The General Assembly for the 6th Global Public Diplomacy Network opened this week, hosted by Katara Cultural Village, with delegates from nine participating countries. The event is in cooperation with Qatar University.

In his speech during the opening conference, HE Dr Khaled bin Ibrahim Al Sulaiti, said that cultural diplomacy has established a new approach in international relations – which is to serve political and economic relations – because it relies on the soft power of culture, arts and literature, and thus has become a gateway for cooperation and exchange of knowledge, a bridge for dialogue and a platform for establishing friendship between nations, and promoting understanding between peoples.

He said that by joining the Global Public Diplomacy Network and chairing the General Assembly, Katara wanted to develop more its cultural relations and cooperation.

By opening new horizons in exchanging information, technical proficiency, and strategic experiences, we could identify the available capabilities for establishing joint cultural projects and achieve the targeted goals of the network.’

For his part, HE Dr Ahmed Bin Hassan Al Hammadi said that public international diplomacy is advancing today, becoming a bridge for communication between nations, and an instrument for change towards the best in mutual relations.

Qatar has a distinguished and leading experience in adopting public international diplomacy, as Qatar has succeeded in enhancing its position, achieving a set of projects in the fields of culture, sports, education, economics and media, which are considered soft power sources.

Soft power relies on balance, and calm diplomacy has become the most prominent means that contribute to expanding understanding, rapprochement, communication and dialogue between peoples and societies, to promote peace across the world.’

Dr Ibrahim Al Kaabi, Dean of Arts and Sciences College in Qatar University, stressed the importance of holding the first conference of the Global Public Diplomacy Network, as it bonds the gap between countries and peoples of the world through culture, sports, literature and others.

Qatar plays a positive role at the regional and international levels in spreading the culture of peace. What unites people, nations, bodies, and organisations is the universal values shared by all. Public diplomacy is the one that can create ties to bring people together through these values, which are the goal of public diplomacy.’

Meetings of the first day included presentation of working papers by experts from member states. HE Bisra Turkovic, Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Doha, spoke about locally-embedded civil society organisations and cultural diplomacy. She also selected the case study of ‘mothers of Srebrenica’ and their advocacy roles in promoting the culture of remembrance.

Other discussions focused on Professor Tuan Kim’s working paper about the actors of public diplomacy and the conditions for success; and Dr Saleh bin Rajab and the review of public diplomatic organisations, the concept of soft power and its application and communication, sport and its effective role in public diplomacy, the role of the media in public diplomacy.

Social Communication Workshop

A workshop on social media focused on the youth will also be held, with participation of specialists, heads of companies and international experts in information technology and the modern media sector.

The 6th Global Public Diplomacy Network General Assembly is ongoing at Katara Cultural Village this week, until 22 January.