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David Miliband

(Archived), London

Basra Corniche on a Friday afternoon

Posted 27 February 2009 by David Miliband  |  1 comments
If you had told me in December 07 when I spent a morning at Basra air base, and couldn't go off base, that 14 months later I would be chatting with Basrawis out with friends and family on the Corniche by the Shatt Al Arab waterway I would not have believed you. Not everyone goes for a walk with an armed escort but the Basrawis told me the same thing one after another: Basra security has been changed fundamentally, the big issue now is unemployment, the future is about Basra being a great city again. Iraqi leadership has been key but so has British military and civilian support. Police chief Adel has been given huge support from a UK police team. He spoke with pride about his force. Clean and efficient police are the difference between a city which functions and one which doesn't.



David Miliband
27 February 2009
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>> I always thought that in Iraq you can not walk in street feeling safe, but now I think they...<<
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Trillion Dollar Bail

Posted 27 June 2008 by David Miliband  |  4 comments

We will address Zimbabwe and add the G8 voice to growing numbers of Africans (now led by Nelson Mandela) decrying the leadership of Robert Mugabe.  The economic descent of the country can be seen by the bail terms for MDC Secretary General Tendai Biti - a $1000 (bin) bail sets you back 100GBP. By next week that would be a fraction given 8 million percent inflation.



David Miliband
27 June 2008
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>> Zimbabwe has huge unemployment, hyperinflation, food shortages and all kinds of economic problems....<<
Stu
28 June 2008

>> Stu, I agree that sanctions can seem unfair as they often hit the innocent people of a nation rather...<<
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01 July 2008

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Mandela at 90

Posted 26 June 2008 by David Miliband  |  3 comments
However frail Nelson Mandela looks his smile brings back his youth.  Many people hearing him speak at the unveiling of his statue in Parliament Square last year will have wondered whether he would be fit enough to come back.  But he has.  I have on my desk a bookmark given out last July at the unveiling with a great quote from Mandela's book Long Walk to Freedom: "Oliver [Tambo, Secretary General of the ANC] and I saw the sights of the city that had once commanded nearly two thirds of the globe, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament.  When I gloried in the beauty of these buildings, I was ambivalent about what they represented.  When we saw the statue of General Smuts near Westminster Abbey, Oliver and I joked that perhaps someday there would be a statue of us instead."  Who says belief in progress is naive?

David Miliband
26 June 2008
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>> I wonder what the victims of The Church Street Bombing think of this statue?...<<
Justin
26 June 2008

>> I cried when I saw Madiba this week, he is looking very frail call him what you like and yes I've...<<
gill
27 June 2008

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Kosovo: Independent, Safer, Stronger

Posted 26 June 2008 by David Miliband  |  2 comments
This week marks a critical  point in the move to normalisation in Kosovo. June 15 marked the end of the 120 day period after the declaration of independence by the new country of Kosovo.  It also marks the drive by the UN Secretary General to fulfil  the mandate of Resolution 1244  and deliver a political settlement. This now takes practical form in the reconfiguraiton of the UN mission and the deployment of  an EU Mission -  the biggest and most complex EU mission yet. But a mission so far proceeding in conditions of calm. The fact that Kosovo is not in the news is itself a great success.

David Miliband
26 June 2008

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>> well, there is good news inthe world...<<
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Hope in Iraq

Posted 29 May 2008 by David Miliband  |  3 comments

This is the theme of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's speech to the first international compact review conference on Iraq. All Iraq's economic and political partners are here. The progress on security - from 1500 attacks a week to less than 300 - is striking, as is economic growth (including oil production). But the problems are still immense and that makes the next year of the compact key.

I used my meeting with Foreign Minister Zebari to reflect on the need for continued cooperation on the issue of the five British hostages taken in Baghdad. Today marks the first anniversary of their seizure. They and their families have suffered terribly as their testimony today shows. We have not forgotten them.



David Miliband
29 May 2008
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>> But you have forgotten torture victim and British resident Binyan Mohamed, long imprisoned in...<<
Jeremy Putley
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>> we asking the GOD to help this man. your friend taha hamoodi ; Iraqi person asking asylum in...<<
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The Elephant, the Tiger and the Cell Phone

Posted 28 May 2008 by David Miliband  |  9 comments

I chaired the lecture by author and former diplomat (Under-Secretary General at UN) Shashi Tharoor at the Hay books festival on Monday.  His collection of essays carries this name.  His point was simple: India now sells over 8 million cell phones a month, more than four times the number of land lines of thirty years ago, while at the same time the 670 million Indians who work on the land produce less than half that of three million Americans.  Go figure.  It's a land of difference and paradox - but his argument is that the differences are the great strength.  There is something for everyone.  I will see for myself on a trip in September.



David Miliband
28 May 2008
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>> ... so, you're definitely, definitely sure you're still going to be Foreign Secretary in...<<
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28 May 2008

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Google conversation

Posted 23 May 2008 by David Miliband  |  4 comments

You can watch the conversation Secretary Rice and I had at the Google campus with the "googlers" here.  Food every 500 metres was one of the management tools.  Too tempting.  The culture makes the people make the place. You can see how the success is self-reinforcing, and the basic idea so simple - organising information.

The google story is giving people new information and power. What I could not get at was how it could mobilise groups of people - or allow them to get mobilised. 



David Miliband
23 May 2008
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>> Web 1.0 was (and is) about disseminating information, information which we can search for and find....<<
Peter
23 May 2008

>> Web 1.0 was (and is) about disseminating information, information which we can search for and find....<<
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23 May 2008

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"Badge of courage"

Posted 23 May 2008 by David Miliband  |  1 comments

Silicon valley brings together money, ideas and people in a way that typifies but generally beats successful economic conurbations around the world. I am visiting with Secretary of State Rice to understand the economic and social dynamic in this leading part of the US (and the world - it would be the 4th largest economy if it were a country) and in part to get a sense of the foreign policy conversation beyond the east coast.

It was surprising but I suppose obvious to be told that it is the attitude to failure not success that is key.  "Badge of courage" as a CEO said to me. Smart.



David Miliband
23 May 2008
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>> Which is why it's really important not to run either a business or a Government on a 'who's to...<<
Denise
25 May 2008

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