Leveraging the Tools of 21st Century Statecraft

Posted by Victoria Esser
January 5, 2012
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When I joined the State Department three short months ago, I was so pleased to be joining an institution that has been at the forefront of digital diplomacy; reinforcing our diplomatic leadership by using digital networks and technologies in service of U.S. foreign policy goals. Secretary Clinton has called this "21st Century Statecraft" -- complementing traditional foreign policy tools with the networks and technologies of our interconnected world.

Underscoring our commitment to these efforts, January is the Department's 21st Century Statecraft month and we'll be taking advantage of the truly participatory nature of social media to bring people virtually into the State Department briefing room to ask their foreign policy questions. State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland will take questions from the public selected from the Department's 10 official Twitter feeds [@StateDept (English), @USAbilAraby (Arabic), @USAdarFarsi (Farsi), @USAenEspanol (Spanish), @USAenFrancais (French), @USAemPortugues (Portuguese), @USApoRusski (Russian), @USA_Zhongwen (Chinese), @USAUrdu (Urdu), @USAHindiMein (Hindi)] and answer them at the podium following the Daily Press Briefing each Friday throughout the month of January. You can ask your question using the hashtag, #AskState.

We are also taking the opportunity this month to highlight a lot of what happens here in Washington and around the world every day. In the past year, for example, our embassies have used technology to help connect women entrepreneurs in West Africa and respond to the devastating earthquake that struck Japan. American ambassadors are using social media to engage young people in Zimbabwe and strengthen our relationship with the people of Thailand.

There is still so much to do. As Secretary Clinton has said, part of 21st Century Statecraft is embracing new tools, such as using cell phones for mobile banking or to monitor elections; the other part is reaching out to the people behind those tools, such as innovators and entrepreneurs, and the people who use them, like you.

So, as we begin this year, we are renewing our commitment to engagement and to informing the American people and those around the world about our foreign policies. Stay tuned to DipNote, @StateDept, and our Facebook page as we highlight opportunities for you to interact with officials from the State Department and U.S. missions abroad throughout the month of January. We look forward to receiving your questions and feedback, and we thank you for helping us commemorate 21st Century Statecraft month.



Tamsanqa M.
South Africa
January 6, 2012

Tamsanqa M. in South Africa writes:

Given USA's unassailable international diplomacy why is sustainable world peace elusive in this age of information highway?

January 7, 2012

John in Canada writes:

Please teach the Canadian government how to use twitter and such - apparently the Canadian government is afraid of using technology for lack of guidance and or guidelines (laugh)

I am completely unaware of the Canadian government offering anything remotely interactive using technology.

The best i get is email and perhaps in 5 months i will get some kind of response - all beit a form response at times. (laugh)

I think the Chinese government is also stepping into this century.

Good for you Secretary Clinton for trying something - only time will tell if it works. Its smart to use what you have even smarter when you use what you have in more creative ways.

@Tamsanqa M. - most of the world is not yet online and many that are - are not yet using technology to full effect. World peace will happen when people around the world start thinking differently than they have for thousands of years. In this, every nation has much to learn.

Hows the weather in South Africa? I'm freezing in my igloo in Canada.

United States
January 7, 2012

Amanda T. in the U.S.A. writes:

The topic is very interesting. It is not something I hear a lot about.

Ashim C.
January 8, 2012

Ashim C. in India writes:

Very good initiative. Please consider including Bengali language also. It is probably second or third most spoken language in South Asia and help the US diplomacy reach out to practically whole of eastern India, including Andamans, Manipur, Tripura, Assam & Odisha and Bangladesh. Given the decalared policy of more intensive US engagement in South Asia and pacific region, this region deserves more attention cooperation in science, technology, industry, trade & commerce, agriculture and agro processing, which in turn shall push India to look east more earnestly. Needless to say Japan too can contribute in the entire process.


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