Establishment of the Institute
The Institute was established pursuant to the Eminent Royal Decree N. 50/m dated 8/9/1403 (18/6/1983) approving the establishment of a Saudi institute for diplomatic Studies. It was officially inaugurated by HRH Prince Saud Al-Faisal, ex-Minister of Foreign Affairs, in 9/5/1400 (25/3/1980). It started its first sessions in the same year with its newly constructed administrative office, library, and language laboratories. The Institute started with full-time training courses in the field of diplomatic studies ending in a diploma.
Along with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs(MOFA), the Institute's headquarters was moved to Riyadh, the political capital of the Kingdom. Following this move, the institute's training programs expanded with the enrollment of different government employees, and diplomats from other Gulf States, Arab and Islamic countries.
Prince Saud Al-Faisal Institute of Diplomatic Studies is the new name for the institute according a resolution (No. 102) issued by the Council of Ministers on 1/4/1437(11/1/2016).
of the Institute
Prince Saud Al-Faisal Institute of Diplomatic Studies strives to be a distinguished training and research institution that contributes to the development of MOFA and relevant government agencies employees working in the diplomatic field. It also strives to be a distinguished Think Tank that is able to analyze issues, suggest and evaluate strategic alternatives that best serve the foreign policy of Saudi Arabia.
Value StatementThe Institute has set for itself the following values:
1. Seeking personal and professional development of all staff working for the institute.
2. Providing a creative working environment congenial to innovation by employing the latest technological and methods that promote better performance.
3. Building partnerships with public and private institutions and regional and international organizations with a view to exchanging expertise to achieve goals.
4. Tracking latest updates in the areas related to the institute's activities to develop its services.
Basic Objectives of the Institute
The Institute has set for itself the task of achieving the following objectives:
1. To provide all the employees and affiliates of MOFA and other government bodies with all the necessary skills in the diplomatic field in order to upgrade their qualifications and enhance their productivity.
2. To conduct the necessary studies and researches relating to the regional, Islamic and international issues to enable authorities to take appropriate and well-informed decisions.
3. To organize conferences, symposiums, workshops and meetings on issues related to international diplomacy and politics.
As the Institute grew and developed, with many highly qualified scholars returning with the highest academic degrees from highly accredited academic institutions from inside and outside the country, it became necessary to develop other academic activities such as research and publishing. The specialized researches are often requested by different government authorities to keep up with changes taking place in our world today.
There are, now, four active units working within the Institute that are totally dedicated to the area of research, workshops and round table discussions in a think-tank type of organization. These centers cover major political and economic regions that are of more vital importance to the Kingdom. Researches so far done by these centers have been widely received and appreciated by many public and private sectors' agencies, thus making research an area of top priority of the Institute. These centers are: The Center for Strategic Studies, The Center for American Studies, The Center for European Studies and The Center for Asian Studies.
The Center for Strategic Studies
The Center for Strategic Studies has been created to stimulate intellectual activities that would enhance the process of decision-making in Saudi foreign policy.
The Center's main areas of research are issues of strategic and vital interest to The Kingdom. They include local, regional as well as international political, economic and cultural issues. More often the studies are conducted at the requests of major government agencies to help them in taking informed decisions on the issues for which the studies are commissioned. The center has been lately concerned with issues related to the security of the region and the world in the wake of recent developments. The Center at certain occasions hosts experts and specialists and seeks their views on researched issues.
The Center for American Studies
The Center for American Studies is concerned with monitoring, studying and analyzing developments between Saudi Arabia and United States of America. It provides in-depth analyses of issues related to American perspectives on events: economic, political or military vis-a-vis the strategic importance of the region and how these perspectives ore reflected in American foreign policies.
The Center also receives experts on the American foreign policies from the US and elsewhere, and engages them into discussions in different symposiums and workshops. It also provides strategic reports, and synoptic executive memos of strategic studies published in the US about the Kingdom.
The Center for European Studies
Following the emergence of the European Union, it became apparent that the myriad or legislations that govern the Union were obscure to many officials who deal with the newly constituted, and fast expanding block. For this reason, the Institute envisaged creating a special center completely specialized in European studies. The Institute's early recognition of the strategic importance and increasing influence of the European Union has made that decision not only timely but also significant. The Center is the hub for insights about increasing cooperation with the union, and provides a healthy platform for dialogue with similar institutions in the union. The Center remains active in producing studies and offering advice on how best to bolster cooperation between the Kingdome and the European Union.
The Center for Asian Studies
The rising influence of major Asian countries' economies such as those of China, India, Japan, Korea and the so-called new Asian economic tigers, and the recent break away of many Muslim countries from the old Soviet Union, have promoted the need for the Institute to create a new unit of studies specialized in that region. The Center looks into bilateral and multi-lateral relations with these nations and presents studies and professional opinions to all sides about how to best advance partnerships between the Kingdom and these nations in today's fast moving world.
Roundtable discussions, with the participation of a panel of local and international experts, are major activities that reinforce the spirit of continuing dialogue with others. In a roundtable meeting, guest experts get together with their Saudi counterparts to deliberate on major issues or events that are important to both sides. Naturally, most of the roundtable discussions revolve around international issues, or matters related to bilateral or multilateral relations. These roundtable discussions have been found to be very useful in understanding and expressing opinions of both sides.
with the participation of a panel of Saudi and international experts, have
always been constant features of the institute's activities. Experts get
together and discuss a significant issue or event prior to preparing an
insightful report about it. Some of these workshops are held deliberately to
help official agencies to take an informed decision on certain issues. Others
were held to shed light on regional or international issues. Therefore, one can
instantly notice the wide-ranging issues covered by these workshops.
The Development Program Department is responsible for the continuous and specialized training for MOFA and other government agencies related to international and diplomatic corps employees by providing them with the skills required in a way compatible with the latest developments at the regional and international arenas and supportive of the Saudi diplomats’ efficiency. The department offers two programs:
- Training program for diplomatic positions
- General short-term training programs
A) Training Programs for Diplomatic Positions
It is a group of short-term training programs designed for MOFA diplomats with a view to developing their capabilities according to a track compatible with their different positions in the diplomatic corps. These programs include courses in diplomacy, bilateral and multi-international relations, political systems, consular and international law, international economics, and political media in the following tracks:
- The general diplomatic track for administrative positions;
- The dual track for positions such as attaché, second and third secretary;
- The consular track for positions such as attaché, second and third secretary;
- The cumulative track for the first secretary position.
B) The general short-term training programs
These programs mainly focus on the fields related to diplomatic skills, international relations, international law. These programs, such as the security and diplomatic skills for employees seconded abroad and interpersonal skills program for diplomats in the Kingdom, are designed for the employees of the government agencies related to the diplomatic corps inside and outside the Kingdom.
C) Higher and Special Programs
Within the context of training Saudi diplomats, the IDS holds seminars and workshops on the international political, strategic and economic issues. These functions focus on brainstorming and presenting working papers on the current issues. The institute also holds roundtable discussions for preparing overseas delegation heads as part of Awoun Special Program.
These higher and special programs include:
- Program for senior diplomats
- Awoun Program for overseas delegation heads
- Special programs
1) Program for Senior Diplomats
To train senior diplomats, the institute holds one-day seminars and workshops designed for senior diplomatic positions such as advisors, plenipotentiaries, and ambassadors. These functions are normally presented by international experts, politicians, and former ambassadors.
2) Awoun Program for Overseas Delegations’ Heads
It is a two-day seminar held in two parts; the first part is held at MOFA where the ambassador/ the head of delegation, appointed in one of the Saudi embassies abroad, meets senior officials at the Ministry. The second part is held at the IDS where he/she meets officials from some agencies whose activities are related to embassies and diplomatic missions abroad.
3) Special Programs
It is a group of short-term training programs specially designed in collaboration with the Institute for some MOFA departments or some government agencies requirements.
Nomination for attending these programs is automatically made by MOFA or other government agencies after due coordination with the Institute. To optimize these development training programs, there are some regulations governing admission and registration, attendance and exams.
Since IDS establishment, the department of qualifying programs has been keen on organizing long term training programs specialized in diplomacy and international affairs. These programs were meant to address the diplomatic tasks of MOFA staff. In this context, the department organizes the following programs:
1- Diplomatic Studies Diploma Program;
2- Candidate Attaches Qualifying Program (New Attaché Program)
Diplomatic Studies Diploma Program
The program aims to promote effective skills of diplomatic corps staff in relevant areas of interest such as politics, economics, information, and law. It is also interested in developing practical skills such as editing and preparing diplomatic reports, applying analytic skills to exploring foreign policy, and managing negotiations, crises, and international conflicts, as well as enhancing the trainees’ skills in spoken and written English. The main emphasis here is to provide an academic and training environment that stimulates the trainees’ capabilities in efficient professional and human diplomatic communication.
Trainees have the opportunity to participate in the practical programs organized inside or outside MOFA, attend conferences, forums, workshops and seminars organized by the Institute, and conduct field visits to governmental and non-governmental institutions. They can attend some training courses outside the Kingdom as well. Upon completion of the program requirements, trainees are awarded the Diplomatic Studies Diploma certificate.
Candidate Attaches Qualifying Program (New Attaché Program)
The program aims to provide MOFA's candidate attaches of different specialties related to the Ministry (political sciences, international relations, law, economics, public relations, and live languages) with the knowledge and basic skills in relevant areas. This is connected in a practical process with the diplomatic tasks within the context of efficient human and diplomatic communication with a view to developing the candidates’ basic skills in preparing diplomatic reports and correspondences.
The combination of systematic study of diplomatic courses with English or French study abroad in a single year represents a unique feature of the program where Cambridge Diploma for Computer Science is a prerequisite.
Trainees have the opportunity to attend public lectures and seminars organized by the Institute, and conduct field visits to governmental and non-governmental institutions inside and outside Riyadh. The program is executed in a balanced methodology that monitors and assesses candidate attaches’ performance in theory and practice.
Department of Languages
Language assessment is one of the
main tasks undertaken by the department where language proficiency
tests are designed and administered for trainees applying for language programs
and other training programs executed at IDS.
1. The Advanced English in International Affairs program, which stands for the last semester of the diplomatic studies diploma, and executed in USA.
The living foreign language program in its mother land, which stands for the
third stage of the new attaches qualifying program, and executed in Britain and
As for the overseas foreign diplomatic languages programs, they are under an administrative and academic supervision of the department. There are two training programs held in the countries where the language concerned is the mother tongue:
The department of languages has programs in three major United Nations languages: English, French, and Spanish. These programs aim to improve the trainees’ language skills and develop their self-learning processes. They also aim to provide trainees with the diplomatic terminology required for MOFA staff.