The International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy 2009 will bring together a diverse group of participants from across the world for a weeklong program of lectures, panel discussions and social events that will look at the role of soft power in contemporary international relations. The speakers during the week will be experts and leading figures from politics, academia, and the private sector. The participants of the Symposium include students, young professionals, senior academics and diplomats, who will have the chance to consider the future of soft power and cultural diplomacy with fellow participants and leading authorities. In the evenings the participants will have the opportunity to network in social events, enjoy live music and entertainment and to explore Berlin’s vibrant nightlife.
The International Symposium comprises a weeklong program of panel discussions and lectures in different locations across Berlin. Each component will be followed by an interactive question and answer session with the speaker. This structure enables the participants to hear a range of informed perspectives on the issues under discussion and then raise issues they feel are important for further consideration.
During the evenings the ICD will organise activities and events that will allow the participants to experience Berlin, network and socialise with other participants and the Symposium speakers, and discuss the topics raised during the day.
The International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy will look at the role of soft power in the international environment and will focus on five related themes:
* The approaches of states and international organisations to soft power and the role it plays in their policy making
* The importance of multi-lateral understanding to cooperation on global challenges
* The role of cultural diplomacy in relations between the Western world and the Middle East
* The challenges and opportunities of using art and culture as vehicles of national foreign policy
* The influence of the private sector in the generation and application of soft power
To explore these themes thoroughly from both theoretical and practical perspectives we have selected expert speakers from the fields of academia, politics, and the private sector. We will hear from individuals with experience in prominent international organisations, including the United Nations, the African Union, the North-Atlantic Treaty Organisation, and the European Union, as well as politicians and former politicians who have played instrumental roles in the development and application of foreign and national policies.
The Symposium speakers will also include professors and academics who have been at the forefront of international relations theory over the past two decades and who have played key roles in pioneering and developing the related concepts of soft power and cultural diplomacy.
The ICD is proud to announce the following as a selection of our speakers:
• Jorge Sampaio, UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, Former President of Portugal (1996-2006)
• Joaquim Chissano, Former President of Mozambique (1986-2005), Former Chairperson of the African Union (2003-2004)
• Dr. Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, Former President of Latvia (1999-2007)
• Cassam Uteem, Former President of the Republic of Mauritius (1992-2002)
• Dr. Vasile Puşcaş, Romanian Minister for European Affairs
• Ints Dālderis, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Latvia
• Dr. Erkki Tuomioja, Member of Parliament and Former Foreign Minister of Finland (2000-2007)