• Disarmament blog: what’s the point of the Conference on Disarmament?0

    Skip to content Aidan Liddle
    UK Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament
    Part of Conference on Disarmament
    7th July 2020 Geneva, Switzerland
    Disarmament blog: what’s the point of the Conference on Disarmament? The Conference on Disarmament resumed its 2020 session on Tuesday, after a break of 122 days. (We had been supposed to meet a week earlier, but technical problems with the new remote participation platform meant the meeting was cancelled at the eleventh hour.) But did anyone miss the CD while it was silent? Should it just have stayed that way?
    First, the case against. While the track record of the CD and its predecessors include the three main WMD treaties, amongst others, it hasn’t launched a new negotiation since the CTBT was concluded in 1996. Every disarmament treaty since then – the prohibitions on land mines and cluster munitions, the Arms Trade Treaty, and, yes, the TPNW – has been negotiated elsewhere. Far from fulfilling its mandate as “t..

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  • Blog: Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention goes virtual0

    Skip to content Simon Cleobury
    UK Deputy Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament
    7th July 2020 Geneva, Switzerland
    Blog: Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention goes virtual It was with some trepidation that I turned up at the offices of the Geneva Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) for the Opening Session of the first ever virtual intersessional meetings of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention. Would the new platform, with its interpretation into the UN official languages, actually work? Would there be endless delays whilst colleagues tried to log in?
    I am pleased to say that, most of the time, the passing of the floor to speakers and the interpretation all worked well, allowing for the smooth running of meetings. There were a few technical problems for some participants, but that was to be expected. The main thing is that we were able to make these meetings happen, something that was by no means certain given the Covid-19 restrictions.
    At the Opening Session, I ..

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  • Despite all the obstacles the fight for LGBTI equality continues0

    Skip to content Dragana Drndarevska
    Legal adviser, Coalition Margins
    Guest blogger for UK in North Macedonia
    Part of UK in North Macedonia
    7th July 2020 Skopje, North Macedonia
    Despite all the obstacles the fight for LGBTI equality continues Photo credit: Vancho Dzambaski- Pride Parade 2019Last year, a Pride Parade took place in Skopje for the first time. The Parade was a protest and shall remain so until LGBTI people are able to enjoy all human rights and society is fully liberated. However, last year there were several reasons to celebrate. The Law on Prevention and Protection against Discrimination was adopted after long postponement, guarantying LGBTI people equality in every area of living. In addition, the Law on Criminal Procedure was amended with respect to hate crimes, thus providing LGBTI people explicit protection against violence and other hate crimes for the first time. The success was the result of the efforts invested by LGBTI organizations and their partners from civil..

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  • Guest blog on UK-Ireland connections from Catherine Page, a deputy to Ambassador Robin Barnett0

    Skip to content Robin Barnett
    Ambassador to Ireland, Dublin
    Part of Coronavirus (COVID-19)
    3rd July 2020 Dublin, Ireland
    Guest blog on UK-Ireland connections from Catherine Page, a deputy to Ambassador Robin BarnettBy endurance we conquer – what Shackleton can teach us todayWe have all had to find sources of inspiration to help us in the last few months. Mine came on one of many local lockdown walks in Dublin, when I passed a house with a plaque to “the Antarctic Explorer and Leader of Men”, Sir Ernest Shackleton, whose childhood home it had been. I have been inspired by Shackleton for a long time, since I was 17 and went on an expedition which re-traced his journey to the Antarctic island of South Georgia. But it felt particularly appropriate to find him again now – to be reminded of his story of grit and determination at a time when we have all been searching for these too, and to recall his family motto: “by endurance we conquer”.
    Because if I had to sum up 2020 so far in one word ..

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  • Online Q&A for UK nationals in Austria – Monday 6 July0

    Skip to content Leigh Turner
    Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna
    Part of UK in Austria
    3rd July 2020 Vienna, Austria
    Online Q&A for UK nationals in Austria – Monday 6 July Do you have questions about how the UK’s exit from the EU affects you? The embassy is running an online Q&A session on Monday 6 July.
    During the COVID-19 pandemic, the team here and colleagues in London have continued to work closely with the Austrian authorities to ensure rights of British citizens living in Austria to continue to live and work here are protected, and any actions you need to take are communicated clearly and in good time. The Austrian government have not yet announced the exact details of the registration process you will need to follow, but the actions you can already take are on our living in Austria guide. Please sign up for email updates on that page.
    The Q&A will be on our embassy facebook page. On Monday 6..

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  • Digital Transformation in the Public Sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Digital Transformation in the Public Sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina0

    Skip to content Matt Field
    British Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina
    19th June 2020 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Digital Transformation in the Public Sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina In the time of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, blockchain, virtual reality, big data, and many more are now transforming societies, economies, institutions and businesses across the globe. Governments worldwide are strategically leveraging new technologies to fundamentally improve policies, decision-making, public services and systems.
    Yet the full potential of digital government worldwide, including in Bosnia and Herzegovina, remains largely untapped. Global practice shows that to build a public sector fit for the future, governments must “reinvent” themselves. Digital transformation is not just about new technologies, but requires an overhaul of organizational structures, work processes, skills, culture and mindset. This applies not only to governme..

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