The Foreign Service Journal, November 2015

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | NOVEMBER 2015 13 A Special Premiere for “America’s Diplomats” O n Nov. 19, a special premiere of the film “America’s Diplomats” will be held in the Terrace Theater of Washing- ton, D.C.’s Kennedy Center as a fundraiser for the Diplomacy Center Foundation. Produced by the Foreign Policy Association, a nonpartisan educational organization, the film features both active-duty and retired members of the Foreign Service and is narrated by actress and director Kathleen Turner, a Foreign Service “brat.” It is scheduled to air on PBS stations in early 2016. The one-hour documentary explores the role of diplomacy in shaping Ameri- can history, focusing on the actual people who have staffed our embassies and consulates throughout our history and what they do. Beginning with Benjamin Franklin and the mission to France that played such an important role in winning our indepen- dence, the film highlights the diplomacy involved in the Louisiana Purchase, the Civil War and the years of American expansion during the 19th century. Coverage of 20th-century diplomacy includes the role of Fiorello LaGuardia as an American consular officer, the Rogers Act and creation of the Foreign Service of the United States, and the heroic role of consular officers such as Hiram Bingham during World War II. The story of George Kennan and the Cold War introduces the postwar period, and coverage of the contributions to mod- ern American diplomacy of well-known FSOs like Richard Holbrooke and Ed Per- kins, as well as many known best mostly within the FS community, follows. Individuals’ stories are interwoven with descriptions of the functions of the Service: consular, economic, commercial, political, development and public diplo- TALKING POINTS macy. The film also dramatically shows the sacrifices made by diplomats—from Nairobi to Benghazi in recent times, but all throughout our history—in shots of the memorial plaques in the State Department lobby and searing footage of destroyed embassies and funerals. —Susan Brady Maitra, Managing Editor In Pursuit of Sustainable Development T his year’s U.N. General Assembly provided the backdrop for the organization’s 193 member states’ long-awaited adoption of the Sustain- able Development Goals. The SDGs wi ll replace the previous generation of pov- erty slashing targets—the Millennium Development Goals—when they expire at the end of 2015. The result of more than three years of global consultations with leaders in government, business and civil soci- ety, the purpose of the SDGs is to help guide the world in its quest to achieve sustainable development by 2030 in three dimensions—economic, social and environmental. The sticker price for such ambition? Close to $3 trillion. Critics fault the drafters for replacing the already unwieldy eight goals and 18 targets of the MDGs with a whopping 17 goals and 169 targets. As Bjørn Lomborg, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, explains in Time magazine, “The chief problem with this new laundry list of targets is that trying to prioritize 169 things looks very similar to prioritizing nothing.” Others are skeptical that the financial resources and political follow-through will materialize under the non-binding agreement. President Barack Obama, speaking at the UNGA Sustainable Development Summit, pointed to significant achieve- ments under the MDGs as proof that development works: “More governments, more institutions, more businesses, more philanthropies, more NGOs, more faith communities, more citizens … need to step up with the will and the resources and the coordination to achieve our goals.” He also committed the United States to achieving the SDGs. This may prove challenging, however, given the 16-per- cent drop in funding for the U.S. Agency for International Development since 2009. Writing for Foreign Policy , Christo- pher Holshek—retired U.S. Army civil affairs colonel and senior fellow at the FOREIGN POLICY ASSOCIATION From the movie “America’s Diplomats.”