Tag: digital diplomacy

12th June 2023 Belgrade, Serbia

Sian MacLeod

by Sian MacLeod

UK Ambassador to Serbia

A Belgrade Diplomatic Fantasy

As a diplomat living or working in a historic building you find yourself thinking about the people who occupied the same physical and professional space before you. This is natural curiosity, interest in historic events and a wish to understand past relationships that underpin present day ones. I hope the Financial Times will forgive me […]

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8th February 2021 Belgrade, Serbia

Sian MacLeod

by Sian MacLeod

UK Ambassador to Serbia

Boycie and Baldrick Get a Shot in the Arm

In this strangest of years, international cooperation has taken on a different aspect.   Border closures, quarantine and testing regimes have never before been part of my daily diplomatic vocabulary. Though as a well travelled diplomat vaccination has long played a small but important part in my professional life.    The world faces a common challenge that […]

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25th November 2020 Vienna, Austria

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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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30th October 2020 Belgrade, Serbia

Sian MacLeod

by Sian MacLeod

UK Ambassador to Serbia

A House in Dedinje

Diplomats move house more than most people. We move between countries every two, three or four years.  We move backwards and forwards to and from our own countries. Even within our home countries jobs in our foreign ministries may be spread across more than one city.      I have lived in six countries outside the UK.  Some of my colleagues will have […]

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23rd October 2020 Vienna, Austria

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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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21st September 2020 Belgrade, Serbia

Sian MacLeod

by Sian MacLeod

UK Ambassador to Serbia

The Online Diplomat

Sian MacLeod

I 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 […]

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18th October 2019 Belgrade, Serbia

Sian MacLeod

by Sian MacLeod

UK Ambassador to Serbia

First Impressions

Sian and Richard at Konak knjeginje Ljubice

It’s a beautiful October day as I write.   As I sit in my Belgrade garden I see clouds of newly hatched late ladybirds, the first yellow leaves shaken by a mild breeze, warm weak sunshine and distant haze. Around me the hum of urban life is punctuated by hammering and bursts of drilling from nearby […]

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11th July 2019 London, UK

Peter Jones

Chief Operating Officer

Diplomacy has never been more relevant. Here’s why

Last year was the deadliest year on record for journalists. UNESCO records suggest that at least 99 journalists were killed, 348 imprisoned and 60 held hostage. That is why, this week, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has jointly hosted with the Canadian government a major international conference in London, putting media freedom at the forefront […]

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