THE ART OF COMMUNICATION IN BUSINESS

With the high usage of our mobile devices and other forms of media communication, people are shredding their common everyday skills of face-to-face interactions. Some people have difficulties when faced with the task of mingling in a crowd of unfamiliar and sometimes familiar acquaintances. We’d rather send a text message to someone in the same room than hold a personal conversation or avoid communication altogether. 

Good communication skills are still a vital part of our everyday interactions. A good Conversationalist can talk to anyone about anything in a laid-back, casual manner that sets people at ease. They can make a stranger feel like they have known them for years. Some people have a natural “sliver-tongue.” Being prepared with good communication skills will boost your chat in ways that make you a valued party guest or set you apart at a networking event, company functions, or a simple social gathering. For starters, listen more than you talk.

Ironically enough, the key to being a great conversationalist is not in the talking but in the listening. If you are conversing with someone and doing all the talking, you are probably the only one interested in what you say. Listen to what others have to say and listen well. This will also lead to questions you can ask to progress the conversations further. When asking questions, ask open-ended questions. Open-ended questions encourage the respondent to elaborate or provide details in their response. Closed-ended questions with a simple yes or no reply will ultimately send the entire conversation on a downward spiraling dead-end. 

Avoid political and religious topics unless you are attending your political party’s convention or a familiar religious function. Both of these areas deal with personal matters for many people and are not good for light conversations in mixed gatherings. They can sour a mood quickly. Also, keep in mind not to ask questions that are too personal or insulting. You want to make friends, not enemies. 

Take your turn. Whether the conversation is with one person or several, join in. A conversation is a group project with each person playing a part. Don’t just stand around like an eavesdropper. 

Contribute to the conversation. This is prime time to ask open-ended questions if you have nothing to add. On the other hand, don’t overshare or monopolize. It’s not a monologue. 

Everyone should contribute. When you add to the conversation, avoid talking or directing your conversation to only one person. Make eye contact with others in the group. Be careful not to interrupt others. 

Don’t be a Debbie or Donnie Downer. No one wants to engage in a conversation with someone who has nothing but negative comments about everything. People will exit your presence fast! It’s the quickest way to find yourself alone without anyone to engage with. Try to find the positive in the conversation and respond to that. 

Don’t engage in “one-upping.” So, what is one-upping? That is when you try to top someone else’s story. If you have a good story to share, find a way without making the other person feel their story was of no value. Not only is one-upping petty, but it’s also very rude. You may have a terrific story to tell but reconsider at the risk of deflating someone else’s balloon.

Think before you speak. Most foot-in-mount moments occur because of a failure to think before speaking. You never want to be offensive, and you don’t want to embarrass yourself or others. Be careful what you say. You never know who’s listening, nor do you know who others know. 

Be prepared with what to say and not say. Before you attend your event, think of some general topics and questions that will be of interest to anyone. “One of the easiest ways to start a conversation or stay in touch always offers value.” (Kesha Kent, Networking Is Your Superpower). Most of all, be friendly and confident. This will help you to be a savvy conversationalist. 

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Writer by Renita Jackson, Etiquette Specialist

14  June 2022, USA 

Category: Business Etiquette 

Reference: RJ14062022BE    

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

THE OVERVIEW OF PROTOCOL AS WE LIVE GLOBALLY

This article is written on the first anniversary of the ProtocolToday Magazine Global Mindset. Its corporate purpose is to share, promote, discuss and publish the principle of protocol worldwide in different sectors and to deliberate on the global mentality.

This is defined as a system of rules that allows individuals, corporations, and systems to act and behave correctly in a formal situation. For example, the protocol has been seen in different cases, such as sports, cultural, social, commercial, diplomatic, and other activities.

S the world became more globally connected and faster, it also became imperative to apply protocol procedures. Otherwise, we will continue to face, shortly, more pessimistic scenarios such as wars in the world. From the diplomatic perspective, mainly those situations are caused by successive disagreements and breaches of protocol. Therefore, the rules are essential to continue driving safely globally, as it is now known as the global village.

Covid-19 was a clear manifestation of the protocol in the proper sense during the pandemic. All nations have adopted the Covid Protocol and have acted together for a common goal. However, the global mentality has played an essential role in putting them all in the same place in the “basket.” So I would emphasize that it is imperative to continue discussing such an important issue directly connected to today’s global mindset.

As a ProtocolToday Academy student, I would like to highlight the importance of protocol, referring to the significant contribution in the field of Diplomacy of the honorable ambassador of Portugal, José Calvet de Magalhães; in his book “The pure concept of Diplomacy.”

The importance of the protocol in the diplomatic field appears as a solid element and a foundation of the concept of Diplomatic Protocol. His book is based on international treaties and protocol documents that govern international relations and organizations, based on the Vienna International Convention on diplomatic and consular relations.

In addition, Ambassador José Calvet de Magalhães was referred to by the letter addressed to British Ambassador George Kennan, in which he stated: “It is particularly important that a book like yours came out precisely at this time; by recent events, especially with the acceleration of electronic communications and the personal travel habits of the ministries, and the head of state, has to raise doubts in certain cases to the public about the traditional institutional values ​​of Diplomacy.” Magalhães, J. (1995): The pure concept of diplomacy: Bertrand Editora.

So, in the above passage, the author mentioned and emphasized the lack of protocols and ethics in some situations, so we can conclude that the protocol is necessary and essential for the stability of the government and to solidify the relationship of trust. Between rulers and ruled.

The protocol is extensive and difficult to summarize in this text. Therefore, this article shows its general and positive impact in a way that helps regulate procedures, conduct, and coordinate business, negotiations, actions, and behaviors that can be observed and implemented in different sectors such as cultural protocol, social protocol, and communication protocol, business, and diplomatic protocol.

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Writer by Luciano Caianda, Student of ProtocolToday Academy

 13 June 2022, Canada

Category: Business Protocol

Reference: LC13062022BP    

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

THE HISTORY AND THE ART OF GIVING IN DIPLOMACY

Since late antiquity, diplomacy has been subject to various protocols governing ambassadors’ treatment and behavior. With the gradual spread of new ways of doing diplomacy and the increasing correlation of diplomacy with sovereignty during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, questions of diplomatic ceremony in Europe became paramount. Diplomatic ceremonial accordingly developed both as a mechanism for regulating diplomatic interactions and the focal point for intense inter-sovereign competition. It was not until the nineteenth century that diplomatic ceremony began to decline as a point of intense international controversy, though it remains an element of practice in contemporary diplomacy.

History

The exchange of gifts during state and diplomatic visits demonstrates the good diplomatic relations between the states. This also presents a sign of the generosity that is required as a strategy of political representation. Gifts distributed to heads of states and heads of monarchies would be expressed as traditional depending on the recipient’s rank. With gifts distributed to the Kings, they were associated with the ritual act of knighting, or they were given as grateful recognition of rendered services. “On July 23, 1574, the Collegio (the Venetian council of ministers) resolved to commission the ambassadors extraordinary to purchase a magnificently equipped carriage as a gift for the king. As it was to serve his onward journey, the horses were accustomed to carriage harnesses and handsome. To complete the order in a short time, the ambassadors were permitted to appropriate such horses regardless of the owner or social status. Subsequently, the owners were to be paid.”

American Diplomatic Gifting

American diplomatic etiquette during the early national period largely conformed to the dictates of republican simplicity, giving it a certain uniqueness that set it apart from the court etiquette of the Old World. One of the most evident manifestations of the attempt to divorce American diplomatic etiquette and protocol from the traditional and time-honored practices associated with European Court usage involved the giving and receiving of diplomatic gifts and emoluments. In places such as the United States, where diplomacy aims to promote “security, prosperity, democracy, and economic development,” gift exchanges may seem an unusual tactic. Yet, the tradition maintains a place in international relations today.

However, there existed many occasions upon which the governments of Europe gave presents to foreign ministers stationed at their respective courts; the two most common instances were upon the conclusion of treaties and international agreements, and the completion of the foreign ministers varied widely from court to court and from diplomat to diplomat. John Quincy Adams was an expert on such matters, explained that the usual present received by diplomats at the Court of St. James was “ a sum of money, graduated according to his rank, or a gold box, or another trinket of equal value” while at St. Petersburg “this present usually consists of gold snuffbox with the portrait of the Emperor enchased in diamonds, the value of which is proportionate to the rank of the minister and to the degree of satisfaction which the Emperor thinks proper to manifest with his conduct during the mission.”

Most diplomats and heads of the state rely on a specific department to help them choose their presents. In the US, the Office of Protocol’s Gift Unit selects presents with varying degrees of success. In 2014, for example, secretary of state John Kerry gave Russian foreign minister Sergej Lavrov two large potatoes from Idaho. It seemed an unnecessary humiliation for Lavrov, who had already received a questionable gift from Kerry’s predecessor. In 2009, Hillary Clinton, then secretary of state, handed him a replica of a red button supposed to symbolize an easing of tension between the two countries. Yet the word peregruzka that appeared under the button meant “overcharged” and not “reset,” as the Office of Protocol had intended.

European Diplomatic Gifting

European and Mughal rulers and their envoys shared a common ground of diplomatic gift-giving practices shaped by an understanding of what was worthy of giving and of the symbolic power of the given objects. Gift-giving between European monarchies was also unique as it was realpolitik: receiving objects became a manner of securing, or maintaining, a favorable position with a diplomatic counterpart or adversary based on the value of the gift. Gift exchange between monarchs and states of equal standing has a long European history. Gifts would be offered directly at monarchical encounters: more often, they were given as proxy for heads of State. Sixteenth-century diplomacy used all gifts—animals, plates, jewels—along with the new gift of portraits, which were a particularly intimate form of present, affirming identity. Ambassadors, who were now increasingly often residents in London, brought gifts and were rewarded by the Crown. Elizabeth, James, and Charles had to develop tariffs of reward, reflecting the status of an embassy and the honor due to the servants of a foreign prince. Such rewards were matters of political importance, closely scrutinized by domestic and foreign observers.

Why do Diplomats Give Gifts?

A state gift often captures a nation’s essence, chosen for its ability to exhibit pride in a unique culture and people. Gifts of state may showcase fine or folk arts, crafts, or craftsmanship traditions. They may display wealth in precious stones or metals, fine textiles, and apparel. Gifts may draw from a rich heritage of antiques and antiquities or an expressive storehouse of cultural icons. This way, the gift becomes more than a mere formality but a reminder of the special alliance between the gift giver and receiver. Diplomacy comes in many different forms, but one is often forgotten: the long-standing tradition of state officials exchanging gifts. These gifts, meant to “welcome, honor and cultivate beneficial diplomatic relationships,” come in many shapes and sizes but often emphasize the workmanship of local businesses, historical craftsmanship, or local luxuries and materials. Sometimes surpassing the ordinary and requiring stringent accountability, they make us question the role of diplomatic performance, the effectiveness of government oversight, and the impact of symbolism.

Diplomatic gifts can indeed offer a lasting, positive image of allyship. The practice of diplomatic gift-giving overall requires striking a balance; this tradition holds potential for showing off a country’s cultural and material richness and for being a performative, diplomatically sensitive action. Perhaps our affinity for gifts and gifting to others is at the root of this norm. Diplomatic gifts may not be, after all, much different in intent or expectation than birthday gift-giving or any other holiday present. However, given the complicated processes and interactions that they require and the wealth they represent, it may be worth exploring their place among countries attempting to promote democratic and meritocratic values, as well as re-evaluating best practices.

The giver is ultimately the person who will benefit most in the exchange if the present creates an expectation for a gift in return.

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Writer by Eric Muhia, International Studies and Diplomacy Graduate Student and Young Diplomat.

10 June 2021, Kenya

Category: Diplomacy 

Reference: EM10062022D    

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

PROTOCOL: STATE VISIT IN PERU

Social communicators and analysts may use phrases like “state visit,” “official visit,” or “working visit” to refer to a president’s visit to our country. In this regard, it is appropriate to clarify the differences between these denominations by the applicable legal provisions.

I’d like to start by emphasizing, as I have in previous writings, the importance of government agencies providing adequate information, training, and guidance to journalists to ensure proper use of the terms and illustrate the application of protocol and ceremonial. Their work would be framed within a more exact professional rigor.

It is important to note the existence of so-called experts who, in their eagerness for a job contract, confuse specific sectors of society through the overuse of the word “protocol.” It is unfortunate to see the innocence, improvisation, and desire to take possession using complete ignorance. This contribution is motivated by the desire to contribute to the resolution of this issue.

Let’s get started with these two observations. All the details are contained in the State Ceremonial and Regional Ceremonial (Supreme Decree 096-2005-RE), promulgated on December 2, 2005, during the administration of President Alejandro Toledo Manrique, which “includes the rules of style applicable in the relationship with the other States of the International Community” (article 1) and which I will use as legal support.

“State visits” are those made by a foreign dignitary at the invitation of the Peruvian president or on their initiative. The agenda will be agreed upon with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ diplomatic representation. Article 22 states that “when the illustrious dignitary’s ship arrives, both the Ambassador and the National Director of Protocol and Ceremonial of the State will enter it, to greet him and invite him to descend, accompanying him to the meeting with the President of the Republic or his representative.”

This includes mainly the following activities: laying of a floral offering in the monument to the Proceres and Precursors of Independence; I greet the heads of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches; visiting the mayor of the city of Lima and declaration of Illustrious Guest; banquet in the Great Dining Room of the Government Palace; signing of agreements and joint declaration; decoration with the Order “The Sun of Peru,” in the Degree of Grand Cross, the highest award of the Peruvian State instituted by the “Protector of the Freedom of Peru” José de San Martín (1821). As you can see, they are reserved for a president.

The “official visits” are like the previous one in that they include other authorities. Article 18 refers to those “carried out at the invitation of the President of the Republic, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, or another authority of equivalent hierarchy in our country and that has a specific official purpose” by the Heads of State, Heads of Government, Crown Princes of reigning houses, Presidents of Public Powers, Ministers of Foreign Affairs, and Ministers of State. This is the case with presidential inauguration invitations every five years.

Article 23 states that “If the visiting Head of State arrives when military honors are not appropriate, according to article 36 of this ceremony, the foreign president will be greeted by the Corridor of Honor set up for the occasion. In this case, the military honors due to his high investiture will be bestowed upon him at the Government Palace “. As a result, according to article 36, military tributes “will only be paid between eight (08.00) hours and eighteen (18.00) hours,” coinciding with the time when the national flag is still hoisted. Remember the official protocol’s prevailing trilogy: flag, shield, and anthem.

This precept states that when a visitor arrives with his spouse, the national authority must accompany him to greet him. Similarly, exchanging gifts with a social, cultural, and historical component between the guest and the host is customary. They will include relevant criteria and budgets, among other things. To avoid distortions of their intention and meaning, they must be defined; these convey messages inherent in the convoluted art of politics and diplomatic liaisons.

Leaders or heads of government, foreign ministers, or other authorities in the same hierarchy in Peru make “working visits” to deal with matters that require a short stay. The Foreign Ministry handles contacts with the diplomatic delegation. Furthermore, its National Protocol and State Ceremonial Directorate will determine the visit’s qualification.

Finally, “private visits” must be considered, which refer to the presence of a representative for strictly personal reasons. According to Article 31, “… the National Directorate of State Protocol and Ceremonial will coordinate its development with the respective Diplomatic Mission and offer the courtesies and deference’s appropriate to the visitor’s high investiture for the duration of their stay in the national territory.”

A few months ago, numerous journalists and members of the political class questioned the treatment of former Bolivian President Evo Morales Ayma by the government of President Pedro Castillo Terrones during his visit to our country. Even the Republic’s Foreign Relations Commission Congress declared him “persona non grata.” To formulate an objective analysis in this regard, it is useful to recall what is stated in article 29: “In the case of an official visit by high-ranking foreign authorities or personalities who are not Heads of State or Government, the National Directorate of Protocol and Ceremonial of the State will coordinate and execute the corresponding ceremonial.” At the same time, article 33 states that acts of “international courtesy” will be subject to the reciprocity principle.

The treatments received were flawlessly and unquestionably by our legislation. It is customary for a republic’s former president to be accorded some deference by the investiture exercised. Aside from incoherent thoughts, they were frequent acts of kindness. Erroneous interpretations of these primordial attentions are created in a variety of circumstances. The political component’s interference in the always considered, assertive, and discrete protocol practice must be avoided.

The practice of presidential diplomacy has elevated heads of State and government to the status of direct protagonists in international relations. Their participation has been emphasized in Latin America to express a new model of inter-country cooperation. It has been consolidating since the 1990s and has become the permanent axis of the integrationist will. As a result, it addresses this unavoidable issue that has now acquired more excellent value to avoid omitting the protocol’s connotation as a code of communication and rapprochement between nations.

Finally, it confirms what Autonomous University of Nuevo León (Mexico) researchers José Vázquez Godina and Salvador González Cruz asserted in their well-documented essay “The State and International Relations”: “International relations appear as both a phenomenon and a science, with the latter employing a description, conceptualization, and theory to explain the causes of the international phenomenon.” The study of international relations begins with an understanding of the State and sovereignty because the desire of states to participate in the international system starts here”.

 http://wperezruiz.blogspot.com/

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Writer by Wilfredo Pérez, Teacher, communicator, and consultant in protocol, ceremonial, social etiquette, and public relations.

3 June 2022, Peru 

Category: Business Protocol 

Reference: WP03062022BP

Translation and review by Eric Muhia

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

PERCEPTION ABOUT SUCCESS

Success is related to the conclusion of notable professional performances in our society. Consequently, there is a perception that it should be reflected in the possession of material goods, status, power, fame, and other components. For this reason, it is convenient to develop a discrepant notion.

It is common to meet people -of all ages, origins, and conditions- who work, save and struggle to achieve it. There is the mistaken impression that Success is distant, unattainable, and, by the way, is associated with comfort and social prestige.

The prosperous Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim Helú -one of the richest men in the world- offers an interesting, simple, and different appreciation: “Success has nothing to do with what many people imagine. It is not due to the noble and academic titles, nor to the inherited blood or the school where you studied. It is not due to the dimensions of your house or how many cars fit in your garage. It’s not about whether you’re a boss or a subordinate; or if you are a prominent member of social clubs. It has nothing to do with the power you wield or if you are a good administrator or speak beautifully if the lights follow you when you do it. It is not because of the clothes or if you put the dazzling acronyms that define your social status after your name. It’s not about whether you’re an entrepreneur, speak multiple languages, or are attractive, young or old.”

Likewise, in his letter to the university community (1994), he presents a profound and truthful reflection: “… Success is not doing things well or very well and having the recognition of others. It is not an external opinion; it is an internal state. It is the harmony of the soul and its emotions, which needs love, family, friendship, authenticity, integrity”.

From my point of view, the compliments, promotions, and distinctions received at a professional and work level are not always synonymous with Success. Relating it to the external is a mistake. Its full achievement is observed in the inner world of each one of us. In our personal, spiritual being and, therefore, in the attitude assumed towards life.

I like the words of the Mexican intellectual José Luis Barradas Rodríguez: “Being successful in the little things you do lifts your spirits and self-esteem and prepares you to be successful in the big things you do.” There is the central point of my reflection. Victory begins with achievements and conquests forged by perseverance and commitment inspired by self-esteem.

Purify the internal sphere of fears, suspicions, obstinacy, grudges, complexes, and negative feelings that contaminate the positive vision of tomorrow and, therefore, slow us down. Let us be able to carry out an intense internal cleaning to achieve our development and growth.

Let us avoid worrying about the external, as is usual in third-world societies. An expert with outstanding academic degrees, a good salary, car of the year, large credit cards, the latest fashions, and a member of representative social clubs, yet overwhelmed by hatred, conscience, prejudice, frustration, and family heartbreak. , etc. Will it be successful? Those who do not know the details of their sphere could probably envy their “success.”

Let’s avoid placing this qualification on a mortal only because of his labor and economic merits. Let’s look beyond what is related to work to assess other areas -we do not perceive with the naked eye- and judge what has been achieved by our peers. Let us be diligent and profound in our observations. Also, let’s take what they can make us believe about our supposed triumphs with serenity.

On more than one occasion, I think of its complex definition. Each one has, with all rights, their evaluation and interpretation that is reflected in the actions destined to achieve Success. One man may believe that Success has a job, another being a general manager, and a third becoming the company’s owner. What is questionable is necessarily “uniformizing” Success with the superficial, material, and monetary, without considering what life offers to achieve personal improvement beyond competitiveness in the labor market.

A few weeks ago, two of my students from the San Ignacio de Loyola Institute (ISIL), Allinson Liza and Fiorella Larrea -students full of commitment, talent, hope, goodwill and who feed our illusion in teaching- asked me: Which do you think What is the factor for Success? I answered: “I believe that Success is in a sum of small details. If they remember her when she leaves; if you leave a positive mark in this life; if along its path it shed seeds and others picked them up; if more people consider you their friend than those who you suppose to be their friends; if he manages to get up every day with a clear conscience, exhibiting clean hands and pockets; if you have inner peace and enjoy your work, you are successful. In such a way that my definition differs from the one that, by custom, is had in our environment”. Welcome Success, dear reader.

http://wperezruiz.blogspot.com/

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Writer by Wilfredo Peréz, teacher and consultant in organizing events, protocol, professional image, and social etiquette.

31 May 2022,  Peru 

Category: Business Etiquette 

Reference: WP31052022BE    Photography: Aziz  Acharki

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

THE IMPACT OF CHINA ON AFRICAN HEALTH DIPLOMACY

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Africa accounts for a quarter of global communicable and non-communicable disease mortality and morbidity burdens. Still, its share of global health expenditure is less than 1%, leaving more than half of its population without access to essential health services.

Defining Health Diplomacy

The practice of health diplomacy seeks to prioritize the healthcare aspects of humanitarian aid as a mechanism for political and economic negotiations between donor and recipient countries. Health diplomacy is defined as any healthcare activity with the underlying intention of improving political, economic, and cultural ties between donor and recipient countries by the donor state’s foreign policy.

Health crises are a significant focus of contests for global influence, especially in the global South, where such crises are most acute. This necessitates a focus on international health diplomacy arenas and the power struggles that emerge from them, including the often-overlooked agency of African actors within these arenas. The nineteenth-century economic and trade policies relating to maritime quarantines were some of the first examples of historical health diplomacy. The early international health relations were focused on “international collaboration to protect human and commercial interests against the spread of specific infectious diseases.”

China, Africa, and Health Diplomacy

The overarching concern in global health work that does engage with Africa is perceptions and reactions to Africa as a threat to global health and a site for diplomacy. Typically, the continent is seen as being ‘acted on’ by the West8 and, more recently, three other powerful global actors, including China.

China has a long, often unacknowledged history of providing foreign aid to Africa, building on a shared colonial experience to forge what China refers to as mutually beneficial partnerships. Current health sector assistance accounts for more than a quarter of China’s African foreign aid. Although all donor countries claim that their foreign policy and health diplomacy are motivated by mutual benefit for the donor and recipient, China’s intentions in Africa have drawn scrutiny, particularly from the West. China’s health diplomacy differs from that of the West.

China’s health diplomacy differs from that of the West in three ways: a) ideologically, b) technologically (specific interventions and technological transfers), and c) structurally (execution and implementation).

Ideologically
China’s health diplomacy is guided by a specific ideological understanding of aid’s function, structure, and role in diplomatic relations that emerged in the 1950s. The ideologies embedded in China’s foreign policy and health diplomacy stem from Beijing’s specific political agenda and a distinctively “Asian” perspective on foreign policy.

Technologically
Aside from ideological differences, the actual health care interventions and health diplomacy structure further distinguish Chinese and Western health diplomacy. China’s interventions and technology transfer to Africa have been markedly different from those transferred by the West. Professional human resources have always played an essential role in Sino-African health diplomacy.

Structurally
There are structural differences between Chinese and Western health diplomacy as well. Whereas Western health assistance is a mix of public, private, and multilateral sources, China’s health diplomacy is almost entirely public. It is frequently decentralized to the level of a Chinese province. A Chinese province is usually paired with one or more African countries.

The rise of China has presented opportunities to African states, and recent Chinese interest in the Malawian health sector – including the provision of medical expertise to Kamuzu Central Hospital and Mzuzu Central Hospital, as well as Malaria eradication initiatives – provides opportunities for actors in the Ministry of Health, despite the withdrawal of traditional donors’ support. The ‘Beijing Consensus’ of non-interference and respect for sovereignty appeals to African governments such as Malawi as a break from traditional donors’ ‘tied aid,’ which includes prerequisites such as political liberalization or economic reforms (except for the ‘one China policy’).

African governments have a role to play.

Typically, the prospective recipient government initiates the process of health diplomacy. In general, an African government will propose a health project based on assessing their population’s needs. As a result, if the receiving government is looking for CMTs (Chinese Medical Teams), they will specify what practitioners and specialists they need and where they want them to work. The Chinese government then evaluates whether it can meet the proposal’s human and material resource availability demands. For this structure, interventions are frequently recipient-led from the start. They are thus more context-appropriate than if China designed a healthcare intervention based on its assessment of local needs. The increased specificity of this process may help to inform Western health diplomacy.

Diplomatic Response in Health Diplomacy

There is widespread agreement that improved governance of health systems is required to respond to the increasing frequency of global health threats, both at the national and international levels. The increased spread of globalization has resulted in an intensification of cross-border health threats that exceed the ability of any single country or organization to address the health threats that they face. However, the new approach to promoting a universal agenda for inclusive, sustainable development that applies equally to all countries is as important as the individual Goals. In this regard, the new Goals are unique in that they call for action by all countries, rich and poor, to promote prosperity while protecting the environment, which was not the case with the MDGs. Whereas health diplomacy is central to China’s soft power, shadow diplomacy allows us to understand better how these newer global actors use global health diplomacy to consolidate their influence in Africa.

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Writer by Eric Muhia, International Studies and Diplomacy Graduate Student

27 May 2022, Kenya 

Category: Diplomacy 

Reference: EM27052022D    

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

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”