The full transcript of Prospect's event with William Hagueby Prospect / April 16, 2013 / Leave a comment
Prospect was in conversation last night with the Rt Hon William Hague MP, the foreign secretary. He was interviewed by Bronwen Maddox, editor of Prospect, and then took further questions from the audience.
Listen to the event below
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Here is the full transcript of the event:
Bronwen Maddox: Thank you very much for coming, I’m Bronwen Maddox, editor of Prospect, and I’m delighted to welcome you here to Prospect in conversation with the Right Honourable William Hague, foreign secretary. We’re delighted that it’s supported by Inmarsat and CH2M Hill.
No foreign secretary expects a peaceful life, but William Hague has had more than his share. Since May 2010, when he took the job, he’s had what you might call excessively interesting times. He’s had the Libyan revolution, Syria, Egypt, Iran (ongoing), North Korea, and the Euro crisis —he memorably called the currency a burning building with no exits.
He spent last week with the G8 foreign ministers, he’s just been talking at Commons about them, the week before with Angelina Jolie in Africa, and this morning launched the Foreign Office’s annual human rights and democracy report. Despite that, he’s presided over the Foreign Office with the mantra, ‘No one should panic,’ in fact it’s now affectionately known, the Hague regime, if you like, as the ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ approach to the job, and he’s here to tell us why.
We’re going to have an in conversation for about half of the hour, and then we’ll go to questions—and I know there are a lot from the people here. And with that, let me kick off—I’ve asked the foreign secretary if he’d like to make some opening remarks, but after a day of making more than opening remarks he’s said, “Let’s kick straight off.”
We’re spoiled for choice, if that’s the phrase, for crises on your desk at the moment, but I wanted to start with Syria. You said last week when your counterparts were in town, that this was on track to be the biggest humanitarian catastrophe in the 21st century. We’re two years in, the United Nations thinks 70,000 have been killed—what should the west do now?