H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Emirates Diplomatic Academy, EDA, has said that the academy has emerged as a leading centre for developing national talent in diplomacy and equipping diplomats with the 21st century skills needed to strengthen the UAE's international cooperation and positive relations at regional and international levels.
"Since its launch more than a year ago, the academy has built strategic partnerships with major international institutions of diplomacy and international relations," H.H. Sheikh Abdullah said, adding that, during this period, the academy has also been able to attract international experts who deliver their views on the future of world diplomacy through EDA's platform.
Sheikh Abdullah was speaking while chairing the fourth meeting of EDA's Board of Trustees in the presence of Board members Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State, Omar Saif Ghobash, UAE Ambassador to the Russian Federation, Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, the UAE's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, and Mohamed Issa Abushahab, Director of the Policy Planning Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. The meeting was also attended by Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation.
H.H. Sheikh Abdullah said, "As the Emirates Diplomatic Academy prepares for the graduation of its first batch of future diplomats, it has become more confident in moving to the next phase of its development, taking the UAE's diplomatic aspirations to the international level. With the highest academic training they received, the students of the academy are fully prepared to be the diplomats of tomorrow and achieve the vision of the UAE leadership to develop diplomacy and attain excellence in foreign policy based on knowledge and innovation."
He explained that in light of the rapid changes taking place in the region, diplomats have the prime responsibility to serve the interests of their countries. "The Emirates Diplomatic Academy today sets a model for all academic and research institutions to develop a capable national capacity, as part of government efforts to enable them to play an important role in creating the future of UAE diplomacy and contribute to nation building," he said.
Bernardino Leon, Director-General of the EDA, spoke about perceptions of academic work in light of the academy's pursuit of excellence in the field of training, research and academic study at both regional and international levels.
"Since the establishment of the academy, it has managed, through its unique operational approach, to draw a clear academic path in the world of diplomatic education based on science and knowledge in order to develop diplomatic capacities, research and intellectual leadership for the region and the world," he said.
He said that the first batch of students taking the post-graduate Diploma Programme in UAE Diplomacy and International Relations, who complete their studies in just a few days, have, over the past nine months, acquired all the necessary skills and knowledge to represent the UAE and defend its interests in the international arena. The Director-General said that preparations were under way to receive the second batch of diploma students this September.
The board meeting discussed ways to enhance prospects for international cooperation with leading institutions, organisations and academies in the field of diplomacy and international relations. It also evaluated the performance of the graduates and their final assessment. The meeting looked at the academic accreditation requirements of the Ministry of Education for the Master's Programme in Diplomacy and International Relations and also discussed developments related to the second academic year, 2016-2017.
The meeting also reviewed the strategic plan and performance system and communication methods with members of the Advisory Council of the Academy, and evaluated the progress achieved in academic and administrative work.