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UK in Switzerland

20th March 2017 Geneva, Switzerland

Bob Last

by Bob Last

Deputy Head, UK Mission Political Team

What lies beneath

I’m in big trouble. For the second Sunday running I’ve single-handedly, polished off a 26-pack of chocolate wafer biscuits which were supposed to be carefully rationed for the kids over the weeks ahead. I know it’s not going to do me much good come the morning as I try and squeeze into my suit, but […]

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13th March 2017 Geneva, Switzerland

Bob Last

by Bob Last

Deputy Head, UK Mission Political Team

Change in the Air

While there haven’t exactly  been howls of protest about my online silence these last few weeks, the number of people asking what I’ve been up to rose to three on Friday (excluding my last boss who is clearly still keeping tabs on me from afar), so I feel a little sheepish and neglectful. The main reason […]

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8th March 2017 Geneva, Switzerland

Julian Braithwaite

by Julian Braithwaite

Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN and other international organisations in Geneva

Shining A Spotlight On The World’s Human Rights Problems

The March session of the Human Rights Council is the most significant event in the UN human rights calendar. Well over a hundred ministers were in Geneva for the first week, last week. So now is a good time to take stock of the significance of this body and why it matters. To some it […]

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20th February 2017 Geneva, Switzerland

Julian Braithwaite

by Julian Braithwaite

Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN and other international organisations in Geneva

Championing Trade

Any day now, something called the Trade Facilitation Agreement will enter into force. There will be no meeting of Presidents, no gala summit. World leaders are unlikely to give speeches. And yet it will unlock economic opportunities for millions of people around the world, reduce poverty and spur economic development. It is estimated that the […]

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31st January 2017 Geneva, Switzerland

Julian Braithwaite

by Julian Braithwaite

Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN and other international organisations in Geneva

The World’s Doctor

At the end of May the nations of the world will meet in Geneva to elect the next Director General of the World Health Organisation. It is no exaggeration to say that the fate of millions rests on the decision. That is why the United Kingdom is supporting the candidacy of Dr David Nabarro. The […]

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12th December 2016 Geneva, Switzerland

Julian Braithwaite

by Julian Braithwaite

Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN and other international organisations in Geneva

Argentina, The UK, And Overcoming The Legacy Of The Past

Until now, my enduring memory of the Falklands War was of a car park in Washington DC. My father was serving in our Embassy there at the time. Later it was claimed that the US simply handed key military components over to us in the Embassy’s car park, so urgent was the cause, so deep […]

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23rd November 2016 Geneva, Switzerland

Julian Braithwaite

by Julian Braithwaite

Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN and other international organisations in Geneva

The Future Of Globalisation

To appreciate the paradox of globalisation, consider this: – The first of the UN’s eight Millennium Development Goals was to halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income was less than $1.25 a day. This target was met five years early. Over half those lifted out of extreme poverty during this period, […]

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7th November 2016 Geneva, Switzerland

Julian Braithwaite

by Julian Braithwaite

Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN and other international organisations in Geneva

The New Human Rights Council

So what do the elections to the UN’s Human Rights Council tell us about the state of human rights in the world today? The elections took place ten days ago. There are 47 members of the HRC, and each has a three year term. A third of the membership is elected each year. All the […]

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18th October 2016 Geneva, Switzerland

Mark Matthews

Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of the UK to the UN & Other International Organisations in Geneva.

FCO Conference on Preventing Violent Extremism: How Freedom of Religion or Belief can help

Violent extremism is of course nothing new, but today we are confronted by the rapid growth of a particular form of it which is linked by its perpetrators to the tenets of one of the world’s great religions, Islam. It is worth just pausing for a moment to consider that violent extremism is not new, […]

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5th October 2016 Geneva, Switzerland

Bob Last

by Bob Last

Deputy Head, UK Mission Political Team

Climbing Up The Walls

The physical experience of going through a Council session feels rather like having your head banged against a wall. It’s nice when it stops, but otherwise not particularly enjoyable. So there was a sense of delirium in the air when we headed out of the doors at a reasonable time last Friday evening. Three weeks […]

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