Related links: BBC World ServiceHave Your Say  
Special Debates
The BBC Insiders Debate

The BBC Insider's Debate


A new series of BBC Insiders Debates discusses three topics in depth with those who know most about them.

Part 1 - The Goodwill Ambassadors

UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors
UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors

At UNESCO headquarters in Paris, Owen Bennett-Jones meets five UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors - a pop-star, a princess, a space scientist, a global icon and a former prime minister - for a lively and frank discussion about what they do and whether there is any point to their roles.

The participants are musician Jean-Michel Jarre, Princess Firyal of Jordan, scientist Cheick Modibo Diarra, Phan Thi Kim Phuc, who was photographed as a seven-year-old burned by napalm in Vietnam, and the former president of Iceland, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir.

Listen (49 mins)

Part 2 - The Peace Negotiators

Peace Negotiators
Lyse Doucet and the peace negotiators

What is it like to try to sue for peace between two bitterly-opposed factions? To be in the same room as Northern Ireland adversaries Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley? How do you begin to get the Tamil Tigers and the Sri Lankan government to talk to each other?

All the participants in this debate have been involved in difficult arbitrations such as these and have tried to use negotiation as a lasting tool for peace. In Oslo, Lyse Doucet meets Jonathan Powell, Martin Griffiths, Alvaro de Soto and Francesc Vendrell. Between them they've negotiated in most of the world's intractable conflicts - but have they made much headway?

Listen (49 mins)

Part 3 - The Spin Doctors

How do you manage a politician's campaign, control the news and remain one step ahead of the press pack? Spin doctors have a reputation for clever footwork and for playing cat and mouse with journalists - but they also get the blame when their strategies fail.

Owen Bennett-Jones explores the 'black art' of spin with three of its most experienced practitioners. He talks to Lynton Crosby, a political strategist for many politicians, including Australian prime minister John Howard and, more recently, London mayor Boris Johnson. Owen also speaks to John Nagenda of Uganda, who's been advisor to President Museveni for many years, and in London he meets Alistair Campbell, the famous spin doctor to former prime minister Tony Blair.

Listen (49 mins)
^^ Back to top Back to Index >>