The great and the good of London’s Diplomatic community gathered in Central London’s Jumeirah Carlton Hotel for the 11th Diplomat of the Year annual awards ceremony organised by Diplomat Magazine. Over 200 diplomats and invited guests gathered to celebrate the ten awards, which are unique in that they are the result of the diplomatic community itself, voting for its peers. Presented by BBC Diplomatic correspondent James Landale with admirable speed, lightness and humour, their Excellencies applauded (and maybe gnashed their teeth a little?) as their colleagues stepped up to the rostrum to receive their awards.
First among them was His Excellency Dr Sulaiman Almazroui, UAE Ambassador to London, awarded the prize for Middle East Diplomat of the Year by Anthony Morgan, Dean of Glasgow Caledonian University, London, whose university sponsored the award. Among the other awards for outstanding contributions to diplomacy in London were awards for Africa, Asia and Oceania, North America and the Caribbean, Central and South America, Eurasia and the Western Balkans and Europe. There were also special awards for Young Diplomat of the Year, Outstanding Contribution to Diplomacy in London and Outstanding Contribution to Economic Diplomacy, won by Rudi Guraziu for his organisation, International Business and Diplomatic Exchange (IBDE), a special forum where business and diplomacy meet and discuss issues of the day.
With over 180 diplomatic missions, London is recognised as one of the world’s leading diplomatic postings and the Diplomat of the Year awards, are a recognition of a country’s and its ambassador’s contribution to diplomatic life, an important accolade both for the ambassadors themselves and the countries they represent.