Saturday, September 23, 2017

USC Center on Public Diplomacy - CPD Daily (September 23)

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September 22, 2017 - via email
An 11-person delegation from Gunpo, South Korea, recently completed a Sister City visit to the City of Clarksville that included tours of City facilities, a local factory and visits to RiverFest and local entertainment venues. In 1999, Gunpo and Clarksville both approved an agreement establishing a Sister City relationship, designed to expand cultural understanding and cooperation. Read More...
The U.S. Embassy India is celebrating September as the month of U.S.-India friendship, and the diplomats are busy showcasing their respect by reciting Indian poems and taking road trips. The last two weeks have been busy for U.S. diplomats in India as they were learning Indian languages such as Hindi and Urdu to recite the poems of Ghalib and Dagh. Read More...
In pursuance of its declared policy to maintain peace and harmony in the world, Federal Republic of Germany is again organizing 9-week festival in Karachi from Oct 11 to December 17 with unique events like a lecture of religious harmony by an eminent scholar, and sufi music concert, the German consul general in Karachi Rainer Schmiedchen announced here Thursday afternoon, saying with tremendous confidence that security situation has improved in Karachi substantially, proven by the presence of so many participants from his country. Read More...
South Korea will host a cultural event in Ankara on Friday to commemorate the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Turkey. Seoul’s Culture Ministry said that programs will include a hanbok fashion show, a taekwondo demonstration and traditional music and K-pop concerts. South Korea and Turkey’s national folk music groups will put on a joint performance. Read More...
21 September 2017 the British Council officially launched its first English training centre in mainland China. With classes beginning on 20 October, the branch will initiate the British Council’s “myClass” English program for adult learners in Nanjing. The British Council operates in over 80 specialist training centres globally and as co-owner of IELTS (International English Language Training System) works in partnership with the NEEA (National Education Examinations Authority) in mainland China. Read More...
Indian content company Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEE) has set up a production company in Canada. The creation of ZEE Studios International marks ZEE as the first Indian broadcaster to set up a production company in North America, the company claims. ZEE Studios will create global content and formats for international markets in their local languages, many of which will be based on successful Indian ideas and concepts. Read More...

Friday, September 22, 2017

CPD Daily - USC Center on Public Diplomacy (September 21)

USC Center on Public Diplomacy

10:05 PM (22 hours ago)
to me
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September 21, 2017 via email
Chef Outta Water presents a series of food events from Thursday, Sept. 28, to Sunday, Oct. 8, that are an exchange of flavors, friendship and business opportunities between Australia and Oregon. Australian Chef Michael Brine from Townsville, North Queensland, will be the ‘chef outta water’ teaming up with Astoria’s Chef Chris Holen as part of a local makers and food producers tour though Astoria, Portland, Hood River, Bend, and McMinnville. Brine will use his skill to pair ‘down under’ flavors with Oregon produce. Read More...
Sudanese officials are seeking to attract Chinese tourists, touting the impressive scenery and cultural heritage their country has to offer. At a tourism promotion event in Beijing on Wednesday, Sudanese officials also hailed a good relationship with China in making the case that Sudan could be an ideal destination for Chinese tourists. "We have unique tourist sites, ancient cultural heritage and beautiful natural scenery - that's Sudan's real treasure," Omer Eisa Ahmed, Sudanese Ambassador to China, told hundreds of potential tourists and Chinese travel agents at the event. Read More...
The first London Design Festival was launched in 2003. Since then, around 130 cities across the world have set up their own version. Why? Design is key to building a successful creative economy and a festival is a major gateway to individual creative industries. Read More...
The Mission of the Republic of Korea to ASEAN, the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Cambodia to ASEAN, and the ASEAN Secretariat had come together to launch the Korea-ASEAN Cinema Week 2017, which is aimed at strengthening people-to-people relations in the region. [...] "We appreciate this melting pot of values as we pursue shared objectives and bring our vision closer together in building that sense of community and seeing the entire region as a family," he added. Read More...
The Japanese Embassy in collaboration with the Pakistan National Council of the Arts organized a joint music performance of Pakistani and Japanese artists titled ‘NIHON Unplugged: Music from Japan and Pakistan’ at the auditorium of National Art Gallery yesterday. [...] To mark the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations, the Embassy of Japan in Islamabad held a variety of cultural events in various cities of Pakistan throughout the year to further strengthen the existing friendly relations among the people of two countries. Read More...
This International Peace Day a striking 84% of people in the UK, US and Germany agree that ‘human beings have the right to live in peace: free from conflict’. [...] Peacebuilding is often an invisible sub-sector of international development. There is no one definition of the term, but it is considered by the United Nations and those that work in the field as a process which goes beyond ending violence to establish the conditions for durable peace and prevent the recurrence of violence. Read More...

American public diplomacy is our country's best foreign policy tool
; via KRI on linkedin

American public diplomacy is our country's best foreign policy tool
© Getty Images; image from article
At a time when disinformation and fake news corrupt communication channels, delivering the truthful and authentic American message is needed now more than ever. American public diplomacy, our nation’s outreach to peoples around the world, is the prime channel for communicating this message. It is essential to this country’s national security and should be vigorously championed by the president and Congress.
The value of public diplomacy has risen steeply in light of the strategic challenges as well as opportunities currently faced by the United States. It helps undermine the appeal of violent extremism by providing messaging and tangible assistance to those most susceptible to radical recruitment. It strengthens alliances by providing citizens of friendly countries with knowledge about American values and with aid that improves daily lives, such as by fostering expanded transnational business operations and building enlightened civil society institutions. 
Public diplomacy is cost-effective because it proactively addresses threats that could spiral into costly crises. In 2013, James Mattis, who was then commander of the U.S. Central Command and is now our secretary of Defense, told a congressional hearing, “If you don’t fund the State Department budget then I need to buy more ammunition… the more that we put into the State Department’s diplomacy, hopefully the less we have to put into a military budget.”
It serves as a key tool for softening attitudes and calming tensions between countries in times of crisis. It strengthens coalitions in support of U.S. policies through methods ranging from broadcasting to academic exchanges. It builds bridges between America and others on a plethora of cultural platforms, including sports, cuisine, theatre, music, art, style, dance and architecture. It enhances American leadership and global competitiveness by reaching out to diverse constituencies in other countries.
Public diplomacy is America’s essential foreign policy tool. It acts as an indispensable counterbalance to our nation’s hard (read: military) power. The United States possesses unmatched military capability, but history and experience demonstrate that it is neither economically wise nor morally proper to rely too heavily on power which is wielded through armed threat and force. Public diplomacy, by contrast, relies partly on persuading people to your point of view through attraction rather than coercion.
Even more than its military strength, America’s greatest assets are its core values, which inspire emulation and appeal to the aspirations of populations throughout the world. Values arise from a shared belief in a set of norms that enable a nation to function stably and peacefully. They cannot be imposed on other countries, rather, they are communicated by example. We Americans might take freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion and our other liberties for granted, but in much of the rest of the world they inspire awe.
Further, American culture — art, education, entertainment, sports, technology, free enterprise and other facets of American life — have made lasting impressions across the globe, stirring imagination and admiration. Exchanges in these fields are relatively apolitical and therefore more likely to attract those otherwise wary of being politically manipulated. At the heart of U.S. public diplomacy is sharing our foundational values and achievements with foreign publics and governments. Such efforts require sophisticated skills, careful planning and, yes, resources.
Public diplomacy has been a central element of American foreign relations since Benjamin Franklin’s day. And now, although the State Department and the Broadcasting Board of Governors take the lead, public diplomacy is an all-of-government enterprise weaving throughout the work of a dozen agencies and departments. Its success also depends on the involvement of the private sector, including corporations, non-governmental organizations, universities and individual citizens. All play a consequential role in conveying America’s positive message abroad.
This doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It requires the support of the White House and Congress as providers of leadership and funding. As the Trump administration’s foreign policy continues to take shape, public diplomacy must not be neglected. This month, the president nominated an undersecretary of State for public diplomacy and public affairs, but other senior positions in the department should be filled promptly so public diplomacy can be fully integrated within the overall foreign policy apparatus. Congress should dispel budget uncertainty by funding public diplomacy programs at a meaningful level.
Universities and think tanks are ready to assist. Public diplomacy is a growing academic field, and an expanding cadre of policy experts broadens the availability of public diplomacy expertise. Public diplomacy is not an afterthought in our international relations strategy. It is designed to forthrightly advance American interests and can have a hard edge, as when it plays a role in counterterrorism. Peace is achieved through strength, and the use of public diplomacy must reflect this.
Directly or indirectly, every well-crafted public diplomacy program enhances America’s national security. That is why public diplomacy is so important and why it deserves the attention and support of the Trump administration and Congress. The world is a perilous place, and from America’s standpoint, public diplomacy can make it less so. It is time to move forward.
Mel Levine served as a U.S. congressman from California from 1983 to 1998. He currently serves as counsel at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Los Angeles.
Rockwell Schnabel served as U.S. ambassador to Finland under President Reagan U.S. ambassador to the European Union under President George W. Bush. He is the founder and chairman of The Sage Group in Los Angeles.
Jay Wang is director of the USC Center on Public Diplomacy and an associate professor at the USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism.

Trump urges help for Myanmar’s Rohingya amid violent crackdown

Kambiz Foroohar, Bloomberg News,

image from

More than 400,000 Rohingya have fled over the border to Bangladesh since Aug. 25.

NEW YORK — U.S. President Donald Trump has asked his national security advisers to find ways to help end violence that’s driven hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar to neighboring Bangladesh, according to United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley.

“The president is very concerned about Burma,” Haley told reporters in New York on Thursday, using Myanmar’s former name. “Everybody is trying to figure out who can move the officials in Burma. You have almost half a million people who have left, and the tragedies and the abuse that’s happened there is something not a lot of us can stomach.”

More than 400,000 Rohingya from the Buddhist-majority nation have fled over the border to Bangladesh since Aug. 25, when militants from the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army attacked police and army posts, killing a dozen security officials in Myanmar’s eastern state of Rakhine. The military responded to those assaults with what it called “clearance operations.”

Human rights groups have accused security forces and Buddhist vigilantes of indiscriminately attacking Muslims and burning their villages, while U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described the violence as “ethnic cleansing.” Some groups have criticized the Trump administration for not speaking out forcefully against the violence.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has contacted Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s leader, to express the president’s concern, Haley said. She said Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has urged the country’s military leaders to end the violence. On Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence urged members of the U.N. Security Council to take “strong and swift” action.

Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who endured years of house arrest by a military junta during her campaign to bring civilian rule to Myanmar, has come under fire for not speaking out against the violence. She has described some Rohingya, who are considered stateless in Myanmar, as militants.

Still, Suu Kyi, who skipped the gathering of world leaders in New York for the U.N. General Assembly, said in a televised address this week that “we condemn all human rights violations and unlawful violence” and that her government was ready to welcome back Rohingya refugees.

Haley spoke at a news conference called by the Trump administration to boast of U.S. accomplishments at the U.N. sessions. It reflected the increasingly visible role being played by the former South Carolina governor, feeding speculation she’s outshining the low-key Tillerson as the Trump administration’s face of public diplomacy.

Asked if she’s gunning for Tillerson’s job, Haley said “there’s going to be chatter about things” but “no, I do not” want to be secretary of State.

Serving Ice Cream Isn't a Cultural Exchange

The Editors,

The U.S. benefits from foreign visitors, but let's be honest about why they're here.

Image from article, with caption: "soft-serve power"

President Donald Trump's one big idea about immigration -- that there's too much of it -- is so wrong that it tends to obscure some of the smaller things the administration is trying to get right. Even minor changes could help restore public confidence in an immigration system that is too easily abused.

A case in point is the exchange-visitor program, through which 300,000 people receive visas to the U.S. every year. Created more than five decades ago, the program is designed to allow young people from other countries to gain exposure to American culture. About one-third of those who come on these visas, known as J-1s, are students, professors and academic researchers. The rest enter the labor force: as au pairs, camp counselors, corporate interns and medical residents. 

Over the last decade, roughly 1 million foreigners have taken part in a four-month program that places international students in seasonal, service-industry jobs: working in amusement parks, swimming pools, ice cream parlors, ski resorts. Participants payanywhere from $1,500 to $5,000 in fees to placement services, which match them with businesses across the country. 

In principle, the program provides a way for young people to finance their travel, improve their English and meet working Americans. The reality often falls short. Participants have reported being victimized by predatory sponsors, abused by employers, and recruited by cyber-criminals. A Government Accountability Office report found that the government has "limited ability to protect participants from excessive and unexpected costs"; nor can it assure that "participants' experiences of U.S. culture align with its public diplomacy goals." The report found that 40 percent of summer workers don't engage in any cultural activities outside of work at all. 

The Trump administration is reportedly considering the elimination of five categories of J-1 visas. In response, congressional defenders of the programs insist that changes receive a public airing and go through the formal rule-making process. 

That's a reasonable demand. But lawmakers should also use the opportunity to acknowledge an obvious if inconvenient truth: Many J-1 visa holders are guest workers, not participants in cultural exchanges, and should be treated as such. Congress should push for sensible reforms that bring J-1 regulations in line with guest-worker programs like the H-2B visa, which brings in 95,000 foreign laborers for seasonal work. This would mean requiring employers to advertise job openings domestically before hiring J-1 visa holders and to provide workers a prevailing sector wage. 

The exchange-visitor program is far from the only work-based immigration program that has strayed from its original intent. But attracting foreigners to visit, study and work in the U.S. remains vital -- not just to America's economy but to its global influence. Transparency about the real purpose of the many visa programs the country offers is the best way to ensure that they survive.


To contact the senior editor responsible for Bloomberg View’s editorials: David Shipley .

Starting Oct 11, ‘German Weeks’ to offer something for everyone

Image from, with caption: "Goethe-Institut director Stefan Winkler and German Consul-General Rainer Schmiedchen present the schedule of the events that will be part of the ‘German Weeks’."

German Consul General in Karachi, Rainer Schmiedchen, and the director of the Goethe-Institut, Karachi, Stefan Winkler, at a joint press conference held at the Karachi Press Club on Thursday afternoon announced the schedule of activities of both organisations for the period from October 11 to December 31 this year.

Designated as the ‘German Weeks 2017’, the period envisages a vast range of diverse cultural and educational activity.

The period begins with an academic lecture, ‘The Reformation and its effects on the culture and politics of Europe’, by Professor Gury Schneider-Ludorff at the Pakistan Institute of International Affairs (PIIA) on October 11 at 5pm. On October 13, there will be a music workshop and concert, ‘Raggabund’. This is a German urban and dancehall formation; on October 19 there will be a German spelling competition and October 22 will be the grand finale of the national competition.

The Goethe-Institut is supporting the KB17, the first biennale in Karachi under the theme, ‘Witness’, curated by Amin Gulgee. The public opening for the event would be on October 22 and it will run till November 5.

The other events are as follows:

October 23-27: Film festival, starting with the film, ‘Conni and Co.’

All through November: A series of documentaries.

November 11: Second German Consulate-General football cup.

November 17: Concert, ‘We work in Space’, by Ashraf Khan and Viktor Marek.

November 21: Jazz concert.

November 23: Lecture by Dr Wasim Frembgen titled, ‘The Charisma of the Qalandar: aesthetics of devotion in the cult of Sufi saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar’.

November 24: Sufi night with Kashif Zafar and a sufi fusion Qawwali ensemble.

November 28: Book launch of ‘Pakistan Now’, a book by a German photographer that showcases Pakistan’s scenic splendour.

Nov 30: Dinner jointly hosted by the German Consulate-General and M/S Dewan Motors to showcase the latest BMW 5 Series.

December 7: CVT networking event at the German Consulate-General.

December 7: Annual chamber meeting of the German-Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GPCCI).

December 16-17: 60th anniversary of the Goethe-Institut in Pakistan.

Speaking at the presser, CG Schmiedchen said, “Cultural exchange is an important part of the public diplomacy of Germany. It is a means to engage people in a positive way.”

He further stated that this year’s German Weeks offered a great line up for people from all walks of life.

Goethe-Institut Director Stefan Winkler said the institute would be presenting events like the best of documentaries, jazz/fusion concerts, exhibitions, the third German spelling bee contest for Pasch schools, a music workshop/concert, and an open day for students interested in higher education and language teaching in Germany.

The large line-up of activities, with important personalities form Germany coming over for the events, belies all the propaganda about Pakistan being a security risk country, for had that been the case we could not have had such a profusion of activities with visiting German scholars and artistes.

Roman Tychkivskyi: New generation of responsible leaders – mission possible

Roman TychkivskyiKyiv Post

It was a busy cheerful day at the Ukrainian Leadership Academy’s campus in Pushcha Vodytsia on Sept. 13. 200 freshmen started their educational year. These youngsters were congratulated to have passed a tough competition of 8 candidates per place and now they get ready for new challenges and growth. Hundreds hours of volunteering, dozens of books to read and projects to implement, dozens of expeditions all over Ukraine and two abroad – all these educational components are ahead of them. The spirit of the ceremony was raised by previous years’ alumni recalling brightest moments of their studies and giving newcomers some useful tips. Inspiration, enthusiasm and a whole lot of energy not only were present during the opening ceremony, but will accompany these young people throughout their studying during the next 10 months. This is a proved experience.
How it all began
The Ukrainian Leadership Academy is a gap-year program of personal and social development for secondary school graduates. The project is relatively new for Ukraine and it has no other analogues here. Understanding of importance to set up a consistent program of non-formal education appeared during the Revolution of Dignity. It was critically important to shape not only a protest, i.e. negative, but also a positive agenda too, as well as to start preparing tomorrow’s leaders already today. Growing popularity of the Open University of Maidan, an educational platform for Revolution’s activists, served as a bright proof of the increasing public demand for quality leadership education.
The idea first popped up in Ukraine over a decade ago when the founder of Israeli Mechina, a program for preparing the youth for life, and our dear friend Erez Eshel first talked about the opening of similar establishments in Ukraine. The experience was taken from Oxford and Cambridge as to how the Brits has been raising their leaders to serve the people for the last 600 or 700 years. The most talented young people are trained in various disciplines in order to serve the nation. However, despite his devotion to his idea, Erez did not manage to convince those he approached in the significance of preparing leaders for our society. It was not the best moment to bring it up, which is why the idea had to be postponed for some time. But six years later, during his trip to Israel, Boris Lozhkin heard Erez talking about the experience of the Israeli leadership academies, and got rekindled with it. Upon his return to Ukraine, he once again brought the idea up of establishing leadership academies.
“It was our Fund that decided in spring of 2015 to assume the responsibility for the future in Ukraine, and I am deeply grateful to the Board of Directors for their support to the idea and full funding of the ULA. The WNISEF Board of Directors, which has been investing in Ukraine for over 20 years and which knew the significance of education for the companies in our portfolio, wholeheartedly supported the idea of leadership academies since its members believed that Ukraine could only change drastically if the new generation of responsible citizens was provided with proper education. The WNISEF Board of Directors allocated significant funds for bringing the idea of the ULA into life, and making it a landmark project.” – commented Jaroslawa Z. Johnson, President and CEO of Western NIS Enterprise Fund (WNISEF).
Israeli experience really inspired, and the initiative group, including WNISEF’s Jaroslawa Johnson and Lenna Koszarny, as well as Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, Borys Gudziak, Natalia Popovych, Yaroslav Hrytsak, Valeriy Pekar and other opinion leaders, dared to give a try. The first Ukrainian Leadership Academy was launched in 2015 with one branch of 39 students in Kyiv and ambitious plans. Next year it expanded to 4 more regions: Lviv, Mykolayiv, Poltava and Kharkiv.
The Academy is for those, who were born free, started its full operation.
What is the Academy’s mission
The Academy has set an ambitious mission to influence Ukraine’s future by bringing up a new generation of young people, capable and willing to take responsibility for our nation. Surely, this is not an easy and short way, but it is definitely worth going.
Each Academy is directed by a manager and has 5 mentors, who are responsible for students’ personal development as well as take care of specific parts of the program: agenda, volunteering, travels, and communications.
For 2017/2018 the Academy chose three priorities to deeply dig into: education, defense and entrepreneurship. Forming a coherent personality in the Academy is being implemented through educational, physical, emotional and intellectual components. Each of them has key milestones set by the students beforehand: be it a successful half marathon done as a results of regular morning sports, comprehensive research of Israeli defense sector conducted, moving on the next level of English language, overcoming of public speaking shyness, or the project implemented in full on student’s own.
One whole day every week students are serving their local communities by doing volunteering at schools, social or environmental organizations. Great deal of the program is devoted to educational expeditions throughout the whole Ukraine and communicating with local people – are there any other more effective ways to study the Ukrainian identity? In addition, two international educational expeditions, aimed at exploring Israel and the European Union, are naturally supplementing learning of domestic state-building processes and helping students to start thinking about Ukraine outside the box.
Unlike traditional educational curriculums, Academy’s program is flexible: in March 2016 the group unexpectedly spent 3 weeks in The Netherlands doing public diplomacy and campaigning for the Association Agreement. In January 2017 Academies’ Christmas performances “vertep” (Ukrainian Christmas custom) appeared to be so successful and highly demanded, that students spent additional week travelling in the Eastern regions of Ukraine – in total the students staged their verteps more than 100 times.
The educational program is formed the way to make students permanently challenge themselves and consequently improve, inspire others by their results.
Overall Academy’s operation is funded by the WNISEF, and supported by local authorities and businesses, Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, Presidential Administration of Ukraine, various NGOs and international partners.
“We have all united our efforts around Ukrainian Leadership Academy because we share a dream called Ukraine. And we share a mission called Victory. Every mission takes efforts to achieve, and every victory must be fought for. And this is our top priority for the upcoming years—to learn together with the students how to fight for our dreams, to become fighters, true warriors. The Victory does not only take the freedom of spirit and sincere efforts, but also creativity and wisdom.” – said Father Andrii Zelinsky, Ukrainian Greek Catholic priest, military chaplain, Member of the ULA Supervisory Board.
Plans for the future
The Academy’s alumni already entered world-top universities, such as University of the Arts London, set up their own businesses, got actively involved in social and volunteer projects. They do not postpone taking the responsibility for later and we are proud of them.
By 2023 the Academy plans to extend its scale and start operating in every region of Ukraine. In addition, we plan to deepen cooperation with local and national partners, both public and corporate, in order to make the Academy a genuinely all-Ukrainian educational program. We see ourselves as a partner to the Ministry of Education in the development of quality non-formal education in Ukraine.
Creating yourself – creating Ukraine, Academy’s motto says. And it is right, since every tomorrow starts today.

Russia rejects Donald Trump's derisive attempts to reform UN

Lyuba Stepushova (Lulko), Pravda

image (not from article) from; on Khrushchev shoe-banging at the UN, see.
Consensus on complex issues in the United Nations shall first be achieved in committees that submit proposals to the Conference, where delegations from all states gather to discuss final terms, before bringing topics of the agenda of the UN General Assembly.

"The UN needs to be reformed. First of all, one needs to cut bureaucracy, but this should be done by the people who are familiar with the situation," Sergei Ordzhonikidze, former deputy general secretary of the organisation, chairman of the Russian public council for international cooperation and public diplomacy, told Pravda.Ru. He believes that Trump's declaration about the reform of the United Nations is a publicity stunt and an attempt "to distract attention from internal problems and pressure from within."