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Nigel Baker

Ambassador to the Holy See (2011-2016)

Part of Stay Ahead of the Games UK in Bolivia

27th January 2011

London 2012

It may seem only yesterday that the Beijing Olympic and Paraolympic Games ended, but we are now less than two years away from London 2012. The euphoria that followed the award of the Games to London was rapidly converted into the hard work of preparation, construction and planning, and the results can already be seen. The Olympic Park is emerging fast, as President Pinera of Chile saw for himself during his recent visit to London. The new transport infrastructure is taking shape. And the logistical planning well under way.You can find plenty of information about preparations on www.london2012.com

London is determined to ensure a long-lasting sporting and social legacy for the city and its communities after the Olympic Games are over. These will be the “Green” Games, show casing green technology and the way a major event of this sort can be held in an environmentally sustainable way. They will highlight the very best values of tolerance, moderation and openness amongst the peoples of the world. And they will show Britain as the vibrant, open and modern society it is today: forward looking, cosmopolitan and multicultural.

There will be many events all around the world relating to and promoting London 2012 over the next two years. I hope very much that we shall be able to mark the days towards the next Olympic Games in Bolivia as well. Bolivians love sport. Football, cycling, shooting and racket sports are amongst Bolivia’s sporting strengths, and it would be magnificent to see a strong Bolivian team competing for medals in London 2012. The Sub-15 Bolivian football team have shown recently just what can be done with energy, focus and commitment. London 2012 is not just an opportunity for my country, but for Bolivia as well.

About Nigel Baker

Nigel was British Ambassador to the Holy See from 2011-2016. He presented his Credentials to Pope Benedict XVI on 9 September 2011, after serving 8 years in Latin America, as…

Nigel was British Ambassador to the Holy See from 2011-2016. He presented his Credentials to Pope Benedict XVI on 9 September 2011, after serving 8 years in Latin America, as Deputy Head of Mission in the British Embassy in Havana, Cuba (2003-6) and then as British Ambassador in La Paz, Bolivia (2007-11). In July 2016, Nigel finished his posting, and is currently back in London.

As the first British Ambassador to the Holy See ever to have a blog, Nigel provided a regular window on what the Embassy and the Ambassador does. The blogs covered a wide range of issues, from Royal and Ministerial visits to Diplomacy and Faith, freedom of religion, human trafficking and climate change.

More on Nigel’s career

Nigel was based in London between 1998 and 2003. He spent two years on European Union issues (for the UK 1998 EU Presidency and on European Security and Defence questions), before crossing St James’s Park to work for three years as The Assistant Private Secretary to His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. At St James’s Palace, Nigel worked on international issues, including the management of The Prince of Wales’s overseas visits and tours, on the Commonwealth, interfaith issues, the arts and international development.

Nigel spent much of the early part of his FCO career in Central Europe, after an initial stint as Desk Officer for the Maghreb countries in the Near East and North Africa department (1990-91). Between 1992 and 1996, Nigel served in the British embassies in Prague and Bratislava, the latter being created in 1993 after the peaceful division of Czechoslovakia into the separate Czech and Slovak Republics.

Nigel joined the FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) in September 1989. Between 1996 and 1998 he took a two year academic sabbatical to research and write about themes in 18th century European history, being based in Verona but also researching in Cambridge, Paris and Naples. The research followed from Nigel’s time as a student at Cambridge (1985-88) where he read history and was awarded a First Class Honours degree, followed by his MA in 1992.

Before joining the Foreign Office, Nigel worked briefly for the Conservative Research Department in London at the time of the 1989 European election campaign.

Nigel married Alexandra (Sasha) in 1997. They have one son, Benjamin, born in Bolivia in September 2008.

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