foreign service

The three controversies have exposed Uganda’s weak foreign policy and poorly articulated roles of cultural and military diplomacy in the conduct of our international relations. These diplomatic gaffes besides dirty cases of drugs trafficking and business deals have ruined our Foreign Service as the preserve for Uganda’s crème de la crème and relegated it to yahoos. I will focus on our cultural diplomacy on which Ugandans have knocked down Kagimu and have given big hugs to Kadaga as the ugly and the good cheeks of Uganda on the international stage.

Two weeks ago the House of Commons foreign affairs select committee warned that cuts of almost £40 million to the Foreign Office would lead to a "diminution of the UK's influence and soft power", leaving it with a budget smaller than that of Kent County Council.

The USC Center on Public Diplomacy was pleased to host Atim Eneida George, U.S. Public Diplomat in Residence for a conversation about the role of an experienced Foreign Service Officer.

Atim is a veteran practitioner in the field of public diplomacy as a Foreign Service Officer (FSO) with posts in Nigeria, Ethopia, South Africa, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic.

EU embassies all over the world, reflecting the soft power of the EU, which, despite the ongoing euro crisis, is still very much building up the EU brand as a global superpower. The idea of a separate foreign policy for any of the 27 member states has now been made almost completely irrelevant in the context of a common, tightly coordinated EU position.

Last year, the State Department said it needed 1,250 more positions to handle work in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Middle East, besides expanding public diplomacy and increasing foreign language training. But in this year's budget belatedly approved in April, lawmakers only provided enough money to fill jobs left vacant by attrition.

Public diplomacy was believed to be a job solely for the state department but it takes more than Foreign Service Officers to do the job well. It is important for every citizen, resident, official, supporter, etc. of a nation to do their best to fairly represent the nation they associate with to a foreign audience.

At a time when the Government is forced to make cuts in our foreign service, and elsewhere, we may in fact have to fork out more to pay for the new unspecified EU foreign service, a by-product of the controversial Lisbon Treaty.