Wilton Park – distinguished contribution to diplomacy

19 May, 2011

 

Richard Burge, Chief Executive, writes:

So we are now really "the award- winning Wilton Park"!  I am terribly tempted to put that in front of our name – everywhere.  Last night I attended the annual "Diplomat" Magazine awards in London.  It was full of the leading lights of foreign missions in the UK.  My individual conversations were of three types: "my last visit to Wilton Park was so useful (even if it was 10 years ago)";  "I have an issue which my government thinks could well benefit from a quiet dialogue"; and "why have I never been invited!".  But when I am with people from overseas for whom the grit in international affairs is their daily work – from diplomatic spat to prolonged conflicts – I never have to explain what Wilton Park is, and even less do I have to justify its existence.

The editor of the Diplomat magazine in his presentation of the award delivered a brilliant description of "why Wilton Park" and I hope to publish it soon.  As I gave well -deserved thanks to staff past and present, and to the FCO who have been responsible for us for 60 years, I became aware that, for the majority of the diplomats in the room, this was not an award to someone else, it was an award to their institution, their Wilton Park."

 

Richard Burge 

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