Margot Mesnard, Project Assistant for the Diplomatic Academy of the Caribbean at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad, says that it is important for students from the Diplomatic Academy to be present at the 33rd Model OAS (MOAS) General Assembly for Universities of the Hemisphere in St. Kitts.
Ms. Mesnard says that the Organization of American States (OAS) and their academy share similar goals in the areas of communication, negotiation and conflict management and treaty drafting. The Diplomatic Academy has as its motto “Learning and Advocacy for Peace, Development and Diplomacy.” The four pillars of the OAS are democracy, human rights, security and development.
“It’s important for the Diplomatic Academy of the Caribbean to be present here because we offer very hands-on, practical training and we believe in simulation and real life exercises so this opportunity for students is great as they can apply theory and they can see how to negotiate with persons with different theories,” Ms. Mesnard said.
Ms. Mesnard believes that in a globalized world, diplomacy is of vital importance. She especially underscored the need for trade diplomacy in the Caribbean region.
“Trade is the backbone of a country’s economy and the Caribbean is still trying to find some kind of integration within itself with the CARICOM and also with Latin America and right now there is a lot of negotiation with the European Union in terms of the European Partnership Agreement,” she said.
“All these free trade movements to which the world is going through need some kind of new thinking in terms of negotiation…you need to learn the strategies of how to negotiate and make your point clear…our students are learning how to,” Ms. Mesnard said.
Ms. Menard believes that the Caribbean needs a new era in Caribbean diplomacy and hemispheric institutions such as the OAS are working to create this.