citizen diplomacy

Diplomats can only do so much to bridge the divides between their countries and the rest of the world. Good bilateral relations start with strong ties at the governmental level. But as public servants, diplomats operate under significant restraints and there is always a layer of formality that may or may not ever melt. [...] This Sept. 11 marks 60 years since President Dwight D. Eisenhower launched a citizen diplomacy campaign that was initially aimed at improving ties with Japan and Germany through a sister cities initiative.

The Shaq show came to Havana on Sunday as NBA great Shaquille O'Neal put on a basketball clinic for local youngsters, becoming the latest emissary for American outreach to the people of Cuba. The 2016 Hall of Fame inductee and four-time NBA champion led star-struck kids in layup drills and coached scrimmages while onlookers cheered from the sidelines, part of a U.S. State Department-sponsored visit to foster people-to-people exchanges with Cuban citizens.

 

There have been complaints by Nigerians on how they are treated when seeking visas.' In this regard, he made two important points. First is that the South African President 'has indicated that Nigeria and South Africa need to intervene by making it easier for our nationals to have visas to our two countries [...] that both countries 'have totally moved from political diplomacy to economic diplomacy and to promote this economic diplomacy, there is need for smooth movement of people between our two countries.'

Recruiting Students in Fight Against Zika

An innovative program by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is empowering student scientists to track the spread of the Zika virus in the United States. 

From diplomatic spouses to citizen ambassadors, headlines look at the people behind public diplomacy. 

In an ongoing decades-long conflict between the two countries, the diplomacy of citizens has the potential to correct the negative image that has embedded in the minds and to change the thinking about each other through face to face interactions. 

“Our U.S. government can’t be everywhere at every moment,” said Jennifer Clinton, president of Global Ties U.S. “We must continue to find ways to leverage the citizenry to build the bridges that lead to increased security, economic development, economic ties and cultural ties.”

Women in Africa spend 40 billion hours a year walking to get water, according to the United Nations. The practice dates back generations, can be extremely dangerous and prevents communities from reaching any sort of gender parity. A world away, on her farm in Iowa, singer/songwriter Lissie is trying to do something about it.

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