Digital Diplomacy

Digital Diplomacy
Think Tank *2012 Création du Hub, from Paris, France. Morgane BRAVO, President & Founder. *Avocat de formation, études & expérience Diplomatique, *Ancienne stagiaire (Blue Book) de la Commission Européenne, au Secrétariat Général. Bruxelles* Passionnée du Web depuis 1998. *Morgane BRAVO, from Paris, France. She's graduate Lawyer and have a Master’s degree in Diplomacy & Political Science...Diplomatic experience* Former trainee (Blue Book) of the European Commission, at the General Secretariat. Brussels*

jeudi 27 septembre 2012

*Inside the State Department: UN General Assembly*

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah and Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Ambassador Johnnie Carson discuss their work at the UN General Assembly in New York...

*President Obama Speaks to the United Nations General Assembly*

In remarks to the UN General Assembly, President Obama discusses a vision of leadership that protects our people and promotes our values around the world, and makes a powerful case for the world to come together to reject extremism and advance our common interests. September 25, 2012.

dimanche 23 septembre 2012

*Foreign Secretary William Hague discusses UN General Assembly Ministerial Week*

"Foreign Secretary William Hague is supporting Peace One Day on 21 September. In a message for the Peace One Day Celebration the Foreign Secretary spoke about the UK initiative aimed at preventing sexual violence in conflict:

"This is a crucial part of conflict prevention, of good development, of making sure that people know they can't get away with terrible crimes wherever they may be in the world..This is something that has affected hundreds of thousands of women, children and men caught up in conflicts and the world has to do something about it."

At the UN General Assembly Ministerial Week next week, the Foreign Secretary will launch the UK's proposal to use its Presidency of the G8 in 2013 to press for international action on tackling sexual violence in conflict".

vendredi 21 septembre 2012

*Virtual relations "Foreign ministries are getting the hang of social media"...@TheEconomist*

Digital diplomacy

Virtual relations

Foreign ministries are getting the hang of social media

"MINUTES after last week’s violent attacks on America’s missions in the Middle East, the country’s embassy in Cairo was already on Twitter. It tweeted an emergency number for American citizens. It criticised Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood for supporting the protests on their Arabic feed. And it thanked fellow tweeters for their condolences on the murder of the American ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens.
Welcome to the new world of e-diplomacy, also called, more pretentiously, “21st-century-statecraft”. Historically, governments left diplomacy to the cagey and the discreet, who mostly met behind closed doors. Now they are also using Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and local social-media services such as China’s microblogging site, Sina Weibo.
Predictably, America is leading the pack. Since Hillary Clinton, the country’s secretary of state, launched her own 21st-century-statecraft programme in 2009, her ministry has spawned 194 Twitter accounts and 200 Facebook pages with millions of “followers” (subscribers). The State Department in effect operates a “global media empire”, in the words of Fergus Hanson, a fellow at the Brookings Institution, a think-tank in Washington, DC, and the author of a study of e-diplomacy.
Much of this online activity is “public diplomacy”, meaning governments communicating directly with the citizens of another country. But e-diplomacy is an easy and cheap tool for other purposes, too: responding to disasters, gathering information and managing relationships. Some diplomats also use Twitter to communicate among themselves (many don’t read their own e-mail).

Most other countries lag far behind. About 20 British ambassadors are now on Twitter (perhaps some were inspired by William Hague, the country’s tweeting foreign minister). Russia’s foreign ministry is said to have more than 40 Twitter accounts. Israel has announced it will make more use of e-diplomacy. Even China, which heavily censors social media at home, is interested in using them as a diplomatic tool abroad.

In many countries it is still individuals who push diplomacy online, often for their own ends rather than for government work. Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s president, and Carl Bildt, Sweden’s foreign minister, have big followings on Twitter (and a knack for writing punchy messages). In America the most important e-diplomat is President Barack Obama, although he only occasionally writes his own tweets. His audience of nearly 20m followers dwarfs those of Venezuela’s autocratic Hugo Chavez (3.4m) and Russia’s prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev (1.5m).

Not being plugged in has become a disadvantage for governments, argues Mr Hanson. In 2010, after suspicions that crimes in Melbourne against Indian students were racially motivated, the number of university applications from India fell by half, reducing what is a big source of income for Australia (Indians are the second-largest group of foreigners studying in the country). In April this year, when two Chinese students were beaten up, Kevin Rudd, the country’s former prime minister, got on Sina Weibo to promise to investigate the matter. Everyone calmed down.
Some argue that social media improves diplomatic preparedness. The State Department monitors social media in five languages and flags, for instance, influential figures in a country whom envoys ought to befriend. With such information, diplomats should be more able to predict events and react to them. “Would we have been better prepared for the Arab spring if we had discovered the hashtag #tahrir earlier?” asks Tom Fletcher, the British ambassador (and twiplomat) in Lebanon.
Yet e-diplomacy also has its critics. They say that by pushing social media and internet freedom, America has persuaded many abroad that the network is just another Trojan horse for American imperialism. “The internet is far too valuable to become an agent of Washington’s digital diplomats,” argues Evgeny Morozov, a noted blogger. Others say that social media do not reinvent diplomacy, but merely add to it: world leaders and their minions still have to meet face-to-face.
And with so many tweeting Talleyrands there is always the danger of e-diplomatic incidents. In June, reacting to an article critical of Estonia’s economic policy by Paul Krugman, a Nobel prize-winning economist, the country’s president, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, took to Twitter to call him “smug, overbearing and patronising”. Wait for a tweet to start a war.
Correction: A previous version of this article wrongly attributed the assertion that the State Department in effect operates a "global media empire" to Alec Ross, who advises Mrs Clinton on innovation. Apologies".


Best regards,

mardi 11 septembre 2012

*UK : The work of the Embassy in the digital world...*

Ambassador Baker to address communications professionals at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross

On Friday 14 September 2012, the British Ambassador to the Holy See Nigel Baker will address foreign journalists attending the Seminar “The Church Up Close: Covering Catholicism in the Age of Benedict XVI”, organised by the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, on the theme:
“The work of the British Embassy to the Holy See in the Digital World”
In his speech, Ambassador Baker will touch on the role of the Embassy, the strong bilateral relations between Britain and the Holy See, and how the Embassy – and the wider Foreign & Commonwealth Office – is using digital channels to communicate and interact directly with people.
At the end of the talk, Ambassador Baker will take questions from the floor. The Ambassador will also run a twitter Q&A on the themes of his speech and wider digital diplomacy matters via @UKinHolySee account, on Monday 17 September 2012 from 12.00 until 13.00 (Rome time).
Everyone is invited to enter the debate! Please use the hashtag #HMABaker

Best regards,

*Russian digital diplomacy: clicking through...*

"In recent years it often looks like diplomacy has moved from the “smoke filled rooms” of international gatherings to the touchpad screens – so much has been said about the new dimension of public diplomacy labelled e-diplomacy, twiplomacy, etc.

While, talking seriously, the good old confidential contacts have not been (and will not be) abandoned by anyone, the conquest of the digital space by diplomats is really a hot trend today. World media cover the effort of the US Department of State (the website of which sports the mottoDiplomacy in action) and the UK Foreign Office. Too little has been said, however, about Russia’s foreign digital engagement, even though we have made some significant advances and have a huge potential for growth (even here in London – take a look at our Embassy’s Diplomacy online website


In fact, last year Russia overtook Germany as Europe’s largest internet market with over 54 million monthly users and rapidly growing. Some 7 percent of all websites in the world are in Russian; the contribution of internet economy to Russia’s GDP will rise to 3.7 percent in 2015 (not least because broadband connection in Moscow is way faster than in many European capitals). Russia is one of the very few countries where the local search engine (Yandex) and social network (VK) beat foreign rivals in free unhindered competition. Russia does not resort to filtering or blocking internet content (except for child pornography and a limited list of hate speech websites), and the Government is keen on making the web a universal way of receiving and controlling public services, thus reducing corruption.
So, we have sufficient expertise to be well represented in the cyberspace. The question is how best to use it to get our voice heard? It is not a secret that the international headlines are mostly defined by the English-language media. If they silence alternative voices – like they did and are doing on Libya, Syria and other international issues – those issues are to get little or no attention of the public opinion. But things have changed since the times when colonial wars were sparked by letters in The Pall Mall Gazette about white women abducted by wicked natives. With the advent of internet dissenting voices got a chance to be heard. I learnt about the power of this new guerrilla journalism from my meetings with British bloggers. If you are intelligent, original and provocative, your message has now a chance to get across (this is also the approach of the Russian TV station RT which quite often gives voice to those ignored by the mainstream media and has now become the third most popular TV news outlet in the UK after BBC and Sky).

For a diplomat, forays into the digital world, though, come with a challenge. People of my profession are used to self-restraint and often believe that once we have a position on something, published on the official website, all those who need to know it, know it. Although there are always people who only know what they want to know. We were taught to be always intelligent, sometimes original and never provocative – now we have to learn how to combine all these. In a country like Britain, where 2/3 of adults are on Facebook and ¼ on Twitter, one cannot ignore these media and should learn the logic of communicating through them. Successful digital communication is not about just issuing press releases – it is as much about conversation and interactive engagement. Even negative comments have the power to stir up discussion and help to get the original message across. And while many still do not believe that 140 symbols on Twitter are enough to convey an idea, I am firmly convinced that they are enough to raise awareness and encourage those who read them to reflect and make their own conclusions. My first Twitter conference in May confirmed that.

Another challenge for e-diplomacy is the internet “culture of anonymity” – anyone can adopt any persona, address or even attack anyone (though Britain has seen a row of “Twitter troll trials” recently). We shouldn’t ignore such interlocutors – they live according to a specific set of rules. But for those who exercise public diplomacy this is not a good choice. Our message should be clear. That is why I (@Amb_Yakovenko) am proud to be one of just 35 thousand officially verified Twitter users worldwide.

Russia joined the club of “twiplomacy great powers” relatively recently, and in the London ranking of followers our Embassy is third after US and Israel who have invested heavily in this instrument of foreign policy over longer period of time. Still, my country has a message to convey and expertise to accomplish that. During this year’s Conference of Ambassadors in Moscow President Putin called upon us to make use of new instruments of diplomacy to argue in a more effective way for our views and positions on world affairs. We believe that the more people learn about our policies and about our country, the better they understand us. And better knowing each other works for peace and stability.

The Russian Embassy in London is present in the following social networks:
3. (Russian version),

Alexander Yakovenko is Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the United Kingdom. He was previously Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian  Federation".

*The Guardian Interviews for Social Media Week: Alec Ross, Sr. Advisor of Innovation, US State Dept.*

lundi 3 septembre 2012

*Diplomatie économique : Olivier Caron, ambassadeur de France à Singapour...*


A l'occasion de la XXe Conférence des ambassadeurs, entretien avec Olivier Caron, ambassadeur de France à Singapour, sur le thème de la diplomatie économique... 

Best regards,

*XXe Conférence des ambassadeurs : discours de clôture de Laurent Fabius ...*


Laurent Fabius a clôturé la XXe Conférence des ambassadeurs, qui s'est tenue à Paris du 27 au 29 août 2012.

Best regards,

*Diplomatie économique : François Richier, ambassadeur de France en Inde ...*


A l'occasion de la XXe Conférence des ambassadeurs, entretien avec François Richier, ambassadeur de France en Inde, sur le thème de la diplomatie économique...

Best regards,