Tag: syria

30th July 2020 Geneva, Switzerland

Bob Last

by Bob Last

Deputy Head, UK Mission Political Team

Councils Completed

These are such strange days. We still don’t know if this will prove to be a painful but relatively short-lived episode of global distress or if we’re in this for the much longer haul. Will we look back on this as a defining moment of international cooperation to overcome one of the greatest health challenges […]

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20th September 2019 Beirut, Lebanon

Chris Rampling MBE

by Chris Rampling MBE

British Ambassador to Lebanon

12 months in Lebanon: ‘It can sometimes be hard to stay optimistic … but here’s why I do’

This time last year was one of the highlights of my career – presenting Queen Elizabeth’s letter to President Aoun that nominated me as Ambassador. The anniversary has allowed reflection on the year: for Lebanon, and for the UK. My first 12 months in Lebanon has been remarkable. Rolls Royce and MEA signed our largest […]

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25th March 2019 Geneva, Switzerland

Bob Last

by Bob Last

Deputy Head, UK Mission Political Team

Fretful Felines at Forty

Last autumn, Pixie – our much loved cat (and subject of a 2015 blog trilogy) – fell seriously ill. After a week in pet hospital, the vets advised that she needed an urgent blood transfusion to survive. Except they didn’t have any cat blood in stock, so they asked if I could round up some […]

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22nd November 2018 New York, USA

Karen Pierce

by Karen Pierce

British Ambassador to the USA

Holding Russia to account at the United Nations: Russia’s role in blocking progress in Syria and flouting the rules of international law

The Syrian conflict has dragged on for seven long awful years. Over 400,000 people have been killed and half Syria’s population displaced. A terrible price has been paid by the Syrian people for the failure to make the Geneva Agreement of 2012 stick. This agreement identified steps for an immediate cessation of hostilities and a […]

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2nd October 2018 Geneva, Switzerland

Bob Last

by Bob Last

Deputy Head, UK Mission Political Team

Growing Up

When the US walked out of the Council last session, there were plenty of doom-mongers foretelling the multiple ways in which everything would fall apart, drawing on the Council’s darker moments of its stuttering early years, before the US joined. There may be more testing times ahead, but this was the Council’s most successful session […]

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24th September 2018 Geneva, Switzerland

Bob Last

by Bob Last

Deputy Head, UK Mission Political Team

Growing Awkward

I’ve often thought that children make the best negotiators. Kids seem to know better than anyone how to stay focussed on what they want and strike home when defences are down. If you ever need a lesson for succeeding in a multilateral negotiation, I’d recommend spending some time observing supermarket check-out queues on a Saturday […]

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17th September 2018 Geneva, Switzerland

Bob Last

by Bob Last

Deputy Head, UK Mission Political Team

Growing Intolerant

Over the summer, I have grown a little bit more intolerant. Not to family holidays, heatwaves or even World Cup exits, but to all things dairy. In many countries, this wouldn’t be especially problematic, but in Switzerland, I am having to rethink my breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as my usual Council mood-enhancer – […]

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10th July 2018 Geneva, Switzerland

Bob Last

by Bob Last

Deputy Head, UK Mission Political Team

World Cup Council

There’s little point writing about anything not related to football at the moment and I wouldn’t expect anyone to give it much attention if I did. By a happy coincidence, plenty of the countries who qualified for the World Cup finals were busy at the Human Rights Council too. I’m happy to report that we […]

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25th June 2018 Geneva, Switzerland

Bob Last

by Bob Last

Deputy Head, UK Mission Political Team

Keeping the light on

My Council session got off to an unfortunate and slightly messy start. As I rushed to leave the house I discovered that the cat had regurgitated something unpleasant inside my freshly polished work shoes. I’m not prone to superstition but it felt like a worrying omen for what lay ahead. And so it proved to be. […]

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29th March 2018 Geneva, Switzerland

Bob Last

by Bob Last

Deputy Head, UK Mission Political Team

Unruly Behaviour

Voting days at the Council have always been stressful, and things don’t seem to be getting any easier with age. The drawback of having been around in these parts for longer than most is that I’m expected to know what I’m doing, especially when it comes to the finer points of the UN’s rules of […]

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