Foreign Policy and Public Diplomacy' conference opens in Athens
September 9, 2005
It does not suffice that you are feared, you must also be loved, Greece's foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos said Thursday, speaking on the image a country must have in the modern-day international environment, while delivering the opening address of a two-day conference on Foreign Policy and Public Diplomacy that is being held under the aegis of foreign minister Petros Molyviatis.
Also addressing the opening session of the conference, Molyviatis described public diplomacy as the entirety of coordnated actions aimed at projecting thepersonality of the country and the building of firm relations of cooperation and communication among the states and peoples.
The foreign minister presented the European Union as an example of the successful excercise of public diplomacy among the member countries, based on solidarity, acceptance and respect.
The EU works, and produces results on the basis of consensus, and this is one of the reasons that many countries wish to become a member, Molyviatis said, noting that this meant that they must be prepared for this, namely, to function on the basis of consensus.
Taking the podium in turn, minister of state and government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos underscored that public diplomacy is clearly distinguished from propaganda, adding that the target was for the political word to be convincing, reliable and honest, noting that everything comes out into the open in our age, and that the damage will be much greater if something remains hidden and is learnt later.
Regarding Greece's international image, he said that the goal of the present government was to send a uniform, powerful message with each and every action, and outlined the successful actions that have sent out a strong message on Greece's international image during the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, Greece's participation as a member of the UN Security Council, and the country's presidency of the Security Council in the month of July.
The conference will also broach the theme Public Diplomacy: Determining its content, role and possibilities as a foreign policy tool.
Other speakers slated include diplomatic representatives from the United States, Spain, Britain, the Netherlands, Norway and Hungary.
The round table discussions will be coordinated by journalists Alexis Papachelas, Kyra Adam, and George Kapopoulos.
Athens News Agency