Minister Dacic speaks at the opening ceremony of media training for diplomats of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Address by First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivica Dacic at a cocktail reception held on the occasion of the beginning of media training for diplomats of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, organized in cooperation with the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office:

Dear guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,

I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak to you on the occasion of the 180th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Serbia and the United Kingdom.

Since the beginning of the year, several events have been devoted to almost two-centuries-long cooperation between our countries and their alliance in the two World Wars. Promotion and popularization of the ties existing between our two countries, and their cultures, are an important task of our public diplomacy sections, which have worked together this year to organize media training for diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia. As a result of the kind efforts made by Her Britannic Majesty’s Embassy in Belgrade, the “Diplo Foundation” held, in cooperation with our own Diplomatic Academy and the Public Diplomacy Section, a series of workshops for MFA employees, who will benefit from them in handling their digital diplomacy activities and future appearances in the media.

The United Kingdom has been ranked by the University of Southern California Centre on Public Diplomacy as the second world power in the public diplomacy sector, for 2017, close second after France, and I am particularly pleased that we will be learning from the best about how to make our voice reach out as far as possible in order to make ourselves heard. What we can pride ourselves on are the magnificent young people working in our Ministry, who will – I am sure – be able to learn the ropes of global digital diplomacy and contribute, with their skills and creativity, to the affirmation of the foreign policy of the Republic of Serbia in the digital era. We also have a keen interest in the possibilities offered by the digital world in the fields of enhancing cooperation with our own and foreign citizens, i.e. in having a speedier, simpler and more accessible way of making our consular information available.

Cooperation on this project, and the presence of UK experts in Belgrade, will undoubtedly reinforce the cooperation existing between our countries, which is our common goal.

I believe that, by opening the door to digital diplomacy, our performance will be able to reach out further and at an accelerated pace; our arguments will directly get to our interlocutors, be they world officials, or our own and foreign citizens who are in need of consular services. This is of paramount importance in the globalized world of today, increasingly relying on the new media as a source of basic information. I am also confident that promoting our performance in this way will only help us consolidate our image as a modern, competent and credible diplomacy, which we have been building for years now, with ever growing success.

In conclusion, may I thank, once again, our UK partners for making the implementation of this project possible and express my belief that we will not only be proud of the performance of our diplomats attending the training, but that, with the lapse of time, we will be included in the research of the University of Southern California on most effective public diplomacies.

Last but not least, I would like to welcome and thank the members of the House of Lords and the House of Commons of the UK Parliament for being with us today.

Thank you.”