Sian MacLeod

Sian MacLeod

Ambassador and Head of UK Delegation to the OSCE, Vienna

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UK at the OSCE

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12th April 2017 Vienna, Austria

Sian MacLeod

by Sian MacLeod

Ambassador and Head of UK Delegation to the OSCE, Vienna

A Very Special Visit

The OSCE begins a 2 week Easter recess this week, giving secretariat and 57 national delegations the chance to catch breath and look ahead after an exceptionally busy month of multilateral diplomacy. The broad nature of the OSCE remit is such that unrelated events and political developments can coincide to create flurries of intense activity. […]

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28th March 2017 Vienna, Austria

Sian MacLeod

by Sian MacLeod

Ambassador and Head of UK Delegation to the OSCE, Vienna

Not Just Someone Else’s Problem: Prevention of Torture

Over the past fortnight I have spent a lot of time reading and thinking about prevention of torture. As a diplomat my professional interest has largely related previously to relevant international conventions and to countries that disregard international obligation and use torture as a means of intimidation or coercion.  As a UK citizen I have […]

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8th March 2017 Vienna, Austria

Sian MacLeod

by Sian MacLeod

Ambassador and Head of UK Delegation to the OSCE, Vienna

Shifting Dynamics

I am one of 20 women ambassadors at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. We are 35% of the total (possibly the highest proportion at any multilateral organisation?). Women are also well represented at other levels in many OSCE delegations. It has been suggested to me that this might be because the OSCE […]

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2nd March 2017 Vienna, Austria

Sian MacLeod

by Sian MacLeod

Ambassador and Head of UK Delegation to the OSCE, Vienna

Facts, Opinions and Falsehoods: Freedom of Expression in a ‘Post-Truth’ Age

Freedom of expression, enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international legal obligations, is one of the principles underlying the common ground upon which the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) was built. From its earliest days the states of the OSCE (and its forerunner CSCE) were clear that this right […]

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22nd February 2017 Vienna, Austria

Sian MacLeod

by Sian MacLeod

Ambassador and Head of UK Delegation to the OSCE, Vienna

Relevant, Responsive and Responsible Democracy

Democracy…..has the disadvantage of merely counting votes not weighing them. (Dean Inge 1860-1954) Meeting in Paris in 1990 the states of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe, forerunner of the OSCE, heralded ‘A New Era of Democracy, Peace and Unity’: We undertake to build, consolidate and strengthen democracy as the only system of […]

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31st January 2017 Vienna, Austria

Sian MacLeod

by Sian MacLeod

Ambassador and Head of UK Delegation to the OSCE, Vienna

The Human Dimension

Human rights and fundamental freedoms are integral to the concept of comprehensive security embodied by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. This year this UK has taken on the role of chairing OSCE Human Dimension Committee. This is one of the main pillars of the organisation. How governments treat their people, and we […]

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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

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

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

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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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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