The eve of conference get-together was a splendid high tea on a picnic island. Under a dazzling sunset, the protocol team told everyone to feel the sand between their toes, and get down to a Maldivian version of dodgeball. Two groups stood at either side of a rectangle traced in the sand, with their targets in the middle. What better way of making friends of strangers than hurling a ball at them. Every conference should start this way. It could be a Maldivian model for international mediation.
(The author is India Director of the BBC World Service Trust.)