W E L C OM E TO THE JULY/AUGUST 2019 ISSUE OF DIPLOMAT
THE DEBATES ABOUT BREXIT rumble on, and at the time of going to print, the headlines are dominated by stories concerning the next prime minister of the UK. Boris Johnson’s former Foreign Office press secretary Simon McGee reflects on Johnson’s record as foreign secretary and mayor of London and looks ahead to the prime minister he may become. He says, “Boris’s political compass is far more liberal and internationalist than some of the major arguments for Brexit suggest.”
As the new prime minister faces a bulging diplomatic in-tray, the BBC’s James Landale considers the broader foreign policy issues facing the next PM. Aside from the realities of Brexit, there’s addressing the reputational damage that the UK has suffered in the past three years, restructuring government departments, revamping the ‘Global Britain’ strategy, and so on. In his regular Westminster Reflections column, Sir Bernard Jenkin MP discusses the nitty-gritty of Brexit for the new PM: the Withdrawal Agreement; import tariffs and the border issues with Ireland.
In this issue, Diplomat also covers more general themes in diplomacy, with some excellent contributions from the experts themselves. The soon-to-be retiring Cyprus High Commissioner offers his Commandments for Conducting Modern Diplomacy to the all-knowing, digitally-savvy young diplomats of today. We meet the ultimate #diplowomen, Karma Ekmekji. A Lebanese diplomat and foreign policy leader, she discusses her passion for empowering women in diplomacy, peacemaking, mediation and negotiation.
In these times of upheaval, recognising important anniversaries such as the recent commemorative events for the D-Day landings, should not be forgotten. Accordingly, Ambassador of Poland writes on the centenary of the renewal of Polish- British diplomatic relations. Ambassador of Georgia recounts a visit to her country from an important group of diplomatic guests from London, while Ambassador of Kazakhstan discusses the recent elections that took place in his country, and President Tokayev’s objectives going forward.
Please do also read about the Diplomat magazine scholarship with Glasgow Caledonian University: a Masters’ on ‘International Diplomacy & the Digital State.’ Applications are open NOW and must be in by 19 July 2019. Do pass these details on to any colleagues who might be interested.
As always, Diplomat reviews the credentials of new heads of mission to the Court of St James’s, this month meeting the Ambassadors of the Dominican Republic, Finland, Laos and Liberia, along with the High Commissioner for Namibia.
In the lifestyle pages, Venetia van Kuffeler enjoys a family adventure at the classically English Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire, on the estate where Henry VIII initially met the first of his six wives, Catherine of Aragon, just weeks before her arranged marriage to his brother. Diplomat enjoys a blissful night’s sleep at Brown’s Hotel in Mayfair, and a taste-busting lunch at Indian Accent across the street.
Readers with a taste for culture will find valuable advice for the months ahead, including information on an exhibition at Somerset House, celebrating 50 years of Black creativity in Britain. We also highlight the work of Yanko Tihov, an artist from Bulgaria, who uses original passport covers to depict changing borders, populations and national identities. Available for private commissions, his work is amazingly striking, but also so topical.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
VENETIA DE BLOCQ VAN KUFFELER