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Maldives Unveils Worlds First Virtual Embassy

 

22 May 2007 (Tuesday): Maldives on 22 May 07 became the first country

in the world to open up a Virtual Embassy in the online virtual world

(Second Life.)

 

The Maldives Virtual Embassy is located in the Diplomatic Quarter of

Diplomacy Island in Second Life, which is designed as an online-space to

allow new avenues for diplomatic representation and negotiation.  The

Diplomacy Island is the brainchild of a non-profit organization called Diplo

Foundation which helps in supporting developing countries to participate in

international affairs.

 

The official inauguration ceremony took place in Geneva. Speaking at the

opening ceremony, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Mr. Abdulla Shahid  

highlighted how information technology can be harnessed by small countries

to help them participate in international relations.  Mr. Shahid stated “The

Maldives, a famous tourist destination is a small country that makes valuable

contribution in international affairs and has experienced rapid changes of

development economically, politically and socially over the years. The Virtual

Embassy provides information about the Maldives, interacts with our partners

in the international community.” 

 

Diplo Foundation’s Director and concept leader of Diplomacy Island,

Dr. Jovan Kurbalija stated that “Communication is the core of diplomacy and

diplomacy should adjust to the changes in communication.”

 

The Maldives Virtual Embassy will soon be followed by embassies

representing Macedonia and the Philippines. Sweden has also announced

plans to open a Virtual Embassy.

 

Second life has 6.2 million users and has already become an established home

for real-world companies (such as Toyota, Nike and General Motors), media

outlets (such as Reuters, BBC Radio One) and universities (Princeton and

Harward).

 

News Room


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