IMG 3370An Inaugural Assembly of the Global Public Diplomacy Network (GPDNET) has opened in Seoul, Korea, with the Deputy Minister of Multilateral and Global Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea, Mr. Dong-Ik Shin, saying the initiative of the Korean Foundation, initiators and hosts of the event, amplifies the Korean Government’s commitment to engender mutual international cooperation in multicultural relationships.

While welcoming participants at the Lotte Hotel, venue of the event, the Minister stressed the need for gender balance in the selection of speakers, adding that there was need to allow visitors to speak at the opening ceremony.

Earlier, the Executive Vice President of Korea Foundation, Dr. Keum-jin Yoon, informed that GPDNET was first proposed in November 2013 at the Foundation’s Global Seminar held in Seoul, when a group of public diplomacy institutions discussed the need to form it as an appropriate medium of international cooperation; and that the idea was formalized at a Working Group meeting in June 2014.

According to him, the Network aims at promoting the creativity of each Member’s public diplomacy by sharing theoretical and practical knowledge based on Members’ respective experiences; networking among members and discussing strategies to devise bilateral and multilateral joint projects in connection with members’ existing programmes; and contributing to international society by discussing global issues of common interest and developing joint projects or other adequate forms of collaboration.

The highlight of the opening ceremony was the signing of an MoU by the nine member institutions, namely, Adam Mickiewicz Institute – Poland; Balassi Institute – Hungary; Camoes Institute – Portugal; Korea Foundation – Korea; National Commission for Culture and Arts – Philippines; National Institute for Cultural Orientation – Nigeria; Singapore International Foundation – Singapore; Swedish  Institute – Sweden; and Yunus Emre Institute – Turkey.

Institutions likely to be Members of the Network that are attending the programme as observers include, British Council – UK; Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange – Taiwan; Czech Centres – Czech; Goethe Institute – Germany; Institut Francais – France; Instituto Cervantes – Spain; and Japan Foundation – Japan.

The Executive Secretary of National Institute for Cultural Orientation, NICO, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, is attending the programme accompanied by the Director of the Lagos Liaison Office of the Institute, Mr. Louis Eriomala.

(c) Nico news