Sunday, July 2, 2017

After a quarter-century, Kazakhstan’s foreign service has much to be proud of

Akmaral Arystanbekova,

image (not from article) from

In the era of globalised and increasingly digitalised world, the nature and the role of diplomacy, some would argue, are changing. Today’s diplomacy is facing a wealth of new challenges of trans-boundary nature. Moreover, the advancement of new information and communications technologies made some pundits question the need to maintain diplomatic missions abroad. Indeed, while remaining the same in its essence, diplomacy today has to seek for and employ new forms and tools to complement traditional activities. The rapidly changing contours of international relations and world politics call for the increased importance of public diplomacy, network diplomacy, summit diplomacy, and the need to build lasting relations with non-state actors of international interaction.
This, in turn, puts additional pressure upon diplomats and particularly for ambassadors, whose work is becoming less visible but demanding a higher level of education, competency, professionalism and ability to find common ground not only with fellow diplomats but also with civil society, which in today’s world is empowered to influence the international agenda. In other words, a modern diplomat and especially an ambassador must learn how to wield influence through his or her own “soft power,” or, in other words, muster the art of convincing and establishing trust.
Female diplomats representing different nations and cultures make an invaluable contribution to international affairs and the work of the United Nations, in particular. I was lucky to have known and worked with many outstanding women diplomats, true professionals in their field. ...

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