Sian MacLeod

Sian MacLeod

Ambassador and Head of UK Delegation to the OSCE, Vienna

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30th August 2016 Vienna, Austria

Sian MacLeod

by Sian MacLeod

Ambassador and Head of UK Delegation to the OSCE, Vienna

A Potsdam Prism

Glienicke Bridge

In January 1992 in the early days of a reunified Germany I visited Potsdam after dropping off the Vilnius Diplomatic Bag at the British offices in the old Berlin Olympic Stadium. I wanted to see the Palace of Sans Souci, where Frederick the Great had employed Quantz and CPE Bach. But even after three years […]

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28th June 2016 Vienna, Austria

Sian MacLeod

by Sian MacLeod

Ambassador and Head of UK Delegation to the OSCE, Vienna

Days of the Ambassadors: Postcards from Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sarajevo is not just a beautiful, historic city. Set in a magical landscape, it is also an enchanting one, full of life and promise, but with a past as painful as any European city in living history. To me, as to so many diplomats – indeed millions of people around the world – the names […]

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13th June 2016 Vienna, Austria

Sian MacLeod

by Sian MacLeod

Ambassador and Head of UK Delegation to the OSCE, Vienna

Some ‘Do’s’ and ‘Don’ts’ of Diplomatic Etiquette

hat and gloves

Tidying out an Embassy cupboard recently, a colleague found a booklet that I first read when I joined the Diplomatic Service in 1986. Even then the 1965 Guidance to Diplomatic Service Officers and Wives posted to Diplomatic Missions Overseas seemed quaint and outdated. Looking at it now some of the advice seems better suited to […]

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19th May 2016 Vienna, Austria

Sian MacLeod

by Sian MacLeod

Ambassador and Head of UK Delegation to the OSCE, Vienna

Making the Case for Tolerance

NGW-Children09

This afternoon I will attend a memorial service in the City of London’s Guildhall to celebrate the long, eventful life of Sir Nicholas Winton, who died last year aged 106. As a young man, Sir Nicholas travelled briefly to Prague in 1938 to help a friend facilitating urgent evacuation of refugees from the looming Nazi […]

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9th December 2015 Vienna, Austria

Sian MacLeod

by Sian MacLeod

Ambassador and Head of UK Delegation to the OSCE, Vienna

Diplomatic Board Games

belgrade-OSCE-map

Years ago, studying in London, I was puzzled by the enthusiasm of international relations students for spending days at a time for running from room to room playing ‘Diplomacy’. Throughout my subsequent years as a diplomat the board game has seemed far removed from what I do – until now. Last week I attended my […]

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30th November 2015 Vienna, Austria

Sian MacLeod

by Sian MacLeod

Ambassador and Head of UK Delegation to the OSCE, Vienna

Belgrade Barometer

Admiral Fitzroy's Storm Barometer

This week the OSCE moves south with its 57 national delegations from Vienna to Belgrade, capital city of our 2015 Chair-in-Office Serbia, to await the arrival of our 57 government representatives for the annual Ministerial Council. The event may not make the headlines like NATO or EU Foreign Ministers. There will be no high profile […]

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23rd November 2015 Vienna, Austria

Sian MacLeod

by Sian MacLeod

Ambassador and Head of UK Delegation to the OSCE, Vienna

Diplomatic Notes and Instruments: Blog for St Cecilia’s Day

Proudly presenting honorary CBE to Jiri Belohlavek, then Chief Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra

A colleague in the Balkans recently said “tell me about music and diplomacy”. Sitting in Vienna on a cold, grey Sunday that is the day of St Cecilia patron saint of music, seems as good a time as any. A flurry of academic writing has yet to persuade me of music’s capacity ‘to model international […]

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4th November 2015 Vienna, Austria

Sian MacLeod

by Sian MacLeod

Ambassador and Head of UK Delegation to the OSCE, Vienna

Frozen? Avoiding Another Protracted Conflict in the Post-Soviet Space

frozen-tree

That media headlines are focused elsewhere, particularly Syria, makes it all the more important not to lose sight of the conflict on our own threshold in eastern Ukraine. The reduction in violence and destruction in the Donbas is welcome, giving a chance to restore services and make the region safer for the people who live […]

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21st October 2015 Vienna, Austria

Sian MacLeod

by Sian MacLeod

Ambassador and Head of UK Delegation to the OSCE, Vienna

Two Hundred Years in Search of a Cup of Tea: Diplomacy 1815-2015

castlereagh

Each week I take the UK seat at the OSCE Permanent Council in the Hofburg, imposing former Hapsburg imperial seat, where I recently read, the 1815 Congress of Vienna ‘danced the night away, 200 years ago, shaping post-Napoleonic Europe almost as an afterthought’. History records an impressive social whirl around the lengthy negotiations. 201 years […]

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13th October 2015 Vienna, Austria

Sian MacLeod

by Sian MacLeod

Ambassador and Head of UK Delegation to the OSCE, Vienna

Rainy Day Resilience: the OSCE and European Security

When it rains...

Some weeks ago, I retweeted a thoughtful, well-informed article that suggested that the OSCE might have greatest relevance providing ‘resilience for a rainy day’. Resilience has to be built up, just as the human body creates antibodies to ward off disease and infection. In healthcare, resilience does not just mean Accident and Emergency services; the […]

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About Sian MacLeod

Sian became Ambassador/Head of the UK Delegation to the OSCE in Vienna August 2015. Before this she served as Ambassador to the Czech Republic 2009-13, as well as in the…

Sian became Ambassador/Head of the UK Delegation to the OSCE in Vienna August 2015. Before this she served as Ambassador to the Czech Republic 2009-13, as well as in the British Embassies in Moscow (twice), The Hague and Vilnius. Between overseas postings she has worked in the FCO and the Cabinet Office. She is married to Richard Robinson; they have three children, all still in full time education.

With a strong personal commitment to the principles upon which the OSCE is founded, Sian works to help the OSCE prevent and resolve conflict, support rights and freedoms, and build strong, healthy societies for a peaceful and secure future across the region.

Before joining the FCO she studied music at the Winchester School of Art and the Royal Academy of Music.

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