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David Owen speaker

David Owen

London, UK

Co-Founder and Leader of the Social Democratic Party (1983-87 and 1988-90)

UK Foreign Secretary (1977-79)

Chairman, New Europe (1999-2005)

Lord David Owen was a Member of Parliament for Plymouth for 26 years from 1966-92. Under Labour Governments, he served as Navy Minister, Health Minister and Foreign Secretary. He was co-founder of the Social Democratic Party and its leader from 1983-87 and 1988-90, and currently sits as an independent Crossbencher in the House of Lords.

From 1992-95, Lord Owen served as EU peace negotiator in the former Yugoslavia working alongside the UN-appointed peace negotiator, Cyrus Vance. Together they co-authored the Vance-Owen Peace Plan.

Lord Owen has been associated with several topical campaigns, and was Chairman of New Europe from 1999-2005, a cross party organisation that successfully campaigned against the UK adopting the euro.

He is currently Chairman of Europe Steel, non-executive Director of Hyperdynamics Corporation, and consultant to Epion Holdings. He served as non-executive Director of the US healthcare company, Abbott Laboratories from 1996-2011. Lord Owen is also Director of the Center for International Health and Co-operation, which has established an intensive four-week diploma course in International Humanitarian Assistance held annually in Geneva and New York, and is Chairman of Trustees of a newly established charity, the Daedalus Trust, which promotes research into personality changes associated with the exercise of power in all walks of life.

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Our Comment

"One of the most impressive political figures of his generation, Lord Owen remains one of the most thought-provoking commentators on the EU’s place in the world and particularly the UK’s relationship with Europe. His books include Time to Declare (1991), Balkan Odyssey (1995), and The Hubris Syndrome (2007). In June 2012 he published Europe Restructured? "

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