‘Would You Take Tea With Tyrants?’ is the question that journalist
Lyse Doucet put to politicians, diplomats and activists around the world. In an interesting article for the BBC she gets people who have dealt with the worst tyrants in modern history to open up about how they separate emotion from the need to conduct business and asks whether engagement is always the right thing to do. Ambassadors and envoys often talk to people they see as tyrants or terrorists. But why do they do it? Former Finnish President, Marrti Ahtisaari, a Nobel Prize winner advises, “You don’t need to love the people you talk to but you have to talk to everybody whose assistance you need to solve the problems.” Listen to the programme or read the article. Comments Norwegian Envoy, Jan Egeland.

If you want to make a difference where human rights are most at stake, you have to meet them”

International Negotiations are a minefield. Often people believe that:

  1. International deals will happen automatically if the correct government policies and structures are in place.
  2. The successful strategies we use in meetings and negotiating on the domestic scene can apply to international settings.
  3. Others’ perceptions and stereotyping of us won’t be allowed to affect the negotiations
  4. Everyone likes to get down to business and focus on the end game: a legally binding contract.
  5. The ‘rules of engagement’ are the same all over the world

 But it just ain’t so …