Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office Blogs

A unique insight into UK foreign and development policy

16th October 2023 Geneva, Switzerland

Avatar photo

by Bob Last

Head, UK Mission Political and Human Rights Team

Exhausted nations

If anyone sensible was trying to design a system to get countries from across the world to reach agreement on tricky, highly sensitive issues, then they wouldn’t do it like this. First, call a very long meeting. Let’s say five weeks long. But make sure it comes hot on the heels of two other very […]

Read more on Exhausted nations | Reply

16th October 2023 Canberra, Australia

Louise Cantillon

British Consul General and Deputy Trade Commissioner Asia Pacific (Australia & New Zealand)

UK in Australia launch Science and Technology Season

Innovation and invention will help us to overcome some of the most important challenges facing the world today. That’s why I’m so excited that the team here in Australia is launching its Science and Technology Season. Over the next ten weeks we will run trade missions, attend trade shows, host visits and events all focused […]

Read more on UK in Australia launch Science and Technology Season | Reply

13th October 2023 Vienna

Jasper Newport

Intern at the UK Mission to the UN (Vienna)

Atomic diplomacy: what I learnt interning at the UK Mission

IAEA General Conference with Minister Bowie speaking on a panel

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is one of the most significant organisations in the UN system. When I started my internship, I found both the IAEA and the UK Mission in a flurry of activity. Preparations were underway for the IAEA’s General Conference, a central event in the Agency’s calendar…

Read more on Atomic diplomacy: what I learnt interning at the UK Mission | Reply

11th October 2023

Layla

Head of Girls’ Education Department for a day

Being the Head of Girls’ Education Department for a day

Hi, I’m Layla and I’ve taken over Judith Herbertson’s role as Head of Girls’ Education Department for the day. I’m 16 years old, currently studying my A levels in geography, history and politics. I’m interested in a career in international development because I want to make a difference by helping others.  I’ve taken over Judith’s […]

Read more on Being the Head of Girls’ Education Department for a day | Reply

5th September 2023 Vienna

Avatar photo

by Corinne Kitsell

Ambassador and UK Permanent Representative to IAEA and CTBTO

Lift off from Vienna: working with the UN to protect outer space

Alien invasions, Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Trek versus Star Wars. Or the Space Race, rocket launches and astronauts exploring the moon. These might be the things that come to mind when you think of outer space. How about the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA)?  You might wonder why a UN organisation […]

Read more on Lift off from Vienna: working with the UN to protect outer space | Reply

2nd August 2023 Berlin, Germany

Avatar photo

by Kate Robinson

Science and Innovation Advisor, British Embassy Berlin

Light bulbs, defrosted freezers and heat pumps: how to support energy-saving behaviours in the home

Lessons from a science-policy roundtable The messages in the latest IPCC report on climate change are sobering, to say the least: human activities have caused the planet to warm by 1.1°C, causing widespread damage to both people and nature. We are all familiar with the narrative by now: there are low-cost options for mitigating and […]

Read more on Light bulbs, defrosted freezers and heat pumps: how to support energy-saving behaviours in the home | Reply

18th July 2023 Geneva, Switzerland

Avatar photo

by Bob Last

Head, UK Mission Political and Human Rights Team

A Little Bit Broken

One thing I’d somehow managed for the first 52 Council sessions, was to avoid serious injury. The odd week of Covid, a minor bout of pneumonia, and some less-than-pleasant food poisoning misadventures aside, I’ve kept myself in functional working shape these last 20-plus years. I’d like to say good shape, but let’s not get carried away. […]

Read more on A Little Bit Broken | Reply

22nd June 2023 Vienna

Avatar photo

by Corinne Kitsell

Ambassador and UK Permanent Representative to IAEA and CTBTO

Stopping nuclear explosions & detecting volcanic eruptions: the successes of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty

The 2023 CTBT Science and Technology Conference

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, or CTBT, opened for signature over 25 years ago. The UK is a longstanding supporter – politically, technically and financially, to the CTBT and its Vienna-based organisation, the CTBTO Preparatory Commission. But what does it do? Put simply, the CTBT bans all nuclear explosions by everyone, everywhere: above ground, underwater and underground.

Read more on Stopping nuclear explosions & detecting volcanic eruptions: the successes of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty | Reply