At the Labour Party's annual conference Cabinet ministers are only permitted to make eight minute speeches. It's difficult, therefore, to learn that much about British foreign policy from Foreign Secretary David Miliband's remarks to Conference - delivered yesterday - but here are a few thoughts...
More emphasis on winning hearts and minds: "For ten years we've been uncompromising in defence of our values, unapologetic that every citizen of every nation deserves the freedom and equal rights of a true democracy. I believe we were right to do so. But when I went to Pakistan, I met young, educated, articulate people in their 20s and 30s who told me millions of Muslims around the world think we're seeking not to empower them but to dominate them. So we have to stop and we have to think."
...less emphasis on military strength: "Ten years in government. Time to learn the right lessons and move on to address the new issues. Four times we've sent young men and women to fight for our values. Rightly in my view. And we cannot forget their bravery and their sacrifice. But while we've won the wars it's been harder to win the peace. The lesson is that while there are military victories there never is a military "solution". There's only military action that creates the space for economic and political life." The 'new' Labour Government has not signalled any commitment to deal with the underfunding of Britain's armed forces. A new tax rebate for armed servicemen fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq will actually come from within the existing defence budget - increasing pressures on frontline capacity.
Greater faith in multilateral institutions (1): "In the 1940s and 50s we built international institutions to promote peace for a divided globe. Today, we need institutions which re-define the global rules for our shared planet. From Burma to Zimbabwe we need to ensure all countries feel it's better to play by the rules rather than ignore them."
Greater faith in multilateral institutions (2): "And the EU, for all the attacks on it, is one international institution we need today. The European Arrest Warrant snared the 21st July bomber. European commitments are leading the fight against climate change. Europe needs to look out, not in, to the problems beyond its borders that define insecurity within our borders. It doesn't need institutional navel-gazing and that is why the Reform Treaty abandons fundamental constitutional reform and offers clear protections for national sovereignty."
That final section on the EU Treaty brought a furious response from The Sun - currently fighting for a campaign for a referendum on the Treaty.
During a Q&A earlier today, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that it was very regrettable that there wasn't a global institution dedicated to protecting the environment. I predict that he and Mr Miliband - Environment Secretary before he became Foreign Secretary - will be proposing one very soon...