citizen diplomacy

Beginning this week, the U.S. Department of State, in partnership with Global Ties U.S., will sponsor Diplomacy Begins Here Regional Summits, bringing together leaders in business, government, and the nonprofit world to further citizen diplomacy and forge new connections in local communities. The summits will take place across the United States, engaging Americans from diverse backgrounds on the innovations and impacts that stem from international relationships.

Attorney Tom Jennings said he was just looking to brush up on his Russian when he got involved in Citizen Diplomacy’s cultural exchange program in 1998. The Jennings have opened their home to more than three dozen visitors “and deal with many others,” said Tom.“The stories could go on forever, but the central theme is it’s an opportunity available to people in our area. Citizen Diplomacy is peacemaking at the retail level, one handshake at a time,” he said.

Since the beginning of the year, Japan’s official relations with the Korean Peninsula have gone from bad to worse.With South Korea, the past continues to plague the bilateral relationship.[...] Only last month did Tokyo return the Japanese ambassador to Seoul after he was withdrawn in January to protest a comfort women statue in Busan. [...] Yet one option to repair relations with South Korea, and perhaps even make some headway with North Korea, seems obvious if you are in Kansai: Use Japan’s Korean community as an unofficial diplomatic channel of communication.

In advance of Mother’s Day later this week, it is a good time to reflect and recognize not only the contribution mothers make in our own lives and those of others around the world but their collective power globally. We should also call out and celebrate their unique strengths, skillsets, and experience sets. Skills and strengths that are not often championed or called out, but which could be powerful soft power assets in our broader public diplomacy strategies.

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