Paddy Ashdown played a special role in the life of SEESOX. He visited SEESOX on a number of occasions: for a briefing/discussion session before taking up his appointment as UN High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH); for a launch of his book describing his experiences in BiH, Swords and Ploughshares; and to speak at our Tenth Anniversary celebrations in 2012. When a SEESOX team gave a presentation on BiH at the Global Strategy Forum in London, Paddy was guest speaker at the lunch following the event.
Adis Merdzanovic was a Visiting Fellow at St Antony’s, and a core member of Team SEESOX during his time at the College. He interviewed Paddy for his book on BiH, Democracy by Decree. Here is his tribute to Paddy.
Lord Paddy Ashdown, former leader of the British Liberal Democrats and from 2002-2006 High Representative (HR) of the International Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), has died aged 77. While British obituaries focus (see, for example, here and here) on his impact on domestic politics and credit him with turning the Liberal Democrats into a true political power in Westminster, people in the Balkans remember his engagement in their region. During the war in Yugoslavia, he visited the besieged city of Sarajevo and, after a dinner in London, he leaked to the press a map Croatia’s president Franjo Tuđman had drawn on a menu, outlining the planned partition of BiH between Serbia and Croatia.