Embassy Official Steven Abels spoke at the 3rd annual session of The Hague International Model United Nations Qatar on the topic of the protection and safety of diplomatic and consular missions and representatives. Speaking before the 5th Committee (Administration and Budgetary) on January 30th, Mr. Abels discussed the challenges of balancing physical and personal security with the effective conduct of diplomacy. He emphasized that diplomacy cannot take place over the phone or the internet, because in-person relationships and the everyday interactions that diplomats have with their host nation are crucial elements of international relations. After his speech, the student delegates gained first-hand experience with one component of diplomatic security by trying on the 20-lb. bullet-proof vest and helmet that diplomats are issued in high-threat posts.