Diplomacy is one of the activities that lead to World peace and security. Diplomats have an important role to play as negotiators and mediators in various negotiations which leads to the creation of different agreements and treaties that address the different issues around the world from climate change to Terrorism, Sustainability, and others.
This has called for the need for the inclusion of youth in the diplomatic circle and how their role can lead to a more progressive discussion. The following article will be a study on understanding the reasons for the need for youth in Diplomacy by first defining diplomacy which can provide the context for understanding the requirement of why youth can play an important role in creating a sustainable solution and why nations need to include more youth in their diplomatic teams along with professional diplomats. The article will end by looking at ways in which youth can be engaged more in diplomacy and how diplomatic education is the need of the hour.
Diplomacy is a very complex term and defining diplomacy has been a strenuous work that involved a lot of research and also unearthing. This part looks into detail some of the definition of diplomacy by scholars.
Diplomacy according to the Former Ambassador Edward Marks is "the art and practice of conducting negotiations between nations”. (Marks) This definition subscribes to the fact that diplomacy involves negotiation and also the peaceful resolution of conflicts between nations. But Diplomacy is not only limited to nations. It can be between International Organizations and also different non-state actors such as Terrorist Organizations, International Non-Governmental Organizations, and also between companies and other Organizations.(Marks)
According to another important Scholar George Kenan, the function of diplomacy is
“This is the classic function of diplomacy: to effect the communications between one’s own government and other governments or individuals abroad, and to do this with maximum accuracy, imagination, tact, and good sense”. (Marks)
This definition also gives a clear idea of what constitutes the function of a diplomat by saying that a diplomat is in charge of communication between different governments and also between nations and also the diplomat needs to do communication with maximum efficiency and also needs to tactful to include the representing countries agenda in the solutions made. (Marks)
In conclusion, Diplomacy is the art of communication and also negotiation which can happen between nations and also International Organizations and also other actors and diplomats are the actors who do diplomacy with communication, negotiation, and also persuasion.
Youth play an important part in many aspects of society. They are considered as future citizens and they provide ways in which a country can run more progressively. Youth has played an important role in many changes around the world including the current protests in the Black Lives Matter movement and also the Environmental protests which see huge participation of youth.
There are various reasons why there is needs to be an increased inclusion of youth in Diplomacy and diplomatic practices. The first reason is the increasing number of youths in the world population. Youth constitutes around 16-17% of the World's population (Maharoof). Including this percentage of the population can help in giving a different perspective to the understanding of the issue as many of the youth have been victims of the issue on which the discussion has been happening as according to various statistics there has been an increased number of youths as victims of conflicts. (Maharoof)
The second reason for the need for youth in diplomacy is the increased connectivity of youth towards the outside world due to globalization and also increased influx of technology which connects youth from different parts of the world on several core issues such as climate change, use of clean energy and others which are one of the major issues that affect the world. This discussion can be increased if youth are brought to the forefront of discussion through diplomacy. (Maharoof)
The third reason for an increased engagement for youth in diplomacy is critical thinking and also the rational approach which are taken by youth more as compared to adults. Youth increasingly thinks rationally on various issues and produces solutions that can be out of the box due to the increased knowledge and the curiosity to understand the issue. This can be seen less in adults as many are interested in solving the issue and do not bring creative and rational solutions that can conclude the conflict. Youth in this respect can also increase the chances of the solution being feasible and also acceptable as many of the diplomatic activity involves compromise. (Association for International Educators)
Lastly, the youth have the patience for a cross-cultural dialogue which can be important in finding the solution to issues and also in reaching a compromise which can be progression. It can be seen from the involvement of youth-led organizations and how some of these organizations have a cross-cultural nature and involves people from around the globe. The best example is Peace X which involves individuals from different parts of the world trying to find solutions to major issues that affect the entire world. This can be increased If a youth is involved in diplomacy and also in decision making which can lead to various solutions that can be sustainable and also feasible as youths look beyond the boundaries of nations and try to find consolidated solutions.
In conclusion, the inclusion of youth in diplomacy is a good prospect and is the need of the hour to find a solution to various issues that are affecting the world such as the conflicts, COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and others.
There are various ways in which more youth can be involved in the diplomatic circle of countries and also International Organizations. One of the major ways is the introduce international education into the curriculum of different boards of the countries which can help in increasing the knowledge of the youth to global issues and also can create an impetus for more youth participation in diplomatic activities and engagements.
There can be also various simulations which can be introduced from college and school such as Model United Nations, Parliament Debates, and others which simulate the environment of negotiation between the diplomats that can increase the knowledge of youth towards how diplomats’ functions and how the diplomatic activities are conducted.
There is also a need for decreasing the age of being a diplomat and also increasing the number of diplomats and ambassadors a country can have which can increase the chances of more youth applying for these posts and this can create more youth engagement in diplomatic circles and also diplomacy.
To conclude, there is a need for increased engagement of youth in diplomacy which can bring fruitful solutions to various issues that countries face, and the following editorial has provided some ways in which countries and organizations can strive to increase youth engagement.
· Association for International Educators. “International Education for Peacebuilding: Youth Diplomats for Peace.” NAFSA, 2015, www.nafsa.org/about/about-international-education/international-education-peacebuilding-youth-diplomats-peace. Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.
· Maharoof, Shihan. “Why Is It Important to Get Youth Involved in Foreign Affairs and How?” The Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute, 2 Apr. 2019, lki.lk/blog/why-is-it-important-to-get-youth-involved-in-foreign-affairs-and-why/. Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.
· Marks, Edward. “Defining Diplomacy | Arthur D. Simons Center.” Arthur D Stimson Center for International Cooperation, 26 Aug. 2015, thesimonscenter.org/defining-diplomacy/#:~:text=Meanwhile%2C%20diplomacy%20is%20defined%20as. Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.