We are living in parlous times. Across the globe, there are some 32 countries embroiled in armed conflict. While the Russia-Ukraine war and, more recently, the outbreak of violence in Israel/Palestine, dominate news headlines, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Libya, Mali, Myanmar, Somalia, South Sudan, and Syria are all currently experiencing civil wars, resulting in significant casualties and displacement. In many regions around the world, peacemaking and mediation efforts are failing to prevent or resolve armed conflict. What scope is there for diplomacy to play a more effective role in mediating these conflicts? On the occasion of the publication of the 8th edition of Satow’s Diplomatic Practice edited by Ivor Roberts, we bring together four former diplomats to answer that and related questions.
Prof Richard Caplan (Professor of International Relations, Oxford University; Oxford Global Society Fellow)
Sir Ivor Roberts (former British ambassador in Belgrade, Dublin and Rome; former president of Trinity College, Oxford University; Oxford Global Society Advisory Board member)
Dr Noeleen Heyzer (former UN Under-Secretary General, Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia Pacific (ESCAP), Executive Director of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), Secretary-General Special Advisor for Timor-Leste and Special Envoy on Myanmar)
Ambassador Jorge Heine (former Chilean ambassador to China, India and South Africa; research professor at the Pardee School of Global Studies and interim director of the Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future at Boston University)
Mr Ghaith al-Omari (Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Senior Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. From 1999-2006 he held various positions in the Palestinian Authority including as an advisor to the Palestinian negotiating team)