47th meeting of the Deans and Directors of Diplomatic Academies and Institutes of International Relations

The Anwar Gargash Diplomatic Academy (AGDA) will host the 2021 edition of the International Forum on Diplomatic Training (IFDT) from Wednesday, 3 November to Sunday, 7 November.

Taking into consideration that diplomacy thrives on physical interaction and exchange, the event is likely to follow the usual in-person format.


Registration for the meeting will be open until 23 October. Please send your registration to the Anwar Gargash Diplomatic Academy (AGDA) at ifdt2021@agda.ac.ae.


Wednesday, 3 November

19:00 – 21:30
Dinner and discussions with VIP on the future of cultural diplomacy

Thursday, 4 November

08:00 – 09:00
Networking, registration and refreshments

09:00 – 09:10
Opening of the event

09:10 – 09:25
Welcome address by the AGDA leadership

09:25 – 09:55
Keynote address by VIPs

10:00 – 10:50
Panel 1: The future of diplomacy in a post pandemic world
During the pandemic, like all other professions, diplomacy adapted to the virtual format with online meetings and summits, where “home-based” diplomacy became the norm, reducing travel requirements. Can diplomacy maintain its relevance in the 21st century? What is the role of non-state actors, and is the traditional role of MFAs evaporating? In a hyper-connected world, where the majority of conversations are taking place online, is there still room for the established roles of diplomats, or do we need to rethink the profession of a diplomat?

10:50 – 11:20
Networking and refreshments

11:20 – 12:10
Panel 2: Do we need to teach digital diplomacy?
The past decades witnessed a proliferation of new technologies in the private and public sectors. We require a workforce that can swiftly adapt to the changing environment and is open to new technologies to overcome society’s disruptive changes. How do we integrate these new required skills into our curriculums? Is there a need to concentrate on a 21st-century diplomacy toolkit with a focus on digital communication, or will 20th century diplomatic skills continue to remain relevant?

12:10 – 13:00

13:00 – 13:50
Panel 3: Participants can choose one of the two panels below:

Session 1:
Women and diplomacy
Gender equity at the workplace is increasingly important for many public and private-sector organisations. The diplomatic field has traditionally remained less accessible for women. How can increased access for women to the diplomatic field ensure gender equality?

Session 2:
Are we reaching a turning point on climate change?
Climate change is one of the most critical challenges facing humanity in the 21st century. The effects on the foreign policy agendas worldwide are significant, particularly water scarcity and natural disasters, which are threatening livelihood across the globe. As a global threat, multilateral solutions are required, and we notice a changing attitude with more and more countries integrating climate action into national policies and strategies. Have we reached a new era where climate change will be one of the top priorities on the multilateral agenda?

14:00 – 14:50
Panel 4: Governance: Can diplomats be prepared to keep up with the changes taking place in international governance and international organisations?
The pandemic has placed multilateralism under tremendous pressure, with countries making unilateral decisions to protect themselves and their economies, leading to a growing dissatisfaction with multilateral diplomacy. What is the future of international organisations in a post-pandemic world?

17:00 – 20:00
Tour and dinner at Qaser Al Watan

Friday, 5 November

Departure from hotel

09:45 – 10:00
Networking, registration and refreshments

10:00 – 10:50
Panel 5: Abraham Accords – what next?
The agreements to normalise relations between Israel, and the UAE and Bahrain, followed by accords between Israel and Morocco and Sudan, mark one of the latest and positive developments in the Middle East. Will this lead to a geo-political shift due to a spill-over effect to neighbouring countries? What are the expectations that are presented for the diplomatic work, with establishment of relations and the opening of embassies in a tense region?

10:50 – 11:20
Networking and refreshments

11:30 – 12:20
Panel 6: Afghanistan – a failure of strategy?
The diplomatic community is devastated by the events in Afghanistan. What will be the wider impact on foreign interventions and conflict resolution through diplomacy?

12:20 – 13:10

13:30 – 15:30
IFDT Bazar: IFDT diplomatic academies and institutes will share their best practices for virtual/ hybrid training

17:00 – 21:00
Tour and Dinner with VIP keynote at the Louvre Abu Dhabi