Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office Blogs

A unique insight into UK foreign and development policy

2nd October 2020 Belgrade, Serbia

Sian MacLeod

by Sian MacLeod

UK Ambassador to Serbia

Weather Reports

Grey and windy in London; wet in Vienna; sunny in Skopje; ‘improbably sunny’ in Dublin; sultry in Lisbon…  Online meetings of British Ambassadors often start with friendly chat that sounds a bit like a global weather forecast.  After all, talking about the weather is something that British people are famous for.  British diplomats are no exception. There […]

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30th September 2020 Skopje, North Macedonia

Rachel Galloway

Her Majesty's Ambassador to North Macedonia

A hidden gem in the Pelagonia region

Two years into my posting as British Ambassador to North Macedonia, September was my first month working for the recently merged Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, the whole team coming back fully into the Embassy and adapting to the “new normal”. With my Embassy team, we have been working remotely and in groups from the […]

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29th September 2020 Tokyo, Japan

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by Paul Madden

British Ambassador to Japan

Former British Consulate in Yokohama

The former British Consulate in Yokohama is a handsome stone building, reconstructed after the Great Tokyo Earthquake of 1923, just like the Embassy in Tokyo. Its location, amidst the downtown shops and offices of Japan’s second largest city, was once the bustling waterfront where East met West. Yokohama was one of several Treaty Ports, where […]

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25th September 2020 Belgrade, Serbia

Sian MacLeod

by Sian MacLeod

UK Ambassador to Serbia

Windows on History

WW2 photo exhibition in Belgrade

The Second World War finally came to an end just over 75 years ago. The memory of that war becomes more distant with each passing generation. This was the lived experience of my parents’ generation, experience and memories that our parents – or perhaps for some of you your grandparents – recounted to us as children, but which we can […]

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22nd September 2020 Dublin, Ireland

Robin Barnett

by Robin Barnett

Former Ambassador to Ireland, Dublin

Robin Barnett’s Final Blog as British Ambassador to Ireland

This is my last blog as Ambassador to Ireland. There are so many topics that I could cover but I wanted to focus on just 3 that are personal to me: GAA Before coming to Ireland, I had not appreciated the significance of the GAA but I quickly got an introduction to football at the […]

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21st September 2020 Belgrade, Serbia

Sian MacLeod

by Sian MacLeod

UK Ambassador to Serbia

The Online Diplomat

Sian MacLeod

I was recently asked to open a conference on communications. Because of the public health situation the conference was held virtually, that is  to say, online. It’s a dangerous thing to be an amateur opening a conference of professionals. To do so using their own medium was, to use typically British irony, ‘courageous’. I realised […]

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17th September 2020 Vienna, Austria

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by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

Why the British Embassy in Vienna is proud to be green

Diplomats from the British Embassy are off to an important meeting in Vienna.  The Ringstrasse, as so often, is gridlocked.  No problem for our diplomats, who hop on an embassy bike and arrive not only on time, but in style. Our embassy bikes mean that British diplomats in Vienna make many journeys by bike which […]

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7th September 2020 Vienna, Austria

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by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

How Austria has – and hasn’t – changed

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Breitenlesau_Krug_Br%C3%A4u_Schnitzel.JPG

‘You were a diplomat in Vienna in the ‘80s?’ My interlocutor scans me, perhaps wondering why I am still working, or alive. ‘It must have changed so much!’ ‘Well…’ I seek a diplomatic reply. ‘Yes and no.’ Oscar Wilde famously said “Comparisons are odious”. I often cite him when asked which of my diplomatic postings I have preferred out […]

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31st August 2020 Guangzhou, China

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by Ming Liu

Head of Science and Innovation, BCG Guangzhou

‘He that is thy friend indeed, he will help thee in thy need.’

In March, a large shipment of thousands of masks, gloves, overalls and goggles arrived in Birmingham. Stapled to the side of each of the crates was a quote, in both Chinese and English, attributed to William Shakespeare: ‘He that is thy friend indeed, he will help thee in thy need.’ (“岁寒知松柏,患难见真情.”) This consignment was one […]

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30th August 2020

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by Matt Field

British Diplomat

The Search Continues

International Day of the Disappeared is not an abstract commemoration of a far off event. Many around us are living with a terrible curse, not only of losing a loved one, but of not being able to put them and their memory to rest. In my time in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), I’ve met many […]

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