The Malta Independent 22 May 2018, Tuesday

Government renews commitment to Swiss-Maltese e-diplomacy foundation

Saturday, 18 November 2017, 14:30 Last update: about 7 months ago

Malta intends to continue to support and strengthen DiploFoundation (Diplo), a non-profit foundation established by the governments of Malta and Switzerland with a view to increase the role of small and developing States, and to improve global governance and international policy development, Foreign Minister Carmelo Abela said.

Since 2002 Diplo has been working in cooperation with the University of Malta to offer postgraduate level academic courses and training workshops on a variety of diplomacy-related topics. It emerged from a project to introduce information and communication technology (ICT) tools to the practice of diplomacy, initiated in 1992 at the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies (MEDAC) in Malta. The Foundation is based in Malta with offices in Geneva and Belgrade.

Abela said that the Maltese Government was encouraged by the success of this partnership between two small European countries. The Foundation’s development programmes, online courses, and other training opportunities have until last year attracted close to 6,000 alumni from more than 200 countries and territories around the globe. 

“This is no mean feat. It shows Malta and Switzerland’s determination and commitment, through the Board of Administrators, to explore and build a niche in making the best use of a new world of digital capabilities through innovation and creativity. The achievements of DiploFoundation have gained worldwide respect and recognition. It is incumbent on all of us to ensure that it continues its remarkable role and course in the fulfilment of its objectives and vocation,” Minister Abela said at the opening of a two-day conference held in Malta to mark DiploFoundation’s 15th anniversary and 25 years of research and training on Internet and diplomacy. The conference, with ‘The Future of Diplomacy: Between Continuity and Change’ as a theme, was held on the 17th and 18th of November 2017 and reflected on the role of diplomacy in the modern era and the impact of technology and other areas on the core functions of diplomacy while keeping a firm eye on the future.

Focusing on the complex and enduring challenges of digital diplomacy, Minister Abela recognised that the use of the Internet and new ICTs to help achieve diplomatic objectives plays an important and critical role in the day-to-day running of Malta’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion.

“Indeed, e-diplomacy is an effective channel of communication and an asset in a small island administration as Malta,” Minister Abela said. “The Internet has enabled us to keep in close touch with our missions and representations abroad, and allows us to do so with immediacy. Digital diplomacy has also facilitated our participation in online contacts and videoconferencing with our partners in every corner of the world”.

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