When common interest no longer reflects shared values

News - 13 January, 2012

Richard Burge, Chief Executive writes: I have been watching Lord Paddy Ashdown’s TED talk on current global change. He says that the lesson of history is not to underestimate (and to be prepared for) the turmoil that will be caused and the blood spilt as a result. He reflects on a short extract from the […]

Cast aside despondency – two reasons to celebrate 2012

News - 5 January, 2012

Richard Burge, Chief Executive, writes: I have been struck by how unremittingly morose most New Year blogs and messages have been. Even good news has been tempered. It is as if we feel too guilty to look forward with joy. So this brief post bucks the trend. I want to talk about two events without […]

Arms Trade Treaty and Armistice at Wilton Park

News - 11 November, 2011

Richard Burge, Chief Executive, writes: The church at Wilton Park – St Mary’s – has been a sacred place for nearly a thousand years. The worn brass image of a local crusader knight lies silently near the tiny war memorial that records the sacrifice of local parishioners in the First World War. Twelve men including […]

Nobel Peace Prize 2011: our work with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee

News - 11 October, 2011

  You will no doubt already know that three great individuals shared this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. The award was in recognition of their ‘non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work’. Wilton Park’s own work to engender open dialogue on the important and urgent matters […]

The quiet fights

News - 16 September, 2011

This week we celebrated the International Day of Democracy. It is a day which cannot be ignored or forgotten, not least because of the current international climate and recent events such as the Arab Spring, and not forgetting, the quiet fights; every-day battles that go on in the name of democracy – unpublished and unpublicised. […]

Gearing ourselves up

News - 26 August, 2011

  Richard Burge, Chief Executive, writes: This has been an interesting summer around the world; many people engaged in foreign affairs wonder if they have had a break at all. At Wilton Park, we do not run any events in August. This summer month enables us to put our head above the fray catch up […]

An absence of trust; the peril of ignoring the verification of treaties

News - 19 July, 2011

  Richard Burge, Chief Executive, writes: This may come as a bit of a shock, but you simply cannot rely on some nations to do what they agree to in international treaties or what they promise at global conventions. So we need to check. Apart from the fact that nations may feel slighted if their word is […]

Talking while fighting…

News - 23 June, 2011

  Richard Burge, Chief Executive writes: …; fragile complicated, and oh-so-difficult! A BBC interviewer talking to the Foreign Secretary this morning, naively suggested that the moment the talking starts, the guns should go quiet. The process of trying to talk to your enemy while people die on the battlefield is not new.  It has become […]

The Bribery Act a new weapon in Britains soft power armoury

News - 10 June, 2011

  Richard Burge, Chief Executive, writes: On the 1st July, the Bribery Act comes into force.  Simply, it makes it an offence to give a bribe, to accept a bribe, or to bribe a public official of an overseas government. The law applies to anyone or any organisation that has at least some of its operations […]


News - 24 May, 2011

  Richard Burge, Chief Executive, writes: Ashraf paused as two helicopters flew past his third floor office window to land at the ISAF HQ in central Kabul. The clatter subsided. You see, Richard, we are all Curzons children. Meetings with Ashraf Ghani are always eventful offering insight, wisdom, and very often unexpected direction. He is […]

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