“Diplomacy!” What enters your mind if you think about that one word – Diplomacy? Is it a man in an expansive suit walking in and out of a heavily guarded embassy? Is it a reception held for high profile politicians and ambassadors? Well, that’s part of international diplomacy of course but think about it a little bit more in detail!
Diplomacy is so much more than a well-dressed ambassador flying around on behalf of his country. In fact it’s an every-day-experience, a thing you are using every single day in your life. You’re using diplomacy when you get to know new people, you’re using it while being on Twitter or Facebook, you’re using it while dealing with your wife, husband or partner, you’re using it when talking to your boss or your business partners, you’re simply using it all the time. You use it because you want to avoid conflicts and to get the best results. Who doesn’t want to have a healthy and good relationship to other people or make a good business deal after all?
Also trying to create a conflict – head against the wall – is a form of diplomacy as long as you get the desired outcome! We are all diplomats – yet in our very own ways – but nonetheless diplomats and what works in our small and personal surroundings also works in an international environment. Countries, governments, companies yet even whole continents are using different forms of diplomacy. But because of its variability it could also become a dangerous weapon, a weapon, which could destroy countries or save them! Therefore it’s essential to educate young people properly and raise awareness for the importance of a sustainable and peaceful use of diplomacy.
But in order to be able to educate people and show them how diplomacy really should work, you need people and organizations with experience and good knowledge of this issue. One of these organizations is AIDIA (Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs). Based in Kathmandu (Nepal) and founded in 2014 by Mr. Sunil KC this young network of people and diplomats works together with universities and embassies as well as governments all over the world to ensure a proper and state of the art education for young people. Although this organization is only three months old, its history is far longer reaching back until 2005. Mr. KC had just turned 13 and was on his way home bringing his family supplies for their shop when Nepali soldiers stopped and warned him not to carry those supplies. When he answered that the supplies belonged to his parents he got severely beaten up by the soldiers. It was in that very moment he realized that the youth had to raise its voice and establish an education in diplomacy and international affairs in order to solve conflicts with words rather than violence. He started working as a reporter, presenter and interviewer at the local radio station and raised his voice for the youth and a peaceful diplomacy. Through his work with numerous non-profit organizations such as Movement for Change (M4C) and Youth Foundation Nepal Organization (YFN) he build up a network with diplomats and international delegates all over the world.
During this process Mr. KC made sure that his non-profit organization is ready to start working as soon as he has introduced it to the world and that’s exactly what happened. The organization has already build up a strong network of diplomats, held two meetings with international guests such as Prof. Christopher Lingle and is planning and International Youth Summit for August 2014! The organization holds a monthly town hall meetings where they invite ambassadors, members of the parliament and ministers as well as the youth of Kathmandu to create a collaboration between the young generation and politics! In addition to that the organization is also in negotiations with universities to establish numerous partnerships in order to offer post- and undergraduate university courses in Diplomacy and International Affairs. Currently the organization is finalizing its efforts and will be offering the Bachelors and Master courses in International Affairs and Diplomacy within the next two years. Universities will then be able to send their students to Kathmandu for a diplomatic and cultural exchange to create a mutual understanding and a sustainable diplomacy. Exchange students are able to gain first-hand experience on an international level and the Nepali youth can learn how western diplomacy works. This creates a basis upon which the young generation can build up the diplomacy of the future and ensure a peaceful environment for future generations.
Think about diplomacy again! What comes in your mind now? Has the well-dressed ambassador changed into the ordinary student and the expansive reception room into a room full of young people exchanging their points of view?