A conversation with Belgium Ambassador Frank Carruet
Nowadays, International relations are so difficult to hang. Every country is different and it has multiple needs from a social and economic point of view. In order to maintain peaceful and smart relations with the world, the respect for the country that is located far away from us or our neighbours is vital. Ambassadors, politicians and in general, diplomats, have to maintain these relations and friendships to enrich from a cultural point of view their own Nations.
In occasion of the activity “shaping careers”, GG students had the possibility to face themselves with a true-life story of an Ambassador.
Frank Carruet is the Belgium Ambassador and a representative of FAO and institutions of UN. He received a formation as a psychologist. He can speak perfectly English, French, Deutsch and he is learning Italian. In Brussels, he worked as an assistant in the faculty of medicine and then he undertook the career as a diplomat.
It is remarkable to take into account the dynamism of this GG
conversation because of the interest showed by students. The ambassador was able to underline the key moments of his life and career, how and why he started this life to
the service of his country and his projects all over the world. He understood the difficulty of international relations thanks to the exams taken to become a diplomat: during the selections, there were thousands of candidates and only eleven available sits. His career started after two years of foreign affairs. Actually, he embodies economic diplomacy, public diplomacy and consulate affairs. He is working on a multilateral diplomacy and the best experience ever is seeing how other diplomats discuss about global issues.
He has a huge cultural baggage and he travelled a lot: from Canada, Toronto to Cameroon in Africa, from New Zealand to Paris, Brussels and Algeria. The case of Algeria was quite interesting because of the presence of terroristic attacks and there was always a car to assure his protection; there he met also World intelligence services. After Algeria, he was in Morocco and now we have the pleasure to host him here in Rome, Italy and in the past, he was also in Bari, Puglia.
In the second part of his conversation he traced the profile of “The good diplomat”: the diplomat world does not need professors, it needs practical people that are able to adapt themselves to different situations. Everyday an ambassador has to face multiple languages, different nationalities and ways of living.
The family has to be by your side because a happy diplomat comes from a happy family, suited to change life and move to countries.
A perfect ambassador has to show respect for local population, an example has been in Cameroon where “la chaleur humaine”was a priority for the communities, a true friendship was established.
The economic diplomacy is important for international relations because of the possibility to establish new networks between local companies and , in the case of the Ambassador Carruet, Belgium’s ones. He made the first contacts with Genova, Milan and Bari, in particular concerning biotechnology sector and small high tech companies (GPS systems).
In Rome, he is making reports on Italian political situation, it can be compared as an energetic process: always moving and changing. He underlined the issue of lack of information, the problem of communication is responsible for the majority of global diplomatic misunderstanding and it is going to create an ignorant society which is not prepared enough to have an active political participation.
Concerning the “Public diplomacy” he shared with us the importance of feeling the community and support them in every occasion. His future project will be linked to nutrition of adolescence, young girls and boys. A typical day of a diplomat is full of events, conferences and meeting: in the morning, the Ambassador Carruet has often coordination meetings, then press debriefings, reunions and dinners. There is not enough time for a family, children and it is difficult to manage everything.
All in all, dialogue, patience and openness are the keys that can allow People and Nations open even the most difficult global issues without the outbreak of a war or unsolvable conflicts.