This article is re-published * as part ofFridays With MUNPlanet and its series dedicated to world politics and the United Nations. This time PassBluebrings you an article by Helmut Volger on UN Secretaries General, and how their business travel relates to their diplomatic style and policies. The author notes that "Ban is hardly the first secretary-general to use traveling as a political instrument, yet he has made much more use of it than his predecessors" in practicing "public diplomacy" in what can bring more support to the UN in 193 member states.
Regarding the agenda of Ban’s travels, he meets a great range of groups, and is thus practicing a strategy of “public diplomacy,” managing international relations “through public communications media and through dealings with the wide range of non-governmental entities (political parties, corporations, trade associations, labour unions, educational institutions . . . and so on),” as Alan K. Henrikson, a scholar at Tufts University, defined it.
To appeal directly to social groups and media in member countries makes sense as the UN searches for support and solutions to urgent global problems such as climate change. Ban’s talking campaigns — on the spot — are clearly not spectacular, as everyone knows who has heard him speak. Yet in the long run, his traveling might be increasing support for the UN in its 193 member countries. ...
A Princeton PhD, was a US diplomat for over 20 years, mostly in Eastern Europe, and was promoted to the Senior Foreign Service in 1997. For the Open World Leadership Center, he speaks with
its delegates from Europe/Eurasia on the topic, "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United." Affiliated with Georgetown University for over ten years, he shares ideas with students about public diplomacy.
The papers of his deceased father -- poet and diplomat John L. Brown -- are stored at Georgetown University Special Collections at the Lauinger Library. They are manuscript materials valuable to scholars interested in post-WWII U.S.-European cultural relations.
This blog is dedicated to him, Dr. John L. Brown, a remarkable linguist/humanist who wrote in the Foreign Service Journal (1964) -- years before "soft power" was ever coined -- that "The CAO [Cultural Affairs Officer] soon comes to realize that his job is really a form of love-making and that making love is never really successful unless both partners are participating."