On the 21st of November the Forum welcomed Brian Taylor to speak about Travels with the United Nations.
After a career with West Yorkshire Police where he was Head of the Drugs Squad he joined the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime as Chief of the Anti-Trafficking Section. He summarised the history of the United Nations from its foundation in 1945 with 50 member states to the present day with 193 members employing 44,000 people.
The section in which he was employed is based in Vienna and investigates drug and human trafficking as well as money laundering and terrorism. His role involved travelling all around the world and he described a selection of the exotic and disturbed places which he had visited.
The two most disturbed places were Iraq and Afghanistan, at the latter he visited a UN facility which was bombed shortly afterwards with considerable loss of life to its staff.
He also visited Bosnia and witnessed the extensive damage to Sarajevo and the dreadful poverty of its inhabitants. He visited the “Stan” states in Central Asia where the UN set up an organisation similar to Europol to enable exchange of police information.
A lively question and answer session followed which Chairman Mike Earle had to curtail to allow members to go home. Mike thanked Brian Taylor for a fascinating talk about his very interesting life.