Digital Diplomacy Day 2015

Digital Diplomacy Day 2015

Reference Number:  , Press Release Issue Date: Feb 02, 2015
 
“I am truly encouraged by the worldwide recognition over these years by the valuable and efficient role which the DIPLO Foundation has been playing over these years. Its achievements in capacity-building in the field of diplomacy are remarkable and highly commendable,” stated the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr George W. Vella this morning. Minister Vella was delivering his keynote speech at the opening of the Digital Diplomacy Day 2015 – Diplomacy between innovation and tradition, held at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Valletta.
 
Addressing those present, including the participants who in the coming days and months will be following the Masters/Post Graduate Diploma course, Minister Vella spoke about the uniqueness of the DIPLO course, as it brings together traditional and modern methods of human resource development. In this regard, DIPLO has succeeded to use the modern medium of on-line information and communication technologies and the expertise of active and retired diplomats and academics. “This critical combination has created a synergy of real skill development, effective learning and knowledge in the practice of diplomacy,” continued Dr Vella.
 
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Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr. George W. Vella delivering his keynote speech at the Digital Diplomacy Day
 
Established 12 years ago as a joint undertaking between Malta and Switzerland, DIPLO Foundation is a non-profit organization and its vocation is to assist all countries, particularly small states and those with limited human resources, in representing and promoting the interests of their own countries. More importantly, such courses provide on-the-job training and in-situ training, an innovative way which allows these countries to participate meaningfully in multilateral fora and activities through the most effective use of ICT tools including Webinars.
 
DIPLO now counts over 290 alumni from these programmes, most of them diplomats, coming from all parts of the globe. With more than 3000 alumni from 189 countries, DIPLO has managed to build along the years an impressive infrastructure and methodology for online diplomatic training, with no less than 500 diplomats and officials from nearly all small island States worldwide who have participated in online courses.
 
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Dr. Jovan Kurbalija, during his presentation
 
Minister Vella also said that the Ministry for Foreign Affairs has decided to inject a substantial increase in the funding for the Foundation’s activities and Programmes for 2015.
 
The Digital Diplomacy Day is organized by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and DIPLO Foundation on the occasion of the start of the 2015 Master in Contemporary Diplomacy. The Foundation has received wide recognition for its work, including consultative status with the United Nations, the World E-democracy award 2009 and the hosting of the 2010 annual meeting of the International Forum on Diplomatic Training.
 
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This morning, the event was also addressed by Dr Jovan Kurbalija, the founding director of DIPLO Foundation and the Head of Geneva Internet Platform, who gave a presentation on “Emerging Digital Diplomacy”. Dr Kurbalija is a former diplomat with a professional and academic background in international law, diplomacy and information technology. In 1992 he established the Unit for IT and Diplomacy at the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic studies in Malta, and after 10years of success the unit evolved into the DIPLO Foundation. Dr Kurbalija currently directs online learning courses on ICT and diplomacy and lectures in academic and training institutions in Switzerland, the United States, Austria, Belgium, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Malta.