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Digital diplomacy on Medium

June 2017 roundup of recent posts on foreign policy and diplomacy.

Andreas Sandre
Jun 2, 2017 · 7 min read

Lots has happened on Medium lately.

While newly-elected French president Emmanuel Macron has not updated his Medium profile since he was sworn in, his new cabinet has a strong presence on the platform, including minister of the interior Gérard Collomb, minister for territorial cohesion Richard Ferrand, culture minister Bruno Le Maire, and secretary of state in charge of digital affairs Mounir Mahjoubi.

And among world leaders and politicians to have established a presence on Medium also the foreign minister of Albania Ditmir Bushati (Albanian MFA 🇦🇱 debuted back in December last year) and David Beasley, the executive director of the World Food Programme (WFP).

Also this past month, the Council of Europe debuted on the site with a few posts on hate speech, domestic violence, and child porn.

Last month, we mentioned the joining of Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau through his official channels CanadianPM and PMcanadien, although he has not been active yet.

Also this past few months, I published a new series of posts on social media for diplomats.

Got ideas for future posts? Or you want to write about digital diplomacy or technology and innovation in foreign policy? Ping me here or on Twitter,write a response to this post, or submit your post by email.


The President’s denial of global warming is getting a cold reception from America’s cities.

Climate Mayors, an initiative promoted by US mayors to combat climate change, prepare for global warming, and promote the Mayors’ National Climate Action Agenda, posts on Medium their response to President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement.

As 82 Mayors representing 39 million Americans, we will adopt, honor, and uphold the commitments to the goals enshrined in the Paris Agreement. We will continue to lead.

Jake Schmidt, director of NRDC’s International Program, stresses how American “companies, states, cities, and citizens want the U.S. to continue efforts both at home and abroad to address climate change,” while the World Resources Institute says that Trump’s decision puts “the United States at odds with its most steadfast allies and trade partners” creating “diplomatic isolation” for the US. And Josh Lappen explains on Stanford Politics’ Medium page that, while humiliating, the withdrawal “isn’t the catastrophic climate disaster it may feel like.”


As we commemorate this year the 60th Anniversary of the Treaty of Rome and the 70th Anniversary of George Marshall’s speech that would launch the Marshall Plan, we are reminded again that the transatlantic relationship has been the bedrock of the security and prosperity enjoyed by several generations of Europeans and Americans over many decades.

Tim Rivera of the European Delegation to the United States (here as EUintheUS) stresses how “the European Union itself — its institutions, policies, and the whole process of European integration — isn’t as well-known or understood as we would like it to be.”


Daniel Twining of the German Marshall Fund (GMF) argues that the liberal international order cannot survive the absence of American power.

Those who have grown tired of America’s imperfect leadership of the world it created — including voters in the United States who tell pollsters their country should mind its own business — should be careful what they wish for.

On the same topic also GMF program officer Irene García who argues: “The role of cities has been largely neglected.”

Flooding in Chennai, India and Earthquake in Kumamoto, Japan.


Preethi Chethan, product designer on the Social Good team at Facebook, posts on her experience in building crisis response tools — like Safety Check — for communities around the world, often time to be used “in difficult crisis environments when people are under extreme duress.”

Communities are resilient. There was an overwhelming sense of goodwill and kindness in people after the crisis and they really came together to support each other in times of need.


Chris Reardon, head of content production at the UN Refugee Agency, asks whether human stories can cut through the corrosive rhetoric — and help build a global community of welcomers.

It’s tempting, in this age of misinformation, to try to set the record straight on every misstatement, distortion and lie. When the subject is refugees, there are plenty of untruths floating around.


Dante Licona and Sari Setiogi on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) social media team, took to Medium via the United Nations profile to explain how WHO is having a direct impact on people’s health using digital platforms and engaging with audiences worldwide.

Social media is the fastest tool WHO has for widely communicating important information to a global audience in real time. Through social media, WHO finds out in real time what people are saying about our work, how communities perceive our impact, how news organizations report on our work.


US Senator Kamala Harris posts her commencement address pronounces at Howard University in Washington DC:

We need you. Our country needs you. The world needs you.

Sue Desmond-Hellmann of the Gates Foundation also posted her commencement speech at Sinclair Community College, while Emma Haak of Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global posted on the five biggest lessons from Sheryl Sandberg’s commencement at Virginia Tech.

Ezra (right) shares a WFP high-energy biscuit with his baby brother, Nicholas, at the Impevi Refugee Settlement in Northern Uganda. Their family was forced to leave South Sudan, where famine has been declared in parts of the country. (Photo CREDITS: WFP/Claire Nevill)


It is astonishing that in the 21st century that we speak of no fewer than four countries where famine is either a horrific reality, or where it looms over the lives of a staggering 20 million people. Of a world where conflict and displacement — compounded by drought — has created a crisis of monumental proportions, where in many places, fighting is blocking the hungry from receiving help.

David Beasley, executive director of the World Food Programme (WFP), who debuted on Medium at the end on April, reflects on Global Day of Prayer to End Famine and his thoughts on the work of WFP around the world.

And yet this is our broken world; this our collective failure — and so this is our great challenge.


The Embassy of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in India Blog writes about a series of initiatives rolled out by the Saudi government to establish an enabling environment for women to expand their participation in public life.

A country much proud of its culture, tradition and faith, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia values the profound role of women in society.


Digital Diplomacy

Technology, digital, and innovation in government and foreign policy

Andreas Sandre

Written by

Comms + policy. Author of #digitaldiplomacy (2015), Twitter for Diplomats (2013). My views here.

Digital Diplomacy

Technology, digital, and innovation in government and foreign policy

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