CHALLENGES OF PROTOCOL IN THE XXI CENTURY (II)

Continuing with the series of articles on the protocol’s challenges, we will now discuss the second: a lack of scientific literature. If you haven’t already, we’ll leave a link to the previous article at the end of this text.

Link to the first article: https://protocoltoday.nl/challenges-of-protocol-in-the-xxi-century-i/

The Second Challenge Is A Lack Of Scientific Literature.

More than one of you has probably wondered why this is a negative fact. The scientific method is currently used to build knowledge in modern societies. It is the only way to ensure that the conclusions we arrive at and the facts we refute are objective and universal. This is how medical science, psychology, and other sciences have progressed.

Since protocol is an extremely useful discipline, there has never been a need to register and study it. There are numerous protocol manuals available today. Still, the problem is that they are written from the author’s professional experience rather than from the objectivity provided by science. As a result, they are works that are subjective and individualistic. Not that what they say is incorrect, but it only represents the plot of reality experienced by the author.

Despite claims to the contrary, the protocol’s second challenge is not unique. Sierra Sánchez and Sotelo González (2008) investigated the protocol’s status at the legal and professional levels. Their first conclusion is that studying the protocol’s subject is difficult due to a lack of scientific and academic material on which to base one’s research on. The odd thing about the subject is that the authors cite López Nieto, who came to the same conclusion 23 years earlier.

lvarez Rodrguez (2008), on the other hand, studied the discipline’s extensive bibliography until 2006, which met two requirements: Spanish authors and specific protocol and ceremonial material. The result was 170 works, and her analysis concluded that there was a lack of titles whose authors were associated with the university, as well as near non-existence of books considered of a scientific-theoretical type, leaving the rest, the vast majority, as a bibliography resulting from the author’s professional experience (or lack thereof).

Ramos Fernández (2014) later reflects on the protocolary bibliography in a scientific article. He believes that the bibliographic market can be improved and claims that the existing literature is primarily composed of many monographs that have the character of a practical or descriptive manual on a wide range of topics but do not always go into the reasoning behind their statements. In other words, they lack scientific rigour.

Pulido Polo’s work is another in this vein (2015). She analyses the existing literature in the field and comes to three conclusions:

  • The first is the same conclusion that the other authors have reached since 1985: a lack of scientific literature on the discipline.
  • On the other hand, she points out that the works created thus far have very little depth when it comes to the subject of study.
  • Finally, he adds that many of these works have poor methodological quality, lacking well-constructed methodological designs in which the scientific methods and techniques used to develop them are properly defined.

As a result, this challenge has a direct impact. This creates a serious situation that threatens the discipline and has not improved in more than thirty years: a lack of terminological agreement. Each author defines protocol and its elements differently, making it difficult to learn about protocol and its professional development. You will find ten different protocol definitions and related concepts if you read ten protocol books. That is not possible. We require a unity of concepts based on science to build profession and science in the same direction.

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BIOGRAPHY

Álvarez Rodríguez, M. L. (2008). Nociones de protocolo desde la bibliografía de sus autoridades. Revista Latina de Comunicación Social, (63), 165-173. Recuperado de http://www.revistalatinacs.org/_2008/15_08_Vigo/ML_Alvarez_Rodriguez.html

Pulido Polo, M. (2015). Ceremonial y protocolo: métodos y técnicas de investigación científica. Revista de Comunicación Vivat Academia, 65, 1137-1156.

Ramos Fernández, F. (2014). El Protocolo como ciencia propia en el ecosistema de la Comunicación. Espacios posibles para transformar una técnica en una disciplina científica. Estudios sobre el Mensaje Periodístico, 19(2), 1075-1089. https://doi.org/10.5209/rev_ESMP.2013.v19.n2.43489

Sierra Sánchez, J., & Sotelo González, J. (2008). El Estado Actual Del Protocolo a Nivel Jurídico Y Profesional. ICONO 14 – Revista de comunicación y nuevas tecnologias, 11, 41.

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Writer by Daniel Delmás, Specialist in Protocol and Events

25 May 2022, The Netherlands

Category: Business Protocol

Reference: DD25052022BP   

Photography: Fallon Michael

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DINING LIKE A DIPLOMAT: COURTESY AND PROTOCOL IN THE PRIVATE SPHERE. PART I

Acts of a private nature are organised according to precise social reasons and represent one more tool in developing diplomatic work. These, although they move within their patterns, governed by the general provisions of the social relationship, also come together in the essence of the official protocol. Both agree on different factors such as greetings, etiquette, precedence, ordering techniques, and others that must be considered to achieve the required success.

 

To achieve the respect those who attend our dinner deserve, we must celebrate these acts with significant signs of courtesy, the basis of protocol and inherent to education. For this, we use common sense in each particular situation. We consider the official regulations when attended by personalities who must be given the inescapable importance they require due to their rank, position or condition. In this sense, in Spain, in the official sphere, precedence is regulated in Royal Decree 2,099/83 of the “General Order of precedence in the State”. They also require mentioning other regulations, such as the Vienna Convention of 1961. Thus, for example, if two or more heads of mission attend our dinner, according to article 16.1 of the text mentioned above, the order of precedence between they will be determined by the date and time of presentation of their credentials in the country of destination.

As there are no regulations to this effect in the private sphere, the hosts at the said meeting must use social customs or general rules of courtesy to facilitate said work. Highlighting the following: of the priority of the right; of antiquity and age, both are a degree; of the alternation of sexes, referring to the placement of men and women alternately at the table; of marriage rest, marriages should not sit together; of the woman, she has the same precedence as her husband, except for those cases in which she is the one who holds a position; of respect for women at the table, the ladies should be served first, the hostess being the last of them, and then the gentlemen with the host being the last to be served; from the table service, the plates with the food will be served to the left of the diner and their withdrawal will be made to the right; of the presentations, in all presentations some forms must be taken care of, being presented first, the one with the lowest rank to the one with the highest; of the rank, in case of equality of rank, the preference is for the foreigner over the national; of foreign guests, two guests who speak different languages ​​should not be seated together; of coherence, people who have something in common have to be seated together; And a long etcetera to take into account so that our meeting is worthy of the respect conferred by the people we entertain.

In this context, special mention deserves the Ambassador D. José Antonio de Urbina y de la Quintana, one of the most prominent Spanish experts in the field and with whom I had the great privilege of learning this discipline in my master’s degree. “Protocol, especially everyday protocol, is not a corset; it is a means to an end.” This, therefore, is flexible and serves to facilitate coexistence and ensure the effectiveness of the event to be held by those who organise it, the hosts. It is up to them to discern how they want to organise their dinner since the flexibility of the protocol in this area allows them to orient it in their way, to their liking, without leaving the guidelines set to ensure the effectiveness of said celebration.

To conclude, I recall a few words from the former president of the Generalitat of Catalonia, Josep Tarradellas, which fit perfectly with the pattern that I believe should govern not only in this type of event but in life in general. “To do things well, you have to do them a certain way.”

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Writer by Maria Amorós Gurriarán, Expert in Protocol and Institutional Relations

23 May 2022, Spain 

Category: Business Protocol 

Reference: MA23052022BP

Re-edited in the English language by Eric Muhia

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ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN DIPLOMACY

Artificial intelligence has applications in defence, intelligence, homeland security, diplomacy, surveillance, cybersecurity, information, and economic statecraft. Diplomacy, long regarded as the primary tool of international relations, is impacted by AI on three levels: it has become a subject of the action; it conditions diplomacy itself, and it prepares the environment in which it is practised.

Evolution

“artificial intelligence” (AI) has received much attention ” artificial intelligence “. As exaggerated as the public hype can be, there is genuine technological progress behind it: computer processor performance increases year after year, as are advanced in-memory technology and research into AI algorithms. To summarise, it is now possible to process more data faster than ever before – with consequences that can already be seen in everyday life, such as facial and speech recognition.

Diplomacy has long been a part of the digital revolution. To meet the challenges and opportunities that come with it, it is adapting its cultural references, operational methods, practices, structures, and initiatives. With AI’s integration into all aspects of society, it will inevitably impact diplomacy. The more profound AI is integrated into society, the greater the impact on the context in which diplomats operate.

AI Implications on Diplomatic Practice

Artificial intelligence (AI) has evolved into a tool of power politics and a component of state diplomacy.

AI as a tool for diplomatic practice: AI examines how it can support diplomats’ diplomatic functions and day-to-day tasks. In times of crisis, AI systems could be of great assistance to diplomats by assisting them in making sense of what is going on (descriptive analytics) and identifying potential trends (predictive analytics)

AI as a topic for diplomatic negotiations: Today, AI is still prone to error and will not be able to replace the judgement of experienced diplomats in the foreseeable future. However, as a supplementary tool, AI has the potential to make an invaluable contribution to the preparation and conduct of diplomatic negotiations.

AI as a factor influencing the environment in which diplomacy is practised: As a factor influencing the environment in which diplomacy is practised, AI has the potential to be the defining technology of our time, with the potential to reshape the foundation of the international order.

As a diplomatic topic, AI is relevant to a broader policy plan that includes everything from the economy, business, and security to democracy, human rights, and ethics. In assisting diplomats and other foreign policy professionals with internal and external text document analysis, speech analysis, content and framing input, catching spam and unwanted messages, identifying hate speech, and combating the spread of terrorism content on social media platforms.

Threats of AI as a diplomatic tool.

Artificial intelligence threatens international security and social, economic, and military activities. This means that governments, as the primary actors in a global society, must reconsider their foreign policies, diplomacy, and international cooperation in light of the new challenges posed by the malicious use of AI in various domains, particularly global psychological security. This threat is a crucial feature of the new cold war, defined by the race toward AI. Given the rise of new technological and economic forces, which means the emergence of new players and new rules of international relations, a new international order is taking shape. However, the malicious use of AI poses new challenges for states as the primary actors in international relations, given the emergence of new concepts such as artificial diplomacy, data sovereignty, cybersecurity, and cyberwar. For example, AI can assist diplomats in data processing, but it cannot completely replace the human factor. AI is incapable of reaching a compromise, and it is deaf to perception, intuition, and risk-taking. Human diplomats can detect the undetectable, see the invisible, and notice the unnoticeable, which AI systems cannot, at least not shortly.

Revolutionising Diplomatic Dialogues through AI

A dialogue must be added and organised based on the cognitive and analytical elements made available to operators by the digital revolution, from Big Data to the algorithms used in Artificial Intelligence. A dialogue of this type allows a diplomat to understand better his interlocutors’ history, cultures, attitudes, mentality, aspirations, and interests—that is, the citizens of the area in which he conducts his activity in favour of his state. In this regard, it should not be forgotten that, according to the most recent statistics, more than three billion people worldwide use Facebook, Twitter, Qzone, Snapchat, and other social media platforms daily.

It is the evolution of a forward-thinking diplomatic system. Many governments have advocated for establishing structures suited to these new responsibilities within foreign ministries and embassies worldwide. For example, the US State Department launched a Task Force on eDiplomacy in 2002, later becoming the Office of eDiplomacy. A visit to the official State Department website demonstrates how important, and complex the mechanism of American digital diplomacy has become. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in the United Kingdom also has a separate Office of Digital Diplomacy.

The role of artificial intelligence in improving consular and diplomatic relations

From an AI standpoint, consular services could be low-hanging fruit for AI integration in diplomacy. Decisions are amenable to digitisation, the analytical contribution is reasonably relevant, and the technology encourages user-machine collaboration. Consular services rely on highly structured decisions. They primarily involve recurring and routinised operations based on clear and stable procedures that do not need to be treated as new each time a decision is required. By lowering language barriers between countries, AI can help improve communication between governments and foreign publics, increase the security of diplomatic missions through image recognition and information sorting technologies, and support international humanitarian operations by monitoring elections, assisting in peacekeeping operations, and ensuring that financial aid disbursements are not misused through anomaly detection. AI-assisted consular services may incorporate declarative (know-what) and procedural knowledge (know-how) to automate routinised operations and scaffold human cognition by reducing cognitive effort. This can be accomplished by using data mining and data discovery techniques to organise the data and enable the identification of patterns and relationships that would otherwise be difficult to detect.

Can Artificial Intelligence (AI) open new doors for the practice of diplomacy? Throughout history, “diplomacy” has meant the efforts of human communities to peacefully reconcile their interests with one another before or after attempting to enforce them by force.

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Writer by Eric MUHIA, International Studies and Diplomacy Graduate Student

10 May 2022, Kenya  

Category: Diplomacy  

Reference: EM10052022D

Photography: Rene Bohme

“Somos una empresa de desarrollo de capacidades que conecta valores, culturas, organizaciones, individuos y sociedades en todo el mundo”

MODERN BUSINESS EVOLUTION

Millennials & Gen Z: The Game Changers

The digital age of accessible information brought ground-breaking changes to how we live our everyday lives, the way we communicate, and the dynamic pace of change we are expected to keep up with. Looking back at the history and the previous generations, from the cradle to the grave- not much would change.

If the Boomers and Gen X thought the 20th century was a rollercoaster of space flight, colour television and flip phone- the 21st century is a remarkable metamorphosis. The entire spectrum of subtitles and far-reaching changes proved to be axiomatically indispensable. From the perspective of conducting business in the global economy- standing still means moving backwards. Whilst tailored suits, shiny lease cars, office environments, business cards, and proper handshakes still matter, they are far removed from the primary expectations of a modern business and the very definition of success.

The Millennials (born 1981- 1996) and especially Gen Z (born 1997-2012) brought and will continue to bring immense disruption to business and job markets within the next decade. Corporations must adjust to their employees, consumers and influencers, who outright reject the old status symbols and genuinely want to make a positive difference in the world. Creativity, environment, cultural diversity, empathy, and work-life balance are amongst the most important aspects of Millennials and Gen Z life. Often branded as ‘snowflakes’, privileged and over-sensitive by the older generations, the derogatory undertone doesn’t seem to faze or startle them. Their heads might be in the clouds, but the gravity is firmly centred on moving away from the old world.

There is a lot to be learned and some things unlearned, to put this simply into a business etiquette term. Having chameleon-like skills, being well informed on social issues, and the ability to communicate on all levels are at the very top of my list. Traditional formalities are a small fraction of the overall picture when conducting and communicating in business, reserved for the highest level of governments and conventional corporate structures. However, social awareness, commitment to sustainability, diversity, equality, and inclusion are the driving force behind modern business etiquette on a large scale.

At times, the change, as it’s always been, maybe challenging and uncomfortable, but it’s very rarely unnecessary. Depending on where you are in the business spectrum of today’s modern society, the landscape has shifted for both employees and employers. The most evident proof of this is the global reaction to the current conflict in Europe. This is a prime example of a centuries-old, traditionally profit-orientated culture turning its backs on injustice, aggression and suffering of innocent people. An overwhelming proportion of corporations across the globe choose to do the right thing at a very high cost of profit. This unorthodox move is intensely welcomed, encouraged and supported by large populations worldwide, who refuse to ignore this deplorable abuse. Companies rapidly transform and gain lifelong loyal customers, consumers, business partners, and employees.

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Writer by Anastasia MARTEL, Etiquette and Protocol Specialist

08 May 2022, United Kingdom 

Category: Business Etiquette 

Reference: AM08052022BE   

Photography: Bryan-goff

“Somos una empresa de desarrollo de capacidades que conecta valores, culturas, organizaciones, individuos y sociedades en todo el mundo”

QUALITY FIRST IMPRESSIONS  

As the business world slowly reopens post-Covid, many people are finding the need for in-person connections for job interviews, first day on the job, career fairs or maybe networking events. Whatever the reason for your face-to-face interactions, be prepared to make your connection a standout exchange. Here are six steps to help you make quality first impressions as you approach others.

Stand during an introduction- Unless you are at the dining table or have some impairment that might cause difficulty doing so, you should stand. It is not only a professional thing to do; it’s a courteous gesture that shows respect to the other person. It lets the other person know you are eager to meet them.

Smile – It improves your face value! A smile is a universal language. You may be wearing a designer dress or a custom-tailored suit, but a warm smile is a valuable and positive feature that will add volumes to your appearance. It lets others know you are friendly.

Make Eye Contact – Avoid looking down at the floor or the scenery behind the person. Look people in their eyes during an introduction and when holding a conversation with them. It helps build your confidence and shows your interest in others—many people with low self-esteem struggle in this area. If you need help, try this tip; when talking with someone, look at the bridge of the person’s nose. It looks like you are still looking into their eyes.

Shake Hands – It shows excellent manners to shake hands with the person you meet. Shake with your right hand, which is acceptable by most cultures globally.

Shake for approximately 2-3 seconds or two up and down hand pumps. No wimpy wilted fish handshakes and no bone-crushing ones either! If you tend to have clammy hands, dry them before shaking someone’s hand. Keep a handkerchief or tissue in your hand for a quick dry-off before a shake. No one wants to shake a wet hand.

Say Your Name – Say both your first and last names. If you have an honorific or title such as Dr. or Mrs. or a designation such as PhD, M.D., or Esq., avoid using it for yourself while making general introductions. Just give your name. You may use the honorific if necessary in the introduction, such as a doctor meeting a patient’s family for the first time.

Repeat Their Name – When introduced, repeat the person’s name to make sure you pronounce it correctly. It also helps you remember their name and makes the other person feel respected. When parting, repeat their name and let them know it was a pleasure meeting them.  If you forget a person’s name, apologise, and ask them to repeat their name for you. By the way, if someone mispronounces your name, kindly correct them. No harm done.

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Writer by Renita Jackson, Etiquette Specialist.

02 May 2022,  U.S.A 

Category: Business Etiquette 

Reference: RJ02052022BE    

“Somos una empresa de desarrollo de capacidades que conecta valores, culturas, organizaciones, individuos y sociedades en todo el mundo”

THE FUTURE OF MULTILATERAL DIPLOMACY

“Diplomacy has expanded its remit, moving far beyond bilateral political relations between states into a multilateral, multifaceted enterprise encompassing almost every realm of human endeavour,” said former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Multilateral diplomacy takes various forms: some are more institutional, such as the United Nations, while others are less formal and less identifiable in terms of parameters and rules. These latter are extremely difficult for African states, even though these fora, such as the World Economic Forum or G20, are extremely influential. It is the practice of involving more than two nations or parties in pursuing diplomatic solutions to supranational problems. Since multilateral diplomacy is a rapidly evolving industry, new forms regularly emerge, making it difficult to describe all types comprehensively.

Actors: Sovereign states remain the primary actors in multilateral diplomacy, but non-state actors such as non-governmental organisations, civil society representatives, and the business community are increasingly involved. Despite the importance of adhering to the constitutive acts of various international organisations, including their rules of procedure, multilateral diplomacy embraces new forms of interaction regularly, reflecting the need for flexibility and rapid adaptability to a dynamic environment.

Methods: In today’s world, only a tiny portion of multilateral diplomatic activity occurs in formal and solemn settings. The interaction between various actors takes many forms, including informal contacts and spontaneous coalitions of the willing.

Diplomatic Hubs

Diplomatic hubs in New York, Geneva, and Vienna will remain important in the future. Diplomats on the ground are critical, especially during the lockdown and social distancing. While diplomatic hubs, like all diplomatic practices, face both continuity and change, we can say that they are now more important than ever. Acknowledging context and nuance in multilateral diplomacy and dealing with contentious issues and crises necessitates an on-the-ground presence. Diplomatic presence at multilateral hubs is critical due to significant time differences between multilateral hubs and some capitals and potential future travel restrictions. Diplomatic representation at key multilateral institutions is also symbolic, signalling a commitment to multilateralism for functional and normative reasons.

Multilateral diplomacy by video conference: practices, procedures, protocol, and platforms

At the heart of the diplomatic practice is the ability to overcome communication barriers and positional distances. As a result, mediating physical distance and video conferencing challenges is a new diplomatic task, one for which diplomats are already prepared as “mediators of estrangement.” Negotiating the modalities of in-person, hybrid, and online meetings have become a new challenge for multilateral institution and meeting chairs and presidents. As the Human Rights Council (HRC) demonstrates, committed leadership and ongoing dialogue with member states to build trust are critical ingredients in successfully navigating the changed circumstances.

The diplomatic protocol has adapted to social distancing measures, such as reorganising and framing photo opportunities at high-level meetings. While this complicates meeting organisation, it does not call into question established protocol rules. Since some diplomatic practice has shifted toward video conferencing, key challenges include addressing security concerns, adapting to changes in communication and negotiation dynamics, providing translation services, and maintaining a stable Internet connection. Concerns have been raised about creating an unequal playing field and the risk of exclusion due to bandwidth requirements and security constraints. Small and developing countries face a unique set of challenges in this regard.

State of Multilateral Diplomacy among African Countries.

Representatives from African countries are outnumbered by negotiating teams from other countries who arrive better prepared; African countries must maximise their resources and collaborate to combine their areas of expertise. Diplomats in Africa are also woefully undertrained, and organisations such as the African Union (AU) could do more to improve their members’ diplomatic skills.

African diplomats should not be naive about the world and emerging powers’ multilateral strategies. Other countries are also developing countries does not necessarily imply that they are looking out for Africa’s best interests. The rise of multistakeholder diplomacy adds to the complication. It is difficult for African countries to open to this type of international relations. Still, they must do so to have genuine grassroots representation defending their points of view and promoting their interests.

Multilateral Diplomacy and the United Nations Today

As the world faces new and ongoing challenges such as globalisation, international terrorism, and a slew of other global issues, the United Nations and its critical attribute-multilateral diplomacy-are more crucial than ever. With new and updated essays detailing the experiences of a diverse group of practitioners and scholars working in diplomacy, this emerging era covers the fundamental characteristics of multilateral diplomacy as it is conducted within the United Nations framework in even greater breadth and depth.

Today’s Multilateral Diplomacy and the United Nations offers valuable insights from various perspectives on how diplomacy is practised, making it required reading for aspiring diplomats, international business leaders, and students at all levels. This volume’s contributors bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to examine five areas of multilateral diplomacy: UN diplomacy, crisis diplomacy, international economic diplomacy, UN summits and “citizen diplomats,” and non-governmental diplomacy.

In conclusion, context is critical in multilateral diplomacy. Diplomats on the ground are far better positioned to detect and interpret nuances and signals. The incorporation and dissemination of digital tools into the practice of diplomacy has had a significant impact on multilateral diplomacy today.

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Writer by Eric Muhia, International Studies and Diplomacy Graduate Student

02 May 2022, Kenya 

Category: Diplomacy 

Reference: EM02052022D   

“Somos una empresa de desarrollo de capacidades que conecta valores, culturas, organizaciones, individuos y sociedades en todo el mundo”

NEWS. VIP SPECIAL EDITION MAGAZINE GLOBAL MINDSET

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Welcome

 

It is a great honour to present the new section VIP Special Edition of Magazine Global Mindset, “Navigating smoothly around the world”. Magazine to reach and connect executives, diplomats and students.

This VIP Special Edition will find exclusive interviews with outstanding and internationally successful entrepreneurs and excellencies.

In the first edition, we will have a big honour to share an Exclusive VIP Interview with His Excellency Hidehisa Horinouchi, Ambassador of Japan to the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

In Magazine Global Mindset, you will also find articles by our international writers specialising in Protocol, Diplomacy, Cultural Intelligence and Etiquette, and being the best place to promote your company internationally. At ProtocolToday, the Netherlands, we work with high-level international standards.

Cordially, you are invited to register to be part of the Club VIP Special Edition Magazine Global Mindset.

“We are a capacity development company connecting values, cultures, organisations, individuals and societies around the world.”

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ROLE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION IN CLIMATE DIPLOMACY

The European Union’s (EU) climate diplomacy has changed dramatically since the early 2010s. Previously relying on a ‘leadership-by-example’ approach primarily concerned with the external projection of its domestic policies, the EU profoundly adapted its climate diplomacy strategy between the 2009 Copenhagen COP 15 and the 2015 Paris COP 21. This reimagined strategy was further solidified in the aftermath of the Paris Climate Conference. The EU’s redesigned climate diplomacy focuses on stronger – cooperative and adversarial – bilateral relations with significant emitters and greater flexibility in its positions and actions. (“The European Union’s Strategic Turn in Climate Diplomacy …”)

It is a widely held and, at first glance, plausible belief that the European Union (EU) is the world leader in combating dangerous global climate change. Since the early 1990s, the EU has committed to unilateral and relatively high reduction targets for greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the EU has ensured the implementation of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, the only legally binding international framework for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This aspires to demonstrate leadership in developing a new global agreement after 2012.

The European Union’s Influence on Copenhagen Policy

Europe is forming its post-Copenhagen policy, with a strong emphasis on engaging third countries and adopting a more “realistic” approach to climate diplomacy. However, fundamental differences exist between and within European countries on key issues such as the transition to a 30% EU emissions reduction target, the future of the Kyoto Protocol, the significance of a binding UN treaty, the appropriate mix of conditionality and incentives, and the role – if any – of border adjustment measures. (“European Climate Diplomacy after Copenhagen – E3G”). These policy differences stem from fundamental disagreements about strategic goals and perceptions of international politics. The EU will be unable to deploy the total weight of Community and Member State resources to support its collective interests unless new processes for closer strategic alignment are implemented. Closer alignment is built on three critical pillars: improved collective political intelligence, a clearer medium-term strategy for meeting the 2c goal, and stronger strategic conversations on climate change among senior European politicians and officials, including foreign ministries.

However, a few new perspectives emerged in the post-Copenhagen context, emphasising the EU’s alleged role as a ‘leadiator,’ a ‘leader-cum-mediator,’ and paying some attention to its bilateral relations with emerging economies. However, the multipolar dynamics of the Paris Agreement negotiations and implementation necessitate a thorough rethinking of scholarly analyses of the EU’s climate diplomacy. Importantly, these must include a Foreign Policy Analysis perspective beyond the alleged default multilateral preference.

Europe must handle four significant areas of Climate Diplomacy.

The EU appears to be as well prepared as other major powers to navigate these new waters. Still, it will need to be more adept at climate diplomacy than the “low ambition coalition” to achieve its ambitious, positive agenda.

The four primary areas of climate diplomacy which Europe must address include:

  • Strategy: How Europe defines and integrates its overall climate change goals with its broader strategic interests.
  • Political engagement with third countries: How Europe perceives and influences climate change discussions in other parts of the world.
  • Policy towards the international climate regime: How Europe creates effective international climate change cooperation mechanisms within and outside the UNFCCC.
  • Practical climate cooperation with third countries: How Europe organises itself to provide practical support for low-carbon, climate-resilient development worldwide.

European Green Deal Diplomacy

Rebuilding Europe’s climate diplomacy strategy must begin with an open discussion of European interests, which may necessitate internal realignment of those interests. Maintaining momentum will require the enthusiastic participation of new stakeholders in the internal European debate, including the national security community. Europe needs a more intelligent political strategy, backed up by new diplomatic machinery, to influence other countries and win their support for its policy positions. European countries should continue to share lessons learned on best practices in this area through the new European External Action Service, the Green Diplomacy Network, and other channels.

Green Deal Diplomacy

One of the novel aspects of the new European Commission’s proposal for a European Green Deal (EGD) is the establishment of a “Green Deal Diplomacy.” While this ambition has yet to be realised, the proposed new diplomacy does not emerge from a vacuum. The EU has been developing explicit climate and energy diplomacies since 2011 and 2015. As a result, it will be critical for EGD diplomacy to learn from previous attempts to formulate and implement EU external ambitions in policy areas related to the European Green Deal, both successes and failures. The purpose for the EU to be a “global leader” by paralleling internal ambitious transition efforts with a “stronger ‘green deal diplomacy’ focused on convincing and supporting others to take on their share of promoting more sustainable development has received comparatively less attention.

For climate diplomacy, regular and extensive conclusions on spreading ambitious climate action to various actors, emphasising instruments and policy synergies (e.g., energy, human rights, trade, security, development) have provided a relatively straightforward framework of external engagement. The goals of energy diplomacy are less clear, with actions primarily aimed at improving internal coordination among Member States and EU institutions and expanding on existing energy partnership/dialogue formats. As a result, transparent decisions on which concrete policy-area specific objectives and external instruments will be included in EGD diplomacy will be required to develop into a meaningful, comprehensive outreach strategy rather than a paper tiger of stated ambitions for various areas of external engagement.

Conclusion.

When the EU redesigned its external climate strategy, it changed how it chose its main interlocutors and interacted with them in practice. The Union has shifted away from a singular focus on the multilateral arena and leadership-by-example to what is known as ‘multiple bilateralisms’ (MB), which is defined as a foreign policy “strategy that entails the maintenance of several bilateral relationships in parallel as a subset of a multilateral negotiation setting.” With this shift, the EU abandoned its efforts to create a global climate regime that mirrored its regional and adopted a more pragmatic approach, acknowledging that it is part of a broader and malleable global context in which the – cooperative and confrontational – relations between major emitters shape multilateral climate policies decisively. The key features of the redesigned EU climate diplomacy are greater flexibility and more significant investment in the EU’s multiple bilateral relationships with other major emitters in parallel with the ongoing UN climate regime negotiations.

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Writer by Eric Muhia, International Studies and Diplomacy Graduate Student

13 April 2022, Kenya

Photo by Frederic Köberl

Category: Diplomacy

Reference: EM13042022D   

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CONFERENCE DIPLOMACY IN THE 21ST CENTURY

“Conference diplomacy has its antecedents in the Eastern Mediterranean in the 4th-century bc when the Greek city-states and Persia convened eight international political congresses, established a mutually guaranteed territorial status quo, and agreed on rules of conduct for regulating international affairs.

What is Conference Diplomacy?

Conference diplomacy is the management of relations between governments and intergovernmental organisations that takes place at international conferences. This definition encompasses relations between governments and relationships between governments and the organisations to which they belong. This latter type of relationship has brought new elements to diplomacy. The term “conference” is used broadly, preventing the old distinction between a conference and a congress. The latter refers to gatherings attended by sovereigns or their principal ministers.

It is about resolving differences through an interconnected set of compromises and trade-offs in which no party gains everything, but all parties gain something and concede something.

Actors in Conference Diplomacy.

In most intergovernmental conferences, four main actors can be detected:

  • the delegations, as representatives of their governments.
  • the secretariat and its executive head.
  • the presiding officer(s).
  • various groups of governments, often acting through a single delegation appointed by the group.

Sometimes others become involved in conference diplomacy:

  • non-governmental organisations.
  • formal mediators, appointed by the parties in the dispute, by the UN Secretary-General, by the UN Security Council, or somehow.
  • informal facilitators- a recent example is former US president Carter, with his interventions in North Korea, Haiti, and former Yugoslavia

Rise of Negotiations in Conference Diplomacy.

Westphalia, especially the Münster agreement, can be seen as a network of interconnected bilateral negotiations. It thus had a multilateral connotation, though not in the modern sense. As a result, this study proposes the term multi-bilateral negotiation because the meetings resembled a conference and resulted in numerous informal contacts between delegations that were not involved in formal negotiations. It is worth noting that this transverse or transliteral negotiation, along with regular longitudinal negotiation, is common in today’s conference diplomacy. In fact, the more participants there are and the more complicated and numerous the issues, the more transliteral negotiations are required inside and outside the conference rooms to keep the process moving. While the procedures and methods of the Westphalia negotiations favoured the larger countries, the smaller parties considered themselves fortunate to have been invited. Without the massive gathering, they would have been left much more out in the cold, which is why small countries prefer multilateral meetings. In contrast, their larger ‘brothers’ often prefer bilateral meetings currently. Westphalia can be seen as a bridge between old-fashioned bilateral interaction and twenty-first-century conference diplomacy in terms of procedure and process.

The United Nations and Conference Diplomacy

Diplomacy today faces the challenges of modern phenomena such as increased public attention and involvement, new modes of communication, and an increase in the number of international state and non-state actors, all of which are required to formulate foreign policy. From air traffic to the internet, modern communication technologies have allowed top diplomats, politicians, and heads of government and state to communicate personally and directly.

Conference Diplomacy (Kaufmann, 1996) by Johan Kaufmann assists practitioners in dealing with the procedures of institutionalised conferences, particularly in the context of the United Nations. Today’s United Nations has unrivalled convening and mobilising power, which has been used to organise many global conferences on various topics ranging from women to human rights, population to social development, and economic development to environmental conservation. Typically, the panels have included all global governance actors—states, civil society organisations, and, to a lesser extent, private sector firms. Whereas intergovernmental conferences are essential for the development of treaty law, global discussions are critical to the evolution of norms and ‘soft law,’ which begins to exert a binding effect in customary international law. According to two UN scholars, these conferences are “important for articulating new international norms, expanding international law, creating new structures, setting agendas… and promoting linkages among the UN, the specialised agencies, NGOs, and governments.” Any major global conference is accompanied by extensive diplomatic activity, which can last several years. Countries try to identify like-minded and thus likely coalition partners, harmonise strategies to advance their own and defeat competing interests and efforts, mobilise NGO support or blunt NGO dissent, etc.

Did you know?

A conference diplomat can jeopardise himself if he makes deliberate misrepresentations or avoidable errors, which are likely to be discovered sooner or later by his fellow delegates. Another delegate may confront him about his mistake in a speech, or he may be approached informally. In both cases, he will be questioned about the integrity of what he said. As a result, the conference diplomat will ensure that the facts he mentions in official sessions, informal speeches, or private conversations can be supported. On the other hand, the problem is that ‘truth’ is not always a singular entity. Truth can mean one thing to one person and something else to another when it comes to policy.

Conclusion

Modern conference diplomacy is one result that uses an ancient diplomatic strategy for avoiding conflict for as long as possible—ideally until a solution is found.

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Writer by Eric Muhia, International Studies and Diplomacy Graduate Student

Category: Diplomacy

06 April 2022, Kenya

Reference: EM06042022D  

Photo: jonathan-ansel

 

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HANDLING CONFLICTS

Conflicts are inevitable. As long as humans walk the face of the earth, there will be confrontations. From issues as minor as scheduling two appointments simultaneously on your planner to disputes between family members and co-workers or political disagreements within the government, everyone will deal with conflicts on some level and in some manner.

For the most part, no one wants to enter into a personal conflict or disagreement intentionally. Conflicts can cause quite a stir of raw emotions and defences. If not handled correctly, it can cause many misunderstandings, severed relationships, financial hardships, unexpected reactions, or other issues and problems.

One of the best protocols for handling conflict is to avoid conflicting issues before they arise. However, that is not always an option.

When handling conflict, consider these guidelines:

Promptly – When an unavoidable issue arises, address it promptly or as quickly as possibly allowed to avoid the situation from escalating more. Don’t allow conflict to ferment. Many unpleasant problems can be resolved more civilly if just addressed promptly. Accidents, mistakes and slip-ups happen. Try to make corrections to mend the situation and move forward when they do.

Professional – Handle conflicts professionally. Something may have gone awry and not the way planned initially; however, don’t break the protocol of being professional. Think of reasonable, agreeable solutions to rectify the error.  

Private – When a negative situation does occur (and once again, they will), if at all possible, try to resolve the problem in private with all the parties involved. Who does the conflict affect? If the matter only concerns one other person or a small group of people, keep the case with them only.

It is crucial to remember to handle the issue in private only if it can be done in a safe environment and without causing any further harm to someone else or something else.  

Public – If your conflict was public, it might be necessary to handle the resolution publicly. This may even involve public apologies or corrections. If so, take it with no dramatics and as professionally as possible. 

“Make wise choices. Every choice you make has a consequence.”

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Writer by Renita Jackson, Etiquette Specialist 

06 April 2022, U.S.A  

Category: Etiquette 

Reference: RJ06042022BE    

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