Past Meetup

Punching Above Our Weight - The Changing Role of Britain In the 21st Century

This Meetup is past

98 people went

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Mike Gapes MP has agreed to host a meeting with GlobalNet21 on “The Changing Role of Britain In the 21st Century.”

In recent years, The UK has been involved in several foreign wars and has opted to play an active part in shaping international relations.

Many have come to question this and see it as a heritage of our imperial past. Recent opinion polls have shown that our increasingly muticultural society is tiring of foreign intervention and seek a different role for Britain in the modern world. But what should that role be?

Does the United Kingdom tragically try to punch above its own weight and how can we relate to the world that is fast changing and that reflects our real rather and our imagined influence? These are some of the topics that we will discuss at this meeting.

Following the 2001 General Election (,_2001) Mike Gapes was again appointed a PPS to the Minister of State at the Home Office ( Jeff Rooker ( for a year. He re-joined the defence select committee in 2003 and since the 2005 General Election (,_2005) he has served as the chairman of the foreign affairs select committee, the most senior position in international affairs in British politics outside the Government.

Natalie Samarasinghe was appointed Executive Director of UNA-UK on 1 July 2013. She is the first woman to hold this position. Having joined the Association in 2006, Natalie has held a number of roles within UNA-UK, and was Deputy Director (Policy & Communications) until March 2013. Prior to joining UNA-UK, Natalie worked in various roles in the public, private and education sectors, including for Oxfordshire Social & Health Care and the University of Oxford, and concurrently as a freelance journalist. She has degrees in human rights and modern history from the University of Oxford and the London School of Economics.

John Dubber, Head of External Relations, British Council. John leads the British Council’s programme of policy research that explores key issues in international culture, education and soft power. This has included writing or editing a number of recent publications linked to these topics. John coordinates the British Council’s relationships with government, Parliament and stakeholders in the arts and education sectors. Previously John worked in senior policy and communications roles in local and regional government across the UK.

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