Introducción a las Relaciones Diplomáticas

I realize that for the past semester my blog entries for the intercultural seminars have been quite radical/critical when it comes to the topics covered. However, as the last seminar of the term, i felt rather frustrated with the presentation offered by Senior Diplomat Jorge Fuentes Monzonis-Vilallonga.

It could have been an interesting debate on the issues diplomats dwelve with on their daily life when it comes to peace-making, working in the United Nations and the political issues behind it, what is the gap between a diplomat’s personal view on political and peace issues vis-a-vis his/her need to represent the country he/she works for when negotiating a treaty, or maybe even having Mr. Fuentes sharing his personal experience on his work and so on.

Instead, this seminar was rather long explanation of technical issues regarding, for instance, the differences between a diplomatic body and a diplomatic career, or, which are the difference between a career diplomat and a politically-appointed diplomat. To make matters worse, a lot of debate was lost in explaining how to become a diplomat in Spain, which makes no sense for a considerable part of an international audience, who could never gain access such work simply because they are not spanish.

Unfortunately, this to me does not qualify as a master level intercultural seminar where one expects a somewhat deeper debate on issues that go beyond what is called in Spanish “Oposiciones”. In fact, I am not against a discussion of the public examinations for becoming a worker in the public service, if it actually is a truly democratic process or not, but so little was spent on that, and only because an attendant provoked the speaker with such a question.

Addressing another interesting issue that could have been covered in this seminar is the foreign policy analysis of how personal issues might influence public matters on the negotiation conducted by a diplomat, after all, we are all human beings – although being responsible for a group of them is a task that must be handled with much ethics.

On the overall, this seminar left me with the impression that maybe diplomacy should be limited to a simple boardgame instead of a career that may affect so many human beings. After all, we don’t want diplomacy to fail, as this presentation on diplomacy did, which then again, makes me think of Henry Kissinger and his UNfamous book On Diplomacy…



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