ON 23 APRIL, six weeks of preparations came to wonderful fruition at the Tata Diplomat of the Year Awards ceremony, held in the Jumeirah Carlton Tower’s majestic ballroom. Heads of Mission attended from over 90 countries and diplomats from over 120. In its tenth year, the awards have now become a signature event on the diplomatic calendar, and I’m proud of all that we have achieved.
Of course, these things can’t happen without our partners. Tata was the lead sponsor of the event for the third year, and it was fitting that their Executive Director, David Landsman OBE took to the stage to say a few words. Former British Ambassador to Greece and Albania, he remarked that Tata has a presence in over 100 countries, with subsidiaries operating in fields ranging from ‘salt to steel’, and ‘tea to IT.’
Thank you to Robert Touzel and Jumeirah (and their amazing staff) who put on an outstanding spread at the hotel. International Diplomatic Supplies provided the exquisite champagne and wine; royal warrant holders Cleave & Co created the awards for the winners; and Burke Bros Removal Group was a category sponsor. Thank you to everyone who played such a vital part in making the evening the success it was.
We are thrilled to have Boris Johnson’s former media lead, Simon McGee writing for us. Now Executive Director at APCO’s Global Solutions practice, he promises to provide us with some of his communications expertise, and some anecdotes from his time at the FCO. His first article ‘Palmerston, Pangolins and Penguins’ certainly does not disappoint.
Also in this edition, James Landale ponders what may lie in store ahead of Donald Trump’s upcoming visit; Michael Binyon tackles diplomatic expulsions over the past century; and we have contributions from the Ambassadors of Georgia, Poland and Slovenia on subjects as diverse as centenary celebrations to World Bee Day. As always, Diplomat reviews the credentials of new heads of mission to the Court of St James’s, this month meeting the Ambassadors of Jordan and Vietnam.
Diplomat magazine also calls London’s diplomatic missions to action! Along with Good Country Founder Simon Anholt, we have launched a competition. In no more than 250 words, please share your nation’s policies that have brought measurable benefits both inside and outside your country’s borders. Winning entries will be published in Diplomat magazine & Simon’s Policy Playbook. Details on page 32.
On the subject of nation building, how is one built from scratch? How does a brand new nation develop a system of governance, attract citizens, establish a parliament and build relationships with other nations, with all of world history’s successes and failings to learn from? Hard as it may be to believe, this is happening right now. But not where you might expect. After all, the late Stephen Hawking observed that the human race would not have a future if it does not migrate into space.
In the lifestyle pages, Diplomat wines and dines like royalty at the Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill. Readers with a taste for culture will find valuable advice for the months ahead, including the eighth edition of the Carmignac Photojournalism Award at the Saatchi Gallery and Taste of London in Regent’s Park.
Finally, I always want to hear from you, our readers, on article suggestions, new appointments, local news and other embassy events that you would like covered. Please contact me on email@example.com
VENETIA DE BLOCQ VAN KUFFELER