international relations

Foreign aid is a key instrument of international engagement in Japan’s foreign policy toolkit. Although Tokyo is no longer the world’s top aid donor that it once was in the 1990s, it still was the world’s number four aid donor in 2015 with close to a US$10 billion annual budget. It is not just the size of the aid budget that has changed. So has Tokyo’s thinking behind foreign aid.

Public mobilization follows. People-to-people exchange is strengthened, more Greek people learn Chinese and more Chinese people learn Greek, bilateral or multilateral scientific projects are carried out, joint events are organized and media are cooperating in their day-to-day operations.

Anticipating criticism about including a country like Russia in the top-30, the report’s authors claimed that Moscow’s role in combatting ISIS – as well as the fact that it didn’t advance its position any further into Ukraine – appeared to help international perception. “Russia performed markedly better on the international polling in 2016, compared with 2015,” the report’s authors noted.

Most countries in the Americas still approach global and regional geopolitics through the realist prism, underpinned by a Westphalian view of international relations. It’s therefore no surprise that the great majority of Latin American foreign ministries do not consider that the ability to attract, coax, and persuade stems from soft power. Given this, brand or mission statement will not alter fundamental geopolitical or diplomatic circumstances. 

Visitors from around the world flock to the Met to view art history’s great masterpieces and attend fashionable galas, but to negotiate international relations is surely a first. New York’s premier museum recently became the unlikely venue for a high-security, invite-only meeting organized by Samantha Power [...] Mixing business with pleasure, the U.S. ambassador invited key international diplomats to tour the museum’s newest exhibition of Islamic art.

This June 2, 2016, Italy will celebrate its Republic Day, also known as Festa della Reppublica (Festival of the Republic) in Italian. It was on this day when the Italians voted to abolish the monarchy in 1946 so their country could become a republic. In the Philippines, Italian Ambassador Massimo Roscigno will lead the celebration. [...] This year’s celebration marks a milestone for Roscigno who implemented programs to boost the strength of the diplomatic and bilateral relations of Italy and the Philippines.

The UK Government needs to urgently adopt a new, comprehensive languages strategy if it is to keep pace with its international competitors and reduce a skills deficit that has wide-reaching economic, political, and military effects.

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