President of the Young Diplomats in London Association Wilfred T. Adderley II discusses his tenure
THE YOUNG DIPLOMATS IN LONDON (YDL) IS A DYNAMIC ASSOCIATION OF PRIMARILY JUNIOR-LEVEL DIPLOMATS THAT INVITES NEWLY ARRIVED COLLEAGUES POSTED TO LONDON TO CONNECT WITH EACH OTHER.
Connections are made possible through the various events and socials that YDL hosts for its members throughout the year. Although the organisation is known for building camaraderie and lifelong friendships, its events also allow for young diplomats to network, lobby and find ways to further mutual country interests.
Outside of the fun socials, events and the elegant annual Black & White Ball, YDL does its best to create an environment for discussion on topics and matters pertaining to international relations and politics. The association was able to achieve this through its Breakfast Talks and Brunch RoundTables. This year, YDL was honoured to have esteemed guest speakers for our events, who spoke on topics surrounding international security, Brexit, the Commonwealth, and memorable moments in diplomatic history.
YDL was privileged to have the Rt. Hon Lord Robertson of Port Ellen as a guest speaker, a former Nato Secretary General who engaged with guests and members on matters of international security and Nato’s role today. YDL was happy to welcome Philp Parham CMG, UK Commonwealth Envoy, and discuss with him the way forward for the Commonwealth post-Brexit and his experience as a career diplomat. We were also treated to a wonderful history lesson by the Marshal of Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Corps, Alistair Harrison, who shared on his topic ‘Revolutions I have known and loved.’
YDL’s Breakfasts and Brunches allow for young diplomats to hear from experts working in their respective fields who provide thought-provoking presentations to encourage sharing and the transfer of knowledge and ideas. These sorts of events are useful to YDL members and guests in that they help to foster growth in worldview and networking.
The association also provides support to Kids for Kids, an organisation that provides relief assistance to children in Darfur, Sudan. Last year, proceeds of almost £2,000 raised during the raffle at YDL’s annual ball were donated to the organisation.
This year, YDL entered a new partnership with Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), who treated its members to the inaugural ‘YDL/JLR Ride and Drive Experience’ event. The event took place at JLR’s Luton Hoo estate and members were provided with an opportunity to drive the newest models in the Land Rover fleet. Members got to learn about each Land Rover model and take them through an off-road obstacle course. Attendees were excited to share the model they enjoyed the most, with some members making grand plans to see how they could secure a Range Rover. My favourite was the EVOQUE, small, compact, fast and slightly less expensive than the Range Rover. JLR also hosted a YDL Summer Garden Party at the Crowne Plaza Kensington, which provided an almost tropical atmosphere, complete with a beach scape and summer drinks. This beautiful event allowed members to unwind, relax and chill after a long day’s work.
With the launch of its new website, YDL is looking to the future and the sustainability of the association. This vision has led the Executive Committee to explore different ways to engage with its sponsors and new ideas for reforms to the governance of the association. Through its easy to navigate website, YDL presents a fresh face to the world which provides more coverage for its sponsors, and information on its events and activities. Visitors will be able to view the YDL events calendar, keeping them up-to-date.
Moving towards the future, YDL hopes to keep building the association’s partnerships within the London private sectors who have divisions geared specifically to diplomatic needs. The association is also looking to form partnerships with diplomatic and professional associations and organisations, so that it can continue to keep a varied network for its members, and, also, to further its shared value for charity and development work.
YDL hopes that through its sustained presence within the diplomatic landscape and the greater London community, it can also provide added value on matters pertaining to a diplomat’s life and stay in the UK.
YDL wishes to thank its sponsors The Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill, International Diplomatic Supplies, Hamptons International, St James’ Court- A Taj Hotel, and Jaguar Land Rover for their support. For more information about YDL or to sign up to become a member, please visit https://ydlondon.co.uk