HOW DID IT GET to that time of year already?! 2018 has flown by. As the countdown to March 2019 continues to race along, London’s diplomatic community is more vibrant than ever. In this issue, we wrap up the year with a diverse mix of articles on all aspects of diplomatic life. On the occasion of the centenary of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR), a series of events were held in the country and beyond its borders. The Embassy in London hosted a gala dinner and film screening at the end of October, highlighting the last days of the challenged history of the republic. Despite the fact that the ADR existed for only about two years, this period is described as one of the most glorious and celebrated in the country’s history. The Embassy of Azerbaijan provides an account of its celebrations for their country’s centenary at the end of October. The first democratic republic in the Muslim world, in its short life the ADR established a multiparty parliament and women were granted the right to vote.
Furthermore, the Democratic Republic of the Congo celebrated its 58thanniversary of independence this year, and its Ambassador Marie Ndjeka Opombo writes for Diplomat on her country’s progress. We also have a contribution from the Ambassador of Georgia, Tamar Beruchashvili, who discusses connecting economies and communities at the Georgia International Maritime Forum 2018.
In our cover story, founder of Plant for Peace, James Brett, discusses how creating sustainable economic livelihoods for farmers can lead to the recovery of a nation, and also provide a strategy for a global model. A remarkable character, James persuaded over 55,000 elders to help deliver the Plant for Peace horticulture initiative across Afghanistan, creating millions of alternative livelihoods to opium production. He has already signed up tens of thousands of farmers to stop growing poppies – the source of much of the world’s heroin – and to start growing pomegranates and other crops instead.
Looking at examples throughout the ages, James Landale, Diplomatic correspondent, BBC News, asks if diplomats ever make good politicians. As a former Royal Correspondent with the experience of 80 royal tours, Robert Hardman uses his insider expertise to discuss Britain’s major advantage in the exercise of soft power: the British monarch. His article coincides with his major new publication and television series, Queen of the World. On a lighter note, former press secretary to two British Foreign Secretaries and executive director at APCO Worldwide, Simon McGee, asks why the business of diplomacy demands so much bad taste in the form of ‘diplotat.’
As always, Diplomat reviews the credentials of new heads of mission to the Court of St James’s. This month we meet the Ambassadors of Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chile, Mongolia and the Republic of Korea who share with us their thoughts on their diplomatic role and experiences.
In the lifestyle pages, Diplomat enjoys Japanese cuisine at Ginza Onodera in St James, previews the new BMW X5 and offers gift ideas for the upcoming holidays, including sumptuous hampers from Corporate Service at Harrods. Diplomat also visits Cliveden House, the home of over 350 years of powerful personalities, debaucherous parties and scandalous affairs. Readers with a taste for culture will find valuable advice for the months ahead, from the Charlie Brown, Peanuts and Snoopy exhibition at Somerset House, to the V&A’s major new Photography Centre that opened in October.
Finally, as always, I want to hear from you, our readers, on article suggestions, new appointments, local news and other embassy events that you would like covered. Please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
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