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Farnesina: School for young female Arab diplomats

To facilitate access to the international foreign service for young women from Northern Africa and the Middle East, is the goal of the “Women in Diplomacy School”, an idea realised by the Italian Foreign Ministry and the SIOI on Minister Giulio Terzi’s initiative, that began this morning.

20 Young women from Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, Lebanon and Libya

The first edition of the course is tailored for 20 young women from Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, Lebanon and Libya, and is taking place in what is a “crucial week” for Italy with the political elections, the end of the Ratzinger papacy and the first visit by US Secretary of State John Kerry for a meeting on Syria, as Under-Secretary Marta Dassù pointed out, underscoring the “key” role of the Mediterranean in Italian foreign policy, beginning with the issue of human rights in Arab Spring countries.

Network to unite the two shores of the Mediterranean

The school aims to build “a network to unite the two shores of the Mediterranean in these dramatic times”, explained Secretary-General Michele Valensise, who said he expected the arrival of these young women today in Rome to be a contribution of “fresh air and ideas”. The contribution of women is also becoming increasingly important at the foreign ministry. Up until 40 years ago it was “the exception, now it is the rule”, Valensise said, recalling that 42% of the neo-diplomats participating in the latest competitive examination were women.

The lessons of the WID School, planned by the SIOI through March 1st, will take place in four sessions: Understanding Global Trends, Leadership In International Organizations, Women and Leadership, Communication: A Key Instrument For Success.. Two seminars have also been organised by the United States Diplomatic Mission in Rome and the Robert F. Kennedy Training Institute in Florence

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