15 November 2012 - 17 November 2012

Global power shifts: what do the new players want?

Chair: The Right Honourable Jean Chrétien PC, OM, CC, QC

(Sponsored by Canadian Ditchley)

Global governance is mostly notable for its absence for now. While we do not need a global government, we at least need a system which can tackle global problems and common threats, and provide a stable overall environment. The current international institutional set-up dating from the Second World War does not look fit for purpose in this sense. But we were pessimistic about the prospects of radical reform, either of the system as a whole or the main individual parts of it. Meanwhile classic multilateralism also seemed incapable of reaching decisions on the difficult issues of the day.

This was more evident on the political than the economic side. Meaningful Security Council reform looked out of reach, and action on many issues was paralysed by deep disagreements among the major powers about if and when to intervene. The economic institutions had survived the recent crisis intact, but even here institutions like the IMF needed to change their representative structures faster. On the trade side, multilateralism was at a standstill for now but bilateral and regional deals could still provide momentum.

The big new players certainly resented an institutional arrangement which they had played little part in creating, and wanted a bigger say and a louder voice. But they had risen within the existing system, and were arguably doing well out of it. They therefore had little incentive to want to blow it up. They preferred incremental change, and meanwhile seemed to have no clear vision of what they wanted out of their greater place at the table. The established powers were still unsure how far they wanted to share their privileges, but might in the end paradoxically be keener to change parts of the existing globalised system than the rising powers. In any case we were entering a more multi-polar world, where the sources of leadership would be much harder to identify.

In these circumstances the G20, for all its current weaknesses, looked like the grouping best able to combine effectiveness with legitimacy. It had been crucial during the financial crisis of 2008/9, and could no doubt come back into its own in future crises. Institutionalising it would be a mistake, but it would need to widen its agenda over time, and be ready to act as a kind of global steering group. Regionalism is also a rising force, though many regional organisations remain weak.

If we were gloomy about the many gaps in the international system, we were not necessarily pessimistic in the long run. Countries would probably come together when they had to, even if it was a pity that action had to await a real crisis. Dealing with issues one by one in variable geometry groupings would have to be the order of the day in the meantime. Nevertheless there were systemic threats where this kind of ad hocery would not be enough, like climate change or nuclear and cyber threats. This was the biggest worry.

This was a wide-ranging discussion on the broadest of subjects – global governance – enabled by the generosity of the Canadian Ditchley Foundation. Nevertheless, under the guidance of our distinguished and experienced Chair, we managed to retain a focus on the practical and the possible, without retreating entirely into the philosophical. Our participation was suitably global and diverse, but we would have welcomed more voices from the new powers and the smaller developing countries. In that sense our debate reflected our topic – the voices of the richer, developed countries were over-represented.

The problem
Our first task was to decide what issue we were tackling: what was global governance actually for? We thought it was needed to establish a generally secure global environment in which countries could flourish individually, and international problems and threats could be solved or at least successfully managed. It did not mean any kind of international government which would replace nation states, still the key building blocks of the system, and did not necessarily require a universally applicable global architecture. But something overarching was required to guide efforts to tackle global problems and common threats. In this context, there was a general acceptance that the current international institutions, most of which were established just after the Second World War, were no longer fully fit for purpose. The rising powers of today had had little say in their creation, and their voices were still too few around the table. This had to change. Otherwise the legitimacy and credibility of these institutions would be undermined further, and the risks of uncontrolled instability in the world would grow.

We also agreed that traditional multilateralism was struggling. While there was no necessary contradiction between a more multipolar world and a more multilateral one, in practice the increasing number of powerful voices made the international system harder to manage. Reaching consensus among all 193 members of the UN on major controversial issues no longer seemed realistic, as recent experience had confirmed over issues like climate change.

There was somewhat less agreement about how serious a problem we faced as a result of the present inadequate institutions. Some participants felt that we were in danger of viewing the past through rosie-tinted spectacles – the cold war period might have seemed more manageable but we were well-rid of the constant threat of nuclear annihilation under which we had lived, and of the dead hand of the US-Soviet duopoly. In practice we had still shown ourselves capable of managing big issues as they arose, however messily, and of coming together effectively if there were a real crisis, as the G20 had done on the financial front in 2008/9.

Others believed this was unduly optimistic. Major forces were rapidly reshaping our world, and we lacked both the institutions and the leadership to deal with the resulting problems, particularly systemic threats. National governments were clinging to the illusion that state sovereignty gave them real power to shape their destiny. We were even seeing the ‘renationalisation’ of some issues which were manifestly global in nature and could only be tackled through international cooperation. Muddling through might be doable in some areas in the short term, but it could not cope with existential threats such as climate change, and probably not with emerging global dangers in the nuclear and cyber areas either. There was a risk of ‘underground’ economic and political forces filling the vacuum.

Whatever the differences of emphasis about the gravity of the current lack of global governance, there was more or less consensus that in present circumstances we were not capable of radically reforming our institutions, or starting again with new ones. We would therefore have to content ourselves with reshaping what we had on an incremental basis. This could change if we faced new major crises, on the scale of the Second World War, but this was hardly to be wished for. We would therefore have to go on tackling issues on an individual basis, with little overall global architecture to help us. ‘Ad hocery’ would be the name of the game unless and until we were forced into something else.

This led some to suggest that we needed more coalitions of the willing and capable: more groups of like-minded states acting together. Others took a contrary view – what we really needed was groups of the diverse-minded who were far more likely to take effective and generally acceptable courses of action.

The UN would remain necessary and relevant because of its universality and legitimacy. But it was also likely to remain paralysed on many problems as long as the major powers fundamentally disagreed on some key issues. The G20 had proved its ability to deal with a crisis during the financial melt-down of 2008/9 but had been a disappointing forum since then. Nevertheless it was the most representative gathering of a manageable number of powers we had, and would remain indispensable for the future. It could come into its own again in a future crisis. But it would also have to expand its agenda into more political issues at some stage (more detailed discussion of the G20 and alternative Gs is recorded below).

Of course global governance was not all about institutions. Power and leadership were vital ingredients in managing the world and its problems. But fora were nevertheless needed where leaders could meet, to take decisions and set directions.

A separate problem, which we identified but did not pursue, was the existence of too many multilateral institutions overall – there were well over 300 in existence and their number was growing all the time. Radical pruning of the system, as well as reform of individual institutions, was desirable, though probably as unlikely as radical reform of the major bodies. 

Political institutions
Against this background we looked at the major individual institutions we had on the political and economic sides, and their adequacy to deal with the big issues we faced. There was consensus that the UN Security Council needed reform to change and widen its representation, particularly the permanent membership, but an equally strong consensus that this was not going to happen in the foreseeable future because of the resistance of the established powers and the conflicting ambitions of rising powers. The Council was meanwhile deeply divided between the western powers on the one hand, who saw international intervention as occasionally justified to prevent unacceptable behaviour by governments, even where the Council could not agree; and Russia, China and some major developing countries on the other, defending strongly the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of sovereign countries and seeing western interventionism as selective, based on double standards, and clearly illegal without Security Council backing. Both sides claimed to be defending the rule of law in international relations. This rift looked unlikely to be healed in the near future. It did not render the Council powerless in all situations, and arguably the Council had managed to stay relevant to a surprising extent. But the position was far from satisfactory.

We also discussed the issue of international leadership. Where was it going to come from in the future? Some argued that US leadership, and willingness to be the guarantor of last resort, had been essential to global stability over the years, and remained vital in many areas now, even in a more multi-polar world. It would be dangerous if US capacity and will to act were reduced. Others rejected this analysis: the US continued to want to impose its model on the rest of the world, and too often tried to dress up its interests as values. That was not what global governance could be supposed to mean. On a more specific front, the US pivot to Asia, welcomed by some as a necessary rebalancing of forces in the area, was seen by others as having destabilised the area and encouraged provocative behaviour by some actors, for example over islands in the South and East China Seas.

Leadership was certainly needed in today’s world but it did need to be hegemonic. It was suggested that groups of middle-ranking powers getting together to lead in collaborative directions would be one valuable alternative model. Cooperation between big powers was also possible as well as vital. However this view was seen as idealistic by others: the future belonged more to Hobbes than Rawls.  There was little mutual trust around, and it was hard to see democratic and authoritarian states finding much common ground. We were more likely to see a patchwork of cooperation and competition running along bilateral, regional and multicultural axes. This was also a world where global economic integration and interdependence often collided with nationalism and sovereignty. We should not assume that the rationale of interdependence would always prevail, though it could be argued that economic mutually assured destruction had replaced the nuclear variety.

In general we saw western interventionism as on the wane, in the wake of two costly and arguably ineffective wars in the wider Middle East region. US domestic political readiness to be a global policeman had also reduced significantly. But Iran and Syria, in different ways, would test such assumptions. Iran, and the NPT in general, was also an important test of how far states were willing to pool their national interests in a shared endeavour. No-one wanted Iran to acquire the bomb but how far were countries prepared to cooperate to stop it?

Meanwhile it was a good time for small rich states (Qatar was enjoying its international influence) and a bad time for small poor states (global failure to tackle climate change saw some likely to sink into the ocean).

We also looked at the rise of regionalism. Regional organisations had clearly become more important players in many ways, including sub-regional groupings like ECOWAS in West Africa. They were increasingly seen as the legitimisers of intervention in their regions, for example. However their real capacity remained weak, for the most part. And it was not clear that they could properly substitute for global multilateral institutions. Nevertheless, in the absence of credible and effective multilateral fora, they could at least offer partial solutions and be part of the patchwork of initiatives dealing with global problems. The EU was relatively little discussed – perhaps evidence of its marginalisation in global issues because of the eurozone crisis – but was nevertheless seen as something of a special case because of its unique pooling of sovereignty. It could still be a model in the future, as it had been in the past.

Economic institutions
The picture here was seen as more positive than on the political side. The existing institutions had after all just coped with a major financial and economic crisis, and shown themselves to be flexible, adaptable and creative in the process. The G20 had been vital in this, but the IMF had also played a critical role, helped by others such as the OECD and the BIS in Basel. A new body had been created to help implement decisions, in the shape of the Financial Stability Board.

Having said that, we were also clear that the IMF still lacked legitimacy and financial firepower because rising powers were still inadequately represented around the table, even though some progress had been made. Reform needed to be significantly accelerated. The European countries in particular needed to be readier to give up their existing positions – this would be in their interests since a bigger IMF ‘Bazooka’ could help avoid a collapse if the eurozone crisis worsened again. We focussed a lot less on the World Bank, and the development agenda in general, but again it was clear that the rising powers and developing world needed to be better represented around the table, and more influential on how the Bank’s agenda evolved.

On the trade side, the failure of the Doha round showed the weakness of the classic multilateral approach. However the good news was that there had been no default back to global protectionism. The prospects for major bilateral and regional agreements also looked brighter than for some time. These could over time ‘intertwine’, to bring the world closer to common regulations and reduced trade barriers. An EU/US agreement could be particularly important in this respect, as could the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), especially if China could be persuaded to join. None of this was as good as a big multilateral deal, but the WTO continued to play an important role in mediation and conflict resolution, and could help to maximise commonalities. The G20 could also play a useful role at a broad political level in pushing forward the free trade agenda, and helping to make different regional agreements complementary.

There was nevertheless a serious question mark even on the economic side, broadly defined, about whether the current institutions could cope with all the major issues on their agenda, including the non-negligible tail risk of global deflation; climate change; growing cyber risks; corruption; the underlying challenge of rising income and wealth inequality (within countries, more than between them); and the need to create hundreds of millions of new jobs for a rising global population at a time when technology was tending to destroy jobs. There were no easy answers here, but again the G20 was seen as at least part of the necessary response, in ensuring major countries were focussing on such issues, as the G7/G8 had done in the past.

So what do the new players want?
As the above account suggests, we spent rather more time on the broad issue of global governance, or the lack of it, than on the exam question we had set ourselves. But we did come back to it at regular intervals. We did not try to define the ‘new players’ too closely, but assumed that they were the bigger countries whose economies were growing faster than the established ones, even if they remained much poorer on a per capita basis. This was a bigger group than just the BRIC countries.

We had no doubt that these countries felt that the system set up by others without their participation in 1945 was not designed to suit them: ‘If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.’ They certainly wanted a bigger say and a louder voice around the world’s international negotiating tables. But did they want to change the menu as well as being at the table? In practice it was much less clear what they wanted to do with their bigger voice.

Some major players continued to make clear that they were still preoccupied with their own internal economic development and would be for some time. They had no capacity or will to run the world, and no radically new vision of how it should be run. This led some to accuse these countries, particularly China, of trying to avoid their international responsibilities. But the countries concerned rejected this criticism as unfair – they were prepared to play their part, and were for example doing a lot in the peacekeeping field. But they would not be led down paths carved by others to suit themselves. In areas like climate change, for example, they were being asked to make major sacrifices despite their continuing relative poverty. Nevertheless this overall issue still had to be addressed: more seats at the table meant more active contributions, of various kinds, as well as a bigger say in decision-making.

Was the current system rigged against the new players, and did they want to change it radically? In practice they were rising rapidly within the existing system, and in many ways doing rather well out of it, particularly China. So why would they want to change it? We also had to ask whether the established powers were really ready to give up their privileges, and treat the new kids on the block as equal partners. This was not clear. At the same time, arguably it was the established powers who were suffering more from the consequences of today’s globalised world, and who might be more inclined to want to change the rules, for example in areas like trade or migration. The rising powers could also be seen as conservative in other senses, for example in their suspicion of concepts like the Responsibility to Protect, and unwillingness to open themselves up to some of the modern economic aspects of globalisation.
We needed to recognise that the rising powers were by no means monolithic in their views. They had diverse and often divergent interests and views, for example over Security Council reform. Too much generalisation about what they wanted should therefore be avoided. But one area where they tended to agree was refusal to accept US/Western leadership, and to assume that it was benevolent in its intentions.

In any case, while there was still arguably only one superpower, certainly in military terms, we were definitely heading for a more multipolar world. Ensuring that established and rising powers could co-exist peacefully would be a major challenge – hence the importance of the G20 grouping, which offered the best combination of effectiveness and legitimacy. A few around the table wondered whether a G with a different number would be more appropriate – either G0, to symbolise today’s diffusion of power and the way in which governments were losing out to horizontal forces and non-state actors of various kinds; or G2, to acknowledge the reality that the US and China held the fate of the world in their hands and could make or break progress in areas like climate change, depending on whether they agreed or disagreed. The latter idea was dismissed by many. Any efforts in this direction, however informal, could never have any legitimacy, and would set up an inevitable and major negative reaction.

We discussed whether the G20 could be institutionalised in some way to increase its effectiveness, for example by giving it a secretariat. At the moment it was a meeting rather than an institution, and usually rather a short meeting at that. How could it exercise real influence in such circumstances? But the balance of view was against institutionalisation. Any attempt to do so would arouse immediate challenges to its legitimacy from those countries outside the grouping. The G20 was best left flexible and adaptable. But its agenda would need to expand, and its willingness to reach views on major issues would need to increase. Ultimately it could perhaps act as a sort of advisory body for the Security Council and other institutions such as the IMF – a global steering group.


This was not a subject which lent itself to neat solutions and recommendations. But the following points emerged in one way or another:

  • The G20 should be accepted as theforum of choice for major global issues, and its agenda expanded accordingly over time;

  • The UN Security Council badlyneeds reform, but there is no point in simply waiting for this to happen. Its
    performance should be enhanced in whatever way possible in the meantime;
  • The Bretton Woods Institutions do not need replacement, but their reform does need to be accelerated,
    particularly rising power representation in the IMF;
  • The attempt to bridge the gaps between the ‘interveners’ and the rest, and over what the Rule of Law reallymeans for international relations, needs to be intensified;

  • Global issues need to be tackled on an individual basis, with different architecture to suit each one, however
    messy: ad hocery, and variable geometry groupings, including the private sector
    and civil society where necessary, should be seen as an asset, not a problem;
  • Global trade liberalisation will have to be pursued via new regional and bilateral agreements for now, but the WTO and G20 should play a role in ensuring commonalities and complementarity,
    and a return to multilateral agreements remains desirable in due course;
  • We still need to find effective ways of dealing with the biggest risks: climate change, nuclear proliferation, cyber threats.

Although a lot of the discussion was gloomy, our overall mood was not necessarily pessimistic. Complexity was not the same thing as hopelessness. Human ingenuity at overcoming problems should never be underestimated. The balance of power in the world was adapting, albeit slowly, to the new realities. Countries would work together and share power when they had to. It was a pity that decisive action was rarely evident before a crisis forced it to happen. But this was not a new phenomenon. It reflected human nature and the nature of politics, perhaps particularly in democratic countries and institutions. The biggest concern was that in some cases, such as climate change, the crisis would become evident too late for effective preventive action. That was something we really should worry about.

This Note reflects the Director’s personal impressions of the conference. No participant is in any way committed to its content or expression.


CHAIR: The Right Honourable Jean Chrétien PC, OM, CC, QC (Canada)
Counsel, Heenan Blaikie, Ottawa (2004-); Co-President, InterAction Council (2008-). Formerly: Prime Minister of Canada (1993-2003); Leader, Liberal Party of Canada (1990-93); Deputy Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources (1982-84); Minister of Justice and Attorney General (1980-82).

His Excellency Mr Roberto Jaguaribe
Diplomatic Service of Brazil (1979-); Ambassador of Brazil to the United Kingdom. Formerly: Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs II, Ministry of External Relations (2007-10); President, National Institute of Industrial Property (2005-07); Under-Secretary General for Industrial Technology, Ministry of Development, Industry and Trade (2003-05); Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Brazil, Washington, DC (2000-03); Director-General for Trade Promotion, Ministry of External Relations (1998-2000.

Professor Alfredo Valladão 
Professor, Paris School of International Affairs (Sciences Po), Paris; President, Advisory Board, EU-Brasil Association; Member, Board of Trustees, United Nations Institute for Training and Research; Senior Research Associate, European Union Institute for Security Studies, Paris; Editorialist, Radio France International. Formerly: Director, Mercosur Chair, Sciences Po.

Mr Boyan Gerasimov
MPhil Candidate in Politics, Merton College, University of Oxford; Weidenfeld Scholar. Formerly: Associate Intern, Google, Dublin (2012); Research Analyst, Oxford Analytica, Oxford (2012); Analyst, First Manhattan Consulting Group, New York (2010-11); Intern, Directorate-General External Relations, European Commission, Brussels (2009); Senior Research Assistant, Wharton Business School Management Deptartment, Philadelphia (2008-10).

Ms Marie-Roger Biloa 
Publisher, Chair and CEO, Africa International Media Group, Paris; Founder and Chair, Club Millenium (a think tank on Africa), Paris.

Dr Fen Hampson FRSc
Director, Global Security Program and Distinguished Fellow, The Centre for International Governance Innovation; Senior Advisor, United States Institute of Peace. Formerly: Director, The Norman Patterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University, Ottawa; Chair, Human Security Track, Helsinki Process on Globalisation.

The Honourable Thomas Hockin PC, MPA, PhD 
Executive Director (Canada), International Monetary Fund, Washington DC. Formerly: Strategic Advisor, Deloitte (2006-09); Chair, Expert Panel on Securities Regulation, Government of Canada (2008); President and CEO, Investment Funds Institute of Canada (1994-2006); Chair, Pacific and Western Bank of Canada; Federal Member of Parliament (1984-93).
Ambassador Claude Laverdure
Senior Fellow, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa; Vice-President and Secretary of The Canadian Ditchley Foundation. Formerly: Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs (1965-2007); Ambassador to France (2003-07); Prime Minister's Personal Representative for the G8 Summit (2002-03); Foreign Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister and Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet (Foreign and Defence Policy), Privy Council Office (2000-03).
Mr Tiff Macklem 
Senior Deputy Governor, formerly Deputy Governor, Bank of Canada (2004-). Formerly: Adviser to the Governor (2003-04), Chief of Research Department (2002-03), Research Adviser (1996-2002), Assistant Chief, Research Department (1993-96), Bank of Canada.
Mr Donald Newman CM, FRSC
Chairman, Canada 2020; Principal, Day-Newman Network Inc.; Senior Advisor, Bluesky Strategy Group Inc.; Life Member, Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery, Canada's History Society; Fellow, Royal Canadian Geographical Society; Director: Canadian Committee, World Press Freedom Day; Science Media Centre of Canada; Sir Winston Churchill Society of Ottawa. Formerly: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (Senior Parliamentary Editor, Anchor, US and National Correspondent).
Mr David Obert
Rhodes Scholar; Master of Public Policy Candidate, St John's College, University of Oxford; MD Candidate, Harvard Medical School. Formerly: Student Member, Harvard/NATO Health Sector Stabilization Project (2011-12); Canadian Field Studies in Africa Program (2009).
Dr Henri-Paul Rousseau
Vice-Chairman, Power Corporation of Canada, Montreal (2009-); Vice-Chairman, Power Financial Corporation (2009-); Member, Board of Directors, Global Financial Markets Association (2010-). Formerly: President and Chief Executive Officer, (2005-08), Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, (2002-05); Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec; President and Chief Executive Officer, Laurentian Bank of Canada (1994-2002); Vice-Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Boréal Assurances Inc (1992-94); Senior Vice-President, National Bank of Canada (1989-92).

Mr Joseph Ingram
President and CEO, The North-South Institute, Ottawa (2010-). Formerly: Senior Consulting Advisor to the World Trade Organization (2007-09); World Bank (1976-2006): Special Representative to the WTO and the UN specialized agencies in Geneva; Director, World Bank office, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Deputy Director, The World Bank Institute; Director, World Bank office, Cameroon; Deputy Resident Representative, World Bank office, Nigeria. 

Mr Uri Dadush
Senior Associate and Director, International Economics Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Formerly: World Bank Director of Economic Policy, International Trade and Development Prospects (1997-2008); Chief Executive, The Economist Intelligence Unit/Business International (1986-92).
Mr Thierry de Montbrial
Founder (1979) and President, French Institute of International Relations; Professor Emeritus, Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers; Member, Academy of Moral and Political Sciences (1992-); Member (President, 2001), Institut de France (1992-); Member, Russian Academy of Sciences. Formerly: Chairman, Foundation
for Strategic Research (1993-2001); Chair, Department of Economics, École Polytechnique (1974-92); Founder and Director, Policy Planning Staff, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1973-79).

Dr Thomas Bagger
Director of Policy Planning, German Federal Foreign Office, Berlin. 
Professor Michael Stuermer
Chief Correspondent, Die Welt and Welt am Sonntag (1998-); Professor Emeritus of Medieval and Modern History, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität, Erlangen-Nürnberg (1973-); Member, German Advisory Council, J P Morgan Bank (1990-). Formerly: Adviser, Common Foreign and Security Policy, EU Commission, DG1A (1993-98); Director, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, German Institute for International and Security Affairs (1988-98); Columnist, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (1984-94).

Dr Xiang Bing 
Founding Dean, Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (2002-); Consultant on management issues; Media
Commentator, Chinese and non-Chinese media. Formerly: Founder, Executive MBA program, Guanghua School of Management, Peking University; Faculty Member, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Brigadier (Retd) Rumel Dahiya 
Deputy Director General, Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi (2010-); Coordinator, Military Affairs Centre; Managing Editor, Journal of Defence Studies. Formerly: Indian Army: Defence Attaché to Turkey, Syria and Lebanon; Military Operations Directorate; Net Assessment Directorate, Integrated Defence Staff.

Mr Noriyuki Shikata
Japanese Diplomatic Service (1986-); Political Minister, Japanese Embassy to the United Kingdom (2012-). Formerly: Deputy Cabinet Secretary for Public Affairs, Director of Global Communications, Office of the Prime Minister of Japan (2010-12); Director, Economic Treaties, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2009-10); Director, US and Canada Economic Affairs (2007-09); Director, Status of US Forces Agreement (2004-06); Energy Advisor,
Japanese Delegation to the OECD (1999-2002).

His Excellency Mr Eduardo Medina-Mora
Ambassador of Mexico to the United Kingdom (2009-). Formerly: Attorney-General (2006-09); Secretary of Public Security (2005-06); President, National Public Security Council (2005-06); Director General, Centre for Investigation and National Security, (2000-05); Member, National Security Council (2000-09); Corporate Director of Strategic Planning and Deputy Director General, DESC Group (1991-2000).

Ambassador Ma Zhengang
Member, Foreign Policy Advisory Group, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Chairman, China National Committee, Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific; Distinguished Research Fellow, China Institute of International Studies. Formerly: Chairman, China Arms Control and Disarmament Association (2005-12); President, China Institute of International Studies (2004-10); Ambassador to the United Kingdom (1997-2002); Vice-Minister, Office of Foreign Affairs, State Council (1995-97).

His Excellency Dr Alexander Yakovenko
Diplomatic Service of the Russian Federation (1976-); Ambassador to the United Kingdom (2011-). Formerly:
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Multilateral Diplomacy (UN Security Council)
(2005-11); Spokesman for Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2000-05). Doctor of international law. 

Mr Mehmet Murat Yetkin 
Editor-in-Chief, Hürriyet Daily News (2011-); Eisenhower Fellow; Member, Georgetown University Leadership Seminar Group. Formerly: Ankara Bureau Chief, Radikal; Founding Team Member, NTV, Ankara; Diplomacy and Defence Editor, Turkish Daily News; Deutsche Welle; AFP; BBC World Service, Ankara.

Miss Julie Chappell OBE
HM Diplomatic Service (1999-); Head, Emerging Powers Department, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). Formerly: Ambassador to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador (2009-12); Regional Conflict Adviser, Addis Ababa; Head, NATO Section, FCO: Member, Coalition Provisional Authority, Baghdad (2003-04).
Mr Alexander Ellis 
HM Diplomatic Service (1990-); Director for Strategy, Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Formerly: Ambassador to Portugal (2007-10); Adviser to the President of the European Commission (2005-07). A Member of the Programme Committee, The Ditchley Foundation.
Mr Angus Lapsley 
HM Diplomatic Service; Director, European and Global Issues Secretariat, The Cabinet Office. Formerly: Director Americas, Foreign and Commonwealth Office; Counsellor, CFSP/ESDP/Enlargement, UK Permanent Representation to the EU, Brussels.
Mr Richard Moore 
HM Diplomatic Service (1987-); Director, Europe and Globalisation FCO. Formerly: postings to Kuala Lumpar, Islamabad, Istanbul, Ankara and Hanoi.
Mr Gideon Rachman 
Chief Foreign Affairs Columnist, The Financial Times (2006-). Formerly: The Economist: Business Editor; Brussels Bureau Chief; Correspondent, Bangkok, Washington.
Mr Philip Stephens
Associate Editor and Chief Political Commentator, Financial Times. Formerly: Financial Times: Economics Editor, Political Editor and Editor, UK Edition; Correspondent, Reuters, London and Brussels. A Governor and Member of the Council of Management,The Ditchley Foundation.

Mr David Gordon
Head of Research and Director, Global Macro Analysis, Eurasia Group, Washington DC. Formerly: Director of Policy Planning, US Department of State (2007-09); Vice Chairman, US National Intelligence Council (2004-07); Director, Office of Transnational Issues, CIA.
Mr James Hoge Jr 
Senior Advisor, Teneo Intelligence (2012-); Chairman, Human Rights Watch (2010-). A Director and Chairman of the Advisory Council, The American Ditchley Foundation.
Ms Trudy Rubin
Foreign Affairs Columnist, The Philadelphia Inquirer (1989-). Formerly: The Christian Science Monitor: Middle East Correspondent; National Political Correspondent.
Dr Richard Solomon
Senior Fellow, RAND Corporation (2012-). Formerly: President, United States Institute of Peace (1993-2012); US Ambassador to the Philippines (1992-93); Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (1989-92); Director of Policy Planning, US Department of State.
Mr Casimir Yost 
Director, Strategic Futures Group (2011-), National Intelligence Council. Formerly: Director, Long Range Analysis Unit, National Intelligence Council (2009-11); Edmund A Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University (1994-2009): Marshall B Coyne Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy, Director, Institute for the Study of Diplomacy and Co-Chair, Schlesinger Working Group on Strategic Surprises; Director, Center for Asian Pacific Affairs, Asia Foundation (1990-94).