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Foreign Service Programme spotlight: Patsy Moustache
The Foreign Service Programme provided Patsy with a framework for greatly broadening her diplomatic skills and experience - and challenging her perspectives.
'Prior to joining the Foreign Service Programme (FSP) I was working for the Seychelles Government at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the International Relations Division, where I was responsible for both the bilateral and multilateral dossiers. I mostly covered African countries and such multilateral organisations as the African Union and the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO).'
'I was also responsible for processing all requests for candidatures - important positions in international organisations decided upon by member governments - whereby I prepared recommendations for our Ministers and President on how to respond to these requests. I will resume my duties there once I am done with the FSP.'
'I first learned of the Foreign Service Programme from my Minister who had himself heard about it from the British High Commissioner in Seychelles. After researching it I was deeply intrigued by its rich curriculum targeting imperative issues in the field I work in. And it is considered one of the most prestigious diplomatic practice courses on offer. I felt to participate in it would be a privilege. Despite having a first degree that covered many themes in International Relations, I felt I didn't have the practical skill set for working in International Relations, and the FSP offered me a pathway for acquiring these skills.'
'It is interesting to note that I am the only the second participant in this Programme from Seychelles. The first person, Mr. Calixte D'offay, participated from 1977-1978 and is one of our best diplomats. He is currently the Secretary General of the Indian Ocean Commission. The programme has produced some of the best diplomats from many countries, and that also influenced my interest in it.'
'The course covers essential components of successful diplomatic practice: international politics, public international law, international trade and finance, and diplomatic practice. This last component is very engaging, with practical exercises, simulation exercises of real-life situations, seminars, lectures from visiting ambassadors and study tours, such as the upcoming 12 days to be spent visiting international institutions in Brussels, Strasbourg, Geneva and Paris.'
'The course in itself is a challenge - especially since the expectations of both students and administrators of the Programme (Director, Professors, etc.) are high! All the components of the course are engaging in their own specific manner and each participant views them from their own perspective and background. Both the Certificate and Diploma are further enhanced by the vast experience and contributions of everyone involved in it.'
'Has the Programme contained any surprises for me? Definitely!! The course very stimulating and well executed within a strong framework — more so than most of the participants had anticipated. I feel that my expectations of the course are being met and this course definitely is assisting me greatly to improve my skills as a young diplomat.'
'I am part way through my Certificate programme and have just been accepted on the Postgraduate Diploma. My long term goal is to successfully complete both the Certificate and Diploma, so that I can pursue the Masters in Diplomatic Studies. In terms of my career I feel that the FSP will greatly boost my ability to carry out my responsibilities, produce better and more effective work, and hopefully equip me with the necessary qualities that will be invaluable when and if I get posted to one of the Seychelles' Foreign Missions.'
'The FSP has changed my perspectives on numerous issues, especially since a lot of us enter the Programme with perhaps some one-sided views on certain key developments. The FSP provides the opportunity for us to challenge some of our own prejudices. In other words, we have the chance to think beyond our own perceptions and beliefs.'
'Everyone who is interested in joining this programme should definitely consider it! Not only is the Programme rich and rewarding but you also get the opportunity to meet some amazing people and learn so much. The Programme is in itself a challenge but if you are serious about it and want to have a better understanding of some key themes in diplomacy, this is the best option.'