by Miceál O’Hurley
In a world that celebrates athletes as celebrities ‘heroes’ it is too easy to overlook the quiet, diligent, disciplined and devoted service rendered by members of the international diplomatic corps. In a world where personal trust and confidence are the basic calculus for making life-changing decisions for nations, regions, peoples and individuals, it is easy to overlook those who do their work quietly and without fanfare. Still, it is incumbent upon us all to celebrate those who excel in the practice of the diplomatic arts when possible. Decades of conflicts around the globe, many of which are intensifying as others draw to a close, as well as the Covid-19 pandemic and a rise in migration and refugees has given us a greater insight into the work of Ambassadors and their staffs, Ministries and their diplomats.
Consequently, we are able to more easily recognise greatness when we find it, be it in an emerging issue which people mistakenly believe is of little import or addressing the threat of human-existence ending nuclear arms, the diplomats we honour tonight, and the NGOs and allied professionals who work with them, are truly deserving of our praise. We hope you will enjoy learning who our Awards Committee (two academics and two retired, senior diplomats accompanied by Oksana Shadrina who Chaired the Committee) selected and enjoy seeing them receive their honours. Their acceptance of their medals or awards proved authentically humble and their acceptance remarks thought provoking. The programme runs almost 2-hours because we have an editorial policy of long interviews and presentations because the issues we cover, and the words spoken by diplomats, are genuinely too important to try to reduce to slogans or Tik-Tok memes. Enjoy the programme.
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