European Union Ambassador Roland Kobia is upbeat about prospects of stepped up engagement between the EU and Myanmar following the new Myanmar government coming to power. In the following interview conducted recently with Mizzima Editor-in-Chief SoeMyint, EU Ambassador Kobia talks about engagement, trade and investment, the peace process, and the development of Myanmar.

September 15, 2015

Even if it is just wishful attempt, we must try to blow winds of change through the small holes digital technology has made in the closed society so that North Korea can constructively change from within. We should take Kennan's advice and try to draw changes from North Korea through the use of diplomacy and soft power instead of containment and pressure.

U.S.-Cuba relations open a new chapter

With the reopening of US-Cuban embassies, R.S. Zaharna looks at Cuban medical diplomacy

July 15, 2015

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday launched the Kenya Diaspora Policy as well as a new Foreign Policy, which seek to enhance the country’s engagement with other nations. The President says the two policies will help the government put in place structures, programmes and incentives to attract and utilise qualified and skilled human resource drawn from Kenyans abroad.

On November, 8 2013, Super typhoon Haiyan, the strongest storm ever recorded, destroyed an area as big as Belgium and affected the lives of 14 million people in the central islands of the Philippines.

Immediately following the storm, a surge of prominent international newsmakers and their crews descended on Tacloban and began live reporting from the disaster zone.

The visually powerful coverage resonated around the world: expressions of solidarity and funding poured into the Philippines.

The term “engagement” is a floating signifier; its meaning is typically embedded in the context of the articulation – who is saying it, in what venue, to serve a particular argument claim, etc. It’s a form of jargon that informs practice, and helps to rationalize acts of public diplomacy into the larger strategic language for U.S. diplomacy.

Matthew Wallin of the American Security Project posed an interesting question in a recent blog post titled “Engagement: What does it mean for public diplomacy?” This question touched a nerve for me, because there are no ready definitions for the term – despite the fact that it appears across statements articulating the purpose of U.S. public diplomacy.