Wednesday, May 17, 2017
12 May 2017
Author: Jeffrey Robertson, ANU
Five years ago, South Korea undertook one of the most sweeping reforms in the history of its modern foreign ministry by establishing the Korea National Diplomatic Academy (KNDA). The KNDA has already made huge progress in shaking up South Korea’s foreign policy machinery. But does more need to be done?
Former South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-Se speaks during a Security Council meeting on the situation in North Korea at the United Nations (UN) in New York City, NY, US, 28 April 2017. (Photo: Reuters/Lucas Jackson).
The KNDA has established a reputation for research by opening centres for diplomatic history, international law and consular affairs. It has also established a reputation for training by recruiting officer candidates as well as providing ongoing training for mid- and senior-level diplomats, public officials and foreign diplomats.
Foreign ministries across the globe are currently under pressure to transform. Policies related to alliances, trade and people movement are being questioned, as are practices bound by status, hierarchy, secrecy and sovereignty. Foreign ministries need to be more responsive to change.