The University of the South Pacific started a course in Diplomacy late last year. It all seems rather ironic these days. I wonder how many people did this course and is it still available?
From the archives – October last year.
From the address by MR GREG URWIN, SECRETARY GENERAL PACIFIC ISLANDS FORUM SECRETARIAT AT THE LAUNCH OF THE PACIFIC ISLANDS DIPOMACY TRAINING PROGRAMME University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji
Monday 30 October 2006, 10:00am…..
4. Further, it is our hope that you will be able to apply what you learn here to every aspect of your job, from the development of national policies and strategies in foreign relations that will best advance your country's key interests, to negotiating the achievement of those interests through trade and other international agreements, negotiating peaceful solutions to conflict situations, or liaising with external parties on behalf of your respective governments on a range of issues.
5. It is not easy being a diplomat in a globalised world, even less so for Pacific Island diplomats. International agreements, mechanisms and organisations are having increasing impact on national policies. Small countries often have limited resources to work with and infrequent opportunities for influence in the international arena. It is essential that country delegates and representatives have the ability to effectively advance their national objectives in international fora. You need to be as skilled and as strategic as you can be, as those with whom you will be working and competing, making the most of all resources available and every opportunity to promote and protect your national interests.
6. Of course there are many areas in which Pacific Island States share common interests, and working together is an effective way to promote shared goals. The 2004 Eminent Persons Group review of the Forum recommended that stronger and deeper links be created between the countries of the region. A regional representation of common interests will give us a stronger and if necessary, a louder voice in international fora, as well as enhance our changes of success. Examples of where this has worked well include the PIF group of Ambassadors at the UN in New York and the Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations with the European Union, and the role played in that by the group of Ambassadors in Brussels.
8. The content of this diplomacy training programme has been developed by USP in consultation with the Forum Secretariat. In designing it we had a common objective of providing a quality programme that is specifically tailored to the Pacific context, and which will enable you to develop and enhance your negotiating and diplomacy skills.
9. The course is structured to build on your ability to engage in constructive dialogue and open, respectful discussion , values the Forum believes to be central to achieving and maintaining harmonious relations within the region as well as within individual countries, and which are reflective of the Pacific Way at its best.
11. As you move through the programme, we would also welcome your ideas as the inaugural participants on how we can improve on the course content. It is our hope that today's launch will lead to the establishment of a permanent diplomacy training programme for Pacific Islanders here at USP. etc. etc.