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"Diplomacy and Diplomatic Training: New Approaches to Diplomatic Practice" discussed at CEI Dubrovnik Diplomatic Forum

The CEI Dubrovnik Diplomatic Forum is traditionally organised by the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Croatia, with the University in Zagreb and its Centre for Advanced Academic Studies (CAAS) in Dubrovnik, as well as in conjunction with the London Academy of Diplomacy (LAD), which has a strategic partnership with the University of Stirling.
The Dubrovnik Diplomatic Forum started as an international conference in the field of diplomacy and diplomatic training (1998), which over the years has grown into an annual event, unique of its kind in this part of Europe. It has become the CEI feature event, co-financed by the CEI Cooperation Fund.
This year’s edition of the Forum, held in Dubrovnik, on 14-16 May, under the title ’Diplomacy and Diplomatic Training: New Approaches to Diplomatic Practice’, gathered high-state officials and other experts, both practitioners and academics, as well as junior diplomats from the CEI region and beyond, i.e. from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia and Ukraine, as well as from Israel , Malaysia, Morocco, Turkey, Turkmenistan.
The 3-day programme encompassed 5 panels focusing on selected topics of diplomacy, diplomatic training, diplomatic and academic education, innovations in diplomatic communication, networking, economic and soft diplomacy. Two workshops for junior diplomats, dealing with public diplomacy policies and the media, were organised in the afternoon sessions.
The Forum was opened by the Croatian Assistant Minister for European Affairs Hrvoje Marušić, who underlined the European values and specific role of the CEI, announcing further and continuous expert support from Croatia to its immediate and other neighbours in their process of EU and NATO accession.
CEI Deputy Secretary General, Erik Csernovitz, in his opening address, highlighted the CEI’s strategic mission of fostering cooperation in all its areas of activity in order to support European integration among Member Countries, where the topics covered by the CEI Dubrovnik Diplomatic Forum contribute to this aim.
Key note speakers, such as Professor Joseph Mifsud (LAD), Cyril Svoboda (Diplomatic Academy, Prague), Raymond Saner (CSEND, Geneva), Daniela Zacharia (University of Bucharest) and Dato’ Hussin Nayan (IDFR, Kuala Lumpur), highlighted the importance of continuous diplomatic education and training, as a part of the International Studies Curricula. Stefano Baldi from the Diplomatic Academy in Rome, in his special address via video link, presented ‘Eight Unconventional Ideas to Train Diplomats on Soft Skills', which provoked a lively discussion. A number of other speakers such as panellists and/or in discussion also contributed to a better understanding of different aspects of diplomatic practice, expertise and experience. 
The topic envisaged for next year’s forum to be held in May 2016 is ‘Diplomacy, Diplomatic Training and Sustainable Development’.

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