AT THE TIME OF GOING TO PRESS, indecision and uncertainty reign in a political landscape still dominated by Brexit. Will the country have any satisfactory conclusions by the time Diplomat returns on 1 April, we wonder? Only time will tell. Sir Bernard Jenkin MP contributes an incisive review of the major incidents that led to the UK’s position in Europe today, and ponders the potential outcomes. In particular he draws attention to Article 8 of the Treaty on the EU, a directive which obligates the EU to ‘develop a special relationship with neighbouring countries, aiming to establish an area of prosperity and good neighbourliness.’
Reporting from Davos, the BBC’s James Landale offers a rounded snapshot of the global state of affairs. He says all is not well. The absence of senior figures – like Presidents Trump and Macron and British Prime Minister Teresa May – at the annual Swiss summit signify a general shift of governments and voters to focusing on their domestic crises and affairs. Given that the World Economic Forum is meant to be about finding global solutions to global issues, he asks if this might represent a change of priorities for the world’s superpowers? Landale’s summary provides a fascinating insight into this year’s event.
Meanwhile former FCO Press Secretary (and current Executive Director communications guru at APCO Worldwide) Simon McGee recounts his experiences planning and delivering the BBC documentary, Inside the Foreign Office. This is essential viewing for diplomats everywhere. For those of you who haven’t watched it, seek it out on BBC iPlayer immediately!
Former UK Ambassador Charles Crawford provides a handy guide to the nuts and bolts of planning a diplomatic visit, with plenty of amusing anecdotes. The Austrian Ambassador recounts the achievements of his country’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union over the past six months. As he reflects on a tempestuous half-year, it will now be interesting to observe Romania’s efforts as they take the reins for the months ahead.
I also report on Diplomat magazine’s ongoing partnership with remarkable initiative Football for Peace. The charity recently launched their #FootballSavesLives campaign at Olympic Park, attended by various world-famous footballers and the Duke of Cambridge. The charity is keen to continue making connections with governments and footballers all over the globe, so if you’d like to get in touch, do drop me a line and I can connect you with their co-founder Kashif Siddiqi.
As always, Diplomat reviews the credentials of new heads of mission to the Court of St James’s, this month meeting the Ambassadors of Moldova and Serbia, along with the High Commissioner for Barbados.
In the lifestyle pages, Diplomat experiences the high life at Grosvenor House Suites by Jumeirah Living, and discovers the pared-back menu at The Langham London’s Roux at The Landau is better than ever. Whether you’re a fan of royal weddings, Mary Poppins or rugged Scottish landscapes, Diplomat showcases the luxury travel design company offering the ultimate in tailor-made journeys through England, Ireland and Scotland.
Readers with a taste for culture will find valuable advice for the months ahead, from the new Christian Dior exhibition at the V&A, to the House of African Art (HAART), a new platform that represents established and emerging artists from Africa and its diaspora.
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