Liberian Diplomat Gets Diploma After Intensive Refresher Training in Diplomacy

Rev. Spencer Tunde (left) receives the diploma

Harare /Abuja: The Counselor for Political Affairs at the Liberian Mission in Abuja, Nigeria, Mr. Tunde J. Spencer, was among several senior-level diplomats from Africa, who completed a week-long intensive capacity development training in the city of Harare, Zimbabwe, on July 13, 2018.

According to a dispatch from Abuja, the training, which brought together current and active diplomats from around the continent, was organized by the Zimbabwe Diplomatic Institute in Harare. It was entitled “Diplomacy and Protocol Workshop for the 21st Century.”

The training covered several topics in the field of diplomacy including International Diplomacy, State and Social Protocol, Conference Diplomacy, International Business and Social Etiquette, Professional Grooming and Deportment, Diplomatic Practice, Diplomacy and Statecraft, Professional and Personal Branding, etc.

The overall objective of the training was to give active diplomats up to date and sufficient knowledge in 21st century diplomacy.

Diplomats, who are on the frontline representing countries and organizations.

According to the dispatch,  the training required well trained individuals to be able to get the best result in the interest of their principles and nations.

During a brief interview with Mr. Spencer, “The world is changing at a very fast pace and we need to be up to date to be able to properly function in our capacities as frontline agents of our countries.

“A good and well informed diplomat can make a big difference in promoting and improving the social and economic condition of your country. There are so many opportunities out there, that could take our nation to another level, but it will take an individual who understands how the world operates,” he said.

The Liberia Abuja Mission Political Affairs Counselor further stated that one must fit in to be able to relate to what is going on within one’s environment and this can only happen if one is well informed.

He added: “The only way to do it is by involving in constant capacity building.”

According to him also, no matter how long one has been in this line of work, the need for one to update oneself regularly can’t be overemphasized.

Some of the highlights of the workshop, included a deep understanding of the Vienna Convention, VIP Protocol Treatment, Diplomatic Conferencing, Communication Skills, Relations with Counterparts, Diplomatic Ethics, Negotiating for Win-Win Outcomes, Making Positive Impression, Self-Image, Secret vs Open, Diplomatic bags, etc.

This is the third of such trainings in the last eight months that Mr. Spencer has participated in. In November 2017, Counselor Spencer completed a two-week program at the Geneva Center for Security Policy (GCSP) in Geneva, Switzerland, receiving a certificate in “Enhancing Leadership for Peacebuiding.” He received another certificate in March of this year at the International Institute for Peace and Development Studies based in Bangkok, Thailand in Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation. When we asked Mr. Spencer who is sponsoring these trainings when our government is facing financial constraints, he was reluctant to say that these trainings are all self-sponsored. He said I have the right to keep improving myself if I want to be the best in my field. “As a diplomat and as a professional person, you have the responsibility to keep advancing yourself. No one or government is responsible for your personal growth; exposure will change the trajectory of your personal life and your professional life.”