the world's Leading event for young and aspiring diplomats
7TH-11TH SEPTEMBER 2015
The Young Diplomats Forum (YDF) is set up to recognise, enhance and develop the next generation of diplomats. This community of exceptionally bright and accomplished future leaders will gain further insight, tools and opportunities to engage with key stakeholders at a crucial time in their careers and broaden their connections to influence global leaders.
Our Forum will present an opportunity for interaction and the development of skills for future senior diplomats and future leaders. The Young Diplomats Forum is set up to recognise, enhance and develop the next generation of diplomats and leaders. This community of exceptionally bright and accomplished leaders will gain further insight, tools and opportunities to engage with key stakeholders at a crucial time in their careers and broaden their connection to influential stakeholders.
The YDF will played host to an exceptional elite of young diplomats from across the world in a weeklong event that developed their skills and knowledge in areas around international affairs.
The forum included exciting field trips, interactive workshops, simulations, case studies, presentations and speeches from leaders from the diplomatic world.
Key events of the forum
- Session on Diplomacy in the 21st Century with Ambassadors
- Visit and presentations at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and sessions of UK Foreign Policy and UK Diplomatic Service
- Session at the British Council on Public and Cultural Diplomacy
- Workshop with Simon Anholt on Good Country
- Visit and sessions on Maritime Diplomacy at the International Maritime organisation
- Session on Digital Diplomacy by Hootsuite
- Session on Parliamentarian Diplomacy at the House of Commons with the Chair of Select Committee of Foreign Affairs
- Session of Reforms of the EU and Challenges to EU Security
- Policy Development group presentation
- Session at the BBC world Services on their in the UK Public Diplomacy
- Award of Certificates of participation at the House of Lords with Lord Redesdale
- Receptions and networking
- Simon Anhold, Founder of Good Country
- Matthew Pennycook, Member of the Parliament for Greenwich, the House of Commons
- Crispin Blunt MP, Chair of Foreign Affairs Select Committee- The House of Commons
- Mike Gapes MP, Member of Foreign Affairs Select Committee - The House of Commons
- Lord Davies, Member of the House of Lords Committee on EU Affairs
- H.E Daniel Mulhall, Ambassador of the Republic of Ireland in London
- H.E Mazen Homoud, Ambassador of Jordan in London
- H.E Andris Teikmanis, Ambassador of Latvia in London
- Lord Hannay, Former UK Ambassador to the United Nations, Member of the House of Lords
- Dariusz Łaska, Minister Counsellor, Deputy Head of Mission of Poland in London
- Professor Bennis, Vice President, Global Diplomatic Forum
- Lord Redesdale, Member of House of Lords
- H.E Pasquale Q.Terracciano,Ambassador of Italy to London
- H.E Mal Berisha, Ambassador of Albania to London
- Danny Whitehead, Country Director of Iran, British Council
- Deborah Bronnert, Chief Operating Officer and Current Acting Permanent Under Secretary, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
- Solomon Mugera, BBC World Service Africa Editor
- Dr. Ivan Grdesis, Ambassador of Croatia to London
- Councillor John Fahy, Deputy Leader of the Council in the Royal Borough of Greenwich
- Nadhim Zahawi MP, Member of the Foreign Affairs Select Commitee
- Merinda Peppard, Marketing Director, EMEA, Hootsuite
- Paul Sackmann, Community Coordinator, EMEA, Hootsuite
Climb Up the O2 and Fly with Emirates
Delegates for the Young Diplomats Forum 2015 in London experienced climbing up the 02 and flying on London's exclusive cable car.
Past YDF Events
"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
"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
"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
“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
" The Forum brought togther more than 70 nationalities - including conflicting nationalities like Israel, Lebanon, Palestine, Pakistan-India, Iran-Iraq and the rest of the Arab countries - all under 1 roof to sit, sleep and eat for 1 week. Indeed such diversity generated hot discussions".
Malik Hammad Ahmad - Pakistan
Director of Peace and Diplomacy - Islamabad, Pakistan
" The YDF was perhaps the best international conference I have ever attended! It was an enlightening experience and through the GDF I've 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 experiences were world class and has certainly taught me alot. I would recommend the YDF for any student or young professional interested in international affairs and diplomacy".
Rommell St. Hill - Barbados
Attorney at Law / International Trade Consultant - Barbados
"The Young Diplomats Forum was an amazing experience. As an israeli, it was
inspiring to meet young leaders from countries like Pakistan, 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- Israel
Founder of Ambassador online - Israel
"I was gratified and humbled to participate and to speak at the inaugural
Young Diplomats Forum. I gain invaluable knowledge, skills, insights and
transformative perspectives about diplomacy/. The peaceful, respectful and
responsible nature of discussions and interactions at the forum is a great
example and an assertion of our identity as young people as border-less
generation that is keen to build a better world for all. I am proud to be one
of the pioneer Young Diplomats".
Raphael Obonyo - Kenya
External Adviser and Member of the UN Habitat’s Youth Advisory Board
"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