October 2012, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - In partnership with the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), UNITAR’s Multilateral Diplomacy Programme organized a training session for diplomats accredited to the African Union as well as for staff from the African Union Commission. This training session gave almost 35 participants the opportunity to familiarize themselves with issues related to commercial diplomacy. The workshop also enabled fruitful exchanges between participants and trainers on topics related to trade and regional integration, two of the core missions of the African Union.
The methodology took the necessity of a diplomatic approach to trade issues into consideration and underlined the multilateral aspect of world and commercial governance. Interactive exercises and negotiation simulations allowed the participants to apply the theoretical concepts in practice and confronted them with the difficulties related to multilateral negotiations in the area of trade. In addition, participants’ awareness of major international challenges related to economic trade was raised preparing them for the upcoming international conferences.
At the end of the workshop participants stressed the need of capacity building in the area of commercial diplomacy and encouraged a larger dissemination of this knowledge among State Representatives from the African continent.