Tuesday, December 1, 2015

November Blog Roundup: The Top 5


Nov 30, 2015
As November comes to a close, check out the top posts of the month from the CPD Blog:
5) Click to Care: Social Media and the Paris and Beirut Attacks by Yukari Easton. What does a click accomplish in the aftermath of a terrorist attack?
4) Islamic Art Now: Modern Islamic Art’s Powerful Cultural Diplomacy by Jillian Hegedus. On the cultural diplomacy of "Islamic Art Now" at LACMA.
3) How the U.S. Military Engages in Public Diplomacy by Marissa Cruz. How the U.S. Military participates in public diplomacy. 
2) The VOA Charter is a Good Mission Statement. So Why Has It So Often Been Ignored? by David S. Jackson. The VOA misunderstands its own mission statement.
1) Conan the Diplomat by Melissa Karakash. On Conan O'Brien's trip to Armenia and his role as an unofficial cultural diplomat.
From top to bottom: Photo by Malcolm Carlaw/CC by-SA 2.0, Photo by Tobias Theiler/CC by-SA 2.0, Photo by Johanna/ CC by-SA 2.0, Photo by Wikipedia/ CC by-SA 2.0, Photo by Karl Schumacher / Public Domain, Photo reprinted courtesy Wikipedia/ CC by-SA 2.0

Khartoum: Dialogue with Washington Focusing on Bilateral Ties

smc, news.sudanvisiondaily.com

uncaptioned image from article
Khartoum – The International Cooperation Minister Kamal Hassan Ali has disclosed that dialogue with the United States moved from addressing the internal issues of Sudan to strengthening bilateral relations, based on common interests and mutual respect.
The Minister said Sudan is leading a strategic dialogue with the United States in order to lift the economic blockade. This is alongside activating the role of popular organisations and adopting public diplomacy for the convergence of views between Khartoum and Washington.
Ali said that Sudan is looking forward to productive and transparent conversations with America to build strategic partnerships. He noted Sudan's foreign policy is based on the strengthening of dealings and continuation of discussions with the United States. He did admit however that there are difficulties in reaching a normalisation of relations between the two nations. ...

UN chief proposes peacekeepers as option for Burundi


Image from article, with caption: Burundian refugees walk to a camp in Tanzania on October 7, 2015.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Monday that deploying peacekeepers to Burundi was an option to quell the violence but recommended that a UN team be first sent to help bolster dialogue. ...
UK envoy to the United Nations Matthew Rycroft confirmed that a peacekeeping operation was being considered, but stressed that it was the “highest” of several options concerning “an enhanced UN presence” in the country.
“The situation on the ground continues to be disturbing,” Rycroft told reporters in New York. “There’s been little process on the political dialogue. In fact, [U.N. special advisor Jamal] Benomar told us that there isn’t any political dialogue. So we have to push the parties into that dialogue […] using either private or public diplomacy.” ...

Conservatives' Planned Parenthood Response: Who Are You Calling a Radical Terrorist?

Brian Beutler, newrepublic.com

When the killer is a Christian, it seems, the rules are different.

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The right’s reaction to the deadly holiday weekend shootout at Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs—a white evangelical redoubt of a rapidly diversifying state—followed a predictable trajectory ... of information loop closure. ...
The hopeful window in which conservatives might have engaged in group reflection was open for less than 24 hours before they slammed it shut decisively. That’s doubly frustrating, because the tragedy unfolded against the backdrop of an ongoing debate over the strategic merits of using the term “radical Islamic terrorism” to describe the crimes of groups like ISIS.
The confluence was an opportunity to reckon with the contradiction between the breezy way conservatives generalize their perceived antagonists, and the zeal with which they demand antagonists treat them with nuance. Needless to say, it was an opportunity missed. Conservatives’ defensive reaction to the Planned Parenthood shootings exquisitely underscores both the moral and the strategic imperative of using precise language in our public diplomacy with the Muslim world. But they lack the empathic thinking required to make the connection. ...

Independent Media FOCAC statement


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Independent Media warmly welcomes the President of the Peoples' Republic of China Xi Jinping and his delegation to South Africa, as well as all the African heads of state who are here to participate in the second summit of the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation (FOCAC). ...
A number of events are taking place in Johannesburg leading up to the summit which starts on 4 December at the Sandton Convention Centre. One such event was a round-table meeting, jointly hosted by Independent Media and China Public Diplomacy Association. ...

Algeria warns against foreign intervention in North Africa


Algeria has said it favours quiet mediation over military intervention as militancy flourishes on its borders in North Africa

Image from article, with caption: Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra speaks to the press in France

Algeria’s foreign minister has issued a warning about the dangers of foreign intervention in North Africa, ahead of a conference on Tuesday in Algiers to discuss the crisis in Libya.
Speaking to the Independent, Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra said foreign military intervention “can become part of the problem and not part of the solution”. ...
Lamamra told the Independent that Algeria favours quiet mediation, rather than military intervention or public diplomacy.
“Algeria believes discretion is always key to the success of mediation,” he said, referring to an Algerian-brokered deal earlier this year in Mali. ...

Digital diplomacy: why does it matter?

Andreja Bogdanovski, analyticamk.org

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DIGITAL diplomacy is quickly grabbing the space in the public diplomacy arena. As such it is becoming an extremely important segment in conducting international relations in today’s world where conventional wars are loosing on strength and “propaganda war” is becoming much more important. That being said “winning hearts and minds” is the prevailing modus operandi.
Many countries around the world are seizing the moment and actively pursuing their foreign policy objectives and possibilities for positive outlook through the use of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. The primary use of social media as an online platform makes this part of public diplomacy also easily reachable, meaning that it does not rely that much on resources or national GDP. Whether it is a small country or large super power is something that is slowly loosing significance in the digital world. The reason behind this is because most online material is not as expensive as traditional diplomacy and it can reach masses in no time. ...
There is very thin line between public or digital diplomacy and actual propaganda. Acknowledging that propaganda can be the other (negative) side of the same coin additionally reinforces the need to invest resources and work with innovative ideas on the best way to get the message across and change the narrative. A shining example of digital diplomacy in practice is the use of social media platforms, such as Twitter by diplomats, usually Ambassadors, who thereby engage with the nationals of the country to which they are accredited with the aim of promoting and fostering their own national foreign policy objectives. What is essential in this digital outreach is the lines of direct communication and access to influencers, journalists, national politicians and at the end of the day regular people. The reason why digital diplomacy can be so attractive is because unlike the traditional style of conveying a message, through a statement or event, it can also offer a personal view on current issues and a sneak peak at the “secretive” diplomatic world. Lastly, the need for strengthening digital diplomacy efforts is especially important taking into account the lack of resources for the conduct of traditional diplomacy. This is especially relevant when taking into account the need to close down embassies or cut down embassy staff, especially in tough economic times.