E-Diplomacy and Cybersecurity Course for Diplomats From the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

9 October 2017, Geneva, Switzerland – On Friday October 6th, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) concluded its five-day course on “E-Diplomacy and Cybersecurity” for diplomats from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This course was the sixth in a series of eight workshops, as part of a training programme to strengthen Saudi Arabian diplomat’s capacities in current and pertinent areas of multilateral diplomacy and international affairs.

The first half of the course was dedicated to enhancing the participants knowledge of internet based and social networking tools for e-Diplomacy. As such, it provided participants with an understanding of the ways in which tools such as online negotiations and international institutional structures surrounding information technologies can facilitate multilateral exchanges, as well as enhanced understanding on effective use of social networking platforms. The workshops pertaining to E-Diplomacy were delivered by Mr. Shaun Riordan, former member of the British Diplomatic Service with postings in New York, Beijing and Madrid, and current Senior Visiting Fellow at Clingendael, the Netherlands Institute of International Relations, heading the Business Diplomacy Project.

The latter half of the course consisted of training on cybersecurity which provided participants with knowledge on common cyber threats such as hacking, phishing and social engineering, and on the importance of national, regional and international institutional structures to fight cybercrime. This workshop notably provided the participants with training on how to find relevant and accurate information on the internet. The segment on cybersecurity was delivered by Mr. Fabian Leimgruber and Mr. Julien Cheseaux, cybersecurity analysts at Kudelski Security, an innovative provider of tailored cybersecurity solutions for large enterprise and public-sector clients.

Ultimately, the workshop provided its participants with the knowledge and skills to effectively make use of the internet, recognize opportunities for e-diplomacy through social networking platforms, and avoid some of the negative externalities generated by their use of internet technologies. Given the success of the training, as well as the previous workshops of the 2017 series, UNITAR looks forward to continued collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with the last two workshops to be conducted in London and New York, respectively. 

Photo: © UNITAR