Tom Fletcher: Diplomacy in the digital age

The techno-optimist and leader of a review into the future of the Foreign Office shares his views on diplomacy in the digital age with Alan Philps

The World Today
Published 27 May 2016 Updated 27 November 2020 5 minute READ

Alan Philps

Former Editor, The World Today, Communications and Publishing

You left the diplomatic service last year after serving as ambassador to Lebanon. What keeps you in the region?

I teach at the NYU Diplomatic Academy in Abu Dhabi but at the moment I have been focusing on getting Syrian children back to school in September. We’re making much more progress than even I’d hoped at the beginning of the year. A lot of people are coming together to recognize that this is a first order challenge. There are one million Syrians out of school at the moment. I think we’re going to get almost every Syrian in Jordan into class next year. We’ll probably reach two-thirds of those in Lebanon and probably half to two-thirds of those in Turkey. Frustratingly, it’s very hard to get education to the displaced communities inside the country.

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