Skyline University Nigeria

Department of Political Science Holds Guest Lecture on Becoming a Diplomat

His excellency, Amb Samaila Yusuf Abba during the recent guest lecture of skyline University Nigeria, shared the practical aspect, and nature of the conduct of the art of diplomacy. 

His Insight on the Practice of Diplomacy 

The practice of diplomacy is not alien to human existence, since human beings can’t exist in isolation. States like human beings need one another to be able to actualize their primary purpose of existence, which is the protection and promotion of territorial integrity of their domain for citizens’ wellbeing. Thus, the metrics at which diplomatic practice flourishes are predicated upon multiple factors;

  • Developing interest and passion for the art and craft of diplomacy and international relations.
  • Wide knowledge of diplomatic history with particular reference to one’s country.
  • Possession of analytical skills and temperament.
  • Ability to write well and quickly.
  • Be verbally fluent and explanatory.
  • Demonstration of meticulous attention to detail.
  • Be a firm and effective negotiator.
  • Ability to politely speak one’s opinions to power, and 
  • Other sterling qualities.

Over time, the functions of diplomats have oscillated between representations, negotiation, and promotion of friendly relationships with other countries, protecting citizens living abroad, and collation and analysis of information as connected to the socioeconomic, political and security interests of their countries. It’s no longer gainsaying that the emergence of globalization and communication networks have profoundly changed the face of diplomatic practice in the 21st. The 21st-century diplomat needs to adapt his or her role in consonance with these continuously and rapidly evolving changes. This brings us to some of the challenges faced by a 21st-century diplomat

His perspective on the Challenges of diplomacy in the 21st century. 

The challenges of diplomacy in the 21st century are enormous, it will be good if we limit ourselves to those that clog the wheel of foreign policy in our immediate environment. These include;

  • Globalization: The world is fast becoming a global village with socio, political, economic and health challenges. Since state actors need to work closely together with other actors, international laws are needed. Some of these international laws slow down the engagements of diplomats in the international system.
  •  Social Media: Social media has proven to be a hard nut to crack in carrying out the diplomatic practice. Even before proceedings and resolutions of bilateral or diplomatic engagements are officially documented and communicated with the parent country, social media has perverted virtually all the outcomes of the engagement. This ordinarily presents diplomats as dragging vital information that requires to be heard from them first-hand.
  • Insecurity: Today, there are lots of local, national and even international restiveness all over the world. The international community will always be trying to resolve this challenge by using diplomacy. So, rather than pushing ahead with other vital and progressive agendas, diplomats are deterred by the responsibility of attending to insecurity issues.

Conclusion and Recommendations

Narrowing the gap between reality and perception, it is essential for all international actors to be well understood, correctly analyzed and properly assessed. To do this right, a student aiming to become a good diplomat in the 21st century needs to be;

  • Smart, particularly assertive and innovative. 
  • Competent in the gathering and use of information.
  • Give suggestions to state actors on the need to be at peace with their immediate neighbours.
  • Diplomats should rely on a clear political will and desire to resolve a problem on mutually beneficial conditions.
  • Well, articulate in communication and representation.