Candidate Profile
 Provided by
History - Military
Politics & Current Affairs
World Affairs
Sir Andrew Burns is a British Diplomat with extensive experience of Asia, especially the Indian Subcontinent, China/Hong Kong and South-East Asia; Israel and the Middle East; Central and Eastern Europe; the US and Canada. He was High Commissioner to Canada, having previously been Ambassador to Israel and Consul-General in Hong Kong and Macau. Earlier postings took him to India, Romania and the United States.

He became the British Government’s UK Envoy for Post-Holocaust Issues between 2010 and 2015, actively involved in handling some of the lingering consequences of WWII and working to ensure that the lessons of the Holocaust Era are never forgotten. He is still actively involved in Holocaust remembrance and in supporting the leading Peace Village in Israel.

Since retirement to the Exmoor National Park, he has been the International Governor of the BBC and deeply involved in university governance at Royal Holloway, University of London and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, being also for a while the Chair of the Committee of all University Chairs in the UK. He has chaired the Bar Standards Board which regulates the barristers of England and Wales; the International Polar Foundation (UK) which seeks to educate the young in polar science and climate change; Hestercombe Gardens Trust which manages two famous historic gardens in the in the West Country of the UK; and bilateral associations with China, Israel and Canada.

He is married to Sarah, a professional bookbinder who chairs the British Society of Bookbinders.
Sir Andrew lectures on World Affairs, ie contemporary and historical, cultural and foreign policy subjects in a tailor-made way that illuminates the geographic region and international context of each cruise (eg Indian Ocean, Canada and the Arctic, South-East Asia, Middle East) and draws on his own experiences as a diplomat with an eye for the humorous incident and involvement of world leaders.

• Global Challenges: Resurgent China
o Sir Andrew will reflect on how the “rejuvenation” of China is affecting the world. Why should we be worried by China’s re-emergence as a super-power? Can the West win the new battle of ideas? Why is Hong Kong such a litmus test of how China can accommodate itself to international norms?
• Global Challenges: Climate Change
o Are we doing enough to prevent disaster? Sir Andrew will ask what climate protesters and our grandchildren are asking us to do? What do we know from polar science and the advice of experts? Can we resist this change or must we adapt?
• Global Challenges: Ageing Successfully in Ageing Societies
o Falling fertility and rising life expectancy is leading to increasing numbers of older adults and particularly the oldest old across the world. Sir Andrew will reflect on the implications for our societies and for international and inter- generational relations.
• Global Challenges: Facing up to History
o Sir Andrew will ponder why, 75 years on, we still need to remember and teach the Holocaust. How should we counter distortion and denial, the growing prevalence of hate speech and mounting antisemitism? Can we learn useful lessons for combating genocide in the future? What have we learnt about how to face up to dark aspects of our own imperial and colonial history?

Sir Andrew is also happy to talk about the history of Indian Art, contemporary politics in India, the Silk Road and Spice route, the Eat India Company, the search for peace in Israel and the Middle East, the history and art of Canada and the Arctic.
Over ten years of lecturing on world affairs, international history and diplomacy drawing on long experience as a senior British diplomat and policy-maker.
The following recent Cruise History has been recorded for this candidate.
Viking Orion OR181007 Far East Discovery 14 Hong Kong Sunday, October 7, 2018
Crystal Serenity V8305 Across the Bay of Bengal 18 Singapore Wednesday, March 28, 2018
Viking Sky SK170311 Cities of Antiquity & the Holy Land 14 Civitavecchia (for Rome) Saturday, March 11, 2017
Viking Star ST160821 Viking Homelands 14 Bergen Sunday, August 21, 2016
Crystal Serenity V6307 Glacial Grandeur 22 Tokyo Thursday, April 14, 2016