Yr 12 Politics Trip: US Embassy Diplomacy Day

On Monday, 18 March, seven year 12 politics students participated in Diplomacy Day at the US Embassy. The event was invite only and the St Anne’s students were joined by students from St Pauls, a school in Streatham and university students from Kings College London and UCL.  The US Embassy hosted two sessions, one in the morning with a total of 160 participants and another in the afternoon, with 200 students.  

The morning event included an address by US Ambassador, Jane D Hartley.  She spoke to the audience about her work as a diplomat in Monaco and France.  During her remarks, she described how the US Embassy works with host governments, specifically the work the US Embassy in Paris did to help the French after the terror attacks in 2015.

Following her remarks, the panel of diplomats who deal with logistics, economic policy, defence policy, agriculture and culture described their work at the embassy and their background.  They emphasised that the key work of the diplomat was working with the government, policy makers and key industries of the country they are working in.  The also described the work of multi-national organisations like COP28, ACAS, NATO, IGP- and G7.  

After a question and answer session, the audience attended break-out sessions. There were nine groups with session having around 18 participants each, plus a diplomat to discuss Artificial Intelligence and Disinformation, Geopolitics and Citizenship and Media & the Stories We Tell Ourselves. The list of breakout sessions was extensive, but due to time constraints, only two diplomacy experts could talk to each group in the time allotted.  

St Anne’s students discussed AI and learned how the US and UK governments are approaching it as both a positive and negative thing. The Geopolitics discussion dealt with the Russia- Ukraine war and how the US was working with partners to enforce sanctions on Russia. The media discussion dwelled on how to determine what is trustworthy news source and how to navigate media to find the facts.  

The students enjoyed their morning at the Embassy learning about the work of diplomats and how governments work together for common goals.