Nov 08

Emirates Diplomatic Academy Launches Abu Dhabi Diplomacy Conference

Nov 08, 2018

The Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA) today announced at a press conference that it will host the inaugural edition of the Abu Dhabi Diplomacy Conference that is set to provide a premier interdisciplinary platform to discuss the latest innovations, trends and challenges in the field of diplomatic practice.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and set to take place from 14 to 15 November at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort in Abu Dhabi, the event will draw the participation of over 300 delegates.

In addition to keynote speaker sessions, the agenda will feature interactive panel discussions and practical workshops designed to identify effective solutions that can be implemented by ministries of foreign affairs across the globe. A distinguished line-up of confirmed speakers includes Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation; His Excellency Zaki Nusseibeh, UAE Minister of State; His Excellency Omar Sultan Al Olama, UAE Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence; Her Excellency Susana Malcorra, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Argentina Republic; Her Excellency María Ángela Holguín Cuéllar, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Colombia; and His Excellency Nabil Fahmy, Founding Dean of the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the American University in Cairo and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Arab Republic of Egypt.

His Excellency Bernardino León, Director General of EDA, said: “In the words of the founding father of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, ‘we cannot live in isolation from the world’. This is EDA’s motivation for hosting events such as the Abu Dhabi Diplomacy Conference. While politics is often discussed and studied, however, the training and development of our diplomats are not.

He added: “The conference is set to present an ideal platform to explore new concepts to strengthen the effectiveness of diplomacy and enhance synergies between diplomats in the UAE and their international counterparts. It is our vision that the Abu Dhabi Diplomacy Conference will contribute to the conversation that shapes the future of diplomacy.”

Speaking on the purpose of the event, Her Excellency Dr Nawal Al-Hosany, Permanent Representative of the UAE to the International Renewable Energy Agency and Deputy Director General of EDA, said: “This conference was created to connect diplomats from around the world. Through this forum, we seek to promote the exchange of ideas and international diplomatic best practices, which in turn can contribute to finding constructive solutions to the most pressing global issues.”

She added: “Amidst the Fourth Industrial Revolution, diplomacy in the 21st century has unprecedented technology and communication methods at their disposal that also present various challenges. Not only are there new ways to communicate but there are new, non-traditional players who are taking on increasingly prominent roles on the world stage. While artificial intelligence, advanced robotics and social media are tools that can increase efficiency, erase borders and bring people together, they also contribute to intensifying the social divide and bring with them entirely new rules and regulations. Today’s diplomacy can no longer work without transparency, engagement and closer collaboration. The Abu Dhabi Diplomacy Conference aims to leverage this opportunity to address the industry’s most crucial challenges.”

For his part, Phil Dufty, Director of Research and Analysis at EDA, said: “The gathering is part of EDA’s long-term strategy to become a centre of excellence and a definitive source of expertise and ideas on foreign policy and diplomacy. We work relentlessly to develop new policy-oriented research, provide platforms for discussions between government and academia, and introduce our students to high-level thought leaders and solution finders.”

Running on the sidelines of the event will be the Future Diplomats PeaceGame, which engages outstanding trainee diplomats and students of international affairs from over 20 countries in resolving simulated international conflicts. Hosted by EDA, the Future Diplomats PeaceGame, is being organised in collaboration with the Foreign Policy Group and the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University, with the generous support of the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Attendees at the conference will comprise ministers, serving diplomats from a wide range of countries, former senior diplomats, as well as directors of diplomatic academies and leading young diplomats and trainees from around the world.