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EU member states have signed a joint strategy for the future of European development which includes several mentions of the co-operative movement. The new European Consensus on Development, which sets out an agenda to eradicate poverty and promote sustainable development, applies to all EU institutions and member states. In its three mentions of co-operatives, the document highlights their role as key actors in international development and the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Recently an interesting debate arose over the fundamental meaning of branding. [...] The project's founder, Simon Anholt, is known for the concept of “nation branding,” also known as “place branding,” which seeks to enhance the images of nations much the way companies try to bolster the reputations of their products. [...] “My belief, backed up by much research (nearly 400 billion data points from 10 years of the Nation Brands Index), has long been that there’s no such thing as place “branding” and that countries are judged by what they do rather than by what they say."

Chef Dicky Cheung is the former co-owner/chef of Golden Willow Chinese Restaurant in Concord. [...] The good news is that Chef Dicky hasn’t hung up his apron just yet. Since his retirement, he has been volunteering his kitchen mastery “wok-ing” to help various nonprofit organizations raise money for worth causes. [...] The Concord Ambassadors organization was established in 1974 when executives representing Concord and Kitakami, Japan, met in Concord to draw up a charter of lasting friendship between the two cities. 

Attorney Tom Jennings said he was just looking to brush up on his Russian when he got involved in Citizen Diplomacy’s cultural exchange program in 1998. The Jennings have opened their home to more than three dozen visitors “and deal with many others,” said Tom.“The stories could go on forever, but the central theme is it’s an opportunity available to people in our area. Citizen Diplomacy is peacemaking at the retail level, one handshake at a time,” he said.

This week’s PD News headlines explored education and its impacts on public diplomacy, from female empowerment to terrorist prevention. 

Rubies, natural gas, pagodas and teak- just a few words of what pops into peoples’ heads when they hear the word “Myanmar.”  Be prepared to add another word to that list; and it’s not one that you would expect. Myanmar coffee has recently traveled to showcase in the London Coffee Festival and the SCA Expo, thanks to U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) who funded a five-year project implemented by Winrock International in the form of the Value Chains for Rural Development.

The economic and commercial relations between Romania and Spain will also be promoted through the recently established Commercial Diplomacy Chamber with the Kingdom of Spain, an NGO that is aiming to also support the collaboration in tourism, agriculture, scientific research, healthcare, telecommunications, fight against corruption, intellectual property and consumers' protection. [...] Currently, over one million Romanian nationals live and work in Spain, and the Spanish business milieu is represented in Romania by over 6,000 legal entities.  

Connected Development (CODE), a Nigerian based advocacy organisation with a mission to empower marginalized communities by improving access to information needed to better local public services, has won the 9th annual $100,000 ONE Africa Award. CODE was founded by Hamzat Lawal and Oludotun Babayemi, who believe government data should be freely available to citizens.

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