Amidst the current environmental, socioeconomic, and health crises, a lot has been said in regard to humanity’s existential threats. COVID-19 has exposed us. The pandemic has revealed the fragility of our societies, and how inevitable and indispensable the interdependency among one another is. As it has been said: 'No one is safe until everyone is safe!'
Diplomacy is often thought of as a practice centering on language. Yet, the visual image of diplomatic practice is increasingly important in a world in which images proliferate and videoconferencing has replaced face-to-face meetings. Diplomats need to be aware of the power of images, and need to have a sense of best practices and potential pitfalls when it comes to visual storytelling. Our 45th WebDebate 'Visual storytelling for diplomatic practice' took a closer look at this important topic.
In January 2021, we held the first session of our new monthly Zoom series titled Diplomacy and Technology: A historical journey, a masterclass with Dr Jovan Kurbalija, where we discuss the evolution and interplay of diplomacy and technology.
In the January introductory session, Kurbalija drew a map of our historical journey and explained the three questions we will be answering during the series:
In November 2020, Switzerland introduced its Digital Foreign Policy Strategy, marking a new phase in its efforts to shape the governance of digital issues. For decades, Switzerland has been at the forefront of international digital developments.
Last year, the United Nations General Assembly met mostly virtually throughout the High-Level Segment for the first time in its history. This exploration of a new spatial dimension for the United Nations is a reflection of the potential and challenges of our time today. It is also further proof of how interlinked the modern world has become. No country is immune from the effect of cross-border infectious diseases, and no country is out of reach of the powerful information and communication technologies.
The pivoting argument in the article ‘Reading the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] Clearly’ by Perry Link (The New York Review of Books, 11 February 2021 issue)on US policy toward China is the topos of appeasement vs disagreement or resistance. I quote the analogy: ‘Why are the lessons the West has learned opposing dictators like Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin so difficult to apply to China?'
Is the analogy appropriate? Let’s have a closer look: