This event will bring together former British diplomats to reflect on their experience of serving in a variety of key Latin American capitals from the 1990s to the present day. The seminar will take the format of a group interview, followed by questions from the audience. At a time when the British government is keen to enhance the country’s links with Latin America, this seminar offers a chance to reflect on British diplomacy in the region at the turn of the 21st century. Speakers for the seminar include:
- Dr Peter Collecott CMG (Ambassador to Brazil, 2004-8)
- Ms Georgina Butler (Ambassador to Costa Rica and Nicaragua, 2002-6, British Consul in Tangier)
- Donald Lamont (Ambassador to Venezuela, 2003-6; Governor of Falklands Islands, 1999-2002; Ambassador to Uruguay, 1991-4).
- Giles Paxman CMG, LVO (Ambassador to Mexico, 2005-9; Ambassador to Spain, 2009-13).
- Nigel Haywood CVO (governor in The Falkland Islands from 2010 until 2014).
Witness Seminars are a format that have long been used by the Institute of Contemporary History at King's College, London (co-organisers for this event). Put simply, they take the form of a group interview on a given subject, followed by questions from an audience of academics, policy-makers and other interested parties. A transcript of the event is then published. Further details of witness seminars can be found here: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/sspp/departments/icbh/witness/index.aspx.
The focus of the current witness seminar is 'British diplomacy in Latin America at the turn of the 21st century'. Drawing on experiences from the early 1990s to the present day I would expect the following kinds of issues to be discussed:
- Britain's primary interests in Latin America (economic / political) and how these have changed over time.
- The impact of the rising influence of Latin American countries (particularly Mexico and Brazil) in global affairs.
- The impact of broader global developments on Britain's role in Latin America (end of the Cold War / War on Terror / global financial crisis).
- Relations between Britain and the United States (and any other relevant countries) in Latin America.
Baroness (Gloria) Hooper (former President and current Vice-President of Canning House) will chair the event. She would guide the discussion around the above broad themes and take questions from the audience.