Our round-up of news, notes, tips, and Tweets exhibiting how public diplomacy effects the world each and every day.
U.S. Senator John McCain retaliates against Vladimir Putin’s op-ed in the New York Times with a scathing piece of his own in Pravda.
How has he strengthened Russia’s international stature? By allying Russia with some of the world’s most offensive and threatening tyrannies. By supporting a Syrian regime that is murdering tens of thousands of its own people to remain in power and by blocking the United Nations from even condemning its atrocities. By refusing to consider the massacre of innocents, the plight of millions of refugees, the growing prospect of a conflagration that engulfs other countries in its flames an appropriate subject for the world’s attention. He is not enhancing Russia’s global reputation. He is destroying it. He has made her a friend to tyrants and an enemy to the oppressed, and untrusted by nations that seek to build a safer, more peaceful and prosperous world. [Pravda]
U.S. President Barack Obama turned back the clock on his diplomatic efforts toward an increasingly open Iran; he exchanged hand-written letters with the new Iranian president Hassan Rouhani.
This week, Mr. Obama indicated that he might finally have found a pen pal in Tehran. At the core of Iran’s recent diplomatic charm offensive — a process that has included the release of 11 prominent political prisoners and a series of conciliatory statements by top Iranian officials — is an exchange of letters, confirmed by both sides, between Mr. Obama and President Hassan Rouhani. [New York Times]
The 2nd annual Turkish Cultural Heritage Month taking place this September in Washington DC #culturaldiplomacy http://t.co/5gfeddaqDd
— Public Diplomacy, TR (@TROfficeofPD) September 19, 2013
In the Czech Republic, there is currently a debate among high ranking officials to whether there is a positive correlation between economic diplomacy and the ability to influence human rights issues.
“Human rights and economic diplomacy are not contradictory,” [Hynek Kmonicek] added. “With a bit of realistic policy and cynicism we can say that our opinion about human rights is relevant mainly in the area where our changed attitude would be painful. If we have a really significant business deal in the respective country, they would regret if it did not materialise,” Kmonicek pointed out. [Prague Daily Monitor]
Ghana established a joint border post with Togo to foster the movement of people, goods and services between the countries in its first step to engage more closely with its economic partners within ECOWAS.
Ms Tetteh said the need for economic diplomacy was very crucial when one considered the current global economic realities, adding that the government had recognised that fact and taken a firm stand in employing economic diplomacy as one of the main tools to achieve its foreign policy objectives. [Ghana Web]
@Bourdain explains the #Israel / #Palestine conflict, through food #gastrodiplomacy: http://t.co/rs7n2pVYNW — Anna Dawson (@a_daws) September 18, 2013
Christine Pelosi, who triggered the famous Twitter exchange with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, pushes for the governments of the U.S. and Iran to take the next step after the Twitter diplomacy and engage in a public conversation.
Twiplomacy, presidential letters, political prisoner releases all point to a new dawn in Iran and a new opportunity for communication. As the United Nations General Assembly meets this week in New York City, the United States and Iran could break further new ground and do officially what their citizens have been doing unofficially for years, and have a public conversation. A meeting of U.S. Secretary of State Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif this week would be the perfect opportunity to build on behind-the-scenes progress and test Iran’s groundbreaking statements for all the world to see - and tweet. [Politix]
Jim Arkedis argues for a new United Nations, one that is only made up of countries with a history of successful democracy.
The United Democratic Nations’ mandate would be to safeguard freedom and openness and to protect the voices who cannot express themselves in undemocratic countries: too often, it’s women and girls, ethnic minorities, and civilians trapped by combat. It would deliberate resolutions that support democratic institutions and protect innocents. In extreme cases, it could sanction the use of military force to protect civilians in combat. (Though, of course, all nations would reserve the right to use force in self-defense.) [The Atlantic]
Hmm… in its almost 50 pages, #Australia‘s National Security Strategy doesn’t mention #softpower #ausdef http://t.co/DOsX2vsQSa — Ben Day (@benjaminsday) September 19, 2013
David Ensor, the director of the Voice of America, argues that the VOA is not a mouthpiece for the White House.
Ep13: Voice of America Director David Ensor from Conversations w/Nicholas Kralev on Vimeo.
Could universal internet access be a catalyst for democracy, education and freedom of expression in Africa?
Freedom of expression, the right to life, and liberty are not “Western” rights, they are human rights. The work of African civil society, such as Ugandan LGBT organization Smug, women’s groups that campaign against FGM, and those who work to put a stop to human trafficking are all indicative of a growing grassroots respect for human rights throughout the continent. Those who stand in the way of internet access impede the realization of a continent where democracy, education, and freedom of expression are valued. [All Africa]
Is China’s arts scene on the rebound? | Asian Correspondent http://t.co/M8flv6TkWh via @ascorrespondent #softpower #TEFAF #chineseart
— Melanie Ouyang Lum (@MLartsource) September 18, 2013