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Blog Articles

A global role for Britain?

Published: Thursday, 12th November 2015
Is the UK really abdicating from its role as an influential power in the world, as many of our friends and allies fear? And does a diminution in our global…

Scotland: the strategic choice

Published: Monday, 15th September 2014
As internationalists with a deep admiration for the Scottish contribution to the UK's global strengths and interests, we will not stop warming to Scotland…

Gaza: how not to learn the lessons of the past

Published: Tuesday, 22nd July 2014
The Middle East is depressing almost wherever you look. What is happening in Gaza as I write is yet another major tragedy, all the worse for being such…

Afghanistan: humanitarian needs remain great

Published: Tuesday, 8th April 2014
Afghanistan is entering a new phase after the Afghan people went to the polls with so much enthusiasm a few days ago. Whatever the result of the election,…

Ukraine: how can we help?

Published: Tuesday, 25th February 2014
It was impossible not to be moved by the victory of the protesters in Kiev at the end of last week, and by the courage of those who braved snipers’…

Does the UN's responsibility to protect necessitate an intervention in Syria?

Published: Thursday, 29th August 2013
This UN doctrine can justify military action where citizens need protection – but it does not provide a practical guide The western dilemma about intervention…

The DRC and sexual violence: too often forgotten

Published: Thursday, 18th April 2013
International attention is fickle. The spotlight effect, where the full glare of publicity suddenly turns on to a particular issue or country for a while,…

Gaza: can the same actions produce different results?

Published: Monday, 26th November 2012
I spent a lot of time as UN Emergency Relief Coordinator either in Gaza or worrying about the humanitarian situation in the territory, particularly in…

Britain and a two-tier Europe

Published: Tuesday, 16th October 2012
Our last conference here at Ditchley was dedicated to the possibility of a two-tier Europe and its consequences. It turned out to be a particularly lively…

East Asia and nationalism

Published: Tuesday, 25th September 2012
Ditchley’s  latest conference on Security and Prosperity in East Asia turned out to be particularly timely, coinciding as it did with violent demonstrations…