The BIDTI embarked on publishing an academic journal ‘Diplomacy & World Affairs’ in 2019. The third edition which was recently published is available now. The Journal provides a platform for academics and professionals in diplomacy, international affairs, security and related fields, as well as alumni of the Institute to share their knowledge.
Interested parties can obtain a copy by contacting the BIDTI.
The formal training programme for 114 Management Service Officers (MSO) prior to assigning them to Sri Lanka missions abroad was inaugurated on 23rd of September at the BIDTI.
Addressing the participants on ‘National interests and foreign policy perspective of
Sri Lanka’, Secretary of the Foreign Ministry and State Secretary of Regional Cooperation Admiral Professor Jayanath Colombage highlighted the need for change in light of a new world order set in motion by the Covid 19 pandemic.
Referring to the three pillars of the President’s vision i.e. National Security, Economic Development and International Relations, he emphasised the importance of Economic Diplomacy as Sri Lanka is moving from an import dependant economy to an export oriented economy. Mentioning that Sri Lanka has not performed well in economic diplomacy though doing well in international political diplomacy, Admiral Colombage stressed the importance of achieving these objectives and urged for cooperation and dedication of participants during their assignments abroad.
The programme consisted of sessions conducted by Director General Human Resources & Mission Management Ambassador M. K. Pathmanathan, who spoke on the general role of a MSO/Attaché in an overseas mission and practical aspects/ challenges of the administration of missions. Acting Director General Policy Planning, Research & Human Resources Development Sesath Thambugala explained the role of the Foreign Ministry and Overseas Missions while Assistant Chief of Protocol Dulmith Waruna and team briefed on diplomatic immunities and privileges, Vienna Convention of Diplomatic Relations and protocol duties relevant to official and state visits.
The program will continue till 6th October with further studies at the Department of Immigration and Emigration and the Consular Affairs Division at the Ministry.
Continuing with its activities, the BIDTI commenced the XXIIIrd Diploma in Diplomacy & World Affairs programme on 16th September 2020. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this course was also inaugurated without adhering to formalities followed in the past.
Ambassador H. M. G. S. Palihakkara, the former Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the former Governor of the Northern Province delivered the first lecture of the course ‘Introduction to Diplomacy’.
The demand for the Diploma courses at the BIDTI has increased over the years resulting a large number of participants enrolling for those.
The BIDTI commenced an orientation program for 114 Management Service Officers (MSO) on the 15th September 2020.
These officers have been selected to serve in Sri Lanka Missions abroad upon undergoing a selection process which includes examinations and interviews conducted by the Department of Examinations in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Relations.
They would undergo a formal training programme prior to deploying them in the Ministry in order to obtain on the job training before being posted to missions abroad.
Director of the Administration Erandika Dissanayake and Director of Human Resources and Mission Management Dilani Weerakoon briefed them whilst Director General of the BIDTI Ambassador Pamela J. Deen gave an introduction on their duties and responsibilities.
Adapting to the ‘new normal’, the BIDTI has taken strides to conduct academic activities amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. As such, lectures for current students of the Diploma in Diplomacy and World Affairs commenced livestream from 20th May 2020.
Consequently, the final exam for the XXth batch of the Diploma Course was held on 12th July 2020 at the BIDTI. The examination procedures were carried out with adherence to health regulations imposed by the government.
Since the establishment of the Bandaranaike International Diplomatic Training Institute (BIDTI) in 1995, over 10,000 participants have enriched their knowledge and diplomatic skills through attending academic programmes of the Institute. There are prominent personalities among them who contributed to the society while holding significant positions as well as bringing fame to Sri Lanka.
In view of the 25th anniversary of the institution, the BIDTI has initiated an Alumni Association to provide a networking platform for former students of the institute. An initiative that was much appreciated by participants, the inaugural meeting of the BIDTI Alumni Association took place on Sunday, 16th August 2020.
This initial gathering was setup for all interested parties to familiarize themselves with one another and determine the objectives they wish to achieve through the organisation.
The following are elected as the Office Bearers
President- Shakthi De Silva
Vice President – Shamilka Karunanayake
Secretary – H. L. Tharindu Udara Liyanage
Assistant Secretary – Chrishantha De Silva
Treasurer- Jayasiri Samaratunga
Hashan Wickramasingha Wadanambi
In addition, the following has been elected to the Working Committee
U. G. Dasuni Sanoja
M. Joy Lucian
K.M. P.P Prasadini Fernando
E. A. Kushendri Edirisinghe
S. S. Evangeline
Alumni who are interested in joining the association could contact the following:
“I find Sri Lanka the most amazing, energizing country with the most potential to really make significant progress for children. A country that is beginning to articulate a vision of how they want to be…. It is a tremendous privilege for me to represent UNICEF in Sri Lanka.” UNICEF representative in Sri Lanka Tim Sutton stated whilst delivering a guest lecture on 20th of August 2019 at the BIDTI.
Explaining the role of UNICEF and their objectives, Sutton mentioned that UNICEF works in over 190 countries and territories to protect the rights of every child, and has worked to improve the lives of children and their families for 70 years.
UNICEF began its operations after the Second World War, focusing on helping children affected by conflict. In 1953 it became a permanent United Nations agency and has focused on child survival, development and rights of the child. The agency is currently a principal driver of the equity agenda in the UN since 2010, which is now advocated through the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The organisation believes that all children have a right to survive, thrive and fulfill their potential in the hope of a better world. By cooperating with Governments, Civil Society Organisations and International Organisations to safeguard the Convention on the Rights of the Child. That is to ensure that all children receive access to adequate healthcare, good nutrition, protection from violence and exploitation, education, clean water and sanitation. UNICEF is a firm campaigner of investing in services that would reach out to the most disadvantaged and distanced communities, as this would have the most economically beneficial outcome.
He emphasised on the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which has become the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history. The 4 core principles of the convention are non-discrimination, devotion to the best interests of the child, the right to life, survival and development, and respect for the views of the child. Noting that the convention is important to UNICEF as the organization and its role has been stipulated within the convention.
Marking an important milestone for the Bandaranaike International Diplomatic Training Institute (BIDTI), the maiden issue of the journal ‘Diplomacy & World Affairs’ was launched this week.
First copies of the Journal were presented to Minister of Foreign Affairs Tilak Marapana and Foreign Secretary Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha respectively.
Launching of the journal precedes the commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of the establishment of the BIDTI, which will fall in September 2020.
The journal has been unveiled in a background of pivotal changes occurring in the world. Contributions to the Journal were made by individuals of various backgrounds, including diplomats, academics, researchers, lecturers as well as students of the Institute.
The Journal encourages and inspires further examination into the discipline of diplomacy and International Relations. The BIDTI is indebted to the contributors for sharing their insights for the inaugural issue of the Journal.
The BIDTI had the privilege of associating with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to organize the training programme on ‘Effective Leadership and Negotiation in Multilateral Diplomacy’ in collaboration with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). The four day programme was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the 27th to the 30th November 2019.
The four day programme was attended by the mid and junior level officers of the Sri Lanka Foreign Service, along with representatives invited from line Ministries. The especially designed programme consisting of two components, was aimed at strengthening skills and knowledge in negotiation and effective leadership. Negotiation Skills Expert and Director of the Multilateral Diplomacy Division Rabih El Haddad, and Senior Consultant and Leadership Skills Expert Jerome l’Host, assigned by UNITAR conducted the sessions.
Certificate awarding ceremony for the participants of the English Language Proficiency Development Programme conducted for the staff of the Ministry of Foreign Relations in 2019 was held on 24th January, 2020 at the Ministry of Foreign Relations.
54 participants who successfully completed the Phase I of the programme received their certificates from the Additional Secretary (Bilateral Affairs, West and Legal) Ambassador A.M.J. Sadiq.
Ambassador Sadiq highlighted the importance of learning languages other than mother tongue. Further, he emphasised learning languages would facilitate conduct of activities as well as conduce with environment for cooperation.