Modern diplomats must be social media experts, says UAE academy head

Modern diplomats must be social media experts, says UAE academy head

Former UN envoy, Bernardino León, is tasked with training the UAE’s next generation of overseas representatives President Donald Trump has become known for his use of Twitter when conducting international relations with other nations. Evan Vucci / AP Diplomats of the future will need to be experts in international relations on social media, a former UN

Former UN envoy, Bernardino León, is tasked with training the UAE’s next generation of overseas representatives

President Donald Trump has become known for his use of Twitter when conducting international relations with other nations. Evan Vucci / AP

Diplomats of the future will need to be experts in international relations on social media, a former UN envoy says.

Bernardino Leon, who has been given the task of training the UAE’s next generation of overseas representatives, said digital diplomacy was becoming an essential skill.

The former head of the United Nations’ support mission in Libya stressed the significance of platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

“An ambassador who wanted to get the right information and influence 100 years ago had to go to the halls where the main representatives of a society were gathering,” Mr Leon said.

“Today, this is done on social media. So successful diplomacy is a diplomacy that also understands this new phenomenon. Technology is very important.”

 

Mr Leon took the job of director general of the Emirates Diplomatic Academy in 2015. His role is to help train young Emiratis seeking to represent the country abroad, building on existing expertise in the UAE’s diplomatic corps.

Essential to that task, he said, was keeping on top of modern forms of communication.

Mr Leon said the idea of diplomacy as a private endeavour conducted in secrecy among small groups of elites was outdated.

Instead, a second generation of more public diplomacy was evolving, surpassing even the open political debate typical of the ideological battle during the Cold War.

“What we have today is something very different,” Mr Leon said. “Now you have millions of people who can respond to your messages.

“You don’t only send messages and tell them what you think about a certain issue but you can engage in a conversation with them and they will respond.

“This is what we call second generation public diplomacy, and it’s a fascinating possibility.”

He said ambassadors also had to be aware of the negative aspects of social media, such as the spread of fake news. The term has become synonymous with the US presidency of Donald Trump, who frequently accuses those who disagree with his policies of spreading lies.

Mr Trump often takes to Twitter to promote his version of international affairs with his millions of followers. He has used the platform to send complimentary and threatening messages to a series of overseas leaders, including the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

On Wednesday, Mr Leon will address the Abu Dhabi Diplomacy Conference, a two-day event aimed at improving training for prospective envoys. About 300 delegates from around the world are expected to take part, sharing their ideas and methods of best practice.

Mr Leon said it made sense for countries to improve their diplomatic corps, and described the frenetic nature of global politics as reaching a particularly challenging moment where diplomats could be the doctors who heal rifts.

“When the International Renewable Energy Agency’s diplomatic talks are taking place, what is at stake is the future of our children,” Mr Leon said.

“Their lives will depend on the world making the right decisions. The Paris Agreement on Climate Change was not just one more diplomatic conference but deciding something that matters for everyone.

“We cannot solve any more problems in a country without taking into account and bringing into the conversation people who are in other places. We know threats are no longer just threats from neighbouring areas, they are now coming from thousands of kilometres away.

“So diplomacy is really an issue for everyone. All members of society should be part of that conversation and reaching out to them, understanding their views, their suggestions, will lead to a better diplomacy.”

https://www.thenational.ae/uae/government/modern-diplomats-must-be-social-media-experts-says-uae-academy-head-1.790037

 

Please follow and like us:

RSS BIDD

  • Why Are Digital Diplomacy Initiatives Short-lived? 16th Dec 2018
    Last week I had the pleasure of attending the International Communication Association’s 68th Annual Conference in Prague. My presentation focused on the digital and public diplomacy activities of the Palestinian government in the West Bank, specifically it’s Facebook Embassy to Israel. While presenting my work I mentioned that unlike other virtual Embassies, Palestine’s Facebook Embassy […]
  • EURASIAN CHAPTER’s 2018: public diplomacy, trainings and more… 14th Dec 2018
    em-a.eu This year was rich of activities, yet difficult for many reasons. Namely, the community portal has not been working since April, due to the change of EMA’s service provider, which made it mpossible for us to contact our chapter’s members and access to the mailing lists per countries or per chapter. If you are […]
  • VOA’s Turkish Service Wins Burke Award 14th Dec 2018
    via VOA email (VOA press release); see also VOA Director Amanda Bennett (center) with VOA Turkish Chief Hulya S. Polat and members of the service.Voice of America’s Turkish language service received the David Burke Distinguished Journalism Award for its breaking news coverage and extensive follow-up on the attacks on peaceful protesters outside the Turkish ambassador’s […]
  • Bookshelf: ‘Behold, America’ Review: Fighting Words 14th Dec 2018
    Before World War I, Woodrow Wilson proclaimed America First as a rationale for neutrality. Before World War II, members of the America First Committee included Walt Disney, Frank Lloyd Wright and Gerald Ford BOOKSHELF ‘Behold, America’ Review: Fighting WordsBefore World War I, Woodrow Wilson proclaimed America First as a rationale for neutrality. Before World War […]
  • Student Profile: Eugenia Blaubach, Public Relations Senior 14th Dec 2018
    jou.ufl.edu; original article contains links Eugenia Blaubach “As a communicator, my dream is to positively affect the narrative surrounding immigrants,” said University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Public Relations senior Eugenia Blaubach. Born in Venezuela, she came to the U.S. with her parents when she was seven years old. After high school, she […]

RSS Diplo Portal Belgrade

Most Viewed Posts

  • Twitter Suspends Hamas Accounts (245)
    By ROBERT MACKEYLast Updated, Sunday, Jan. 19 | Several Twitter accounts used by the military wing of Hamas have been suspended by the social network in recent days, angering the Islamist militants and delighting Israel’s military. #Twitter has suspended the official account of #Hamas, a terrorist group that uses social media to threaten #Israel http://t.co/g1UxKc9fpf
  • Brain drain in Serbia today (114)
    How does the Serbian government cope with the problem of brain drain today? The latest OECD publication, SOPEMI 2014 shows that 39 thousand persons emigrated in 2012 from Serbia to OECD countries only. (At the beginning of the global economic and financial crisis, the emigration from Serbia to OECD countries amounted to 27,000 in 2008.)
  • Humanitarian Intervention: Advantages and Disadvantages in East Timor and Kosovo (108)
    Have There Been Occasions on Which the Advantages of Humanitarian Intervention Using Armed Force have Outweighed the Disadvantages? Humanitarian intervention can be defined as the attempts of a foreign state to prevent violations of human rights in another state, often through the use of armed force. The use of armed force to protect human rights,

How Belgrade based diplomats use Digital Diplomacy and Internet 2016

Diplo Portal Belgrade

Please follow and like us:
Scroll Up

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)