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25 July, 2024
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Electronic embassies set to transform diplomacy

AI assistants redefine citizen services

By Yiannis Georgoulas*

To usher in digital reform within the public sector, a concrete and centralized approach is imperative. The key to this transformation lies in collaboration with the very organizations we aim to reform. When we speak of centralization, we refer to the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation, and Digital Policy. Let's explore how the Ministry of Foreign Affairs can embark on this journey towards a new era, benefitting not only the ministry itself but also Cypriot citizens worldwide.

First and foremost, we propose the creation of a platform designed for state diplomats to manage their documents electronically. This move promises complete transparency and control, significantly accelerating their work processes and yielding measurable outcomes. Essentially, it enables us to gauge the effectiveness of the Republic's diplomats, fostering a merit-based development approach. Moreover, envision "electronic embassies" as an integral part of this transformation.

This initiative will substantially reduce bureaucratic burdens for our extensive foreign missions. Additionally, in areas where physical embassies are absent, citizens will enjoy the same ease of managing their affairs as they would in countries with embassy services. These "E-embassies" can employ AI-driven "bots" as virtual assistants, capable of guiding and assisting citizens. With ongoing AI training, these assistants can tackle complex issues, ensuring round-the-clock service availability.

Diplomats must also undergo training in electronic crisis management and data security. Furthermore, investments in technological infrastructure and high-speed secure networks are non-negotiable prerequisites. Finally, we must promptly assemble a dedicated team within the ministry to advocate for and represent our interests in international digital agreements. Only through these concerted efforts can we assert our influence in shaping the global digital landscape. As times change and facts evolve, we must remain proactive rather than stagnant.

* Mr. Yiannis Georgoulas, a seasoned strategy and business consultant, shares this vision for a digitally transformed public sector.

Cyprus  |  technology  |  AI  |  diplomacy  |  citizens  |  government

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