video series with a short interview with the author of the EDA Insight titled ‘Operationalising and Implementing the Paris Agreement: Issues of Interest for the GCC Countries’. The video explores what has happened after the adoption of the Paris Agreement in December 2015, what countries should do next and how the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries can engage. Please note that the views expressed in this video are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Emirates Diplomatic Academy, an autonomous federal entity, or of the UAE Government. Download in English: Download in Arabic:
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Emirates Diplomatic Academy appoints Ambassador Omar al Bitar as new Vice President
15 August 2016, Monday
The appointment of former Ambassador to China as Deputy Director General at EDA, brings practical experience to assist in the implementation of academic programs and research, aiming at preparing UAE diplomats to meet future challenges. Appointment also strengthens Academy’s focus on development of UAE-Asian relations and preparing diplomats to engage in the region Abu Dhabi, August X, 2016: UAE’s former Ambassador to China, retired Major General Omar al Bitar, has been appointed Deputy Director General of the Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA), the UAE’s international relations training, academic best practice and research platform. Al Bitar will assist the academy’s multiple work streams. These include academic courses on UAE diplomacy and international relations to ensure students have the latest skills and tools to be effective modern diplomats, specific executive education training programs and a research function, which acts as a think-tank on new and innovative diplomatic approaches to the world’s most pressing issues. The new Deputy Director General brings a strong academic legacy and approach to EDA having overseen the development of new military education, leadership and career development structures during his time in the Armed Forces. He was also instrumental in setting up the Paris-Sorbonne University in Abu Dhabi, including project management, developing the courses, gaining accreditation, building a business plan and attracting students internationally. Emirates Diplomatic Academy Director General Bernardino Leon said: “Major General Omar al Bitar will be a great asset to the work and future direction of the Academy given his academic background as we are about to welcome our second cohort of students in late August. He has also developed a unique take on diplomacy which will offer a much needed holistic approach to our diplomats. “In the modern world of diplomacy and international relations, there is a need to work with multiple actors from all corners of the political and business world and his wide ranging experience will bring unique insight and perspective as we develop our courses and thinking built on his track record of success.” Al Bitar is an experienced diplomat with a rich military and academic background. He has developed a specific approach to diplomacy and relationship building which looks at the role of strategy, foreign policy and diplomacy as guiding frameworks and delivery tools for diplomats to achieve effective results in the pursuit of the national interest. Al Bitar said: “Diplomats and soldiers are two sides of the same coin, representing and working for our country on the front-line. Although they operate in a different manner, their actions complement each other. Similar to the development requirements of any highly specialized profession, diplomacy needs continuous innovative education and training programs to enhance the diplomatic performing skills. While diplomacy is considered an art and a behavior it is the sharp edge of foreign policy and reflects our standing in the world. The Emirates Diplomatic Academy truly is a national asset that focuses on building on our national strengths in diplomacy and international connectivity to ensure we are fit to face the challenges and opportunities of the future.” “The UAE’s success has been built on our openness to international collaborations in commercial, security, academic, cultural and philanthropic areas. We need to ensure we are ready to face both the opportunities of emerging global trends, including new economic, political and social reform agendas, new technologies and new trading relationships as well as the threats to global institutions, regional and global civil strife, the impact of climate change, the threat of global extremism and vast population growth and movements.” He added: “In view of the challenges the world will be facing in the future, we believe that achieving global security and prosperity will require an intensification of global collaboration.” During his time as the UAE’s Ambassador to China, Al Bitar oversaw the development of the UAE as a major trading and investment partner with China. Building on this most recent assignment, he will also focus on the development of the Academy’s efforts towards UAE-Asian relations in terms of identifying new cooperation opportunities and finding fresh approaches to engaging in the region. In recent years, the UAE has emerged as a major player in the growth of the new Silk Road and the south-south corridor, at the heart of a Middle East, Africa and South Asian region predicted to be worth $10 trillion by 2020. Before becoming Ambassador to China, he was Commander of the Khalifa Bin Zayed Air College in Al Ain, a Director of Information at the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research, focusing on regional security issues, and Vice President of the Paris-Sorbonne University-Abu Dhabi. The Emirates Diplomatic Academy supports the UAE government and its departments, including the UAE missions abroad, by training employees and diplomats on relationship building and offering strategic advice on key issues and trends.
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Renowned international diplomat, Tom Fletcher, appointed senior adviser at Emirates Diplomatic Academy
15 August 2016, Monday
Fletcher to help develop digital diplomacy skills; introduce new course on 21st Century Diplomacy and establish Innovation Hub to prepare UAE diplomats for global challenges Abu Dhabi, August X 2016: The Emirates Diplomatic Academy, the UAE’s international relations training, academic best practice and research platform, has appointed Tom Fletcher, a leading diplomat, as Senior Adviser to the EDA’s Director General, Bernardino Leon. Fletcher is a former British Ambassador to Lebanon. An Honorary Fellow of Oxford University and Visiting Professor of International Relations at New York University, he is also the author of ‘Naked Diplomacy: Power and Statecraft in the Digital Age’. He also works to promote access to education, as Strategy Director at the Global Business Coalition for Education. And chairs the international advisory council of the Creative Industries Federation. Fletcher recently completed a review of the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and is leading a report on the future of the UN. Fletcher will work with the UAE’s diplomats to drive the use of digital and online tools to engage with people and governments around the world. Fletcher believes digital technologies can make a difference in international relations, especially at a time of rapid global change. Leon said: “It is extremely important that in a fast-changing world facing multiple challenges, the UAE remains at the cutting-edge of international relations thinking. Tom Fletcher brings to us an unrivalled wealth of experience and insight, which will be of immense benefit to the UAE government students we are training. “He will also help us develop into a centre of global international relations thought leadership, that reflects the UAE’s position as a key trading nation between east and west.” Fletcher will oversee the development and teaching of a new tailored skills course, 21st Century Diplomacy, to ensure that the UAE is at the forefront of efforts to approach global issues in an open-mined and innovative way that delivers results. The course will focus on how to effectively use communications and new technology in international outreach, positioning and negotiations and how best to build momentum and emotional connections with people to drive change. Fletcher said: “It is an honour to be helping the Emirates Diplomatic Academy. The Middle East is on the frontline of all the major 21st century challenges, and it will be vital that the next generation of diplomats are equipped with the skills to promote coexistence and reduce the threat of conflict. Diplomacy is more important than ever in the Digital Age, but it must adapt and develop". Fletcher will also create a new Diplomatic Innovation Hub at the Emirates Diplomatic Academy’s HQ in Abu Dhabi. It will aim to develop fresh thinking on how diplomacy can harness digital technology and innovation to better fulfill it's vital role. The Emirates Diplomatic Academy supports the UAE government and its departments, including the UAE missions abroad, by training employees and diplomats on relationship building and offering strategic advice on key issues and trends.
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President Bernardino Leon’s inspirational message to the participants of Project ‘PLUS’
09 August 2016, Tuesday
  The Three Cultures of the Mediterranean Foundation (Fundación Tres Culturas del Mediterráneo) was established in 1998 as an initiative from Andalusia’s regional government and the Kingdom of Morocco. Since then, principles such as peace, dialogue and tolerance have been fundamental pillars of the institution, which works to bring together Mediterranean and Middle Eastern peoples and cultures. Based in the Spanish city of Seville, the Foundation engages in a number of cultural initiatives, including concerts, exhibitions, seminars, to name a few, with the overall aim of breaking down stereotypes and promoting respect among different peoples and religions. In its PLUS (Politicians Listening to Us) project, the Three Cultures of the Mediterranean Foundation brings together a consortium of European countries and their southern Mediterranean neighbours – represented by youth associations and NGOs that work directly with young people. Young people from each country develop a research project and contact policymakers at different levels to discuss the situation of social entrepreneurship in their respective countries. In the video, Bernardino Leon, Director General of Emirates Diplomatic Academy, who was also the first Director General of the Three Cultures Foundation talks about how both institutions have similar goals and work to fight ignorance. He laments the issues that the world is currently facing because of how ideas about religion and politics are warped to develop hatred. He advises the youth participating in PLUS to use their roles as future leaders to work towards fighting these prejudices and defusing conflicts that such extremist ideas can cause between nations.
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The Emirates Diplomatic Academy has published an ‘EDA Insight’ titled A Failed Coup in Turkey: What are the Consequences?
27 July 2016, Wednesday
The recent attempted military coup in Turkey confirmed the decreased ability of the military to intervene in Turkey’s democracy, the continuous popular support for the democratically elected government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the government’s determination to consolidate its position. This EDA Insight provides context on the coup attempt and explores the implications of its aftermath, both domestically as well as internationally. Please note that the views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Emirates Diplomatic Academy, an autonomous federal entity, or of the UAE Government. The EDA Insight can be found here: Download in English:
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Emirates Diplomatic Academy debates significance of diplomacy in age of instant communications
29 June 2016, Wednesday
Emirates Diplomatic Academy, the UAE’s integrated foreign policy, academic and research centre, organised an EDA Debate and Suhoor event at the St. Regis Saadiyat Island, to explore whether diplomacy has lost its relevance in the age of instant communications. The event, moderated by Mishaal Al Gergawi, Managing Director of Delma Institute, witnessed the active participation of students and staff of the Academy, and marked the closure of the academic year for the current batch of students at the Academy. Divided into a pro and against camp on the topic ‘Is Diplomacy Finished?’, students and staff debated whether diplomacy and ministries of foreign affairs are still relevant during the internet era when instant communications have made it possible for leaders to stay in regular direct contact with each other. “Emirates Diplomatic Academy organised the debate as part of its efforts to encourage critical and creative thinking in the students and build up team spirit among the students and staff. The debate offered a fun, experiential learning platform to help equip the UAE’s young diplomats with a good understanding of the challenges of modern day diplomacy and enabled them to hone their negotiation skills in tune with the requirements of the current age,” said Bernardino Leon, Director General of the EDA. “After nine months of intensive training that combined academic learning with interactive and hands-on activities, the students have gained the skills and experience to handle any diplomatic situation and further strengthen the UAE’s diplomacy,” Leon added. Emirates Diplomatic Academy plays a crucial role in supporting the strategic foreign policy objectives and aspirations of the UAE through its integrated courses and thought leadership platforms and events.    
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Blog: Post Conflict Yemen
27 June 2016, Monday
Link to the blog
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EDA Insight Examines Tasks for the GCC Countries After the Adoption of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change
26 June 2016, Sunday
The Emirates Diplomatic Academy has published an EDA Insight policy brief titled Operationalising and Implementing the Paris Agreement: Issues of Interest for the GCC Countries. Following the historic Paris Agreement on climate change of 2015, there are two tasks for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its member states: operationalising the Agreement and ensuring its smooth entry into force; and supporting and incentivising states and non-state actors to ensure the implementation of their national climate plans and scaling up of ambition. This EDA Insight examines some of the key actions countries now need to focus on, in the areas of: undertaking the necessary preparatory work under the UNFCCC to operationalise the Agreement; strengthening the UNFCCC’s approach to incentivising action, support and ambition by states; and incentivising cooperation among states and non-state actors beyond the UNFCCC. The Insight provides a brief assessment of progress by countries so far in 2016 and of expectations going forward, and explores related opportunities and challenges 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. The full text of this EDA Insight is available in Arabic and English. The full text of this EDA Insight is available in Arabic and English. Download in English: Download in Arabic:
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Emirates Diplomatic Academy hosts Tom Fletcher book launch to highlight new face of diplomacy aligned to 21st century
23 June 2016, Thursday
In line with the announcement of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to mark year 2016 as the Year of Reading, Emirates Diplomatic Academy hosted the official launch of the book, ‘Naked Diplomacy’, by Tom Fletcher, Former British Ambassador to Lebanon, on June 21st 2016, highlighting EDA’s efforts to promote diplomacy as an effective instrument of foreign policy. Tom Fletcher, the youngest appointed British Ambassador, explores the core principles of a progressive 21st century foreign policy in his first book, ‘Naked Diplomacy’. The book also describes the balancing of interventionism and national interest, and how diplomats can use global governance to achieve their national objectives. In the book, Fletcher highlights the colourful history of diplomacy, and the ever changing role of the diplomat. Describing the wisdom from history’s most influential global leaders and diplomats, Fletcher goes on to analyse the rise of smart power, soft power and the new interventionism. Speaking on the occasion, Bernardino Leon, Director General of EDA, said: “The book launch event comes as part of EDA’s participation in the Year of Reading activities. The initiative complements the Academy’s constant endeavour to promote the best international practices in diplomacy, and offer our students innovative platforms to acquire the necessary skills, experience and knowledge to excel in their career.” Commenting on the occasion, Tom Fletcher said: “I am proud to be associated with Emirates Diplomatic Academy for the launch of this book. The role of the academy is crucial in developing the next generation of diplomats to tackle the global challenges of the 21st century.” Fletcher added: “Diplomacy continues to have a significant impact on people's lives. With the extraordinary reach of social media, diplomats have the means to influence the countries they work in on a massive scale. I hope that 'Naked Diplomacy’ provides some of the answers on how we can make diplomacy even better at promoting tolerance and coexistence in the new digital terrain.” Tom Fletcher is a Visiting Professor of International Relations at New York University, and Visiting Professor of Diplomatic Practice at the Emirates Diplomatic Academy. He was British Ambassador to Lebanon from Emirates Diplomatic Academy plays a crucial role in supporting the strategic foreign policy objectives and aspirations of the UAE. The Academy serves as a key pillar in developing the country’s future diplomatic corps and foreign policy thought leadership through its integrated courses that combines academic programmes and training, research and analysis highlighting the UAE’s leading role in international relations.        
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Abdullah bin Zayed: Emirates Diplomatic Academy a leading centre of 21st century diplomacy
21 June 2016, Tuesday
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, said that the Academy has emerged as a leading centre for developing national talents in diplomacy and equipping them with 21st century  skills needed to strengthen the UAE’s international cooperation and positive relations at the regional and international levels. Since its launch more than a year ago, the Academy has built strategic partnerships with major international institutions of diplomacy and international relations, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah said. He said that during this period, the Academy has also been able to attract international experts who delivered their views on the future of the world diplomacy through the Academy’s platform. H.H. Sheikh Abdullah stated this while chairing the fourth meeting of the Academy’s Board of Trustees, in the presence of Board members His Excellency Dr. Anwar Mohammed Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs;  H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Cabinet Member and Minister of State; H.E. Omar Saif Ghobash, UAE Ambassador to the Russian Federation; H.E. Lana Nusseibeh, Permanent Representative of the UAE to the United Nations; and H.E Mohamed Issa Abushahab, Director -–Policy Planning Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. Also attended the meeting H.E Reem Ibrahim Al Hashimi UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation. H.H. Sheikh Abdullah said: “As the Emirates Diplomatic Academy prepares for the graduation of its first batch of future diplomats, it has become more confident in moving to the next phase of its development, taking the UAE’s diplomatic aspirations to the international level. With the highest academic training they received, the students of the Academy are fully prepared to be the diplomats of tomorrow and achieve the vision of the UAE leadership to develop diplomacy and attain excellence in foreign policy based on knowledge and innovation.” His Highness explained that in light of the rapid changes taking place in the region diplomats have the prime responsibility to serve the interests of their countries. “The Emirates Diplomatic Academy today sets a model for all academic and research institutions to develop capable national capacity, as part of government efforts to enable them to play an important role in creating the future of UAE diplomacy and contribute to nation building,” he  said. Bernardino León, Director General of EDA, spoke about perceptions of academic work in light of the Academy’s pursuit to achieve excellence in the field of training, research and academic study at both the regional and international levels. “Since the establishment of the Academy, it has managed through its unique operational approach to draw a clear academic path in the world of diplomatic education based on science and knowledge in order to develop diplomatic capacities, research and intellectual leadership for the region and the world,” he said. He said that the first batch of students taking the post-graduate Diploma Programme in UAE Diplomacy and International Relations, who complete their studies in a few days, have, over the past nine months, acquired all the necessary skills and knowledge to represent the UAE and defend its interests in the international arena. The Director General said preparations were under way to receive the second batch of the diploma students this September. The Board meeting discussed ways to enhance the prospects for international cooperation with leading institutions, organisations and academies in the field of diplomacy and international relations. It also evaluated the performance of the graduates and their final assessment. The meeting looked at the academic accreditation requirements of the Ministry of Education for the Master's Programme in Diplomacy and International Relations and also discussed developments related to the second academic year 2016-2017. The meeting also reviewed the strategic plan and performance system and the communication methods with members of the Advisory Council of the Academy, and evaluated the progress achieved in academic and administrative work.   
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Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan calls for effective use of art as a soft power tool
15 June 2016, Wednesday
Art has been perceived in a philosophical manner but is actually an effective soft power tool that is capable of influencing people, said Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan Chairman of His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan Humanitarian & Scientific Foundation, during an interactive session at Emirates Diplomatic Academy. Speaking on the topic, ‘Importance of Culture and Art and Philanthropy as a Soft Power in the Strategy of Public Diplomacy’, HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan pointed out that ‘culture’ is not stagnant and that culture changes as people change over time. Stating that Emirati art is currently very localized, HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan expressed optimism that it will gradually move into the international arena. He highlighted his own initiative, Unlimited Arab Exploration (UAE), which promotes Emirati art, to describe his interest in art. During the interactive session with students of the Academy, HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan urged them to learn new languages as a key step towards building positive relations with other nations. He also spoke about how the UAE is a multi-cultural society where foreigners are not viewed differently and are considered a main segment of the society. HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan also said that every individual is capable of making a difference in the society, and it is the responsibility of each individual to bring about that change. Commenting on the occasion, Bernardino Leon, Director General of EDA, said, “The interactive session of HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan was a proud moment for us at Emirates Diplomatic Academy which enabled our students and staff to gain significant insights into the reach of art and culture as a soft power in today’s world. The session highlighted EDA’s innovative approach to diplomatic training aligned to real world situations and requirements.” The visit by HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan was arranged by a group of EDA students as part of their Capstone project on the UAE's public diplomacy overseas. EDA offers UAE’s future diplomats innovative platforms to expand their perspective of international relations and contribute to the foreign policy objectives of the country. It brings together the best of academia, research and practice through region-specific programmes. Its unique post-graduate diploma programme combines advanced academic course work with hands-on practical experience. The Academy also offers highly specialized executive education courses for those already established in foreign policy roles.
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Emirates Diplomatic Academy joins hands with Delma Institute to organise simulation exercise
13 June 2016, Monday
The Emirates Diplomatic Academy in cooperation with The Delma Institute, has organised a two-day simulation of a major international political negotiation. The simulation at the EDA premises was led by Mishaal Al Gergawi, Managing Director of The Delma Institute. In the preparatory sessions for the simulations, EDA students enhanced their understanding of strategic and tactical planning for negotiations, including shaping expectations, creating a conducive media environment and planning for the unplannable. The preparation sessions also included a thorough analysis of several historical political agreements, including the 1978 Camp David Accord, the 1989 Taif Agreement in Lebanon, and the 1990 Unification Agreement in Yemen and Libyan Agreement. Through experiential learning methods such as simulations, the Academy aims to equip the UAE’s young diplomats with a good understanding of negotiation processes and encourage critical and creative thinking on incentivising positive outcomes in such negotiations. Commenting on the simulation, Bernardino Leon, Director General of the EDA, said: “Enhancing a diplomat’s understanding of the psychology of negotiations is an important task. Many diplomats underestimate how difficult negotiations can be, especially in crisis and conflict situations. At EDA, the students get to experience both theoretical and practical learning and such simulation sessions enable them to effectively develop their negotiation skills and deal diplomatically with any situation”. Mishaal Al Gergawi urged the EDA students to work towards understanding the interests of all involved in political negotiations. He said, “Know your friends, foes, and potential spoilers, be principled and be creative in finding the middle ground.” This was the first simulation exercise that was held at the Academy. The Academy plans to organise several such exercises by collaborating with local and international partners. These real life simulations are meant to help prepare Emirati diplomats for their future positions and as such further strengthen the UAE’s foreign policy. As the leading diplomatic training institute in the region, EDA combines academic programmes and training, research and analysis on relevant issues related to Middle East, nuclear and energy. The Academy also conducts in-depth studies on the region and the UAE to build a knowledge base in the field of international relations and diplomacy, and support the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and decision-makers in the UAE.
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