After an 18-month delay because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Embassy Network was finally able to welcome back diplomats to a live event in October. Held at 11 Cavendish Square in central London, the Induction Seminar 2021 saw more than 200 new diplomats to the capital from almost a 100 different countries enjoy a day of talks and workshops to introduce them to diplomacy and life in London.
After a busy morning of networking with diplomatic suppliers, the delegates (their masks firmly in place) filed into the main auditorium for the plenary session, which started with a welcome from Embassy Network director Elizabeth Stewart. Alistair Harrison then spoke about his role as the Marshal of the Diplomatic Corps, before the Ambassador of Kuwait and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, HE Khaled Al Duwaisan gave his insider’s guide to diplomacy gained from his long 28-year tour of duty. Linking to the event via Zoom, Alison MacMillan, Deputy Director of the Protocol Directorate at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, gave some invaluable insights into the workings of the FCDO.
Meanwhile, The Doyenne of the London Diplomatic Corps, Dalal Al Duwaisan and the Vice President of the Diplomatic Spouses Club of London Swati Jha, kicked off a jam-packed spouse programme.Having been given a whistle-stop tour of the many diplomatic associations in London and receiving a safety briefing from the Metropolitan Police, diplomats entered some lively diplomacy workshops devoted to consular and home affairs; politics; economics and trade; media and public diplomacy, as well as culture, science and education.
After a busy day, diplomats and spouses were able to unwind at a networking reception in the airy Orangery followed by the ever-popular prize draw. It’s good to back!