Emirates Diplomatic Academy  training  course  enhances strategic thinking capabilities in diplomatic arena
23 February 2016, Tuesday
The Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA) organised a three-day interactive practical training session on developing ‘Strategic Thinking and Scenario Planning Skills, as part of EDA’s efforts to enhance the academic knowledge and skills of current and future diplomats to enable them to contribute positively to the UAE’s foreign policy goals.Led by Mr. Bart Hogeveen and Ms. Evelien Borgman, Training and Research Fellows at the Clingendael Institute, the session included active discussions on the role of strategic thinking in developing foreign policy. It also featured team exercises involving Scenario Planning as the main tool for Strategic Thinking. Attended by Diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as senior employees from other government entities, the training session offered a deeper understanding of the importance of contributing to strategic policy planning and adapting it to analyze policies at various levels. Commenting on the occasion, Mariam Al Mahmoud, Director of Executive Education and spokesperson at EDA, said: “The EDA model of education is designed to strengthen the UAE’s competitive advantage in the international and regional arena, making it a unique model in diplomatic capacity development, research and thought leadership in the UAE. The training programme is aimed at further developing the leadership skills of the diplomats by using innovative and creative techniques that will help them to contribute to UAE’s foreign policy goals.” “Diplomacy is multifaceted and is often affected by technological, political, economic and other changes. Developing an effective foreign-policy is a very complex task, and the policies have to be analysed at various levels. Strategic thinking is a critical factor in achieving excellence in foreign policy goals,” Al Mahmoud added. On the first day of the training course, participants were led through different approaches to policy planning. The participants were then divided into different groups for brainstorming exercises on strategic thinking ideas. The second and third day of the training focused on the use of Scenario Planning as a major tool for Strategic Thinking. Team exercises were conducted for the participants and were asked to brainstorm about the trends and developments on the scenario, ‘UAE Diplomacy in the World of 2020’. As an integrated centre for diplomatic training, EDA offers Post-Graduate Diploma Programme for the graduates to gain the skills and confidence required to effectively represent the UAE in the international arena. It also provides short-term Executive Education courses training courses targeted at current employees in the fields of foreign policy and diplomacy in the UAE. In the area of research and analysis, the Academy conducts in-depth studies on the region and the UAE to build a knowledge base in the field of international relations and diplomacy.
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Abdullah bin Zayed: EDA will play significant role in shaping UAE’s future international cooperation and diplomacy
21 February 2016, Sunday
His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Emirates Diplomatic Academy, said the role of the academy in shaping the UAE's diplomatic future has become even more important, in line with the UAE leadership’s vision to strengthen the nation’s role in promoting international cooperation..HH Sheikh Abdullah said the responsibility of the Academy has also increased with the new direction and tasks of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. It now has to implement innovative initiatives that would contribute to activating the UAE’s international cooperation and establishing positive relations at both regional and international levels. This will support the nation’s move to a new phase of the future diplomacy to achieve significant successes in the international arena. HH Sheikh Abdullah said the academic curriculum of EDA must include significant new knowledge and skills that will enable the nation’s future diplomats to gain capabilities and expertise in international cooperation, and contribute to shaping of the UAE’s future diplomacy. HH Sheikh Abdullah was addressing the third meeting of the Board of Trustees, which was attended by HE Dr. Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs; HE Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State; HE. Omar Saif Ghobash, Ambassador of the UAE to the Russian Federation; HE. Lana Nusseibeh, Permanent Representative of the UAE to the United Nations; and HE. Mohamed Issa Abushahab, Director of Policy Planning Department at Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. HH Sheikh Abdullah explained that the academy today has a clear strategy to achieve its vision and consolidate its position as one of the most important educational, research and academic centres specialised in diplomacy in the region and the world. The academy will attract the best talent and expertise, and build global partnerships to share knowledge, and leverage them to achieve success in UAE’s diplomatic initiatives. On the occasion, Bernardino León, Director General of EDA, highlighted the strategy for the academy in the upcoming phase, underlining its commitment to achieving excellence in the field of training, research and academic study. “EDA will provide diplomats with the best skills and offer world-class academic programmes, and strengthen its position as a leading centre for diplomatic studies globally,” he said. The meeting reviewed the academic work in 2016 and discussed the proposals for developing academic programmes that will enrich the educational experience of the students. The participants also discussed the various training programmes implemented by the Academy. The meeting highlighted the research outputs of the Academy, and ways to support the projects submitted by students. It discussed the strategic directions for the next phase, with emphasis on the key initiatives and events to be implemented this year.
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Emirates Diplomatic Academy  launches New Ambassador Programme to boost international relations skills
06 February 2016, Saturday
Emirates Diplomatic Academy, the leading integrated foreign policy, academic and research centre in the region, has launched a new ambassador programme in close coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to boost the skills of professionals in the diplomatic field. The programme, which will be conducted in three phases, will cover a range of skills, including political analysis, diplomatic correspondence, strategic thinking and scenario planning. New ambassadors have already taken part in the first phase of the programme. A further two sessions will take place throughout February. The New Ambassador Programme has been designed as an experiential learning programme to equip and empower senior diplomats to be well trained and prepared for their duties out of the country. During this programme, the ambassadors will explore different topics in global affairs, diplomacy and build their cross cultural communication skills. Executive Education at EDA has lined up a group of renowned leaders to inspire the diplomats on ways to make a difference in their communities. The programme will also feature dining and social etiquette sessions keeping in mind both formal and informal settings. To enhance this experience, the diplomats will meet with the ambassadors based on the country that they are assigned on due to receive intensive cultural awareness. “Emirati diplomatic missions abroad play a significant role in communicating the unique characteristics of the UAE to the international community. It is therefore imperative that the country’s ambassadors are equipped with the latest skills and expertise to deal with the ever changing political situations in the region and the world,” said Mariam Al Mahmoud, Director of Executive Education and spokesperson at EDA. She added: “As a true centre of excellence for diplomatic capacity development, research and thought leadership in the UAE, EDA’s programmes and initiatives are aligned to the live requirements in the regional and international scene. The new ambassador programme reflects the commitment of the Academy to provide the students with a comprehensive view of the challenges in the diplomatic arena and the most effective solutions to overcome them.” During the first phase of the programme, Bernardino León, Director General of Emirates Diplomatic Academy, shared with the new ambassadors his experiences in the field of international diplomacy and shed light on diplomatic duties. The participants were also offered insights on managing crisis situations as well as how they can deal with the media and prepare diplomatic reports. In the next phase of the programme, the Academy has partnered with the Netherlands-based Clingendael Institute and The Protocol School of Washington. As an integrated academic centre, EDA combines academic programmes and training, research and analysis to highlight the UAE’s leading role in international relations. 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 decision-makers in the UAE.
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Emirates Diplomatic Academy organises public lecture by Dr.Jeffrey D.Sachs on sustainable goals
28 January 2016, Thursday
Emirates Diplomatic Academy, the leading integrated foreign policy, academic and research centre in the region, hosted a public lecture by Dr. Jeffrey D. Sachs, renowned economist and senior United Nations advisor, on the topic ‘Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Goals’ at the Academy on January 28, 2016. On the occasion, Bernardino León, Director General of EDA, said: “We welcome Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs to the Emirates Diplomatic Academy and thank him for supporting the Academy’s efforts to strengthen the UAE’s policy direction in sustainable development dialogue. The public lecture by Professor Sachs on ‘Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Goals’ highlights EDA’s key position as a centre of policy research and thought leadership on contemporary regional and global issues for policy and decisions makers.” “The UAE has been at the forefront of efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change by emphasising the country’s involvement in the dialogue on global climate change. EDA is keen to strengthen the UAE’s capabilities in achieving the UAE leadership’s vision by providing current and aspiring diplomats with the knowledge, skills and network to serve their country on a global stage.” Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Jeffrey Sachs said: “Finding solutions to meet the challenges posed by sustainable development must align economic development with environment realities. We need more concerted action at every level to create practical solutions in addressing the major environmental and social problems, which have serious consequences on international relations.” He added: “The UAE has become a model nation in this area and the wise leadership of the country has encouraged the process of dialogue as the most practical approach to achieving success in global negotiations on climate change. EDA must be commended for supporting sustainable goals and identifying the issue of sustainable development as a critical aspect of better international relations and a high priority area of diplomacy.” A leader in sustainable development, Dr. Jeffrey Sachs is Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Millennium Development Goals. Dr. Sachs is also known as a bestselling author, and syndicated columnist whose monthly newspaper columns appear in more than 100 countries. He has twice been named among Time Magazine’s 100 most influential world leaders.  
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Emirates Diplomatic Academy Publishes Insight on the Paris Climate Change Agreement
11 January 2016, Monday
The Emirates Diplomatic Academy has published an EDA Insight*, or policy brief, titled ‘The Paris Agreement on Climate Change – Implications for the UAE’. In December 2015, in Paris, 195 countries agreed to the first ever universal, legally-binding intergovernmental agreement on climate change. The 12-page Paris Agreement, together with 19 pages of related decision text, took four years to negotiate. The Agreement can be described as a comprehensive framework for catalysing climate action worldwide. Despite being broadly described as a victory for multilateralism and the best possible outcome, the Paris Agreement in itself will not prevent catastrophic climate change. Only its successful implementation by state and non-state actors globally will. In this sense, the next five to ten years will be crucial. This EDA Insight unpacks the Paris Agreement, discussing its role in the global response to climate change, and presenting some of its key elements. It also includes an initial consideration of the direct and indirect implications of the Paris Agreement for the UAE. *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 in the UAE and worldwide will find informative and relevant. Download in English:  Download in Arabic: 
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Emirates Diplomatic Academy begins second semester of Post-Graduate Diploma Programme
10 January 2016, Sunday
Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA) has welcomed back 58 students studying its Post-Graduate Diploma Programme in UAE Diplomacy and International Relations, marking the start of the second semester. The nine-month Post-Graduate Diploma Programme, which plays a crucial role in developing the UAE’s future diplomatic corps and foreign policy thought leadership, combines advanced academic course with hands-on practical experience. Commenting on the start of the second semester, Bernardino León, Director General of EDA, said: “Since the start of the academic year, the EDA students have shown exemplary commitment to strengthen their abilities in diplomacy and international relations. The EDA Post-Graduate Diploma Programme will play a critical role in preparing the UAE’s future diplomats, equipping them with the knowledge and experience to enable them to contribute effectively to diplomacy.” As the region’s leading integrated centre for academic studies, executive education and research in diplomacy, EDA is focused on preparing national capabilities and talents to meet the nation’s aspirations in the diplomatic field, added León. As an integrated academic centre, EDA combines academic programmes and training, research and analysis to highlight the UAE’s leading role in international relations. 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 decision-makers in the UAE.
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Emirates Diplomatic Academy  organises training course to create leaders with visionary decision-making capabilities
16 December 2015, Wednesday
Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA), the leading integrated foreign policy, academic and research centre in the region, organised a Leadership Skills training course featuring interactive practical exercises to enable participants to learn the dynamics of leadership styles. Led by Tony Copeman, leadership coach at Lead Training Institute, the two-day training course on the 13th and 14th of December encouraged active discussions of case studies on leadership styles and creativity in the workplace, and offered team exercises to develop innovation and creativity. The course also included video presentations to illustrate key learning points, and offered opportunities for sharing experiences and exchanging knowledge, as well as practicing key concepts through role plays. Attended by employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and various government organisations, participants in the leadership training course were able to gain critical skills in building a strong followership, and learn the art of leadership with visionary decision-making capabilities. The course also offered insights on managing time and resources more effectively, command respect by peers and followers, and gain insights on developing leadership style. Commenting on the occasion, Mariam Al Mahmoud, Director of Executive Education and spokesperson at EDA, said: “The EDA model of education is designed to strengthen the UAE’s competitive advantage in the international economy and global political arena, making it a unique model in diplomatic capacity development, research and thought leadership in the UAE. The Leadership Skills training course was organised as part of this visionary approach to prepare the next generation of top UAE diplomats and leaders in the field of diplomacy.” On the first day of the training, participants were offered insights on the skills and qualities of a good leader. Discussions focused on topics such as Management versus leadership, Collaborative leadership, Transactional leadership, Visionary leadership and Situational leadership. A session on ‘Leading others effectively’ looked at the secrets of inspiring others, and the aspects of a people-oriented helper and a task-oriented helper. The session also highlighted possibilities in optimising a leader’s natural strengths as well as prospects of individual transformation for self-development. It also focused on the topic of corporate transformation through innovative leadership. A group activity was organised on innovative leadership offering key insights on topics such as ‘Effective skills for understanding others’ and ‘Understanding personality profiles’. The activity also focused on crisis management and ways of applying teamwork for innovation in the workplace as well as establishing the criteria for training and development of teams. The second day started with a session on ‘Leadership delegation and mentoring’ featuring topics such as ‘Best practices to effectively delegate’, ‘Delegation versus empowerment’ and ‘Pre-requisites for coaching and mentoring’. The session also looked at the leader’s role in coaching and the power of motivation. A session on ‘Leadership with time management’ explored how work can be prioritised, and offered tips on effective time management. Another session highlighted the leader as a problem solver and shed light on creative problem solving techniques, removing emotional and mental blind spots, and managing people conflicts. As an integrated centre for diplomatic training, the Academy offers Post-Graduate Diploma Programme for the graduates to gain the skills and confidence required to effectively represent the UAE in the international arena. It also provides short-term Executive Education courses training courses targeted at current employees in the fields of foreign policy and diplomacy in the UAE. In the area of research and analysis, the Academy conducts in-depth studies on the region and the UAE to build a knowledge base in the field of international relations and diplomacy.
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Emirates Diplomatic Academy signs cooperation protocol with Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs
15 December 2015, Tuesday
Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA) has signed a cooperation protocol with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China to boost diplomatic training between the two countries. The agreement, signed by His Excellency Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of State and Member of the Board of Trustees of EDA, and HE Qin Yaqing, President of China Foreign Affairs University, will foster innovation in the field of diplomatic staff training and enable the exchange of information and documentation on subjects of common interest through the two academies respective libraries and archives. The protocol of cooperation follows the ongoing UAE state visit to China, during which the two countries established a joint strategic investment fund worth US$10bn and a signed a second agreement to collaborate on oil and gas projects with the China National Petroleum Corp and Mubadala Petroleum. EDA, the UAE's pioneering integrated foreign policy academic and research centre, offers integrated academic teaching and executive education with research activities in the specific context of the UAE and the region. During the course of the programme, students are exposed to a range of ideas, studies and research in the international diplomacy sector. As part of its efforts to become an integrated academic centre, the Academy offers a Post-Graduate Diploma Programme and also provides short-term training courses to meet the needs of current employees in the fields of foreign policy and diplomacy in the UAE. The Academy conducts in-depth studies on the region and the UAE to build a knowledge base in the field of international relations and diplomacy, which will support the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and decision-makers in the UAE.
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Emirates Diplomatic Academy  highlights research and analysis as focal area in achieving success in international relations
08 December 2015, Tuesday
Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA), the leading integrated foreign policy, academic and research centre in the region, organised a two-day course aimed at improving the research and analysis skills of professionals in the international diplomacy arena and enabling them to apply them effectively in their career. Led by Dr. Muin Khoury from the International Institute for Consulting and Training (IICT), the course on Research and Analysis, organised on December 6 and 7, 2015, highlighted the relevance of data in analysing a country or policy issue, particularly focusing on ways to find and interpret the right data. Dr. Khoury, a former director of the Foreign Press Department of the Office and Research & Opinion Polling Department of the Office of King Abdullah II of Jordan, offered insights based on his expertise with over 30 years in leadership positions in Middle Eastern politics, socio-political research and communications. Commenting on the occasion, Mariam Al Mahmoud, Director of Executive Education and spokesperson at EDA, said: “Emirates Diplomatic Academy offers distinguished platforms for foreign affairs and diplomacy related discussions through events that bring together leading local, regional and international scholars and practitioners. The comprehensive sessions organised as part of the Research and Analysis course offered an opportunity to examine potential ways of improving UAE’s bilateral relations with other countries, and highlighted the major role of the Academy as a key pillar in developing the country’s future diplomatic corps and foreign policy thought leadership.” The first session of the course on December 6 offered insights on the importance of research in the political and public domain, and described the various types of research and methodologies, especially research in communications. The second session focused on sources of knowledge and information and the importance of political and economic data. The session also gave expert perspective on country reports for policy briefings based on available resources. Day one of the training course concluded with a session on ‘Useful Indices’ which examined prominent indices of entities such as United Nations, World Economic Forum, Amnesty, Human Rights Watch, and Freedom House and those related to topics such as Prosperity; Press Freedoms; and Corruption. On the second day, the training course offered an overview of UAE country perceptions, examining media clippings and reports as well as Arab and international country scoring. A country perceptions survey was the highlight of one of the sessions while another session drew attention to failed states and other country descriptions. As an integrated centre for diplomatic training, the Academy offers Post-Graduate Diploma Programme for the graduates to gain the skills and confidence required to effectively represent the UAE in the international arena. It also provides short-term Executive Education courses training courses targeted at current employees in the fields of foreign policy and diplomacy in the UAE. In the area of research and analysis, the Academy conducts in-depth studies on the region and the UAE to build a knowledge base in the field of international relations and diplomacy.
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Emirates Diplomatic Academy organises innovation labs to promote innovative approaches in diplomacy
25 November 2015, Wednesday
In response to the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to mark 2015 as the Year of Innovation, and as part of its participation in the UAE Innovation Week, Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA) organised a set of parallel brainstorming workshops under the title, ‘Innovation in Diplomacy Labs’, during which the Academy’s students presented their innovative ideas to enhance diplomatic work and promote the status of the UAE regionally and globally. UAE Innovation Week is an annual initiative launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to highlight innovations and innovators in the UAE and honour achievements. Innovation represents one of the most important pillars of EDA’s vision and a key strategy of UAE diplomacy to develop all areas in the diplomatic field. EDA is focused on efforts to innovate new approaches in international relations to enhance the UAE’s leading position in line with the Vision 2021, which aims to make the UAE one of the most advanced countries in the world in the coming years. Abeer Al Mutawa, Marketing and Communications Director at Emirates Diplomatic Academy, said EDA organised the Innovation in Diplomacy Labs in response to the directives of the UAE leadership to employ innovation to raise the performance levels in all sectors. The Innovation in Diplomacy Labs was successful in generating several innovative ideas to meet the needs of next phase of diplomatic work, and highlighting the importance of employing these ideas to enhance the achievements of the UAE at the regional and international levels, she said. “Over the past few weeks, EDA students have been involved in discussions to employ the best innovative ideas to serve the diplomatic sector, and enhance the position of EDA as an integrated academic centre in the development of diplomatic capacity, research and thought leadership, and as a key driver of innovation to promote diplomatic performance in the UAE,” Al Mutawa said. The activities of Innovation in Diplomacy Labs started with an introduction highlighting the role of innovation in upgrading diplomatic performance. The session stressed the importance of training staff and encouraging them to adopt the culture of innovation in all aspects of work to meet the changing needs of international relations, and raise the status of the UAE as a global leader in diplomacy. The students participated in four brainstorming workshops organised in parallel in the presence of a group of experts in the field of innovation. The participants in the Diplomacy Index workshop highlighted the Index as an effective tool to evaluate diplomatic performance, identifying the latest local and global trends and mechanisms. It includes a range of effective strategies adopted by embassies to achieve foreign policy goals. In another session, participants discussed the idea of a ‘Virtual Reality Embassy’, which aims to strengthen the diplomatic presence of the UAE to serve UAE nationals abroad as well as citizens of other countries looking for information about the UAE. The workshop discussed all aspects of the virtual embassy, including measures to ensure secure online access. The third workshop reviewed the idea of ‘Youth Engagement Platform’, highlighting it as a tool to raise awareness about multi-cultural and diplomatic values among school children aged 7-10 in the UAE. The emphasis was on teaching them the most important concepts and values to prepare a future generation of leaders and diplomats. Another workshop discussed the idea of establishing a ‘Majlis for Arabic Language’ in order to strengthen the presence of Arabic in the international community through a series of events and activities organised by UAE embassies. The Majlis would involve innovative educational tools to teach Arabic language. The EDA students presented the ideas generated in the Innovation in Diplomacy Labs before the faculty and innovation experts and discussed mechanisms to implement the ideas by employing innovation and cutting-edge technologies as well as global best practices and successful experiences to promote diplomacy in the UAE.
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Emirates Diplomatic Academy-Ministry of Foreign Affairs Directorate of Energy and Climate Change workshop prepares UAE delegation for Paris meeting
16 November 2015, Monday
The Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA), in partnership with the Directorate of Energy and Climate Change of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DECC-MoFA), organised a two-day training workshop to examine the latest developments around the international policy framework of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The well-attended workshop also analysed the most important issues concerning climate change for the UAE’s climate change negotiating delegation and other professionals working in the field in the country. Titled ‘Climate Change Diplomacy and the UNFCCC’, the training course held at the EDA on November 11 and 12, 2015, was aimed at equipping UAE diplomats and stakeholders with the latest developments in this field. More than fifty diplomats and professionals participated in the workshop, including the UAE's climate change team, comprised of negotiators and stakeholders from several government agencies, as well as EDA staff and students. The workshop sessions, which were led by experts in the field from DECC-MoFA and EDA, examined multilateral climate change diplomacy and negotiations from both technical and political perspectives. "The Ministry of Foreign Affairs attaches great importance to knowledge development in line with the vision of the UAE leadership to create a competitive knowledge-based economy," said H.E. Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, Permanent Representative of the UAE to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and Director of Energy and Climate Change at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "Workshops such as this one are an essential component of building capacity of UAE diplomats as well as stakeholders engaged in climate change negotiations, especially in view of the critical climate change conference in the history of climate diplomacy starting later this month in Paris," he explained. Climate change is an issue of the highest importance internationally, and one in which the UAE’s leadership wishes to position the country as a constructive thought leader. At the same time, climate policy has impacts on energy, economic development and other areas of national interest for the UAE. At the UN Climate Change Conference, also known ‘COP 21’, which will take place in Paris, France, from 30 November to 11 December 2015, 195 countries are expected to reach a universal agreement that will govern climate actions after 2020 in order to prevent a dangerous rise in global average temperatures and enable countries to adapt to its negative impacts. Speaking at the close of the event, Mariam Al Mahmoud, EDA Spokesperson and Director of Executive Education, said: “we are pleased to have collaborated with MoFA on this successful training course on climate change diplomacy. This workshop is an excellent example of the kind of practical training the EDA provides to UAE professionals working in the field of diplomacy and international relations.” EDA’s portfolio of innovative and practical executive education courses are designed for individuals currently working as part of the UAE’s foreign policy and diplomatic corps and other government entities. Combining rigorous academic knowledge, contemporary research, and high-level practical experience, these courses are led by EDA’s in-house faculty and trainers, and are complemented by courses developed in collaboration with EDA’s local and international institutional partners.
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Emirates Diplomatic Academy  appoints top  UN diplomat  Bernardino León Gross as its first Director General
04 November 2015, Wednesday
Emirates Diplomatic Academy, today announced  the  appointment of Bernardino León as the first Director General of the Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA), the UAE’s  leading  centre  of  excellence in diplomatic studies. Mr. Leon, will take up his position in December, 2015. A career diplomat with rich international experience spanning more than 25 years, Mr. Leon’s most recent role was as the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General to Libya, a position he has held for the past year. H.H. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of EDA, said:  “The Emirates Diplomatic Academy serves the important role of providing world-class training, research and intellectual leadership for our future diplomats. The deep experience and understanding of global geo-politics that Mr. León brings to EDA will be a rich resource for our new generation of diplomats. “The UAE’s diplomatic corps are the pillars of our international engagement, upholding our interests and promoting our leadership’s vision at global platforms. Developing the next generation of Emirati diplomatic talents is central to supporting our foreign policy objectives and in ensuring that our nation’s voice is heard as we pursue our outlook of promoting regional peace and stability.” A Spanish national, Mr. León has a deep understanding of global politics, diplomacy and foreign affairs. He has worked extensively in the Middle East, playing a major role in the European Union team that followed up and supported the Taba talks as well as the Hebron, Wye River, Camp David and Shepherdstown Accords. He was actively involved in the Geneva Agreement, and has served in Spanish Diplomatic Services at the recently created European External Action Service in the United Nations and other international centres. He has worked widely in political and economic affairs, especially as a G20 Sherpa, and has contributed significantly to cultural diplomacy. As Director General, Mr. León will work with EDA’s Board of Trustees to establish the strategic direction of the Academy as a global thought leader in diplomatic studies. He will lead the international faculty of experts at EDA in ensuring the highest standards in diplomatic education and competency to create the new generation of Emirati diplomats that the Academy nurtures. The appointment will also help enhance EDA’s status as an elite diplomatic institution that provides vital policy direction and insights on contemporary regional and global issues. Speaking about his new role, Mr. León said: “I am delighted to take up this new position and look forward to engaging with the young Emirati nationals and working with the seasoned faculty, training and research teams to establish EDA as a referral point in diplomatic studies.  EDA is truly a path-breaking initiative by the UAE Government to nurture the next generation of diplomatic and foreign relations professionals. It’s unique world-class academic and research platform is built on course offerings and research themes that match the UAE’s growing prominence in regional and international affairs.” Emphasizing EDA’s crucial role in developing the country’s future diplomatic corps and foreign policy thought leadership, Mr. León said: “The Academy shapes a dedicated talent pool of young professionals who can enter diplomatic careers with an insightful world view of politics and foreign affairs. Such a forward-looking training initiative will further enable the UAE to achieve even more significant successes in its international relations.” During his distinguished diplomatic career, Mr. León has been in active engagement with governments and diverse stakeholders in Europe, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and Tunisia, among others. His sphere of influence has covered economic diplomacy, intercultural dialogue, security, energy and migration. Mr. León conducted crucial negotiations in Libya, Egypt and Tunisia promoting Arab values and underpinning the need for tolerance and cultural understanding. His abiding respect for Arab values and fostering intercultural dialogue was instrumental in the launch of the Vienna Centre for Dialogue between Religions and the foundation of Three Cultures, a Moroccan-Spanish Centre. Mr. León holds a diploma in International Relations from the University of Barcelona and a Degree in Law from the University of Malaga, Spain. He is the author and translator of several books, lectures at universities around the world and has won over 20 international awards for his diplomacy work.  
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Emirates Diplomatic Academy puts the spotlight on opportunities and challenges in economic diplomacy
21 October 2015, Wednesday
The Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA), the pioneering integrated foreign policy, academic and research centre in the region, evaluated the opportunities and challenges in economic diplomacy for foreign policy-making during an Executive Education course on ‘Economic Diplomacy’. The three-day course, which took place from October 18 to 20, 2015, provided insights on the methodology of economic diplomacy, and enabled the participants to gain a deeper understanding of the evolution of economic diplomacy and its key role in international affairs. “EDA Executive Education courses are designed to train government staff engaged in different aspects of diplomacy and international relations. These courses feature highly engaging sessions involving practical exercises aimed at enhancing the experience of the participants and raising their skill levels to meet current challenges in the diplomatic arena,” said Mariam Al Mahmoud, Director of Executive Education at EDA. The Executive Education course on ‘Economic Diplomacy’ was led by Shawn Aktar, an expert with extensive experience in capacity development programmes; Kishan S. Rana, a veteran Indian Foreign Service diplomat; and Shahid Akhtar, an expert in international development policy. The first day of the course demonstrated an understanding of the basic economic concepts, explaining the UAE economy and its legislative and policy frameworks. A session was devoted to the current state of economic diplomacy. Economic work at embassies and the possibilities of integrating economic work into diplomacy were the main areas of focus on the second day. One of the sessions dealt with UAE’s political and socio-economic history and its impact on diplomacy. The third day examined the tools and instruments for promoting the UAE economy. The day included a session on domestic and international partners and stakeholders promoting the UAE economy. It also looked at the roles and relationships between the various UAE institutions, departments and policies in setting economic policy. EDA’s portfolio of innovative and practical executive education courses are designed for individuals currently working as part of the UAE’s foreign policy and diplomatic corps and other Government entities. Combining rigorous academic knowledge, contemporary research, and high-level practical experience, these courses are led by EDA’s in-house faculty and trainers, and are complemented by courses developed in collaboration with EDA’s local and international institutional partners.
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Emirates Diplomatic Academy, in  cooperation  with  the National Emergency Crisis  and Disaster Management Authority, organises training course on emergency and crisis preparedness
29 September 2015, Tuesday
The Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA) organised a two-day training session, in partnership with the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA), on 27 & 28 September on ‘Preparation for emergencies and crisis’ for Diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This is part of EDA’s efforts to create a proactive and engaging academic environment that encourages innovation, scientific research and exchange of knowledge across a number of sectors. Mariam Al Mahmoud, Director of Executive Education at EDA, said that the Academy organises diverse training courses in cooperation with local and international partners to enhance the academic knowledge and skills of current and future diplomats to enable them to contribute positively to the UAE’s foreign policy goals. “The training programme is aimed at introducing the Diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the best practices in emergency response and disaster management. Organising the session underlines our commitment to collaborate with partners from the government, private, academic and international sectors to fulfill EDA’s mission to build capabilities that support the objectives of the UAE’s foreign policy. Our aim is to deliver high impact training and to disseminate research findings and thought leadership that furthers the understanding of diplomacy and international relations,” Al Mahmoud added..Supervised and facilitated by Aref Rashid Salem Al Zaabi, Head of the Specialised Training Unit at the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority, the training session at EDA focused on the various functions of the Supreme Council for National Security, and the specialty areas of the NCEMA in the broader context of the emergency management system in the UAE. The session also shed light on different types of emergencies, disasters and crisis situations. Established in 2014, EDA is a pioneering integrated academic and research centre dedicated to strengthening the UAE national’s foreign policy knowledge. EDA equips the UAE’s current and future diplomats with the knowledge, multi-disciplinary skills and network required for a rewarding career in Foreign Service.
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