Gérard Araud, France's newly minted ambassador to the United States, arrived in Washington this month with a reputation for speaking his mind, a potentially perilous distinction for a career diplomat. A recent convert to Twitter, Araud has skirmished with human rights activists over French policy in Western Sahara, defended France's controversial burqa ban, denounced Russian aggression, and poked fun atWashington's Iraq war hawks.

These are some points of foreign policy reform that Indonesia under Jokowi’s leadership can implement. First, reforms in human resources development are paramount to shape quality foreign policy and diplomacy. Our pressing need is the formulation of a Foreign Service Law, which will serve as a procedural mechanism for diplomatic positions. Ambassadorship, for instance, is the only state-appointed position where its designation has not yet been regulated under a law, despite the constitutional mandate.

Talk about America’s decline is usually wrong. But how else would you describe a country that, in a world of exploding tensions, is unable to confirm dozens of ambassadors to foreign posts because of partisan squabbling? Even by Washington standards, the Senate Republicans have hit a new low for hypocrisy. They denounce President Obama’s inaction on foreign policy — and simultaneously refuse to confirm his nominees for U.S.

A native Charlottean and former broadcaster, Snepp has started a nonprofit called Silk Road Leadership to help many resettle in the United States. “From my perspective, a nation has a responsibility to take care of those who risked their lives for our country,” says Snepp, 53. “Giving them a visa is not enough. We’re trying to provide a softer landing … to help them become more productive citizens here in the U.S.” 

Before leaving on its recess, the Senate confirmed John F. Tefft as the United States’ ambassador to Russia, filling a post that had been vacant since February, when a frayed relationship between the two countries began to deteriorate further over the separatist uprising in Ukraine. 

The UN is as much stage as platform for diplomatic exchange, and the Kremlin is no longer so keen on keeping the curtain up. From news to manifestations in popular culture, diplomacy is evolving, modern communication defining both obsolescence and new demands/opportunities. The conversation is increasingly moving beyond states to the global citizen and access to news and perspectives is part of the diplomatic arsenal.

Watching World Cup matches while drinking tax-free imported beer is an important part of diplomacy at the United Nations. The roars and groans of the thousands of diplomats who represent the UN’s 193 member states and support their national teams are loud enough to be heard across the world body’s New York headquarters. Right now, at least, international competition is taking center stage over cooperation on unrest in Iraq, the Syrian civil war and conflicts in Africa.

Digital behavior, trends, and opportunities can raise awareness of particular issues in a country. This extends well beyond, for example, simply posting a few tweets as a form of diplomacy. According to Ambassador Rudolf Bekink of the Embassy of the Netherlands, “the digital arena opens new possibilities, from one-on-one conversations to dialogues with communities.” Traditional diplomacy is still relevant, he says, “but digital diplomacy adds enormously to the capabilities of every diplomat.”