GIC Talk 04/17
- 1142 회
"Multilateral Diplomacy and the New Challenges of the World"
After an almost four months long break
caused by COVID-19 related safety regulations, GIC Talk finally restarted last
Saturday, April 17th, and on this joyous occasion GIC had the honor
to have Mr. Yoon Yeocheol, Ambassador for International Relations at Gwangju
Metropolitan City as a guest speaker. The Ambassador’s Talk titled “Multilateral
Diplomacy and the New Challenges of the World” was held online, through Zoom
Mr. Shin Gyonggu, the Executive Director
of GIC started the meeting and greeted the participants and the Ambassador
himself. Following the greeting, Ambassador Yoon began his lecture with a brief
introduction of his 37-years-long career with the Korean foreign ministry. The
highlights of his career include being the Protocol Secretary to the President
of Korea from February 2016 to May 2017, acting as an Ambassador of the
Republic of Korea to the Arab Republic of Egypt from February 2018 until June
2020, as well as his current position as the Ambassador for International Relations
at Gwangju Metropolitan City. Even though he jokingly referred to himself as “Jack
of all trades, but master of none” as the famous saying goes, throughout the
Talk every participant could unmistakably see that Mr. Yoon’s experience is
extensive and invaluable, and that he is definitely “the master of the trade”.
Mr. Yoon then continued to explain the definition of diplomacy as “the execution of one state’s foreign policy to manage that state’s relations with other states”. He illustrated the role of a diplomat, followed by clarifying the term ‘bilateral diplomacy’, and then analyzing the ‘multilateral diplomacy’ itself through its two definitions, especially focusing on the multilateral diplomacy in the modern sense. The 45-minute lecture was a walk through history of the world, intertwined with the history of diplomacy, its evolution and changes. Mr. Yoon managed to explain the crucial historical points that molded diplomacy into the praxis it is today, while perfectly balancing the tone of the lecture between serious political talk and a presentation even those without a background in politics can easily follow, demonstrating all the qualities a diplomat should possess.
The last part of the Talk was reserved for
the Q&A, and the Ambassador’s communication with the audience. Mr. Shin
himself was the first one to pose a very simple, but crucial question “Why did
you choose to be a diplomat?”. Mr. Yoon replied that it was a childhood dream
and added that the sense of fulfillment and the experiences he has obtained he
finds most valuable. Other questions included “How do you define being a
successful diplomat?” and “Could you share a fun episode from your years of
service?”, as well as a more serious question asking for Ambassador Yoon’s
opinion on the UN’s role in the recent Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, and questions
about some practical advice on how to contribute to strengthening the relations
between one’s own country and Korea.
The Talk was concluded with Mr. Yoon’s promise that he would come back to discuss more related topics if he got the chance. His final message to the participants of the Talk was to always try to be the bridge connecting countries, people, and cultures in as many ways as possible, and continue to help in bringing mutual understanding as they already are through organizing and participating in events such as the GIC Talk.