Episode 1 (0-09:54)

Before you watch

1. Study the following words and phrases:

To breach the rules – to break, to violate the rules

Atrocities –  cruel and violent acts, especially in a war

Work at the diplomatic coalface – where the real work is done, not just where the people talk about it

To bring something to bear – to use energy, pressure, influence, etc to try and achieve something

Hub – the central and most important part of a particular place or an activity

To thrash out problems – to discuss a situation or problem thoroughly in order to decide something

Diplomatic horse-trading – the activity of discussing business with somebody using clever or secret methods in order to reach an agreement that suits you

2. Study the information on the following

Sir Simon Mcdonald — Permanent Under Secretary and Head of the Diplomatic Service, responsible for advising the Foreign Secretary and the ministerial team on foreign policy, and for managing the FCO. He chairs the FCO Board and is also Head of the Diplomatic Service. For more information follow the link https://www.gov.uk/government/people/simon-mcdonald

Sir Henry Wotton (1568- 1639) — English poet, diplomat, and art connoisseur

3. Discuss the definition of diplomacy Sir Simon quotes in the film “Diplomacy is the art of letting other people have your way.” Do you know the author of this phrase? How far do you agree with it? Suggest your own definition of diplomacy (it can be creative and metaphoric)

4. Discuss the definition of a good diplomat by Henry Wotton quoted in the film “A decent man sent abroad to lie for the benefit of his country.” What is a good diplomat to you? Suggest your own definition. Name famous diplomats who, in your opinion, could set good examples.

While you watch

Watch the film and be ready to answer the following questions

1. According to Boris Johnson, what is the new perspective of the British policy? What is the concept of Global Britain?

2. What does FCO stand for?

3. Where is it located?

4. How many staff work in the Foreign Office?

5. How has the role of Britain changed in the world arena in the last 150 years? What is meant by ‘the second group of countries’?

6. What are the UN objectives?

7. How often do the world leaders gather for the UN General Assembly session? How long does it last?

8. What does UKMIS stand for?

9. Why did junior diplomat Hariette experience culture shock when she was commissioned to New York?

10. How do the junior diplomats, Hariette and Senay feel about their duties and their work in the UN?

After you watch

  • While speaking about Britain’s policy on Russia, Boris Johnson says ‘We’ve done an awful lot of beware, but not much of engage’. What does he mean by it? How is the policy likely to change?
  • Think of the art of diplomacy. What inborn qualities must a diplomat have? Can anyone be trained to become a diplomat?