LONDON: As the longest standing member of the Diplomatic Courier’s Advisory Board, it is my privilege and pleasure to be asked to write this foreword to the publications 10th Anniversary Edition. The Courier was born out of a vision held by Ana Carcani, now Rold, an Albanian student, who I first met in Prague more than a decade ago when I was presenting to a group of young internationals engaged in conflict resolution studies. In discussion, she articulated her belief that there was a role for a conflict resolution publication that caught the imagination of the younger fraternity engaged in global affairs across the international divide. That she has achieved this in such comprehensive fashion in only 10 years speaks volumes for her and the Courier team. The publication has established a voice for itself that is second to none in its particular niche. It has a print readership of 25,000 and a digital outlet of 2.4 million. Overall, in the last 10 years it has reached out successfully to 178 million people deploying its social media tool. One could say that the vision has truly exceeded its initial expectation.
This Anniversary edition, the biggest to date, will be launched at the Future of Peace Summit in June. Its content underlines in full measure just how much the Courier has grown in influence with leadership and organizations across our globalized world. As its centerpiece, it carries an exclusive interview with President Jimmy Carter—a man dedicated to peace in all its forms. This is accompanied by a range of other articles embracing the host of geostrategic challenges that nations, institutions, organizations, and communities face as we seek to live together in today’s globalized society. They represent the best of what the Courier can offer—an independent and original voice, unfettered by bias and special interest, providing a candid and honest insight into the realities of hard problems, and what is needed to be done to address them.
When the Courier began, the world was in a state of flux. Iraq and Afghanistan still dominated the global security agenda, the global recession had yet to hit, new leaderships offered some cause for optimism following a decade in which control of events, even understanding of them, was faltering at best. Such optimism dissipated quickly in the years that followed. The global village, as it was termed, became bitterly divided, the Arab Spring came and went, and those hopes that existed at the end of the Cold War that the end of global confrontation and the arrival of new technology would usher in an era of peace and prosperity became a distant memory. Today, we are beset by threats and challenges such as religious intolerance, global terrorism, mass migration, ecological irresponsibility, and cybercrime. Poverty and the under development of swathes of humanity highlight the inequalities in our World. Against this, our governance models are struggling, undermined by a creeping corruption amongst elites, causing societies to become more frustrated and angry, resulting in the rise of divisive politics at the fringes. Politics that threaten the values and moral frameworks that we choose to pursue. The international order and the norms it engendered is moving in directions that 10 years ago, we could never have imagined.
So, the Courier has much to contribute as it heads into this challenging environment in its next decade of life. It is a publication that has made its mark, its multimedia profile demonstrating vividly how the global community can be accessed and influenced. Such capability—creative and original—will bring important thinking to our pressing global security agenda in the years ahead.
Happy Birthday Diplomatic Courier—and good luck.