Journal 1





Journal 1

The diplomatic setting, especially in the 21st century, has been marked by uncertainties and dynamic changes that present a particular challenge to experts and novices involved in the field. One of the aspects that characterize this new environment involves the extension in terms of the variety and quantity of international actors due to the empowerment imposed by the inclination towards information and communication technology (ICT) and social media. It is also impossible to neglect other features such as the progression of novel global security agendas, the reappearance of conventional geopolitical agendas, the extension of regulatory diplomatic agendas, and the progressive fragmentation of the mores and regulations. Despite the challenges imposed by these alterations, it is still possible for aspiring diplomats to attain success due to the ideas forwarded by some of the most notable experienced persons. In this respect, I am aware of the respective consequences that come with the asserted changes as well as the limitations they may impose in terms of my career in diplomacy. Nonetheless, the recommendations and advices elicited by key speakers, especially Her Excellency, Lady Katherine Ashton, His Excellency Bernardino Leon, and Shawn O’Riordan are sufficiently relevant and significant in relation to my manner of thinking and analyzing as a diplomat for the United Arab Emirates.

As the British European Commissioner and the Commissioner of Trade in the European Commission, H. E. Lady Katherine Ashton has managed to gain considerable experience in dealing with a number of topics and concerns that come with the newly globalized environment. In her discussion, she mentioned a number of imperative points that focused considerably on the aspect of negotiation. One of the key points that she asserted involved the importance of understanding the issues and the people that one is working with (“Preparing for 21st Century Diplomacy” 1). Accordingly, it is important to comprehend the concerns and individuals involved in assessing and decision-making. Personally, I saw this as an imperative addition since I work and collaborate with a team on a routine basis. In this respect, I have to ensure that the members gain a full understanding of the issue at hand, including the history, its significance to us as diplomats, and the benefits will receive from it. Implementing this is important since it may be critically useful especially in engaging with other states that provide an opportunity for co-operation in future.

Another key point that H. E. Lady Katherine Ashton mentions constitutes the significance of being involved and the presentation of one’s country (“Preparing for 21st Century Diplomacy” 1). This fundamentally connects to my initial point on the significance of collecting information that will influence policymakers. Accordingly, gaining considerable information especially regarding the state may be important in providing parties that are interested in collaborative efforts with knowledge that they can apply in decision-making. In fact, the provision of abundant yet relevant information on one’s country is actually crucial in shaping the verdict of the decision-making parties, especially regarding what to commit during the process of negotiation. Furthermore, providing a wealth of relevant and significant information will show the extent to which the diplomat is committed towards presenting his or her country in an informative and positive way. This may assist considerably in accomplishing collaborations with other parties in the future.

In respect to the advice provided by H. E. Lady Katherine Ashton, H. E. Bernardino Leon also provided a series of recommendations based on regulations that encompass negotiation. Mainly, H. E. Leon asserted that it was imperative to discover common grounds through the possession of information needed specifically for the engagement in question (“Preparing for 21st Century Diplomacy” 1). As such, one particular point that the respective diplomat raised involved the possession of knowledge concerning one’s interests, the opponent, and the subject under contestation (“Preparing for 21st Century Diplomacy” 1). Accordingly, it is important to know your interest as a diplomat, to be informed regarding the opponent, and the topic as well. My experiences as a diplomat have enabled me to see the opponent as akin to a politician. In such situations, having substantial information regarding him or her may shape our team’s anticipations on definite results and grounds.

Another key point that H. E. Leon establishes involves knowing the right time, moment, or situation to walk away (“Preparing for 21st Century Diplomacy” 1). The recommendation in question recognizes that not all negotiations tend to end up in success and collaboration. In fact, in some cases, the opponent may require gratifications that cannot be satisfied effectively. Hence, in such instances, proceeding with the process may lead to the development of tensions that will only plunge the representative parties into significant discord. Hence, it is imperative for a diplomat to be aware of the exact moment to step out. Even though the diplomat may not gain, he or she will at least avoid the consequences that are elicited from a conflict-based discourse. Personally, learning when to walk away is a crucial skill that I may require especially in future circumstances that may resort to such situations.

The last speaker, Shaun O’Riordan deviates considerably from the issues that the mentioned two experts cover in relation to the advice that he provides. By focusing on the impact of digital technology on diplomacy, O’Riordan establishes several points that are significant to my role as a diplomat in a contemporary and web-savvy environment. In fact, one of the key points that he establishes involves the effect of the Internet via social media on international relations. Accordingly, O’Riordan acknowledges that social media has managed to replace foreign policy (“Preparing for 21st Century Diplomacy” 2). Currently, most people are obsessed over the amount of tweets they receive, the desire to gain more followers, and uncertainties on the effectiveness of a social media campaign. In this respect, I learnt that I should be careful about the messages that I post on social media due to the importance of communication and networking which are important for a diplomat.

The second point that O’Riordan is based on the privileges that the Internet has accorded to random persons in terms of international relations. Simply put, facilities such as social media have provided people with the ability to act as international actors due to considerable access to information (“Preparing for 21st Century Diplomacy” 1). Hence, since issues such as global warming eliminate monopoly of control from the government, any person can operate as a global actor (“Preparing for 21st Century Diplomacy” 1). For me, the Internet may provide a platform for me to express myself as an international actor. However, care should be implemented especially in terms of addressing certain issues that may be controversial enough to disrupt a positive negotiation process.

To this end, the lectures provided by Lady Katherine Ashton, His Excellency Bernardino Leon, and Shawn O’Riordan are significant due to the manner in which they focus on the nature of contemporary diplomacy especially in the 21st century. During their respective sessions, the distinguished speakers expressed ideas that largely inclined towards the features of technology and its transformative implications on the ethics and regulations of contemporary diplomacy in different subjects spanning from negotiation skills to the effect and use of social media as well as the significance of understanding one’s rivals effectively. Apart from this, the speakers also mentioned the importance of introducing the state in a significant and reverent manner. Based on the different topics they discussed by depending on past events and situations, it was evident that the respective speakers possessed a considerable amount of experience in the areas of diplomacy and international relations since they exhibited recommendations that I can apply in entirety as a contemporary diplomat.

Works Cited

“Preparing for 21st Century Diplomacy.” 2016. Microsoft Word file.

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