Addressing a session titled ‘Diplomacy and the Power of Communication’ on the second and final day of the Arab Media Forum 2017, Buangan said diplomacy and conversation are powerful tools for creating concrete and tangible results in developing mutual understanding among people and governments. Talking about new developments in the media, Buangan said media has evolved and became more global in engagement with the society.
Britain may lack hard power, but the soft power of influence and a network of relationships deriving from decades of active and assiduous diplomacy still count for something. [...] Britain is one of the leading supporters of the new style of Chinese economic diplomacy, involving the furthering of solid infrastructural links along which mutually beneficial trade and investment can flow to an increasingly interlinked world.
President Trump must avoid at all costs a direct military confrontation with North Korea, which has a long history of engaging in brinksmanship. The United States has been successful in defusing past crises by working in partnership with U.S. allies in the region. Today, China calls for restraint, and South Korea is urging a diplomatic solution. [...] President Trump could demonstrate his art of deal making by advancing the only solution that’s ever worked: diplomacy and engagement.
Besides governments talking to each other in formal and informal settings, soft power is comprised of programs and policies that have an impact on people’s lives. Examples include PEPFAR (the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief), President George Bush’s signature initiative to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS; the prestigious Fulbright program, which for 71 years has brought scholars to the U.S. and sent American scholars abroad to teach and study; and our role in providing humanitarian assistance to countries in crisis.
Greenland’s national assembly is to vote during its spring session next month on a measure that would see Nuuk open a representative office in Reykjavík. Nuuk already has such offices, which function in a similar capacity to embassies, in Copenhagen, Brussels and Washington. Iceland opened its own consulate in Nuuk in 2013, making it the first country to do so since the Second World War.
A hard-line strategy is not likely to persuade the DPRK regime to give up its missiles and nuclear weapons. Nor will it garner the support of the South Korean public, which is poised to elect a centrist or center-left president in the May 9 election. Most importantly, preemptive strikes or enhanced sanctions will delay ongoing economic reforms in North Korea and set back its integration into the global economy. Internal economic and social change is ultimately the only path to moderate the DPRK regime and its policies.
It is without a doubt pleasing to see that DFAT is on its way to progressing and further developing its digital diplomacy programmes, however, it is still a long way away from meeting the requirements it needs to influence people around the world, and increase the efficiency of its diplomats and enable them to adapt to a rapidly evolving technology and diplomatic space.