0001200 - The United States Public Diplomacy Platform in...

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Spring 2008 The Ambassadors REVIEW 44 The United States’ Public Diplomacy Platform in Davos Peter R. Coneway United States Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein he World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, is unlike any other event of its kind. Over a five-day span at the end of January each year, 2,000 world leaders, Fortune 500 chief executive officers, international media moguls and nongovernmental organization (NGO) leaders gather in the small alpine village of Davos to participate on panels, in industry meetings and in “off the record” sessions. The WEF meetings in Davos have been a ripe target for public diplomacy efforts over the past 38 years, and the WEF’s founder, Dr. Klaus Schwab, has preserved the original intent of the forum in maintaining its focus as a place for informal dialogue and debate on major social and economic problems. Compared to other annual meetings such as the G-8 Summits or APEC Leaders Meetings, Davos fosters an atmosphere where debate and intellectual exchange can occur at any time and in any place in the accessible rustic village. It provides participating world leaders with the lifeblood that they need, which former US President Ronald Reagan so famously described as, “Information—the oxygen of the modern age.” Davos is about information, both delivered and received, and the US government uses the WEF annual meeting as an ever more powerful platform to deliver key diplomatic messages and to engage our allies and partners, as well as our critics. Davos 2008 was an important milestone for the United States. During the final year of the Bush presidency, the administration dispatched five cabinet secretaries, three deputy secretaries and numerous under secretaries to Davos. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, US Trade Representative Susan Schwab and Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Robert Kimmitt, participated in five days of panels and discussions that covered topics ranging from Middle East Peace, climate change and educational reform to immigration, financial market stability and trade liberalization. In the presence of world leaders, including Tony Blair, Shimon Peres, Pervez Musharraf, Hamid Karzai, David Miliband and Yasuo Fukuda, the US delegation not only presented a clear path forward on major social and economic issues, but it also stood up for and defended the United States and its policies whenever a misperception was voiced or an unfair
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This note was uploaded on 01/25/2012 for the course POLS 494 taught by Professor Garymoncrief during the Fall '11 term at Boise State.

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0001200 - The United States Public Diplomacy Platform in...

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