OUR COVER STORY takes an unprecedented approach this month with a Head of Mission doing the interviewing. The Mexican Ambassador in the UK (and the Mexican President’s former Director for Foreign Media,) Diego Pickerin, interviews Simon Anholt, one of the world’s leading authorities on corporate and national identity and reputation. Together, they discuss Mr Anholt’s Good Country Index and his desire to see a change in the culture of governance worldwide. He believes that, up until now, all governments have operated according to a simple mandate: their ultimate responsibility is to their own people and their own territory. His view is that this must be upgraded to a Dual Mandate, so that all forms of government understand that they are responsible for their own people and for the rest of humanity; they are responsible for their own territory, and for the rest of the planet.
The project centres around a firm belief, born from his experience as a government adviser, that even the most local of local issues, the most domestic of domestic challenges, can always be more effectively resolved by looking at them in the international context. So it simply becomes culturally unacceptable to leave the rest of the world out of the equation when formulating domestic policy, electioneering, debating in parliament and lawmaking. This makes for a fascinating discussion. The full version – well worth a read – can be found on our website.
The topic of international borders is one that continues throughout much of this issue of Diplomat. Former UK Ambassador Charles Crawford poses the question of what if, one day, international borders just melt. He says that a new, dismal precedent for changing international borders has appeared, namely the Crimea crisis. Moreover, Syrians and Iraqis are seeing their state borders dissolving under ruthless attacks by extremist groups, most significantly Isis. The former diplomatic editor at The Times then poses a number of dilemmas the West is left facing: if it intervenes with fighting in Iraq and Syria, it will again be portrayed by Islamists as the enemy of Islam seeking to control oil and land. But if it fails to halt the Isis advance, it will see more young Muslims attracted to the movement. The President of the Moroccan Centre for Strategic Studies writes for Diplomat that we need collective responses to these collective threats, a regional strategy and a regional and international cooperation.
Closer to home, Diplomat interviews the Executive Director of the International Sugar Organisation on his role with the globe’s largest international commodity body and the future of the industry. The Ambassador of Latvia writes our National Day Message as his country celebrates 96 years since the Republic of Latvia was established.
As always, Diplomat reviews the Credentials of new heads of mission to the Court of St James’s, this month meeting with the new Ambassadors of Estonia, Norway and Kazakhstan. For our Portrait page, we photographed the Ambassador of Tajikistan. In the lifestyle section, Diplomat enjoys a magical and family-friendly time at The Chedi, Muscat in Oman, and dinner at Hawksmoor Knightsbridge. For the Diplomatic Concierge page, Diplomat experiences classic, old-school hospitality at the Four Seasons London Hotel at Park Lane. Readers with a taste for culture will find valuable advice in our book and arts reviews, including the Royal Collection’s Gold exhibition at Buckingham Palace.