• Robin Barnett’s Final Blog as British Ambassador to Ireland0

    Skip to content Robin Barnett
    Ambassador to Ireland, Dublin
    22nd September 2020 Dublin, Ireland
    Robin Barnett’s Final Blog as British Ambassador to IrelandThis is my last blog as Ambassador to Ireland. There are so many topics that I could cover but I wanted to focus on just 3 that are personal to me:
    GAA
    Before coming to Ireland, I had not appreciated the significance of the GAA but I quickly got an introduction to football at the 2016 Dublin v Mayo game. This was to be the start of my education and over my four years here, I have come to love the passion of the sports that make up the GAA and to understand the history around it.

    During my time, we have been fortunate to have several Royal visitors and it has been fantastic to see them being introduced to the GAA and even trying their hand at hurling and football.
    One of the last events before lockdown was the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Galway, where they thoroughly enjoyed their time being coached by their junior..

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  • The Online Diplomat

    The Online Diplomat0

    Skip to content Sian MacLeod
    UK Ambassador to Serbia
    Part of Digital Diplomacy FCDO Outreach UK in Serbia
    21st September 2020 Belgrade, Serbia
    The Online Diplomat The Online DiplomatI was recently asked to open a conference on communications. Because of the public health situation the conference was held virtually, that is to say, online.
    It’s a dangerous thing to be an amateur opening a conference of professionals.
    To do so using their own medium was, to use typically British irony, ‘courageous’.
    I realised that I was probably in more need of advice from the experts than they were from me. But as the saying goes, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
    Diplomacy, broadly speaking is about policy, people and places. A diplomat’s life and work is about presenting policy, meeting people and visiting places.
    That’s tricky just now.
    I wouldn’t go as far as a well-known commentator for Carnegie Europe who said that coronavirus had “brought diplomatic activity to a standstill”.
    But there is a qui..

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  • Why the British Embassy in Vienna is proud to be green

    Why the British Embassy in Vienna is proud to be green0

    Skip to content Leigh Turner
    Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna
    17th September 2020 Vienna, Austria
    Why the British Embassy in Vienna is proud to be greenDiplomats from the British Embassy are off to an important meeting in Vienna. The Ringstrasse, as so often, is gridlocked. No problem for our diplomats, who hop on an embassy bike and arrive not only on time, but in style.
    Our British Embassy Vienna bikesOur embassy bikes mean that British diplomats in Vienna make many journeys by bike which would once have been by car. Result: zero emissions (apart, perhaps, from some panting). The bikes are just one of the measures we have taken to make the three British diplomatic missions in Austria greener. Our Embassy ‘green team’ are constantly looking for ways to reduce our environmental footprint. Measures we have taken so far include:
    Banning single use plastics. This is harder than it sounds. The first..

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  • How Austria has – and hasn’t – changed

    How Austria has – and hasn’t – changed0

    Skip to content Leigh Turner
    Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna
    7th September 2020 Vienna, Austria
    How Austria has – and hasn’t – changed‘You were a diplomat in Vienna in the ‘80s?’ My interlocutor scans me, perhaps wondering why I am still working, or alive. ‘It must have changed so much!’
    ‘Well…’ I seek a diplomatic reply. ‘Yes and no.’
    Oscar Wilde famously said “Comparisons are odious”. I often cite him when asked which of my diplomatic postings I have preferred out of Vienna, Moscow, Berlin, Kyiv and Istanbul. But Vienna has evolved since 1984-87, when I served here as second secretary press and political.
    With exactly one year to go before I am due to conclude my posting as ambassador in Vienna, I thought I would have a go at highlighting five things that have changed since the ‘80s, and five things that haven’t:
    What hasn’t changed

    (i) Vienna used to be so grey and dull, didn’t it? Young Vi..

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  • How Austria has – and hasn’t – changed

    How Austria has – and hasn’t – changed0

    Skip to content Leigh Turner
    Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna
    7th September 2020 Vienna, Austria
    How Austria has – and hasn’t – changed‘You were a diplomat in Vienna in the ‘80s?’ My interlocutor scans me, perhaps wondering why I am still working, or alive. ‘It must have changed so much!’
    ‘Well…’ I seek a diplomatic reply. ‘Yes and no.’
    Oscar Wilde famously said “Comparisons are odious”. I often cite him when asked which of my diplomatic postings I have preferred out of Vienna, Moscow, Berlin, Kyiv and Istanbul. But Vienna has evolved since 1984-87, when I served here as second secretary press and political.
    With exactly one year to go before I am due to conclude my posting as ambassador in Vienna, I thought I would have a go at highlighting five things that have changed since the ‘80s, and five things that haven’t:
    What hasn’t changed

    (i) Vienna used to be so grey and dull, didn’t it? Young Vi..

    READ MORE
  • ‘He that is thy friend indeed, he will help thee in thy need.’0

    Skip to content Ming Liu
    Head of Science and Innovation, BCG Guangzhou
    Part of Global Science and Innovation Network
    31st August 2020 Guangzhou, China
    ‘He that is thy friend indeed, he will help thee in thy need.’In March, a large shipment of thousands of masks, gloves, overalls and goggles arrived in Birmingham. Stapled to the side of each of the crates was a quote, in both Chinese and English, attributed to William Shakespeare: ‘He that is thy friend indeed, he will help thee in thy need.’ (“岁寒知松柏,患难见真情.”) This consignment was one of many from Chinese universities to their partner institutions in the UK. In this case, the First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University sent this shipment to their long standing partner, the University of Birmingham.
    Minister Sharma spoke at the First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University in 2017
    The importance of partnerships comes the fore in times of crisis. As the scale of the COVID-19 crisis in the UK became apparent in March, we start..

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