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Virtual Diplomacy

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Virtual Diplomacy

As virus goes viral, diplomacy goes virtual

The United Nations General Assembly is one of the main fixtures of the global diplomatic calendar. At no other time are so many global leaders gathered in one place at one time. But, for the first time in the world body’s history, this year’s annual session of UNGA was held without in-person meetings because of the novel coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19), which forced to convert its global stage for diplomacy into a ghost village of video conferences and pre-recorded speeches. Leaders from 193 UN member nations began a meeting that promised to be more cerebral than visceral. Gone are the face-to-face meetings and chance encounters in backrooms, corridors and hotels around the world body’s sprawling complex. This innovation in international relations has changed the way diplomacy is conducted and it is expected that the transformation will see it being practiced more and more through virtual meetings in the online world.

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