Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, today opened the Abu Dhabi Diplomacy Conference, attended by more than 300 high-profile personalities, thought leaders and practitioners from the fields of international politics, diplomacy and academia as well as the private sector.
Held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Emirates Diplomatic Academy, EDA, the inaugural two-day event at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort is hosted by the Emirates Diplomatic Academy, EDA, the UAE’s leading international relations and diplomatic institution.
In his keynote address, Dr. Gargash said, “I am pleased to see such a distinguished group of current and past diplomats gathered here, in the UAE. The founding father of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, was a strong believer in reaching out across borders and finding diplomatic solutions to problems. As he once said, ‘We extend a hand of friendship to the nations and peoples of the world’. In 2018, the Year of Zayed, we can think of no better way to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the great statesman’s birth than through hosting this event, which, hopefully, will be the first of many.”
He added, “Our diplomacy strives to reflect our national character, one that is open, tolerant, moderate, and based on consensus-building, and at the same time forward-looking and innovative. Events such as the Abu Dhabi Diplomacy Conference help keep us on the path that the late Sheikh Zayed set out for us. Ties edified on the principle of trust among nations and among diplomats representing them are crucial to peaceful tomorrow. The Abu Dhabi Diplomacy Conference will not only introduce new concepts to the field but make way for a more effective diplomacy. I am also confident it will contribute to enhancing cooperation between our diplomats and their international counterparts.”
Among the themes of the conference are empowering female diplomats in their careers, what competencies diplomats will need today and tomorrow and how to teach them, leveraging technology to enhance diplomatic impact, and conducting effective cultural and public diplomacy programmes.
Speaking at the conference, Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, said, “The Abu Dhabi Diplomacy Conference presents a superb opportunity to create a meaningful dialogue that will advance diplomacy and strengthen collaboration.”
She added, “Successful diplomacy is built on trust. You cannot have trust without first establishing a relationship that is based on mutual respect and understanding. It is our hope that the relationships built today at this conference will lead to understanding and cooperation between nations tomorrow.”
Highlighting crucial issues of relevance to today’s diplomats, the event is drawing the participation of renowned speakers and attendees, including Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance; Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Bowardi, Minister of State for Defence Affairs; Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh, UAE Minister of State; Awaidha Murshed Al Marar, Chairman of the Department of Energy; Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman of the Community Development Department of Abu Dhabi; Susana Malcorra, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Argentine Republic; Maria Angela Holguin Cuellar, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Colombia, and Nabil Fahmy, Founding Dean of the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the American University in Cairo and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Arab Republic of Egypt.
Bernardino Leon, Director-General of EDA, said, “The EDA is optimistic about the ability of conferences such as this one – and those that will follow – to not only discover the solutions to today’s most pressing issues but also find the ways to implement them to successful conclusions.”
Running on the sidelines of the conference is the Diplomacy in Action – Meet a Diplomat, and the Future Diplomats PeaceGame. Diplomacy in Action, organised by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Youth Council, aims to inspire experience-transfer, dialogue across a variety of skills and knowledge for sustainable engagement with youth to shape an educated and skilful generation of young UAE diplomats.
The Future Diplomats PeaceGame engages outstanding trainee diplomats and students of international affairs in resolving simulated international conflicts. Hosted by EDA, the Future Diplomats PeaceGame, is being organised in collaboration with the Foreign Policy Group and Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, with the generous support of the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.