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[Diplomatic circuit] Australian envoy shares expertise with aspiring diplomats

The 2020 Korea Herald Young Diplomats Academy, a three-day youth camp, has inspired students who wish to become diplomats by providing an opportunity to benefit from the advice of a senior career diplomat.

Ian Mcconville, minister and deputy head of mission at the Australian Embassy in Seoul, shared his experience with some 100 young people, the organizer said Tuesday.

“Diplomacy is very important. Currently there are conflicts between many countries. Persuading other countries through military force or weaponry is limited to a few cases. Resolving issues through diplomacy -- debate and negotiations -- is more efficient,” Mcconville said at the camp Jan. 17.

“Communication skills is essential feature for diplomats. Although it can sound like a cliche, listening is the most important in effective communication. … Interest in culture is also important for diplomats,” he added.

Ian Mcconville, minister and deputy head of mission at the Australian Embassy in Seoul, shares his experience with some 100 young people at the 2020 Korea Herald Young Diplomats Academy at the Yonsei International Campus in Songdo, Incheon, Jan. 17. (The Korea Herald Young Diplomats Academy)
Ian Mcconville, minister and deputy head of mission at the Australian Embassy in Seoul, shares his experience with some 100 young people at the 2020 Korea Herald Young Diplomats Academy at the Yonsei International Campus in Songdo, Incheon, Jan. 17. (The Korea Herald Young Diplomats Academy)

The annual event took place Jan. 17-19 at the Yonsei International Campus in Songdo, Incheon, and was attended by students from elementary, middle and high schools across the country.

Mcconville encouraged campgoers to learn another language besides English and to travel overseas to gain exposure to diverse cultures.

Prior to his current post, he served as assistant secretary at Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as director of the nuclear policy section of the Arms Control Branch within the same department and as deputy permanent representative of Australia’s mission to the UN, to name a few.

Mcconville described South Korea as a “friendly partner” that extended a helping hand to Australia during one of its worst bushfires recently.

In terms of bilateral trade, Mcconville said the relationship between the two countries is very good, as the two continually trade significant volumes of natural resources such as coal and steel alongside manufactured goods. 

By Kim Bo-gyung (lisakim425@heraldcorp.com)
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