Chatting with Cobi Laval (left), an advisor for Diplo and an old friend from my WSIS days.
The Diplo Foundation announces that they have launched a new Diplomacy Island in Second Life (teleport SLURL) to "explore new possibilities for diplomatic representation and interaction." I have known Diplo for years for their impressive work at the World Summit on the Information Society and particularly Internet Governance issues. Based in Malta, but with a virtual network that spans the globe, Diplo has been a pioneer in using online tools to conduct research, trainings and outreach about international diplomacy. So it makes sense that they are moving in virtual worlds.
Tomorrow at 9:30AM PST, there will be an official inauguration of the new sim with a real world event in Geneva at the World Meteorological Organization as well as in-world on their island. The programme is quite impressive, including Srgjan Kerim, President Designate of the UN General Assembly; Sergei Ordzhonikidze, Director General of the UN Office at Geneva; Ambassador Walter Fust, Director of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation; and H.E. Mr. Abdulla Shahid, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of
Maldives. Sounds like a very interesting event.
After the fold is the full announcement…
UPDATE 3/22, 2PM EST: There was some technical glitch with the video feed from the Geneva event. So the inauguration was definitely NOT virtual. Bummer.
DIPLOMACY GOES VIRTUAL
INAUGURATION OF DIPLOMACY ISLAND
& VIRTUAL EMBASSY IN SECOND LIFE
Government of Maldives
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP)
18:30, Geneva – 22 May 2007
16:30 (GMT), New York (GMT-4) 12:30, London (GMT+1) 17:30,
New Delhi (GMT+5:30) 22:00, Beijing (GMT+8) 00:30 next day
Place: World Meteorological Organisation
7 bis, avenue de la Paix, Geneva
Space: Diplomacy Island in Second Life (SL latitude/longitude: 150,191,26)
Ambassador Fred Tanner, Director of the Geneva Center for Security Policy: Welcome Address
Dr. Srgjan Kerim, President Designate of the United Nations General Assembly: Address from the United Nations – New York
Mr. Sergei Ordzhonikidze, Director General of the United Nations Office at Geneva
Ambassador Walter Fust, Director of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation – Importance of Virtual Diplomacy for Small and Developing Countries
H.E. Mr. Abdulla Shahid, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Republic of
Maldives – Official Opening of the Virtual Embassy of Maldives
Dr. Jovan Kurbalija, Director of DiploFoundation – Presentation of the Diplomacy Island
WHAT IS DIPLOMACY ISLAND?
is the next step in over a decade of research and development in the
field of Virtual Diplomacy. Through Second Life, Diplo will explore new
possibilities for diplomatic representation and negotiation. Diplomacy Island
will be another channel for Diplo’s main mission to assist small and
developing countries to participate meaningfully in international
relations. Diplomacy Island includes the following “neighbourhoods”:
The Diplomatic Quarter
will host Virtual Embassies. Along with the Virtual Embassy of
Maldives, which will be inaugurated on 22 May, several other embassies
are under construction including embassies of Malta, Philippines and
The Virtual Diplomatic Academy
will host sessions and panels related to modern diplomacy and themes
such as environmental diplomacy, energy diplomacy and cyber-diplomacy.
The Virtual Diplomatic Museum
will be more than a typical museum. Its main function will be to
highlight the relevance of diplomacy to modern society, as opposed to
the use of force. The Museum will present historical examples of the
success of diplomacy. Visitors will have a chance to communicate
“across time” with famous diplomats from the past including Talleyrand
The Internet Governance Village
will host panels, round table discussions and conferences on two sets
of issues. First, of direct interest for Second Life citizens, the IG
village will host discussions on privacy, security, digital identity
and taxation in cyber-space. Second, the IG Village will promote
discussions on Internet issues and developing countries, mainly on how
to bridge the digital divide.