One of the main activities of the Permanent Secretariat of the Latin American and Caribbean Economic System (SELA) is to promote the development in Latin America and the Caribbean of negotiating capacities for the governance of cyberspace. To meet this goal, it is organising, together with the European Institute for International Studies (EIIS), two training courses focused on Cyber Diplomacy and Techplomacy.

This innovative proposal provided for a training programme with an informative session on Cyber Diplomacy and an approach to the relationship between diplomacy and technology, and subsequently an assessment of the application of diplomacy to the arising political and geopolitical problems with the digital technology sectors.

In the first stage of the training programme, the Specialization Course on Cyber Diplomacy was held with the aim of describing the application of diplomacy to the political and geopolitical problems that have arisen in cyberspace. In the second stage, the Specialization Course on Techplomacy aims to describe the interaction between States and large companies in the technology sector and the way they change both the geopolitical and business worlds.

This training will continue with the Specialization Course on Techplomacy, which is presented below. 


Technological development has grown exponentially in recent years. Technology and digitization are essentially global and have a profound impact on all aspects of our society.

Foreign policymakers in general, and especially those in Latin America and the Caribbean, must adapt to this new reality and make efforts to establish a more comprehensive dialogue with a wide spectrum of technological actors. The goal is to develop negotiating capabilities and gain a better understanding of technological development at the international level to promote the interests of the region in the digital age.

The world of cyberspace comprises the Internet, social actors, devices and technologies connected to it. Its components range from physical infrastructure, network neutrality, encryption, data protection, even for unacceptable contents. These elements with political and geopolitical contents include key issues such as Internet governance and cybersecurity, involving diplomats and negotiators.  

The current dynamics show that Internet governance has brought about very significant social changes, so close cooperation between the technology industry and the authorities is needed. In this regard, it is relevant for Foreign Ministries or their equivalents to place the issue of Internet governance and international cybersecurity at the centre of their foreign policies and international strategies and to ensure that their officials have the knowledge and skills to have an efficient performance in their management of international governance and online security.

Internet governance creates problems in the digital spectrum that form part of the new challenges to be faced. This situation requires well-trained professionals to analyse motivations and intentions and mitigate the risks of escalation and conflict that may occur in the area of cybersecurity, whose origin and solution can go beyond technical measures.

Standards of behaviour in cyberspace remain to be defined in international law. The Ministries of Foreign Affairs are the actors par excellence to start and develop this task, with the support of experienced diplomatic officials using networks of contacts with State and non-State actors so as to identify common preferences that can serve as the basis for the development of an international law in cyberspace.

In view of the above, the Permanent Secretariat of SELA proposes the Foreign Ministries of the member countries to narrow the relationship between diplomacy and technology by providing training to their diplomatic officials, in which they acquire sufficient expertise for an effective relationship with technological actors, as well as the necessary training for future standard-setting negotiations governing the issue. 

In this scenario, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Latin America and the Caribbean are expected to understand the importance of cyberspace and be attentive to the implications of these digital technologies for geopolitics and international relations. It is equally important for them to have an adequate preparation to contribute to the construction of Internet governance, especially because of the role of non-state actors in developing new cyber international law progressively and over time.

For these reasons, the Permanent Secretariat of SELA has considered it relevant to provide training in this area, and once the "Specialization Course on Cyber Diplomacy" has been completed, training will continue with the "Specialization Course on Techplomacy", so that specialists and decision-makers in the field of international negotiations can acquire and develop technical capabilities that will be useful in addressing the issues on the global agenda.


The objectives of this course are as follows:

  1. Train participants in the analysis of challenges imposed by new technologies in international relations;
  2. Ensure that public officials and academics in the study area have the knowledge and skills to interact and negotiate in an international cyber community that is not exempt from inter-state relations and conflicts;
  3. Analyze how Internet-focused technology companies can have an influence on the global agenda and Techplomacy can operate in that context;
  4. Exchange information and experiences on the participation of Internet companies as geopolitical actors and the TechAmbassador.
Information on the event

This course lasts 8 hours and will be carried out over 4 days (2 hours per day). It is divided into four online workshops and includes teaching material in both written and multimedia format.


The "Specialization Course on Techplomacy" will take place from 09 to 12 March 2021, from 10:00 am to 12:00 m (Caracas time), through the SELA ZOOM Platform.


The official language of the event will be Spanish. There will be translation into English if necessary.


Opening session
Tuesday, 09 March 2021



  • Ambassador Javier Paulinich, Permanent Secretary of the Latin American and Caribbean Economic System (SELA).
  • Ambassador Antonio Núñez, President of the European Institute for International Studies (EIIS).

Moderator: Ambassador Oscar Hernández. Director of Relations for Cooperation and Integration (SELA)



10:10 – 12:00


  • The impact of new technologies on international relations
  • The impact of geopolitics on new technologies
  • Technological conflicts
  • Hegemony in international industrial standards

Wednesday, 10 March 2021


10:00 – 12:00


  • The dominance of American and Chinese companies
  • Internet companies and disinformation campaigns
  • The problem with algorithms – the challenge to diplomacy
  • Cybersecurity and private cybersecurity companies

Thursday, 11 March 2021


10:00 – 12:00


  • Conflicts between Internet companies and the states
  • Global governance initiatives by Internet companies
  • Digital currencies and other interferences in international relations
  • Diplomacy of Internet companies

Friday, 12 March 2021


10:00 – 12:00


  • Expanding diplomacy to include Internet companies
  • The TechAmbassador
  • Techplomacy's agenda with Internet companies: applying diplomacy to both Alibaba and Microsoft
  • Privacy and regulation

Ambassador Oscar Hernández. Director of Relations for Cooperation and Integration (SELA)


Mario Torres Jarrin

Professor Dr. Mario Torres Jarrín is Director of International Relations at the Pontifical University of Salamanca (Spain). He has been a professor and researcher at Stockholm University (Sweden) and the Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg (Germany), as well as visiting professor at Copenhagen Business School (Denmark), University of Bergen and University of Oslo (Norway), University Institute of Lisbon (Portugal), National University of Political Studies and Public Administration (Romania), University of Salamanca (Spain), University of Economics and Anglo American University (Czech Republic) and at different diplomatic academies in Europe and the Americas.

He is a member of the EU-LAC Academic Forum, a member of two Task Forces of the G20/T20 summit system (Task Force on the "Future of Multilateralism and Global Governance" and the Task Force on the "The Future of the Economy, Education and the Labour Market in the Digital Age". He is a member of three Jean Monnet Research Projects funded by the European Commission: "Project EU-LAC Relations: Future Scenario in a World of Change", "Project on the Atlantic. EU-LAC Relations between Diplomacy and Paradiplomacy" and the "Project: Studies on Multilateralism and Regionalism".

Dr. Torres Jarrín completed all his studies at the University of Salamanca (Spain), he studied Business Sciences (Faculty of Economics and Business), has a Master’s Degree in Studies of the European Union (Faculty of Law) and a PhD in History (Faculty of Geography and History).


Shaun Riordan

Shaun Riordan is Director of the Chair for Diplomacy and Cyberspace at the European Institute for International Studies, Senior Member of the Charhar Institute (Beijing) and Senior Visiting Fellow of the Netherlands Institute of International Relations. He is a Principal Consultant on digital diplomacy and cyber diplomacy at UNITAR and a consultant on public diplomacy at UNDP. He has taught at diplomatic academies in Spain, Armenia, Bulgaria, Mongolia, Qatar and the Dominican Republic, as well as the Stock Exchange Institute in Madrid. He has been an associate professor at the LSE Global Governance Center.

Shaun is a former British diplomat who served at the UN, Taiwan, China and Spain, as well as in the Counter-Terrorism Departments of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in London.

He is the author of "The New Diplomacy" (2003), "Adiós a la Diplomacia" (2005), "Cyberdiplomacy; Gestión de la seguridad y la gobernanza en línea" (2019) and "La geopolítica del ciberespacio: una perspectiva diplomática" (2019). He is also co-author of " Los Futuros para la Diplomacia: La Diplomacia Integradora en el Siglo XXI” (2012) and the recent policy brief of the T20 "La ciberdiplomacia de la construcción de las normas en el ciberespacio". He holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in Philosophy from the University of Cambrigde (United Kingdom).


Attendance at this Course is subject to invitation from co-sponsors.

Once the application has been received, candidates must complete the registration form indicated in the invitation. Then, they will receive by email the invitation to enter the course, which will be delivered through the Zoom platform.

A maximum of 60 people will participate, including civil servants, specialists, and academics.

This Course is mainly aimed at experienced diplomatic public officials or international negotiators involved in foreign policy decision-making, as well as academics and specialists linked to the international negotiation processes of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs or responsible agencies in Latin America and the Caribbean. A training certificate will be provided.

Support documents and bibliographic material

T20 Policy Brief: The Cyberdiplomacy of Constructing Norms in Cyberspace, Torres M and Riordan S, T20 2020:


Global Perspective Report: Cyberdiplomacy, Riordan S and Torres M, IEEI 2019:


Global Perspective Report: Techplomacy and the Tech Ambassador, Riordan S and Torres M, IEEI 2020:

Riordan, S.: Cyberdiplomacy: Managing Security and Governance Online, Polity 2019

Riordan, S.: The Geopolitics of Cyberspace: A Diplomatic Perspective, Brill, 2019

Torres Jarrin, M. & Riordan, S.: Techplomacy. Hacia la búsqueda de una regulación del ciberespacio y la gobernanza de Internet, in Beltrame de Moura. O Direito Internacional Privado Europeu: entre a harmonização e a fragmentação, Emais Editora y Librería Jurídica, Brazil 2019. Publication financed the Erasmus + Programme of the European Union.


Coordination by the Permanent Secretariat of SELA:

Amb. Oscar Hernandez
Director of Relations for Integration and Cooperation
Telephones: (58-212)-955-7111 / 955-7134

Sayed Durán
Analyst of Relations.  Directorate of Relations for Integration and Cooperation
Telephones: (58-212)-955-7111 / 955-71

Sponsoring and collaborating institutions