Councillor Duncan McGinty of Sedgemoor District Council has been shortlisted under the Policy Driver category for the 2nd Annual Grassroot Diplomat Initiative Award. The Councillor is nominated for securing a multi-million pound benefit package for communities set to host the country’s first third generation new nuclear power station.Read More
In an interview with InPec Grassroot Diplomat's CEO Talyn Rahman-Figueroa gives her view on hot-topics from gender through to disarmament and UN Reform. The interview was conducted by David Franco. Ms Rahman-Figueroa is determined to tear down traditional barriers and work towards moving from a culture of national interests to a culture of people interests.Read More
Ever since President Obama’s Prague speech nearly two and a half years ago, it seems that the momentum on the talks of nuclear non-proliferation has dropped and is yet to gain full political approval.Read More
A country without trade is like a person without friends. Dialogue becomes unnecessary. Communication is non-existent. Amicability ranks second best. With all this, diplomacy has no justification without trade. For Britain, commercial diplomacy has historically provided investment, stability, security and alliances and such a strategy still applies to contemporary diplomatic governance.
Commenting on the February White Paper, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said that "business is part of our commitment to inject a new commercialism into the Foreign Office, using our international influence to help British businesses secure new trade opportunities." In this, he refers to high technology defence exports including the sale of arms, aerospace and security equipment to overseas markets that do not have their own defence industry.
Defence export accounts for about 3% of Britain's manufacturing exports with a 20% market share second to the United States. According to a government dossier, the UK security exports are £1.5 billion with the value of defence contracts being £7.2 billion. UK defence and security industries have licenses with over 96 overseas markets, which helps to secure 300,000 jobs for British people. This may mean that 1.2 million people rely on the arms trade indirectly.
Although these figures are not as substantial during the Cold War, Britain is seeking to become more competitive by broadening out its capacity to selling defence and security equipment to a wide range of countries. The Labour Government elected in 1997 pledged an "ethical foreign policy" that theoretically placed humanitarian issues before arms trade. The Labour Government elected in 1997 pledges an "ethical foreign policy" which arguably didn't survive contact with reality. Today, to make a substantial improvement in outcomes, is it necessary to do business with countries that violate civilised human rights policies? And what is the non-monetary cost of doing so?