Last updated: 30 november, 2010 - 21:24 GMT


Thank You For My Freedom

A poster saying "welcome home John" after the release of Beirut hostage John Mccarthy

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Former Beirut hostage John McCarthy has never thanked Giandomenico Picco, the United Nations negotiator who arranged his release.

In this documentary John at last travels to meet him and explores the development of the role of the crisis negotiator.

The journey John makes is a deeply personal one.

When I was away, the Berlin Wall came down and Nelson Mandela had been freed.

John McCarthy

He is intensely grateful for the role Giandomenico took in arranging his release - at no small risk to himself - and John's journey to New York provides a compelling holding form for his wider purpose.

John is fascinated by the skills and dedication of men such as Giandomenico, and he explores how the techniques used in negotiation have changed and developed.

With the help of archive and interviews, John contemplates the development of the role of the negotiator.

Beginning with the emergence of negotiation as a psychological study in early 1970s America - he considers negotiation tactics being used in international crises and domestic incidents - can the same tactics be employed in both arenas?

The programme culminates in John's meeting with Giandomenico.

He will endeavour, in the light of his investigations into the role of the negotiator, to answer some of his closer unanswered questions regarding the back room story that led to his own personal freedom.

Read more:

click Ex-hostage John McCarthy thanks man who freed him

click On This Day: 1991 - Beirut hostage John McCarthy freed

First broadcast on click BBC Radio 4 and aired on BBC World Service on 31 May 2010.

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