The key role of diplomats is to handle, on behalf of their governments, war and peace relationships between nations.
This definition inspired by the eminent political scientist Raymond Aron remains relevant, even though the terms of diplomacy have evolved over the centuries. I would further take the liberty to add that international relations have always tried to contribute to peace between peoples through the establishment of economic and political ties where they did not exist. For this reason, anthropological and sociological dimensions are essential in international relations.
Knowing each other is therefore essential in the development of diplomatic relations.
In the light of this, our Institute aims to be a meeting platform between the European Union and our international partners to develop together a large number of projects where the human person is at the forefront of our considerations.
International relations have considerably changed since the definition of Raymond Aron. The East-West confrontation has given way to a globalized world… a world where Africa and China play a vital role.
In this globalized world and in this century today referred to as that of communication, it is now obvious that very few in numbers communicate by means other than electronic means.
The Vasco da Gama Institute is above all a centre for research, discussion and action, a centre driven by the wings of curiosity, a centre dedicated to getting to know one another.
I should like to extend a warm welcome to all those who are insatiably curious about fellow humans and knowledge in general.
I wish a successful academic year 2018-2019 to all our students!
Jean-Marc De Greef