Ian Hughes » British Ambassador, Juba

“As you get older, remember you have two hands: one is to help yourself; the other is to help others” – Audrey Hepburn

Feature image for:  “As you get older, remember you have two hands: one is to help yourself; the other is to help others” – Audrey Hepburn

  They say that adversity brings out the best and the worst in people. I have seen both in the uncertain days since fighting broke out here in Juba last week. While the fighting raged we all kept our heads down and prayed that it would soon be over. For me, Monday’s artillery fire near Bilpam boomed almost innocuously in the distance: for those nearby it must have been a … Read more »“As you get older, remember you have two hands: one is to help yourself; the other is to help others” – Audrey Hepburn

“Commit yourself to the noble struggle for human rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country and a finer world to live in. Martin Luther King Jr.

  Today is Human Rights Day, when the world celebrates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Today we reflect on what it means when we say that every human being is “born free and equal in dignity and in rights.” Human Rights matter. Not because they feature in International Conventions but because they establish the fundamentals of the relationship between governments and citizens. They set limits to governments’ power and … Read more »“Commit yourself to the noble struggle for human rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country and a finer world to live in. Martin Luther King Jr.

Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world. Nelson Mandela

I am a great fan of education. As a consumer I learned how to think and to write at St John’s in Singapore, about statistics at South West London College, about international relations at the LSE and about management at LBS. Without education my options and prospects would have been limited, like those of my Welsh slateminer ancestors or even those of my father, a Sergeant Major of whom I … Read more »Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world. Nelson Mandela

Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of that candle is not shortened. The Buddha

I’ve been thinking a lot about teamwork lately. That’s because I’ve just attended the Government/NGO Partnership Review, where government and NGOs talk about working together more efficiently. It was a fascinating morning. We all know that South Sudan is a brand new country, but one weighed down by the legacy of bitter conflict: disorganised institutions, shattered infrastructure and disrupted societies. As a result many citizens cannot provide for themselves, and … Read more »Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of that candle is not shortened. The Buddha

“To take a life when a life has been lost is revenge, not justice” Desmond Tutu

At a reception at my house to mark the 11th World Against the Death Penalty Day I said that for the British Government, the death penalty had no place in the modern world: we believed that its use undermined human dignity; there was no conclusive evidence of its deterrent value; and any miscarriage of justice leading to its imposition was irreversible and irreparable. However, there remained much contention on this issue, particularly in … Read more »“To take a life when a life has been lost is revenge, not justice” Desmond Tutu

This is not the end. It is not the beginning of the end. It is, perhaps, the end of the beginning. Winston Churchill

Yesterday I went with two visitors from London to talk on Radio Miraya about Britain’s contribution to the development of South Sudan since independence. Our message was that Britain is a staunch friend this country and that its citizens can rely on our help as they complete the process of building their new nation. One questioner asked about Britain’s most important contribution so far: was it schools, hospitals or roads? … Read more »This is not the end. It is not the beginning of the end. It is, perhaps, the end of the beginning. Winston Churchill

Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means. Dalai Lama

South Sudanese friends ask me what’s behind newspaper reports that the UK “rejects a unilateral referendum in Abyei” and this morning’s The Citizen cartoon showing the UK as Pharaoh “not letting the people of Abyei go” for their referendum. They want to know why we are “siding with Khartoum”. So what is the UK position and why? The UK wants South Sudan and Sudan to live together peacefully and shares … Read more »Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means. Dalai Lama

“Respect existence or expect resistance”: Slogan in Taksim Square, Cairo

Feature image for:  “Respect existence or expect resistance”: Slogan in Taksim Square, Cairo

I have just come back from two short visits to Jonglei with other Ambassadors to talk to the government and people of this troubled part of South Sudan. We went because our governments and our citizens are supporters of South Sudan and the South Sudanese and want them to be successful. We went because they are worried about the implications of the conflicts in Jonglei and the fate of innocent … Read more »“Respect existence or expect resistance”: Slogan in Taksim Square, Cairo

‘It is unfair to include S. Sudan on “Failed State List” – UK Ambassador’

When The New Nation interviewed me recently their headline caused a stir. Some South Sudanese liked it, some did not. What’s going on behind that headline? We often criticise ourselves, our families, friends, schools etc. But if outsiders do the same our hackles rise. I am no different: I knock “my” soccer team (which is Arsenal, by the way) but am quickly offended if others do the same. The same … Read more »‘It is unfair to include S. Sudan on “Failed State List” – UK Ambassador’

It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried. Winston Churchill

Democracy in Egypt probably took a step backwards yesterday when the Egyptian army removed the democratically elected President of their country. I say “probably” because the situation in Egypt is far from straightforward. On the one hand the government there was democratically elected by the Egyptian electorate. On the other hand that same government, though elected with a very slim majority, pressed ahead with controversial and divisive policies that have … Read more »It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried. Winston Churchill