The next UN Secretary-General taking over on 1 January 2017 will face a world where multi-lateralism is at a low ebb, and the international community’s ability to end conflicts and resolve global issues is seriously weakened. Sir John Holmes will explore what the priorities of the new occupant of the UN ‘bully pulpit’ should be and how he or she should go about tackling these issues.
Sir John Holmes, GCVO, KBE, CMG, has served in a wide range of diplomatic roles in London, Moscow, Paris, New Delhi and Lisbon. In 1995 he was John Major’s Private Secretary (Overseas Affairs) and Principle Private Secretary to Tony Blair (1997-9), acting as a key figure in the negotiation the Good Friday Agreement.
In 1999 Sir John was appointed as British Ambassador in Lisbon, moving to Paris as Ambassador 2001-7. He then served as UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator 2007-10, before starting a six-year term as Director of the Ditchley Foundation ending in August 2016. He is currently chair of the Board of the International Rescue Committee-UK.