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Praise for Marlborough’s Nick Fogg as he returns from powerhouse conference of former world leaders

Councillor Nick FoggCouncillor Nick FoggWhile MPs are in heated debate over whether the UK should stay in the European Union or quit, former Marlborough mayor Nick Fogg has been in Bahrain trying to solve some of the world’s major conflicts.

And his efforts to spread the Marlborough brand of positive purpose at the powerhouse conference was praised by the town’s new mayor, Councillor Guy Loosmore, when he took office on Monday.

Councillor Fogg was invited to present a paper during the session on “Bridging the Religious Divide” at the prestigious Council of Former Heads of State and Government, which took place in the Kingdom of Bahrain last week.

He also contributed to the preliminary and plenary sessions of the Council, an independent international organisation designed to bring together former world leaders to mobilise their energy, experience and international contacts in an effort to develop recommendations and foster co-operation and positive action around the world.

"The object of the conference was to examine the many sectarian conflicts that occur world-wide and the ways in which the means towards their resolution,” Councillor Fogg, a Wiltshire councillor and a member of Marlborough’s town council, told Marlborough News Online.

“As a Fellow of Queens University, I have previously written a paper on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and was a rapporteur in the 'Economics of Peace' programme at Harvard University.

"Also contributing a paper to the session was former Devizes MP, Michael Ancram, the Marquis of Lothian who has wide knowledge of conflict resolution from his time as Northern Ireland Minister.

“Appropriately, Bertie Aherne, who was Prime Minister of the Irish Republic at that time, also contributed to the discussion.”

 And he added: "'Of course Bahrain has its own sectarian problems in the conflict between Sunni and Shia Muslims.  I paid tribute in the pre-amble to my paper to the progress that has been made there towards religious tolerance and the rights of women.”

Founded in 1983, the Council body meets annually and is composed of more than 30 former world leaders, among them Helmut Schmidt, Oscar Arias, ex-President of Costa Rica and Nobel Peace Laureate, Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela and Romano Prodi.  The co-chairmen are Jean Chretien of Canada and Franz Vranitsky of Austria.

"The organisation and its members jointly develop recommendations on, and practical solutions for, the political, economic and social problems confronting humanity,” explained Councillor Fogg.

“These efforts are focused on three main priority areas -- peace and security, world economic revitalisation and universal ethical standards."

His efforts were praised by Marlborough’s new mayor, Councillor Guy Loosmore, when he was installed for the coming year on Monday.

“To bring us up to date, in the world of instant news, to show how Marlborough continues to make its mark around the globe, fellow councillor, Nick Fogg has just returned, jetlagged, from an international conference in Bahrain,” he told the assembled guests.

“He was there among some celebrated company, past and present world leaders.

“Perhaps Marlborough should establish a network outposts to develop the Marlborough brand.  Now that sounds like an idea!  Let us celebrate what we have and build on it in a positive and harmonious way.”

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