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Practising Diplomacy: Legacy, Transition, and Adaptation

Practising Diplomacy (or more commonly known as Prakdip) is one of the subjects that aims to provide opportunities for students and students of the International Relations Program of Parahyangan Catholic University (Prodi HI Unpar) to practise the concepts that have been learned in class.

Prakdip is a simulation of international formal conferences such as the United Nations forum, G20 member meeting, re-enactment of the Non-Aligned Movement Conference, and others.

Currently, Prakdip is one of the compulsory subjects in the curriculum of Prodi HI Unpar. This course invites students to practise diplomacy that is usually taken care of by state or non-state representatives.

History

In 1985, which also happens to bethe 30th anniversary of the Asian-African Conference, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia (now the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs) requested universities on the island of Java with Prodi HI to organize events to commemorate the conference. From many universities, Unpar appeared to use the simulation concept of the Non-Aligned Movement. With the help of a number of students HI and Law study programs, the AAC simulation was held.

“Because Unpar was the premier university that organized such events, the State Department was interested in visiting us,” said a Lecturer of HI at Unpar named Drs PY Nur Indro, MS.i.

Mas Nur, as Nur is familiarly called, said that he and Unpar’s HI team has tried again to hold a simulation session of the UN Security Council when he was the Chairman of Prodi HI Unpar. In the past, he said, there has been no application of protocol rules in accordance with the implementation of the international session as it is now. Participants wear clothes that are very symbolic of their country. “There are those from Iran wearing  robes,” recalls Mas Nur about the first Prakdip trial held in 1985.

Transition and adaptation

Just as the field of HI studies, Prakdip as a course continues to evolve to adjust with the changing times. “Slowly adjust the curriculum and the needs of HI graduates in their workplaces,” said Unpar’s HI Lecturer Jessica Martha. The curriculum of HI Unpar applies the concept of the Science Field Group (KBI) which focuses students to study certain areas of HI such as Politics and International Security (KBI 1), International Political Economy (KBI 2), International Organization and Regime (KBI 3), and Diplomacy, Media and International Communication (KBI 4).

KBI is aimed at adjusting the scholarships of the students and equipping them with both technical and soft skill capabilities specific to their study interests which are expected to help them adapt to the world of work.

Prakdip also adapts to the way of developing the flow and participants of the trial. “If in the past it was only about the countries now we extend the study, “explained Jessica. She explained that Prakdip’s method is now not only focusing on state actors. Non-state actors such as international organizations, multinationals, and the media play an important role.

Prakdip 2018: “Trade Protectionism G20 Summit”

Prakdip 2018 themed “G20 Summit on Trade Protectionism”. This year, Prakdip takes place in the form of five sessions consisting of several engagement groups, namely Think Tank Summit, Business Summit, Labor SummitSherpa Summit, and Leader Summit.

The first hearing until the fourth trial was conducted in Veritas Room, Building 3 Unpar which lasted for approximately two months. As for the last session of Leader Summit, it was held, on Saturday (28/5) at Grand Mercure Hotel Setiabudhi, Bandung. There are 23 countries involved in this 2018 Prakdip event series.

Each delegation consists of eight people divided into two as think tank representatives, two as business representatives, two persons as labor representatives, one person as sherpa, and one person as head of government.

This year’s trial took place in Pretoria so the South African delegation became chairperson. In addition to the hearing, the delegates can also conduct a multilateral chamber with several other delegations to discuss and work together and hold a press conference.

During these five hearings, there was a live report via Twitter of Prakdip 2018 on every statement by delegates and decision-making results during the trial. The session organized by the engagement groups aims to produce each joint communiqueSherpas will then adopt some points from each joint communique and incorporate them into an action plan. The Leaders summit, which is held at the peak of the event, then produces a leaders’ declaration which contains commitments from each participating country.

This year, several other universities conduct comparative studies to learn about Prakdip in Unpar. It proves that HI Unpar has succeeded in innovating a unique and influential in the scope of HI education in Indonesia.

 

Source: Kompas Griya Ilmu (Tuesday, 26 June 2018)