Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Posts Tagged ‘Hugo de Blocq van Kuffeler’

Diplomat Awards 2013

Posted by jonathanfryer on Monday, 29th April, 2013

Ambassador BoomgardenHE Carlos dos SantosThe Langham Hotel, just opposite BBC Broadcasting House, claims with justification to be one of the oldest top-end hotels in Europe. Crown Prince Edward presided over the opening of its grand function room in 1865; this evening, almost a century and a half later, it welcomed the massed ranks of London’s diplomatic corps, at what has become a key date in the capital’s annual social calendar: Diplomat Magazine’s Awards for diplomats of special note, nominated by their peers. It’s true that in the interim the hotel went through some barren years, especially after the Germans dropped a bomb through the roof and the BBC then occupied it for offices. But now it is back to its former glory (despite recently hosting Justin Bieber, on the less than glorious London led of his concert tour). The Awards were presented tonight by Sir Christopher Meyer, former UK Ambassador to to Washington and head of the ill-fated Press Complaints Commission; he is now sucked into the corporate sector and performed with immense slickness and occasional wit. The laureates included the Christian Lady Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain (Middle East), the German Ambassador (who sent a deliciously subversive pro-European Unity message in his absence), the Ambassador of Brazil (South America), the Ambassador of Indonesia (Asia)  and the High Commissioners of Mozambique (Africa) and Trinidad & Tobago (The Americas). The hotel and various sponsors certainly did us all proud and it is a credit to the Diplomat’s owners/editors Hugo and Venetia de Blocq van Kuffeler that they manage to keep the whole enterprise going in these difficult economic times. With over 160 diplomatic missions London as a posting remains one of the highlights of any diplomat’s career and indeed for some being accredited to the Court of St James’s is the crowning of a professional lifetime, even if on occasions (as Sir Christopher wickedly reminded us, in the words of Henry Wotton) they are being sent abroad as honest men (and women these days) to lie for their country.

[photos show HE Georg Boomgaarden, Ambassador of Germany, and HE Carlos dos Santos, High Commissioner of Mozambique]

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Diplomat Magazine’s Awards 2011

Posted by jonathanfryer on Saturday, 28th May, 2011

More than four score Heads of Mission from the diplomatic community in London gathered at the Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill hotel for the 2011 awards from Diplomat Magazine, for which I write regularly. As Diplomat’s publisher, Hugo de Blocq van Kuffeler, pointed out in his speech, ‘despite the conveniences of modern technology, the tact, persuasiveness, influence and guile of a great diplomat is far more powerful and effective than an e-mail or a letter. Diplomacy is the brain of a nation. It has been said that the quality of a nation’s diplomacy gives it direction and weight.’ London has one of the largest diplomatic communities in the world, so the magazine gives awards for the most remarkable Head of Mission for each geographic region, this year’s laureates being Dr Afnan Al-Shuaiby, Secretary-General of the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce (Middle East); HRH Prince Seeiso Bereng Seeiso, High Commissioner for Lesotho (Africa); HE Mr Keiichi Hayashi, Ambassador of Japan (Asia) — who accepted his award on behalf of the people of Japan, in the wake of one of the worst natural disasters in the world since World War II; HE Mr Otabek Akbarov, Ambassador of Uzbekistan (Eurasia); HE Mr Johan Verbeke, Ambassador of Belgium (Europe); HE Ms Kamela Palma, High Commissioner for Belize (Americas); HE Mr Roberto Jaguaribe, Ambassador of Brazil (South America); Deputy Head of Mission of the Year: Ms Klara Breuer-Rudas (Embassy of Hungary); Outstanding Contribution to Women in Diplomacy: HE Ms Ruth Elizabeth Rouse (High Commissioner for Grenada); Outstanding Contribution to the Consular Corps: Bogdan Kolarov (Embassy of Bulgaria); Young Diplomat of the Year: Mr Marwan Francis (Embassy of Lebanon). The Wilton Park conference centre received a special award for its Distingtuished Contribution to Diplomacy in London.

Photo: Roland Kemp (


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