Ambassadors and High Commissioners from over 70 countries (and diplomats from over 100 countries) attended DIPLOMAT magazine’s 2014 annual Awards Ceremony in the glorious surroundings of the Ballroom at The Langham London hotel on Monday 14 April. DIPLOMAT presented 10 awards to some of the most influential diplomats based in the UK. The 250-plus guests were treated to a champagne reception and canapés prepared by the hotel chefs.
In its sixth 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 magazine identified 10 categories that recognise different levels of diplomacy, and winners were 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 diplomatic calendar.
Veteran broadcaster Martin Lewis was the Master of Ceremonies, who performed with immense slickness and wit. The Ambassador of Kuwait, His Excellency Mr Khaled Al-Duwaisan won the ‘Diplomat of the Year for Asia’ award. As Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, he’s known for attending up to seven receptions on one evening. This Ambassador has won a place in the hearts of the political establishment in London, as well as his colleagues. He expressed a wish to retire some years ago, but the Emir has understandably wanted him to remain.
The popular award of the evening went to the High Commissioner for Antigua & Barbuda, Dr Carl Roberts, for ‘Diplomat of the Year for the Americas,’ who praised his wife and the staff behind him at the mission, for ‘behind every successful High Commissioner is a good team.’
Other heads of mission who were honoured on the evening included the Ambassadors of Kazakhstan, Finland and El Salvador and the High Commissioners of Singapore and Cameroon.
Winner of the ‘2014 Contribution to Women in Diplomacy’ was Mrs Younis from the Egyptian Embassy. She dedicated her award ‘to all the brave women in Egypt who stood up in a revolution to be part of the rebirth of a democratic Egypt.’ Fittingly, The Lord Mayor of Westminster and the youngest women ever to be elected into this office, Councillor Sarah Richardson, presented the award.
‘Young Diplomat of the Year’ went to ‘someone to watch for great things in the future’, Susana Arana Garduno from the Mexican Embassy and ‘Contribution to the Press Corps,’ to the Diplomatic Press Attache President, Maria Monteiro from the Portuguese Embassy.
The evening was sponsored by The Langham London, International Diplomatic Supplies, Volvo, International Hospitals Group, Apsley’s Tailors and Henry & James. For the fifth year running, Cleave and Co produced the unique awards for the winners.
With over 160 diplomatic missions, a posting in London remains one of the highlights of any diplomat’s career. Host of the event, DIPLOMAT’s Editor, Venetia de Blocq van Kuffeler, said: ‘The scale of global challenges facing us all today – economic, social, environmental, and security – weigh upon us all. In short, Diplomacy is more important than ever. And so it is important that we appreciate the great conductors of diplomacy this evening.’
2014 AWARD WINNERS:
2014 Diplomat of the Year from the Middle East
His Excellency Mr Khaled Al-Duwaisan
Ambassador of Kuwait
2014 Diplomat of the Year from Africa
His Excellency Mr Nkwelle Ekaney
High Commissioner for Cameroon
2014 Diplomat of the Year from Asia
His Excellency Mr Thanbynathan Jasudasen
High Commissioner for Singapore
2014 Diplomat of the Year from Eurasia
His Excellency Mr Kairat Abusseitov
Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan
2014 Diplomat of the year from Europe
His Excellency Mr Pekka Huhtaniemi
Ambassador of Finland
2104 Diplomat of the Year from the Americas
His Excellency Dr Carl Roberts
High Commissioner for Antigua and Barbuda
2014 Diplomat of the Year from Central & South America
His Excellency Mr Werner Matias Romero
Ambassador of El Salvador
2014 Outstanding Contribution to Women in Diplomacy
Mrs Sohair H. Younis
Press Counsellor, Egyptian Embassy
2014 Outstanding Contribution to the Press Corps
Ms Maria Monteiro
Press & Political Affairs Attaché, Embassy of Portugal
President of DPAAL
2014 Young Diplomat of the Year
Ms Susana Garduño Arana
Second Secretary, Embassy of Mexico