Simulation session on Negotiating a Multilateral Treaty

Participants of the XXVIII Diploma in Diplomacy & World Affairs programme had an opportunity to negotiate a multilateral treaty on March 13, 2024, at the BIDTI.

                                    

Simulation session based on the draft text of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea allowed them to engage as delegates belonging to different political groups of the UN while safeguarding their own states interests. They demonstrated skills in navigating diverse perspectives  and managed building consensus among like-minded states in their respective groups.

         

          

         

 

Demonstration of bilateral negotiating skills

       

Participants of the XXVIII Diploma in Diplomacy & World Affairs programme had an opportunity to demonstrate their skills in bilateral negotiation during the assessment held on 28th of February 2024 at the BIDTI.

       

At the evaluation session, six groups engaged in negotiations based on a case study eagerly tried to obtain maximum benefits for their course.

       

Participants of Diploma in Diplomacy & World Affairs course have the opportunity of learning negotiating skills use in bilateral as well as multilateral fora. Subsequently, their skills are evaluated at a simulation session.

‘The Gift of the Nile’ the last book of Dr Vernon Mendis launched

The book based on the last manuscript of Deshamanya Dr Vernon L B Mendis was launched on Friday10th November 2023 at the Bandaranaike International Diplomatic Training Institute (BIDTI). It was a significant moment for the BIDTI as Dr Mendis had been the founding Director General of the Institute which was established in 1995 under the guidance of the Hon. Prime Minister Sirimavo R. D. Bandaranaike.
‘The Gift of the Nile’ was edited and published by Dr George I. H.  Cooke who had been guided and trained by Dr. Mendis. George, having learnt from the spouse of the author, Mrs. Paddy Mendis that the last manuscript of Dr. Vernon L.B. Mendis was available, determined to publish it as a gratitude to his guru.
Dr. Cooke presented the first copy of the book ‘The Gift of the Nile’ to Mrs. Paddy Mendis who was the Chief Guest of the event. A large gathering, including Chairperson of Sunera Foundation Ms. Sunethra Bandaranaike, colleagues of Dr. Mendis, former and present foreign Secretaries, civil society members, friends and members of the family of Dr. Mendis attended the event.

South African High Commissioner speaks on challenges of Foreign Ministries in the 21st Century

South African High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, His Excellency Sandile Schalk speaking at the Bandaranaike International Diplomatic Training Institute highlighted challenges before the Ministries of Foreign Affairs in the 21st Century. Delivering a speech on ‘The Role of Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the 21st Century” at the BIDTI on 3rd November 2023, he said that global issues were calling for a new economic order.

High Commissioner Schalk emphasised the need of addressing the veto power of the United Nations Security Council, as it was no longer represent the existing global order. Further, with the advent of the multi polar world, a new global order is in the offing thus the world is in need of a moral leadership.

He highlighted the challenging situation in the world and how Foreign Service officers should respond to those by dissecting and analyzing situations reported in the media.  High Commissioner Schalk expressed the importance of adopting to new trends as states cannot achieve multilaterally what had been lost bilaterally.
Referring to the South African Foreign Service, he said that Foreign Service Act governs the conduct and role of officers and they take the lead role in every negotiating event on behalf of the country.

Korean Ambassador Visits the BIDTI

The Korean Ambassador to Sri Lanka Her Excellency Miyon Lee paid a visit to the BIDTI on Monday 18th September, 2023. Welcoming the Ambassador, the Director General appreciated her visit undertaken upon commencing Ambassodor’s assignment in Sri Lanka.
Referring to the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the BIDTI and the Korea National Diplomatic Academy (KNDA) on 15th March 2017, Director General reminisced the visit undertaken by H. E. Cho Byug-jae, Vice Foreign Minister and Chancellor of the Academy to the BIDTI on 31st October, 2017. She also mentioned the dynamic language training programmes conducted by the KNDA, for which Sri Lankan diplomats are given opportunities to learn the Korean language.
Ambassador Lee stated that Sri Lanka is important to Korea as it has undertaken a number of projects in the country. In view of the cordial relationship enjoyed between the two countries Korea wishes to further enhance economic collaboration for the mutual benefit.  Ambassador mentioned that she has already commenced meeting with key stake holders to discuss in this regard.

XXVIII Diploma course inception of the BIDTI

Inauguration of the XXVIII Diploma in Diplomacy & World Affairs Programme was held on Wednesday, 2023 at the Bandaranaike International Diplomatic Training Institute (BIDTI).

Following a documentary depicting the activities of the BIDTI, the Director General of the BIDTI welcomed the participants. While briefing on the programme, she explained the importance of learning diplomacy and world affairs which would mould the personality of individuals.

A former participant, Mr. Shamil Akbar, who was the recipient of the ‘Lorna Dewaraja Memorial Award’ shared his experience at the BIDTI with the participants. Praising the overall activities provided by the BIDTI during the programme, he encouraged participants to get maximum out of the programme by enjoying and sharing the experience of others and making a network of knowledge.

Following refreshments, the lecture on ‘Introduction to Diplomacy’ was delivered by Dr. Geroge I. H. Cooke, Senior Lecturer of the University of Colombo, a former Foreign Service Officer, and the Initiator Awarelog Initiative.

Ambassador Ajwad presented book on ‘Sri Lanka – Oman Relations: Past, Present and future’ to the BIDTI

A book on Sri Lanka – Oman relations: Past, Present and Future authored by Ambassador Omar Lebbe Ameer Ajwad was presented to the library of the Bandaranaike International Diplomatic Training Institute (BIDTI) on 2nd August, 2023.

Ambassador Ajwad who served as Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman with concurrent accreditation to the Republic of Yemen released the book in Oman on the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the two countries.

In a foreword to the book, Omani foreign Minister His Excellency Badr Albusaidi has appreciated the service of the Ambassador Ajwad in connection with further strengthening the bilateral relations between Oman and Sri Lanka.

Dr. Nadeera Rajapakse talks on Travelling through Silk Roads at the BIDTI

Delivering a special guest lecture on ‘Travelling through Silk Roads: Cultural Pluralism and Porous Boarders’ at the BIDTI on 28th July, 2023, Assistant Professor of the University of Paris, Pantheon – Sorbonne Dr. Nadeera Rajapakse gave a detail description of journeys made by the famous traveller Ibn Battuta.

Dr. Rajapakse explained how Ibn Battuta , a Judge  and a native of Tangier in Morocco had been received at various realms from the West to the East during his journeys as well as techniques he used to convince rulers to permit him to travel through areas under their jurisdiction.

She revealed the significance of the records of Battuta’s accounts which focused more on the people than on the places he visited and explained the great insights into the cultural practices along the way. She explained that those records show a greater cultural harmony than most mainstream history lessons have shown.

Dr. Rajapakse explained that the narrative of Battuta relevant to the Holy Kaaba where paintings of three angles existed.  Further, the practice of the Mongolian court as well as existence of Christianity in the East. Referring to the Gandhara civilization she said that it was a mix of Greek culture and Buddhist thinking.

During the presentation, she described that the Silk Road provides proof that culture transcends borders and that borders themselves have been mostly porous and blurred. She pointed out that by looking at historical narrative of travel along the Silk roads, people get a sense of the ease or the difficulty of travel, the welcome or rejections travelers face, the way travelers and their cultures are integrated, assimilated in new places.

The talk given by Dr. Nadeera Rajapakse was under the Special Guest Lecture series conducted by the BIDTI.   It was attended by distinguished persons including former Foreign Secretaries, Ambassadors, Academics and former participants of the programmes of the Institute.

Egyptian Ambassador visits the BIDTI

The Egyptian Ambassador to Sri Lanka, H. E. Maged Mosleh accompanied by Counsellor Mohamed Mady visited the BIDTI on Tuesday, 4th July 2023.

He held discussions with Director General regarding the possible collaboration between diplomatic training institutes of the two countries. Further, they spoke of the longstanding diplomatic relationship Sri Lanka has had with Egypt and emphasized on strengthening this historic relationship to face global dynamics of today.

Showcase of Presentation Skills

Participants of the Diploma in Diplomacy and World Affairs Programme had the opportunity to showcase their presentation skills recently.

Participants attending the first module on Diplomatic Skills and Practice had their first assignment on 27th June 2023 which enabled them to showcase their presentation skills.

All participants divided into eight groups made presentations exhibiting their talents, under themes Gastro Diplomacy, BRICS Currency, the Singapore-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement, Bilateral Negotiations, Cultural Diplomacy for Drug Prevention, ICRC Diplomacy and How Tiktok tweaked the tale of USA and China.

Their abilities were demonstrated in various forms such as role-playing performances, panel discussions and narrating. This assignment of the Diploma Course gives an opportunity for participants to explore their hidden skills in order to pursue in a real world setting.