ABU DHABI, 27th July, 2016 (WAM)–Abu Dhabi, July 27, 2016: In its continuous efforts to provide hands-on international experience to young diplomats, the Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA) organised an extensive training programme during the month of July, in coordination with the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Washington, D.C., the UAE Consulate, and the UAE Mission to the United Nations in New York City.

The one-week-long training programme aimed to broaden the students’ diplomatic knowledge by educating them about the healthy partnerships between the UAE and the US in the fields of foreign affairs, business, and medical science, to name a few.

The first half of the training programme was held in Washington, D.C., where the EDA delegation was given a glimpse into the various areas where the UAE has contributed towards global development. The delegation then moved on to New York City.

While in Washington, D.C., the delegates met with Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba, the UAE’s Ambassador to the US, to learn more about his experiences and what it takes to be a successful diplomat, including the importance of public and digital diplomacy. They also received briefings on ways to utilise their diplomatic training and expertise to help expand the UAE’s strategic, commercial, and cultural interests.

The delegation also visited the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Paediatric Surgical Innovation at Children’s National Medical Centre, where they learnt about the cutting-edge medical equipment and procedures being developed at the Institute that can make paediatric surgeries less invasive and more precise.

They also had the opportunity to partake in the Foreign Policy Peace Game (organised by Foreign Policy (FP) magazine with support from the UAE Embassy in Washington, D.C.), a bi-annual simulation exercise to tackle today’s most pressing issues. The visit to Washington, D.C., culminated in an interactive training in issues and crisis management from experts at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

The second half of the training programme was held in New York City, where the EDA delegates were introduced to the UAE Consulate and UAE-UN Mission by Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the UAE to the UN in New York and EDA Board of Trustees Member.

Elaborating on the EDA training programme and the contributions by the young delegates, Lana Nusseibeh said, “The youth are an integral part of building a sustainable and developed society. The EDA is an incubator for aspiring diplomats to contribute towards UAE foreign policy in a meaningful way – particularly through the multilateral arena. The thorough training given to these young diplomats by seasoned veterans in foreign affairs is very evident in the way they presented themselves, handled each situation, and in their interactions with officials from the UN.”

At the UAE Consulate, the team had an interesting discussion with Majid Al Suwaidi, Consul General in New York, who stressed the importance of multilateral agreements – especially those that relate to climate change – and praised the UAE Mission in New York for its work.

Commenting on the topic, Al Suwaidi said, “All of the successful agreements make up the pieces that will change the way the world does business, the way we think about development and the way we will grow our economies. It is critical for the UAE to be a part of this process.”

The delegation met with Mogens Lykketoft, the President of the General Assembly, and with Tomas Christensen, the General Assembly President’s Chef de Cabinet, who discussed the nature of 21st century diplomacy and his lessons on what defines a good diplomat. During their interaction with Lakshmi Puri, Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director of UN Women, ASG Puri spoke about recent multilateral developments in the areas of gender equality and women’s empowerment. She described the Sustainable Development Goal on gender equality as a seismic change, noting that the UAE played an important role in bringing it about.

The delegation also met with Ms. Antonella Caruso, Director of the Middle East and West Asia Division, UN Department of Political Affairs, and Mr. Warren Hoge, Senior Adviser for External Relations at the International Peace Institute.

“This programme has been a great success for EDA in terms of providing both theoretical and practical knowledge for these aspiring young individuals who will make great contributions towards the UAE leadership’s goals and foreign policy,” said Emirates Diplomatic Academy Director General Bernardino Leon. “We are very proud to say that our first batch of graduates showed their skills in handling various situations and their knowledge in diplomacy, foreign affairs, and international relations with confidence. It was a proud moment for all of us at EDA when our students were appreciated for their knowledge and their outlook.”

As it welcomed its first batch of EDA diplomats, the training programme has proven to be a giant leap for the Academy in providing its graduates with practical experience that will help them in further contributing towards the UAE leadership’s goals. The Academy has brought together classroom learning and practical exercises in moulding the young, dynamic individuals for serving the nation.

The Emirates Diplomatic Academy plays a crucial role in supporting the strategic foreign policy objectives and aspirations of the UAE, and serves as a key pillar in developing the country’s future diplomatic corps and foreign policy thought leadership through its integrated courses that combine academic programmes, training, research, and analysis, highlighting the UAE’s leading role in international relations.

It also provides short-term Executive Education courses – training courses targeted at current employees in the fields of foreign policy and diplomacy in the UAE. In the area of research and analysis, the Academy conducts in-depth studies on the region and the UAE to build a knowledge base in the field of international relations and diplomacy.