Subject: UN: First diplomatic training course inaugurated in East Timor

UN Newservice First diplomatic training course inaugurated in East Timor

31 July -- The United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) today inaugurated the territory's first Diplomatic Training Course.

The one-month intensive course, which started today at the UNTAET Civil Service Academy, is sponsored by Australia, New Zealand, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States. The training includes lectures from 20 speakers on the subjects of Foreign and Defence Policy of Small States, the European Union, Bilateral Relations with Indonesia, Lobbying, and Human Rights.

At the opening ceremony in Dili, UNTAET chief Sergio Vieira de Mello said that the course was the "inspiration, vision and dream of José Ramos-Horta," the Vice-President of the Council of National Timorese Resistance (CNRT), an umbrella group of political parties.

"Diplomacy is not new to the people of East Timor," Mr. Vieira de Mello said. "For 25 years they have used diplomacy to win their independence [which kept] alive the flame that forced the international community out of its indifference. That is diplomacy."

Mr. Ramos-Horta said the challenge for diplomats was finding "the right balance between principles, values and the respect for the human rights, and our national interests."

After finishing the programme, the 50 candidates will be placed in internships at the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of various countries, as well as the headquarters of international organizations. Upon returning to East Timor, they will be recruited to serve in the future Ministry of Foreign Affairs in domestic posts and in the country's embassies abroad.

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