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Diplomatic upskilling

Torika Tokalau
Friday, December 13, 2013

FIJI's ambassador to Japan Isikeli Mataitoga believes it takes self-discipline and self-belief to make a good diplomat.

Mr Mataitoga shared this to the participants at the end of the week-long 6th Diplomatic Induction Course in Nasese yesterday.

"There is no question about their intellectual capability, their qualifications is commendable but it takes more than that," Mr Mataitoga said.

"It's about believing in your own abilities and determination that you can do better than the last person that was there."

He said self-discipline was a worthy characteristic of any good diplomat, in disciplining ones self when it comes to alcohol.

"Alcohol is part and parcel of the job but it doesn't mean that you ban it entirely. Rather controlling its consumption rather than letting it compromise your duties.

"Diplomats have to respectfully carry out what Fiji expects of them."

Foreign Affairs permanent secretary Amena Yauvoli, in closing the course, challenged the participants to think outside of the traditional diplomatic box and venture beyond to new modes of diplomacy.

"This will require new thinking and making some very tough choices through respect for the responsibilities of nations and the rights of individuals.

"Through dogged diplomacy that resolves the root causes of differences and through development assistance that brings hope to the marginalised."