AFTER A RELATIVELY QUIET start to the year, London’s diplomatic community were out in force by the time April rolled around, first at Diplomat magazine’s sixth annual awards ceremony, and then the following night at the Lord Mayor’s Easter Banquet at Mansion House. The former was held in the beautiful surroundings of the Ballroom at The Langham London, and attracted heads of mission from over 70 countries, and diplomats from over 100 countries. A strong buzz in the room throughout, in their speeches winners were quick to praise the magazine and all it has done to shape this ‘diplomatic family’ in London.
In the City amongst medals and national dress, British Foreign Secretary the Rt Hon William Hague told the assembled heads of mission that there will be serious long-term consequences if Russia continues to destabilise Ukraine.
Ukraine and Russia is an issue that Bernard Jenkin MP continues to discuss in his regular column ‘Westminster Reflections.’ He comments that “Russia may be a shadow of its former Soviet self, but she represents a massive potential threat to global security.” He also says that the EU must bear some of the blame for creating the pretext for Putin to react as he has, and indeed, that it “has helped provoke a crisis it now cannot contain.”
A number of other articles tackle the concept of diplomacy. Diplomat has a snapshot into diplomacy 100 years ago with insights from Lord Owen’s recent book on the military conversations of 1906-14. At the time, London presided over a mighty global empire. Yet it only had a tiny diplomatic organisation – a mere 140 diplomats mostly from the country’s social elite. Former British High Commissioner to Pakistan Sir Nicholas Barrington provides Diplomat with an excerpt from his book, outlining the Princess of Wales’s visit to Islamabad in 1991.
Diplomat’s new contributor Bronwen Maddox (Editor of the distinguished Prospect magazine) offers her take on diplomacy today. She says that the era of big international deals – trade, climate change and arms control – is over. We also take a look at the institution revolutionising diplomatic education in the heart of the capital, the London Academy of Diplomacy.
As always, Diplomat reviews the Credentials of new heads of mission to the Court of St James’s, this month meeting with the new Ambassadors of Colombia, Denmark and Mexico, along with the High Commissioner for Cyprus. We also photographed the High Commissioner for Trinidad and Tobago for our Portrait page as he said his farewells before his return home. Diplomat also profiles the Ambassador of Azerbaijan as he leaves the UK after seven years in office.
In the lifestyle section, Diplomat travels to Dubai, experiencing a little slice of French Polynesia in the Middle East at the Sofitel, The Palm. Diplomat enjoys a delicious dinner at Holborn’s hottest new restaurant, Holborn Dining Room, and stays at the beautifully restored Café Royal hotel. Readers with a taste for culture will find valuable advice in our book and arts reviews, including details of Berndnaut Smilde’s Nimbus series at the Ronchini Gallery.