Young Diplomats Forum Takes Place in Croatia
The Week-Long Event Prepared Aspiring Diplomats From All Over The World For Their Professional FuturesSeptember 22nd, 2016
The 7th international platform for young and aspiring diplomats took place in Zagreb, Croatia’s capital city, between the 12th to the 16th of September this year. The forum gathered around 80 participants from more than 40 different countries, who all took part in an intensive program of workshops, policy exercises and institutional visits intended to bring them closer to the current challenges within the international community.
The aim of the forum was to prepare the young diplomats-in-the-making for their professional futures. The forum’s activities were designed to give the young students and professionals an opportunity to put their skills into practice by facing negotiation situations with relevant stakeholders. The forum also aimed to act as a platform for building an important network of contacts, which the young leaders of tomorrow could use towards the accomplishment of their career goals.
The program included talks on important issues like the approach towards diplomacy in the 21st century. Debates were also held on topics such as public diplomacy and nation branding, while specific workshops on policy presentations were aimed towards serious engagement in important international diplomatic matters. Participants also took part in daily meetings and delivered a final policy development presentation at the end of the week.
Among the topics for the forum’s various workshops were reforms of the European Union and United Nations, as well as the media’s role in foreign policy. Workshops were also dedicated to sensitive geopolitical situations like that in the South China Sea, as well as the stability in the Balkan region and the prospects for the Middle East post-ISIS. Participants also took part in ‘Smart Diplomacy’ workshops based on topics like diplomacy related to feminism and the digital world.
As part of the more field-oriented part of the forum’s program, visits were organized to relevant governmental institutions of the Republic of Croatia, such as to the Croatian Chamber of Commerce and the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. These visits included a presentation on Croatian economic diplomacy, business exchanges with Croatia and the country’s identity and brand, as well as a meeting with Minister Miro Kovač. Participants also visited the European Union Commission and Parliament Representation Offices to the Republic of Croatia, where they attended talks on Croatian-EU relations.
The more cultural and informal part of the program included cultural nights, a reception at the Residence of the Ambassador of the United Kingdom to the Republic of Croatia and tours around the Croatian Parliament, the Ethnographic Museum and the old city centre of Zagreb.
The 2016 Young Diplomats Forum proved to be a professionally and culturally enriching experience for its attendees and a great indication for forums in the future. In addition to being organized by the Global Diplomatic Forum, the forum was supported by the Embassy of the Republic of Croatia to the United Kingdom, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Croatia and the Faculty of Political Sciences of the University of Zagreb.