#in their words

Hear from our past delegates from the Young Diplomats Forum 

Young Diplomats Forum London 2016

This week has been one of the most humbling and inspiring weeks of my life. I feel so privileged to not only have visited such high profile places but to, more importantly, have spent a week with such intelligent, kind and formidable delegates from all over the world
— Alexandra Mills - YDF 2016 London

Thank you all for making this week one of the most rememberable of my life. The knowledge and personal experience shared by all of you has greatly enhanced my knowledge and I'm truly grateful for that. 

Roy Campbell - YDF London 2016


"The Young Diplomats Forum constitutes a great opportunity for those wishing to pursue a diplomatic carreer or that have a particular interest in international affairs. The wide variety of nationalities represented permits to share different perspectives on world issues and build a global network of young leaders, following an intense agenda of top-level events".

Santiago Steta Perea, Mexico



Young Diplomats Forum Mexico 2014

“Being a part of the Young Diplomats Forum in Querétaro Mexico this year, I not only had the opportunity to learn the insights of modern day diplomacy from successful politicians and diplomats, but also met the smartest and the most wonderful young people from all over the world.
Some of the knowledge we gained from the lectures might fade away one day, but I am sure the friendships we built in this one week will last for a life time and will be the growing network of future leaders who will always share the passion of making our world a much better place to live.”
— Garanfil Hasanova - Azerbaijan Columbia University - USA

“The Young Diplomats Forum in Mexico City and Queretaro was a rewarding experience to be part of. As a representative of Canning House, a partner organisation for the Forum, I can safely say that our reputation in Mexico, and indeed globally due to the number of countries represented, was enhanced by being associated with the YDF.

I was impressed with the level of organisation in bringing together a programme involving such a diverse range of top level, distinguished speakers and stimulating topics, as well as entertaining extra-curricular activities.”

Jeremy Evans - United Kingdom

Canning House - The Hispanic and Luso Brazilian Council - United Kingdom


“It was a great experience to be mixed with a lot of international, intelligent open-minded people from all over the world and to discuss various international topics, it enabled me to see things from different perspectives and angles. Having a well organized schedule with interesting activities and lectures was a great way to learn about and explore Mexico at the same time. Also having the last day off to experience the great history of Mexico and having some final time to communicate with other participants was a very nice idea as well. Being located in a nice hotel, seeing the well functioning infrastructure and the experiences/cultures in Queretaro and Mexico City completely changed my understanding of Mexico. The YDF was very nice in the sense that it enables me to experience the Mexican culture, learning about political affairs and relationship while being together with a lot of international people, who I think have a better understanding of global matters than the average person.”
— Marc Feth - Germany RaboBank - Netherlands


"Young Diplomats Forum was an amazing experience. As an Israeli, it was inspiring to meet young leaders from countries like Pakistan, Morocco, Libya and Iraq, and discover that everyone has a common dream of peace  and better future for our region. I had the honour to represent my country at the multilateral international arena, and the friends I made will stay with me on my way forward."

David Gurevich, 32, Haifa, Israel



"I got invaluable knowledge, skills, insights and transformative perspectives about diplomacy. The peaceful, respectful and responsible nature of discussions and interaction at the forum is an example and an assertion of our identity as young people as borderless generation that is keen to build a better world for all ."  

Raphael Obonyo, External adviser and a member of the UN Habitat's Youth Advisory Board


“The Young Diplomats was a lot better than I could imagine. I really enjoyed every lecture and every presentation, especially the presentations of the participants. The second thing that made everyone feel as at home was time spent together during and after the lectures. I really enjoyed the wine tasting excursion with musical band, the environment was very warm and cozy. I met so many communicative and positive people in one place, it’s unbelievable! Now, after coming back to Azerbaijan to my studies, I really miss each of them, I miss the environment, the fruitful lectures; this was a truly valuable experience! Thank you for providing us with it! I will be more than happy to join the Young Diplomats Forum again! I am very grateful to the organizers for such an enormous and magnificent job”
— Sheyla Rzaeva, Student, Azerbaijan

Young Diplomats Forum Greece 2015

As an aspiring diplomat, participating in the Young Diplomats Forum itself was an honour. 

Needless to say, it was an enriching experience. I had the chance to gain insights to the life of diplomat where the needs, demands and challenges were shared with participants. Also, it was a well-represented group that embarked on this forum. There certainly was diversity thus presenting the delegates with an opportunity to learn about the culture of others. In addition, there was a chance to immerse oneself with the culture of the host country in this case - Greece (Athens). 

Last but not least, attending YDF is a medium for one to network, meet people and more importantly foster friendships between individuals from different parts of the world. This allowed us to gain a better outlook on the various perspectives of different persons both youths and professionals alike. It is truly a humbling experience to be in the company of bright, intelligent individuals from all over the world. 
— Nasriah Jamaludin - Singapore University at Buffalo, SUNY.

"I have chosen to apply in the programme – Young Diplomats Forum Greece 2015 because pursuing this field made me realise that my passion lies in the in-depth studies about global affairs and diplomacy.  

During the course of the programme in Greece, I have found Young Diplomats Forum to be the most fulfilling elements in which I envision myself to belong to someday. That being so, I believe that I will be in a better position to reach my goals if I were equipped with this kind of experience. 

I am pleased to say that the overall experience was a positive one; I was very pleased with the event and I could say that this is a well-organised event. The Forum was advantageous; extremely helpful; and definitely worth my time. I enjoyed the Forum and had a wonderful experience! This was a great venue; it broadened my outlook about the reality that is currently happening in Greece, thus made me realise and learned a lot of things.  

I made many valuable friends and look forward to building on the relationships that were started here.  

The staff did an outstanding job! They were great; always available and helpful; and really made efforts to ensure that my needs are being met especially when I needed to apply for a Schengen Visa going to Greece.  

I highly recommend the Young Diplomats Forum because it gives me great comfort to know that the quality education that was given to us is really of high standard and also the sense of community spirit helps promote a condition conducive to learning".  

-- Kimberly Ramos Gamez Republic of the Philippines 


"Thank you for all of your fantastic support, interest and commitment. The international dimensions of teaching and learning have always been at the heart of our activities since 1934 and we are proud and delighted to work with so many outstanding and inspirational educators as yourselves who are the most important people in the world…"

British Council - London 


10427348_746141902116470_2993860396437025484_n.jpg

Diplomacy has made a drastic change in the past decades, one without precedents. These changes have not only transformed the way we learn about diplomacy or approach it but also how we form ourselves as rising diplomats. The exigencies that have come along with the new diplomatic paradigm do not solely consist of new ways of negotiating, mediating or addressing issues of international importance, but rather on the ability and capacity of adaptation. More and more, countries have put their diplomatic bodies to the limits, in terms of adapting to new issues, unprecedented complications and creative solutions to adapt and solve problems.

This new diplomatic model has placed the task not only on governments but also on civil society itself to prepare in order to better adapt to the diplomatic challenges ahead. It is with this purpose, I think, that forums such as the Young Diplomats Forum are created. After having spent a week with people from every corner of the globe, discussing, debating and listening to interesting, and innovating ideas on an array of diplomatic issues I was able to view said issues, not with one but with many perspectives, and in doing so improving my abilities of adaptation.

The conference was not only made up by diplomats or aspiring diplomats, but a whole variety of academic trajectories, professional endeavors and personalities took part in this conference. For example, I am a Law student who is currently working in the Supreme Court of my country. For some, my profile might seem a bit disoriented from a forum of this nature, but this just goes to show that now a days international relations and our understanding of the world beyond our borders is necessary if we want to adapt. This mix of professions within the conference not only enriched our networking but also gave a great input into the conference interactions. A great example of this was the group participations, in which a small group of participants would explain subjects ranging from the transition in post-conflict Colombia to the importance of regional organizations. Another great aspect of the conference was the promotion of cultural diplomacy, not necessarily through conferences but with the conference itself. The great majority of the participants who were visiting Mexico for the first time arrived with different notions of what Mexico was. Beyond the overused stereotypes of insecurity and underdevelopment, foreigners were able to see a Mexico of modern infrastructure, a rising middle class and innumerable initiatives of innovation and investment".

Santiago Oñate - Mexico

Ministry of Justice - Mexico City



"Thank you for organizing this event in Mexico. This is the first time I experienced the diversity of Mexico culture, deepened understanding of diplomacy, and met brilliant people from around the globe. This is a fantastic opportunity for young people to get together to question, debate, and learn from each other.

Moreover, this forum spurred me to consider how government engagement with non-state actors relates to broader national initiatives and interest, including economic statecraft, global development, trade and investment promotion, good governance, strengthened civil society, and innovation and entrepreneurship.

Coming from China, I am amazed by the cultural richness of western civilization. This forum is a wonderful opportunity for me to bridge the gap between the western and eastern culture and have more understanding in the regional context".


Xiaoxue Du - China

New York University - USA


Young Diplomats Forum Ankara 2013

The forum brought together more than seventy nationalities - including conflicting nationalities like Israel-Lebanon, Palestine, Pakistan-India, Iran-Iraq and the rest of the Arab countries - under one roof to sit and sleep, and on one table to eat for one week. Indeed, such diversity generated hot discussions, and sometimes, uneven comments.
The friendship, which we built during the whole week, was one of the unforgettable parts of the life. The forum, undoubtedly, provided a professional as well as social networking for good. In a nutshell, I would love to be part of the forum in any form, a speaker or a participant, in future” 
— Malik Hammad Ahmad, Director, Institute of Peace and Diplomacy-Islamabad

"I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the organisers for the success of the Young Diplomats Forum (YDF). This weeklong event enhanced my interpersonal skills and my knowledge in topics tackled from a diplomatic perspective". The YDF allowed me to meet brilliant young diplomats and students in international relations and take back new friends and contacts for my future endeavours."  

Carina Pilo - Diplomat, Cameroon


"Perhaps the best international conference I have ever attended! It was an enlightening experience and through the YDF I have met some of the most brilliant young minds on earth and made what I know will be lifelong connections and friendships. The quality of the presenters and their experience was world class and has certainly taught me a lot. The YDF experience has shown me what it takes to be a diplomat and has broadened my horizons by allowing me to make a presentation based on the Caribbean region, providing exposure and experience on the international stage. I would recommend the Young Diplomats Forum for any student or young professional interested in international affairs and diplomacy."

Rommel St.Hill, Attorney-at-Law/International Trade Consultant, Barbados