US Ambassador Thomas Pickering highlights key security issues facing the world today

Ambassador Thomas Pickering highlights key security issues facing the world today

Speaking at an event in London last week on the theme “Current US Perspectives on Security and Risk”, former US Ambassador Thomas Pickering asserted that military force is not always the best way of solving diplomatic problems. He said we have seen the beginnings of the undermining of diplomacy by the arguable failure of military force in recent interventions to make a real difference.  A finding that emerges from these controversial engagements is that international security issues are becoming increasingly multilateral.

The event was hosted by The Ambassador Partnership, MAST and Ince & Co and was attended by both the public and private sectors including serving Ambassadors, High Commissioners and political risk professionals, as well as members of the House of Lords.

Ambassador Pickering identified key international security issues that the U.S. and international community need to address.  He also emphasised the importance of understanding the inter-related nature of issues such as energy, the environment and climate change and the role of 'economic diplomacy'.

Ambassador Thomas Pickering said: “As ever, we need to learn the lessons from history.  It's clear that military force alone has not worked, which is why we are now seeing a concerted move towards economic diplomacy. Also, in a world where technology is playing a central role we can no longer address an issue in isolation as there will inevitably be unintended consequences affecting other issues elsewhere in the world.  Finally, more effective multilateral diplomacy will be essential if we are o tackle the seemingly growing threats to security.”

Phillip Cable, CEO of MAST, said: “At a time of growing uncertainty in countries and regions around the world it was interesting to hear Ambassador Pickering's view that diplomacy rather than force alone will be the focal point for future dispute resolution. MAST is constantly assessing new and emerging global security risks and it was fascinating hearing such an eminent diplomat speak on this subject. Having served over four decades, Ambassador Pickering has incomparable insight into the changing face of global diplomacy.”

Sir Stephen Brown, Co-Chairman of The Ambassador Partnership, said: “As former Ambassadors we appreciate the central role that diplomacy should play both in international relations and international commerce.  We urge all political leaders to reach for their ambassadors before they reach for their generals.”

About Ambassador Thomas Pickering

Ambassador Thomas Pickering served more than four decades as a U.S. diplomat. His final assignment was Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, the third highest post in the U.S. State Department. Pickering also served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Russia, Nigeria, El Salvador, India, Israel and Jordan. He holds the rank of Career Ambassador, the highest rank in the U.S. Foreign Service.

About The Ambassador Partnership

The Ambassador Partnership is an international corporate diplomacy consulting group drawing on the experience, networks and insight of former Ambassadors and others who understand global business and government decision making. The group offers advice, advocacy and problem-solving to a wide range of clients including multinationals, SMEs, financial institutions, investors, underwriters, consulting firms, corporate intelligence groups, law firms, litigation funders, UN agencies and governments.

Published: December 13, 2013

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