'There is no comms answer to our current problems', says David Miliband

David Miliband, president of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and former UK foreign secretary, has said the lack of global comms on issues such as the refugee crisis and climate change is dangerous - but also argued that comms itself cannot solve such problems.

David Miliband: President of the International Rescue Committee (Credit: Yui Mok / PA Archive/PA Images)
David Miliband: President of the International Rescue Committee (Credit: Yui Mok / PA Archive/PA Images)

Speaking at the launch of Edelman's Trust Barometer earlier today (Tuesday) in London, Miliband discussed the Syrian refugee crisis, saying: "It is here to stay. There is no comms answer to the problems that exist; it's like politics – there is no political answer without a policy answer."

Miliband said that the chaotic policy response in Europe was responsible for the crisis. He said this was confounded by the lack of a global comms effort around issues including the refugee crisis and climate change, and said: "The sense that nobody is in charge is dangerous."

However, he did not suggest which group or organisation might be able to take on that mantle of global comms leadership.

The president of the IRC also discussed the idea that by withdrawing from the EU, Britain could insulate itself from the refugee crisis, calling this idea a myth. "Brexit would leave Britain more exposed and reduce co-operation," he said. "it doesn't change geography or shift reality."  

Referring to Edelman's report and its finding of a low – albeit increasing – level of public trust in institutions, Miliband said there was a need for corporates and NGOs to work together to define values for businesses.

The survey also attested to substantially lower trust in institutions among the general population than among the better educated and wealthier in the UK.

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