Strategic Collaboration Stands To Benefit Both UUM And IDFR
UUM ONLINE: Kuala Lumpur, Aug 11 - Strategic collaboration between Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) through its School of International Studies (SoIS) and the Institute of Diplomacy & Foreign Relations (IDFR), a training institute under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has allowed both organizations to leverage their knowledge and experience on international diplomacy and affairs.
Director General of IDFR Datuk Mohamad Sadik Kethergany said the strategic collaboration was important as Malaysia is currently facing a challenging geopolitical situation.
"The direction of foreign policy should also be dynamic in line with the rapid geopolitical change and this can only be addressed effectively if the received policy input is not just acknowledged from conventional and formal channels.
"The contribution of academics and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) on Track 2 channel in diplomacy is important to formulate a comprehensive and complementary policy.
"As such, IDFR does not want to miss out on traversing through the winding route and we want to always be prepared to face any type of conditions or situations," he said at the Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Ceremony between UUM and IDFR at the Treaty Room, Institute of Diplomacy & Foreign Relations (IDFR), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, yesterday.
According to him the MoU was unique as it marked the establishment of a strategic collaboration between IDFR with the one and only Public Institution of Higher Learning (PIHL) which has its very own school of international studies.
"Through this collaboration, not only do UUM students and academics stand to gain exposure and practical experience from the practitioners of the field of diplomacy, but diplomats can also join in the field of study on current topics that will bring about impact on foreign policy.
"This two-pronged strategy will not only enrich the knowledge and experience of UUM's students and academics but also bring Malaysian diplomats closer to scientific research environment," he added.
Meanwhile, Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Dato' Seri Dr Mohamed Mustafa Ishak said UUM was very pleased that IDFR was keen on becoming its collaborator.
"The MoU will also produce various other endeavours including training, research and joint publications, lectures, training opportunities for students and we will also receive guidance and assistance from IDFR to improve teaching quality in various aspects of diplomacy and foreign relations," he said.
The Vice Chancellor further added that one of the activities that will continue to be implemented will be to train Malaysia's first diplomat cohort in October.
"In addition, the UUM joint venture with Asean countries will also be enhanced through IDFR, since UUM is located nearby the Thai border, it becomes a suitable place for reference on all problems and conflicts found in the southern part of the said nation ," he said.
The MoU which was sealed by Datuk Mohamad Sadik and the Vice-Chancellor was witnessed by Deputy Foreign Minister, Dato' Hj. Marzuki Yahya.
Also present were Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dato' Seri Ramlan Ibrahim; Assistant Vice-Chancellor of UUM COLGIS cum Dean of SOIS, Prof. Dr. Ahmad Bashawir Haji Abdul Ghani and officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and UUM.