Leigh Turner

Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

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UK in Austria

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14th January 2021 Vienna, Austria

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

Diplomatic lessons 4, Russia 1991-95: have a plan, and break it

Outside “The Two Chairmen”[1], the beer was cool and fresh. My colleague raised his glass.  ‘You had children a few years back,’ he said.  ‘We can’t decide on the best time.  What do you think?’ ‘Some things, you can’t plan,’ I said. I had met Pamela, a colleague in London, in 1990. Later that year, […]

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4th January 2021 Vienna, Austria

Pauline Trepczyk

Climate Change Policy Officer, British Embassy Vienna

2021: a turning point for climate ambition

We are at a turning point for our planet. As the world comes back from COVID-19, it is vital that we build back greener and more resilient. This year, the UK will host the 26th UN climate change conference COP26, in Glasgow with our partners, Italy. The pandemic has not stopped the climate crisis. On […]

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15th December 2020 Vienna, Austria

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

Diplomatic lessons 3, 1987-91: go for the hard jobs

The day I started my job as Desk Officer for Budget and Finance in the European Community Department (Internal) of the Foreign Office on 2 November 1987 turned out to be a long one. In the evening, I sat with my colleague Ralph Publicover[1], Desk Officer for the Common Agricultural Policy (including stabilisers and Monetary […]

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25th November 2020 Vienna, Austria

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

Diplomatic lessons 2, 1983-87: languages change everything

I was working in the personnel departments of the FCO[1] when Judith Macgregor[2], head of my section, put her head around the door and beckoned. An officer named John Everard[2] had resigned from his post as second secretary (political) and press officer at the British Embassy in Vienna, she said.  They needed a German speaker, […]

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24th November 2020 Vienna, Austria

Alex Hammond

Digital Communications Officer, British Embassy Vienna

Embassy Q&A for UK nationals in Austria – Thursday 26 November 2020

THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO TOOK PART IN THIS Q&A. We have now responded to your comments here and on facebook. You can find a document with all of the questions and answers here. The British Embassy Vienna is running an online Q&A session on our embassy facebook page on Thursday 26 November. At midday on […]

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23rd October 2020 Vienna, Austria

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

Diplomatic lessons 1, 1979-83: Don’t judge a book by its cover

I’m delivering an online apprenticeship talk to staff in Vienna when someone asks me if I’ve thought of summarising everything I’ve learned in my 41-year career.  ‘No,’ I say.  They urge me to think again. So here is the first of several blogs seeking to distil a few lessons.  Comments welcome. 3 October 1979 My […]

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15th October 2020 Vienna, Austria

Pauline Trepczyk

Climate Change Policy Officer, British Embassy Vienna

Debating: today’s most important skill?

On 29 September the British Embassy Vienna invited young people from all over Austria to join a Debate Workshop. Youth from Salzburg, Upper and Lower Austria, Carinthia as well as Vienna came together, separated by appropriate “baby elephants” (Austria’s 1.5m rule) to practice their skills. Trainers from Debattierklub Vienna, Joy Edobor and Miri Muntean, introduced […]

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17th September 2020 Vienna, Austria

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

Why the British Embassy in Vienna is proud to be green

Diplomats 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 embassy bikes mean that British diplomats in Vienna make many journeys by bike which […]

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7th September 2020 Vienna, Austria

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

How Austria has – and hasn’t – changed

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Breitenlesau_Krug_Br%C3%A4u_Schnitzel.JPG

‘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 […]

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28th August 2020 Vienna, Austria

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

How a British company keeps Austrian train passengers online

A train swoops at high speed through the Austrian Alps. Despite the stunning scenery, the passengers are – this being the twenty-first century – more interested in what’s happening on their screens as they work, browse the internet and use social media… also at high speed, thanks to a British company.   Nomad Digital is the world’s leading provider of passenger and fleet connectivity solutions […]

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About Leigh Turner

I hope you find this blog interesting and, where appropriate, entertaining. My role in Vienna covers the relationship between Austria and the UK as well as the diverse work of…

I hope you find this blog interesting and, where appropriate, entertaining. My role in Vienna covers the relationship between Austria and the UK as well as the diverse work of the UN and other organisations; stories here will reflect that.

About me: I arrived in Vienna in August 2016 for my second posting in this wonderful city, having first served here in the mid-1980s. My previous job was as HM Consul-General and Director-General for Trade and Investment for Turkey, Central Asia and South Caucasus based in Istanbul.

Further back: I grew up in Nigeria, Exeter, Lesotho, Swaziland and Manchester before attending Cambridge University 1976-79. I worked in several government departments before joining the Foreign Office in 1983.

Keen to go to Africa and South America, I’ve had postings in Vienna (twice), Moscow, Bonn, Berlin, Kyiv and Istanbul, plus jobs in London ranging from the EU Budget to the British Overseas Territories.

2002-6 I was lucky enough to spend four years in Berlin running the house, looking after the children (born 1992 and 1994) and doing some writing and journalism.

To return to Vienna as ambassador is a privilege and a pleasure. I hope this blog reflects that.