Saturday, December 11, 2010

UN Climate Change Conference in Cancún

Cancún, 11 December 2010 The UN Climate Change Conference in Cancún, Mexico, ended on Saturday with the adoption of a balanced package of decisions that set all governments more firmly on the path towards a low-emissions future and support enhanced action on climate change in the developing world.The package, dubbed the Cancún Agreements was welcomed to repeated loud and prolonged applause and acclaim by Parties in the final plenary.

Cancún has done its job. The beacon of hope has been reignited and faith in the multilateral climate change process to deliver results has been restored, said UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres. Nations have shown they can work together under a common roof, to reach consensus on a common cause. They have shown that consensus in a transparent and inclusive process can create opportunity for all,she said.

Governments have given a clear signal that they are headed towards a low-emissions future together, they have agreed to be accountable to each other for the actions they take to get there, and they have set it out in a way which encourages countries to be more ambitious over time, she said.

Nations launched a set of initiatives and institutions to protect the poor and the vulnerable from climate change and to deploy the money and technology that developing countries need to plan and build their own sustainable futures. And they agreed to launch concrete action to preserve forests in developing nations, which will increase going forward.

They also agreed that countries need to work to stay below a two degree temperature rise and they set a clear timetable for review, to ensure that global action is adequate to meet the emerging reality of climate change.This is not the end, but it is a new beginning. It is not what is ultimately required but it is the essential foundation on which to build greater, collective ambition,said Ms. Figures.

Elements of the Cancún Agreements include:• Industrialised country targets are officially recognised under the multilateral process and these countries are to develop low-carbon development plans and strategies and assess how best to meet them, including through market mechanisms, and to report their inventories annually.
Posted by Nksagar at 8:33 AM

“Late response has become lost response’ in the Information Age”

The Public Diplomacy Conference (Public Diplomacy in the Information Age),organized by the Public Diplomacy Division, Ministry of External Affairs and CMS Academy provided new insights on diverse aspects of this new emerging field of public communication. The conference was attended by several diplomats, academicians, government officials, corporate heads, researchers and media professionals

New Delhi, December 10, 2010: Public Diplomacy not only challenges the traditional understanding and practice of foreign policy issues, but in a way has also created new opportunities and avenues for public communication in the foreign policy domain. During the various sessions of the Public Diplomacy conference, diverse aspects related to the concept and practice of public diplomacy were discussed in great detail. The sessions were conducted by well known personalities and experts from different walks of life. Prominent among these were Dr Shashi Tharoor, MP, Smt Nirupama Rao, Foreign Secretary, Mr Navdeep Suri, Joint Secretary (PD), Mr MJ Akbar, Editor and author, Prof Philip Seib, Prof Nicholas Cull, Prof. Eyton Gilboa, Mr Nik Gowing, BBC Presenter, Dr N Bhaskara Rao, Chairnam CMS and others. The Conference was organised at Le Meridien, New Delhi.

The following sessions were organised during the Conference:

• Session 1: Public Diplomacy in a Globalised World

The session began with a Welcome Address by Mr Navdeep Suri, Joint Secretary (PD) and was chaired by Dr Shashi Tharoor, MP. Mr Suri highlighted the various steps taken by the PD division to popularize the concept of Public Diplomacy. During the inaugural session Dr Shashi Tharoor pointed out that public diplomacy is not just about communicating but also listening to a diverse audience and stakeholders. He was of the view that, “Being an IT power hub India should be in the forefront of public diplomacy using latest technology.” Foreign Secretary, Smt Nirupama Rao in her Keynote Address said that, “Public Diplomacy is an important vehicle of disseminating new ideas, interests as well as approaches that define our foreign policies.” Prof Nicholas J Cull, from Annenberg School of Communication, USC talked about how Public Diplomacy differs from Traditional Diplomacy. He said that Public Diplomacy is a move from “euphemism of propaganda” to building partnerships. He said that elements of public diplomacy include exchange of ideas, advocacy and a two way flow of opinion. “Public opinion is important and need to be open, responsive and integrationist,” said Cull. The concluding remarks in the session were given by Ms P N Vasanti, Director, CMS Academy.

• Session 2: 21st Century Statecraft and Soft Power, Chaired by Prof Nicholas J Cull
Soft Power has become a widely used tool for statecraft. The purpose of this tool is to enhance the consciousness of a nation and its concerns which lead to increased dialogue. “Roots of India’s soft power run deep due to traditional diversity of Indian society. New diplomacy cannot be directed by governments but functions ‘despite the government’,” said Dr Shashi Tharoor during the session. Participating in the session Mr Jeromes Bonnafont, Ambassador of France brought out the significance of the ‘channel’ as well ‘message’ of the transmission of soft power. It came to the fore during the session that India’s potential as a soft power has increased due to Indian arts, music, cinema and although the source of soft power are many, the effective use of this mechanism still needs to be fully gripped. Other speakers in the session were Mr Suresh K Goel, Director General, Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), Mr Sanjoy Roy, Managing Director, Teamwork Films, Mr Bobby Bedi, Founder and Managing Director, Kaleidoscope Entertainment and Dr Nick Hill, General Manager, Australia-India Institute

• Session 3: 24x7 News and Public Diplomacy, Chaired by Mr M J Akbar
It came out in the session quite clearly how news and public diplomacy have become quite influential. With 24x7 media ‘Late response has become lost response’. Mr MJ Akbar, Chair of the session highlighted the challenge to the government in meeting its traditional demands within the ambit of opportunities presented by 24x7 media. Pervasiveness of sources means that the government needs to be proactive in disseminating information as well as being creative in usage of various media. International relation has become an exercise in public communication. BBC Chief Presenter, Mr Nik Gowing said government can no longer deny public opinion as created various channels of media. “In the contemporary Information Age, no government can get away by saying anything that is detrimental to their population”. Other speakers in the session were Dr Philip Seib, Professor of Journalism and Public Diplomacy and Director, Center on Public Diplomacy, University of Southern California, Dr N Bhaskara Rao, Chairman, CMS and Ms Suhasini Haidar, Deputy Foreign Editor and Prime-Time Anchor, CNN-IBN.

• Session 4: Web 2.0 and the new Public Diplomacy, Chaired by Dr Philip Seib
Social media and Web 2.0 tools are being increasingly used for Public Diplomacy. They allow direct access to target audiences and enable establishment of two-way channels of communication. Starting the session, Dr Philip Seib stated that for diplomats to survive in this age, they should become familiar with new social media tools. Prof Eytan Gilboa, Director, Center for International Communication, Bar-Ilan University, Israel was of the view, “Social networking provide several opportunities but also risks. The content of the message and the channel has to be clear and powerful to make public diplomacy more effective,” he said. Other prominent speakers of the session were Mr Navdeep Suri, Joint Secretary (PD), Ministry of External Affairs, Mr Nitin Pai, Founder and Fellow for Geopolitics, The Takshashila Institution, Mr Michael Pelletier, Minister-Counselor for Public Affairs and Public Diplomacy, US Embassy, New Delhi, Mr Sudhir John Horo, Principal Designer and Co-founder, TheIdeaWorks and Mr Ashwani Singla, Managing Director and Chief Executive of Penn Schoen Berland.

• Session 5: Corporate Diplomacy, Chaired by Ambassador Kishan S Rana

Developing public-private partnerships, managing geopolitical risk, and deriving best practices for engaging and leveraging the media from the private-sector perspective is critical for long-term public diplomacy success and impact. The session on Corporate Diplomacy looked at how the corporate world and Business chambers are engaged in corporate diplomacy. The panelists also discussed how to best engage and partner the private sector for public diplomacy objectives. The session was chaired by Ambassador Kishan S Rana, Former Diplomat, Author and Teacher. Other prominent speakers were Mr Som Mittal, President, NASSCOM, Mr Roger Hayes, Senior Counselor, APCO Worldwide and Research Associate, Henley Business School, Mr Shivnath Thukral, Group President, Corporate Branding and Strategic Initiatives, Essar Group and Mr Ravi Bhoothalingam, Confederation of Indian Industry and Founder & Chairman, Manas Advisory

Tomorrow’s Programme:
Saturday, 11 December 2010, 10:30 am – 04:00 pm

Workshop 1: Planning and Evaluating Public Diplomacy Strategies and Programs (10:30 am to 12:30 pm). Venue is Room 2000, Le Meridien, Janpath, New Delhi. The workshop will be conducted by Prof Eytan Gilboa, Director, Center for International Communication, Bar-Ilan University, Israel.
Workshop 2: The Al Jazeera Effect- How the New Global Media are Reshaping World Politics (10:30 am – 12:30 pm.). Venue is Rooms 2010-2020, Le Meridien Hotel, Janpath, New Delhi. The workshop will be conducted by Dr Philip Seib, Professor of Journalism and Public Diplomacy and Director, Center on Public Diplomacy, University of Southern California.

Workshop 3: The Concept of Nation Branding (02:00 pm – 04:00 pm). The venue of the workshop is Room 2010-2020, Le Meridien, Janpath. It will be conducted by Prof Nicholas J Cull, Professor of Public Diplomacy and Director, Masters Program in Public Diplomacy, Annenberg School of Communication, USC.

Full details of the conference & profiles of all the speakers are available at


Public Diplomacy Division, Ministry of External Affairs, GOI
Established in 2006, the Public Diplomacy Division of India’s Ministry of External Affairs strives to foster a greater understanding of India and its foreign policy concerns. It is working to put in place systems that enable the MEA to engage more effectively with citizens in India and with global audiences that have an interest in India and in foreign policy issues. Its mandate enables it to organise and support a broad range of outreach activities, both in India and overseas. These include its popular Lecture Series on India’s Foreign Policy under which lectures on contemporary foreign policy themes are organised at major universities and academic institutions. PD Division also partners with a range of think tanks, universities and other institutions to organise or support seminars and conferences on themes related to foreign policy. These include dialogue programmes with institutions in the UK, South Korea and Indonesia. Its outreach activities also include hosting incoming visitors from various countries. In addition, the division produces a range of publications, documentary films and the Ministry’s flagship India Perspectives magazine for use by India’s diplomatic missions. (

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