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Chronicles of everyday diplomacy

The Delegate Whisperers. In interpretation, precision is everything. In the September edition of this magazine, we learned that “interpreting is not an easy task, [that] it is a job that requires extreme concentration, intense mental effort and a considerable amount...

Chronicles of everyday diplomacy

We have already talked, in this space, about conference fatigue. It is one of the many stumbling blocks on the (sometimes monotonous) route of day-to-day multilateralism.  However, in career paths often marked by anticlimactic experiences, I have observed again...

Chronicles of everyday diplomacy

Metaphorically as much as literally, diplomacy can be seen as happening between the soft touch of a hand and the jarring sound of a falling hammer.  Just like pencils, paper clips, ICT devicesand coffee, proximity and distancing playa key role in the toolbox of...

Chronicles of everyday diplomacy

Fragmentary at the best of times, reality is nowadays largely virtual too. How do we forge our opinions? On what do we base our judgment? Despite major strides over the past decade – all the more so with the COVID-19 pandemic - we might yet see the full extent of what...

Chronicles of everyday diplomacy

The Palais des Nations is a Tower of Babel inhabited by a polymorphic tribe. Their origins are untraceable, languages spoken are indecipherable, and functions performed are inscrutable. Among their mysterious customs, one consists of gathering at night for...

Chronicles of everyday diplomacy

It is tempting to caption this photograph with a diatribe on how diplomats can be bound to turn a blind eye to reality, whereas in fact, this was an unusual yoga session taking place during the 2018 World Health Assembly (WHA) at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. To...

Chronicles of everyday diplomacy

Partaking in negotiations at the UN means that one becomes part of a long – and sometimes heavy – history. It also means that for diplomats and delegates, their relative role and weight suffers some level of disproportion in comparison with that of the institutions...

Chronicles of everyday diplomacy

What is more revealing: what goes on record or what is left out? Isn’t a skilled negotiator able to have a global vision of what is going on, keeping mindful of the fact that our perception of reality is fragmentary, and that any issue ought to be looked at from...

Chronicles of everyday diplomacy

Switzerland has long specialized in providing a neutral venue for discreet encounters and discussions. In the present case, religious and community leaders from Morocco, Tunisia, Belgium, and France gathered somewhere above ‘Lac Léman’ to explore ways to counter...

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Chronicles of everyday diplomacy

The Delegate Whisperers. In interpretation, precision is everything. In the September edition of this magazine, we learned that “interpreting is not an easy task, [that] it is a job that requires extreme concentration, intense mental effort and a considerable amount...

Chronicles of everyday diplomacy

We have already talked, in this space, about conference fatigue. It is one of the many stumbling blocks on the (sometimes monotonous) route of day-to-day multilateralism.  However, in career paths often marked by anticlimactic experiences, I have observed again...

Chronicles of everyday diplomacy

Metaphorically as much as literally, diplomacy can be seen as happening between the soft touch of a hand and the jarring sound of a falling hammer.  Just like pencils, paper clips, ICT devicesand coffee, proximity and distancing playa key role in the toolbox of...

Chronicles of everyday diplomacy

Fragmentary at the best of times, reality is nowadays largely virtual too. How do we forge our opinions? On what do we base our judgment? Despite major strides over the past decade – all the more so with the COVID-19 pandemic - we might yet see the full extent of what...

Chronicles of everyday diplomacy

The Palais des Nations is a Tower of Babel inhabited by a polymorphic tribe. Their origins are untraceable, languages spoken are indecipherable, and functions performed are inscrutable. Among their mysterious customs, one consists of gathering at night for...

Chronicles of everyday diplomacy

It is tempting to caption this photograph with a diatribe on how diplomats can be bound to turn a blind eye to reality, whereas in fact, this was an unusual yoga session taking place during the 2018 World Health Assembly (WHA) at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. To...

Chronicles of everyday diplomacy

Partaking in negotiations at the UN means that one becomes part of a long – and sometimes heavy – history. It also means that for diplomats and delegates, their relative role and weight suffers some level of disproportion in comparison with that of the institutions...

Chronicles of everyday diplomacy

What is more revealing: what goes on record or what is left out? Isn’t a skilled negotiator able to have a global vision of what is going on, keeping mindful of the fact that our perception of reality is fragmentary, and that any issue ought to be looked at from...

Chronicles of everyday diplomacy

Switzerland has long specialized in providing a neutral venue for discreet encounters and discussions. In the present case, religious and community leaders from Morocco, Tunisia, Belgium, and France gathered somewhere above ‘Lac Léman’ to explore ways to counter...

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