Find out more about the event by having a look at the media coverage of the Ceremony and the interview with Kaung Myat Soe, Programme Manager for Peace and Security from FES.
Q: How does FES support the Diplomatic Academy?
Ans: FES and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) signed an MOU back in 2014 and are cooperating on several fields. Considering the Diplomatic Academy, FES had engaged with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on 3 different consultation workshops together with Mr. Andreas List,a Principal Administrator from the European External Action Service, who provided the technical inputs into the workshops.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Strategic Studies and Training Department (MOFA SST) conducted the first workshop on the 5th August 2016 in which the advisory board for the creation of the Diplomatic Academy was selected. During that workshop, the various models of diplomatic academies were considered and a selection on which countries could be visited to study their models was decided. The second workshop was held in May 2017 – to discuss the draft charter and the draft setup of the diplomatic academy. The last and third workshop was held on the 29th of October 2017 – a draft curriculum was developed to consider for a future Diplomatic Academy and which trainings should be conducted during the interim period.
To facilitate the decision making process FES has organized study missions to the Federal Foreign Office in Germany, the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna in Austria in 2016, engagements with the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam in 2017, the Devawongse Varupakorn Diplomatic Institute in Thailand and the Centre for Education and Training of the Indonesia Ministry of Foreign affairs in Jakarta in 2018. FES also has conducted a separate visit to the Korean National Diplomatic Academy (KNDA) from the Republic of Korea together with the Myanmar Institute for Strategic and International Studies (MISIS) in 2017. These study visits have had an input on the design of the diplomatic academy and on the drafting of the curriculum.
But even now, before the creation of the academy, FES is conducting seminar talks and workshops on various thematic issues on international relations, and diplomatic skills for young diplomats with engagements with local, regional and international experts on a regular basis. FES on a yearly basis supports the cooperation between the Federal Foreign Office Academy of Germany and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA SST) in regard to communication trainings.
FES is dedicated to promoting Myanmar’s engagement with the international community and promoting dialogue-oriented foreign policy. We think that the creation of a Diplomatic Academy is an important step in this direction.
Q: What kind of outcome do you expect to see when Diplomatic Academy is fully functioning? (Benefits of having the first ever Diplomatic Academy in Myanmar
Ans: The Diplomatic Academy will be a hub where international relations and thematic issues on geopolitics can be discussed. Its main task would be to train and the orientate/refine its current and future cohorts of diplomats coming into the system.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) currently has a Strategic Studies and Training Department which is doing an excellent job in providing trainings and knowledge exchanges for its diplomats. However, the future Diplomatic Academy will be doing things on a bigger scale on a more scheduled basis.
The Diplomatic Academy when it is fully functioning - will become more institutionalized. Internationally, it will be raising its bar among the other training institutes in the region to become a full-fledged entity engaged in providing trainings to its diplomats on all levels. Nationally, it will become a hub for the general public to attend the advocacy/outreach programmes such as the Basic Diplomatic Skills (BDS) and the Advanced Diplomatic Skills (ADS) programmes currently run by the MOFA SST, which will become more streamlined. It would also be a place where young university students will be able to learn and listen to public talks and seminars by renowned experts and senior diplomats.
In addition, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs could use the Diplomatic Academy as a platform to provide interagency trainings and create linkages between the various training institutes of the various ministries in the civil service on diplomatic skills and administration.
At present, these are the outcomes that I hope to see from the future Diplomatic Academy, however, the direction and the scope of coverage is solely dependent on the discretion of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.
Q: What is the future role of FES for support the Diplomatic Academy?
Ans: FES can provide support using its vast global and regional network of think tankers and academia on international relations and geopolitics in exchange programmes with the Diplomatic Academy.
It also has the links to the Federal Foreign Office Academy of Germany to provide more direct engagement with the Diplomatic Academy of Myanmar in terms of communication and language skills trainings which have been on going on a regular basis.
In future, FES could provide support in some of the programmes planned at the Diplomatic Academy Myanmar through exchange of scholars and provision of experts. It could also provide a platform to bring together the various diplomatic training institutes in the Asia pacific region to build up networks and contacts within the region.
For more information on the Ceremony of Architectural Design Presentation on the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, contact the FES Office in Myanmar.