Emirates Diplomatic Academy, the leading integrated foreign policy, academic and research centre in the region, hosted on Monday April 18, 2016, a public lecture by Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Former Prime Minister of Spain and Human Rights & Alliance of Civilisations advocate, on the topic, ‘The Force of Public Diplomacy’.
The session enabled the students and other invited guests to gain greater understanding about the latest trends in international diplomacy. The event also highlighted the Academy’s emphasis on offering platforms of discussion on topics of regional and global relevance, reflecting its status as a key pillar in developing the country’s future diplomatic corps and foreign policy thought leadership.
Commenting on the lecture, Zapatero said, "Like all policy fields, Public Diplomacy is evolving fast. It is important to consider public diplomacy as the centre of foreign policy making process, and a critical element in establishing a long-term relationship with foreign audiences, in particular at the leadership level, as has been shown by the UAE in its engagements at the global level."
"Public diplomacy is significant in influencing key decisions and is driven by the development and advances of society, especially since the growth of communication and technology has made it possible to receive information much faster and allows for more active engagement with the public," he added.
On the occasion, Bernardino Leon, Director General of EDA, said; "The lecture by Zapatero is a significant step forward in EDA’s sustained efforts to share with the public the best international practices and experiences in the field of diplomacy.
Zapatero has contributed immensely to the fields of diplomacy and development. His active engagements against domestic violence and his support for gender equality stand out as major initiatives and a model for other countries to follow."
Bernardino Leon added: "EDA is committed to creating more active engagements in the field of diplomatic learning through unique platforms aligned to the UAE’s vision to strengthen relations with countries around the world. EDA will harness such opportunities effectively to achieve its ambitious plans to set new standards of diplomatic excellence"
Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is a member of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE). He was elected President of the Spanish Government, in the 2004 and 2008 general elections, gaining the support in both elections of more than eleven million voters. Zapatero’s main action in Government was focused on civic and social rights creation and extension, with legislative initiatives like the Integral Law against Gender Violence in 2004; Equality between Women and Men and the Dependency Laws in 2007 or the legislative reform of the Abortion Law in 2010.
As the leading integrated academic centre in the region, EDA combines academic programmes and training, research and analysis to highlight the UAE’s leading role in international relations.
The Academy also conducts in-depth studies on the region and the UAE to build a knowledge base in the field of international relations and diplomacy, and support the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and decision-makers in the UAE.