The graduation of 34th class of Diplomatic Attachés from the Institute of Diplomatic studies took place on Thursday 5 April 2007, and was attended by Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit, former Foreign Minister Dr. Mourad Ghaleb -whose name was honoured by being assigned to the class-, Political Advisor to President Dr. Osama El Baz, Assistant Foreign Minister Ambassador Ibrahim Ali Hassan, as well as Assistant Foreign Minister and Director of Diplomatic and Consular Corps, and Inspection Department, Ambassador Ahmed Fouad ELbedaiwy, and the Director of the Institute for Diplomatic Studies, Dr. Walid Adul Nasser.
The graduation ceremony included 25 Diplomatic attaches who make up the entire 34th class, where about 40% of are females and more than 50% are graduates of the Faculty of Economics and Political Science at Cairo University and of the American University in Cairo. The training and study period was extended for the new Diplomatic attaches to be one calendar year in order to maximize their benefit from the Diplomatic professional training Programme, which was prepared particularly for the new Diplomatic Attachés.
The training programmes included meetings with a number of former Foreign Ministers, Ministers of state for foreign affairs, interviews with several public figures, Assistant Foreign Ministers, Secretary Generals of the technical funds, ant the Secretary of the Foreign Ministry. A number of topics were presented such as protocol, consular affairs, as well as cultural, political, economic and legal issues, in addition to negotiation skills, diplomatic correspondence, financial and administrative Affairs, and the dialogue among civilizations.
A seminar was organized with the Egyptian National Council for Women, and a course in cooperation with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) with which a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed with the Institute for Diplomatic Studies. A course was also organized with the UN Center for capacity building in the field of Human Rights, in addition to specialized and intensive training sessions on Egypt and the Nile Water, political progress in Egypt, the relation between the Media and Diplomacy, Nuclear programmes regionally and internationally, and various other topics.
The annual external training programme for the new Diplomatic Attachés included visits to Beijing (China), Ottawa and Montreal (Canada), Washington and New York (United States), Geneva (Switzerland) where they were exposed to special training programmes covering all areas of Diplomatic work on the bilateral and Multilateral levels.
The activities of the Institute of Diplomatic studies were not were not confined to the abovementioned courses, as the institute organised a specialized course in economic relations in cooperation with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development( UNCTAD ) on the sidelines of which a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Institute and UNCTAD. A training course was also organised for three days at the Institute with the Centre for Alternative Conflict Resolution in Italy. The institute is also currently working on issuing a comprehensive manual on protocol affairs, which was prepared by the most distinguished Ambassadors who served as former Assistant Foreign Ministers for Protocol Affairs, as well as the first biannual magazine in Arabic and English with the possibility for publishing issues in other languages in the future. The magazine will also be an optimal tool for promoting the academic, research and scientific role of the institute.
The Institute was also keen to organise and host special seminars and closed discussion sessions concerning Egypt’s Foreign policy, and matters of direct impact on higher Egyptian interests, and the National Security of the Arab Republic of Egypt. Within this context, the Institute is pursuing cooperation and coordination with the relevant departments at the Ministry, such as the Department for policy planning, conflict management and the Arab affairs Department.
On the other hand, three refreshment courses were organized for mid- ranking Diplomats for the first time in the history of the Institute's activities. The Institute also organised and hosted training sessions for Foreign Diplomats in Cooperation with the Egyptian Fund for Technical cooperation with Africa affiliated to the Foreign Ministry, one of which was a training session for Sudanese Diplomats. The institute also organized several training sessions for English, French and Portuguese speaking African countries. Another training session for Afghan Diplomats was also organised at the Institute in Cooperation with the Egyptian Fund for Technical cooperation with Commonwealth and former Soviet Union and newly Independent states.
The institute also managed to organize "the first conference of Directors of African Diplomatic institutes", where the 18 participating delegations adopted the Cairo declaration, which stipulates that the Conference be held periodically each year. The institute also managed, with the participation of the General Secretariat of the league of Arab States to organise a seminar entitled "Diplomacy and activating joint Arab action" which bought together a delegation from Directors of Diplomatic institutes, and officials on Arab Affairs at the Arab Foreign Ministries, which issued a final communiqué at the end of the meeting.
The Foreign Minister stressed in his word during the graduation ceremony, on the importance of the dedication of the young diplomats to their work, having a high sense of belonging to their country, and what the national flag symbolizes, and to give without looking for return, and the sincerity and honesty in their performance of their duties to the utmost interest of their country.
The Minister also added that the diplomatic career contains many hardships, and that in many cases diplomats face difficult situations, even death itself, referring to the martyrs of Egyptian Diplomacy ever since the Foreign Ministry was established, particularly in the wake of July 23rd revolution .
The Minister also indicated the importance of adhering to the ethical values, cultural principles, and the rich cultural heritage of their country, setting Former Foreign Minister Mourad Ghaleb and Political Advisor to President Mubarak, Dr. Osama El Baz, who were both attending the ceremony as examples of a Diplomat's limitless and giving to his country, where material return is of no significance.