Ismat Jahan, Cultural Diplomacy as a Means to Foster Global Peace and Peaceful Coexistence between Communities.
H. E. Ambassador ISMAT JAHAN
Ambassador Ismat Jahan, a career diplomat from Bangladesh is presently serving as the Permanent Observer of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to the European Union, Brussels. Prior to this position, she was her country’s Ambassador to Belgium and the European Union. She served as Permanent Representative to the UN, New York (2007-2009), concurrently accredited as Ambassador to Peru and Chile; as Ambassador to the Netherlands (2005–2007) with concurrent accreditation to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Poland and earlier on she was Deputy Head of Mission in Geneva and New Delhi. Specialized in multilateral diplomacy with focus on human rights, she has particular interest in issues concerning women’s rights. She served in the UN Committee on Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW, 2011-2018). Ambassador Jahan holds a Master’s Degree in Economics from the University of Dhaka, and a Master’s Degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, Boston.
Cultural Diplomacy as a Means to Foster Global Peace and Peaceful Coexistence between Communities.
The role of cultural diplomacy as a major component of a state’s broader public diplomacy has been significant ever since the emergence of modern nation states. Over the years, it has been acknowledged as an instrument of “soft power”. Such an understanding of cultural diplomacy – sustained not only by individual countries but also by international organisations such as the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) – can be an important tool to remove misconceptions and foster trust and understanding by bridging gaps between cultures. This may include educational exchanges, dissemination and promotion of cultural products abroad, exhibitions and exchange in the fields of literature, art, architecture, music, theatre, cuisine, and so forth.
This lecture will discuss several examples of relevant activities, with a focus on the portrayal of women in literature as a significant component of cultural diplomacy that seeks to generate admiration and perhaps emulation.