Sir Laurie Bristow KCMG, President of Hughes Hall Cambridge and three times Ambassador for the United Kingdom, delivered an insightful Tanner lecture on ‘Foreign Policy and Human Values’ to a full audience at the Weston Library last night.

Sir Laurie served as Ambassador to Afghanistan during the fall of the Republic to the Taliban in August 2021 and the UK’s subsequent evacuation of over 15,000 people from Kabul airport. He was also the UK’s Ambassador to Russia from 2016 to 2020 and Deputy Ambassador from 2007 to 2010.

The talk formed part of the prestigious ‘Tanner Lectures on Human Values’ series that is hosted annually by Linacre College and was attended by Fellows, students and academics from across the University. Linacre Principal, Dr Nick Leimu-Brown, said of the lecture;

“Sir Laurie’s dense and engaging lecture addressed the very timely and important issue of what role, if any, values and ethical considerations play in foreign policy. He cautioned that the west can no longer take for granted that Russia’s violence against Ukraine and against the United Nations Charter will translate into support for a western-led concept of the Rules Based International System. He urged us to take seriously the interests and aspirations of those, particularly in the global south, who do not believe that the current system is in their interests.

This lecture was exactly the type of scholarly insight into human values that Professor Obert Tanner had in mind when endowing the lecture series.”

Laurie Bristow speaking