Ambassadors and High Commissioners from over 65 countries (and diplomats from over 100 countries) attended DIPLOMAT magazine’s 2013 annual Awards Ceremony in the glorious surroundings of the Ballroom at The Langham London hotel on Monday 29 April. In its fifth year, the awards ceremony recognises the outstanding work and achievements of London’s diplomatic community, who are trying to better their nations’ well-being. DIPLOMAT presented 10 awards to some of the most influential diplomats based in the UK, nominated by their peers. The evening welcomed the massed ranks of London’s diplomatic corps, at what has become a key date in the capital’s social calendar. The 250-plus guests were treated to a champagne reception and canapés prepared by the hotel chefs.
The Awards were presented by Sir Christopher Meyer, former British Ambassador to the United States, author of the controversial DC Confidential and now Chairman of Pagefield PR’s Advisory Board, who performed with immense slickness and mischievous wit. The popular awards of the evening went to the High Commissioners of Mozambique (Africa) and Trinidad and Tobago (The Americas). Laureates also included the Christian Lady Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain (Middle East) and the German Ambassador (Europe) who in his absence sent a pro-European Unity message: ‘I see this award above all as appreciation of my and our common championing of Europe, its values and its interests. It is a call to all of us to work for European unity and the success of our common project, Europe.’
Young Diplomat of the Year went to ‘someone to watch for great things in the future’, Michael Guy, from the Bahamas High Commission. The late Ambassador of Armenia, Mrs Karine Kazinian was given a posthumous award for the Diplomat of the Year from Eurasia in acknowledgement of her work cut short – the unanimous choice by her peers.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Director of Prosperity, Andrew Mitchell, CMG picked up the FCO’s award for the 2013 Distinguished Contribution to Diplomacy in London, as recognition of their work supporting London’s diplomatic community during Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and The London 2012 Olympics. The latter’s Opening Ceremony attracted 95 Heads of State – a logistical triumph!
The evening was sponsored by Jaguar Landrover, International Hospitals Group and The Langham London. For the fourth year running, Cleave and Co produced the unique awards for the winners, and Laurent Perrier offered a toast to their success – a bottle of their finest champagne.
Host of the event, DIPLOMAT’s Editor, Venetia de Blocq van Kuffeler, said: ‘Despite the conveniences of modern technology, the tact, persuasiveness, influence and guile of a great diplomat is far more powerful and effective than an e-mail or a letter. Diplomacy is the brain of a nation. It has been said that the quality of a nation’s diplomacy gives it direction and weight. And so it is important that we appreciate the great conductors of diplomacy this evening.’