Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office Blogs

A unique insight into UK foreign and development policy

12th June 2023 Belgrade, Serbia

Sian MacLeod

by Sian MacLeod

UK Ambassador to Serbia

A Belgrade Diplomatic Fantasy

As a diplomat living or working in a historic building you find yourself thinking about the people who occupied the same physical and professional space before you. This is natural curiosity, interest in historic events and a wish to understand past relationships that underpin present day ones. I hope the Financial Times will forgive me […]

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5th June 2023 Belgrade, Serbia

Sian MacLeod

by Sian MacLeod

UK Ambassador to Serbia

Dear Serbia

Dear Serbia, I first arrived in Belgrade in the mid-1980s by train as a student with a small tent. I caught a number 53 bus to the campsite that used to next to the ‘Kamp Košutnjak’ café. Had I known then what the future held for me, I could have looked across the valley to the […]

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15th May 2023

Helen Grant MP, Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Girls’ Education

by Helen Grant

Prime Minister's Special Envoy for Girls' Education

Rights, freedom, potential: UK leadership at Education World Forum 2023

Last week, over 100 Education Ministers from across the globe came together for the 19th Education World Forum (EWF). The EWF takes place in London every year and is the largest gathering of Education Ministers in the world. This year’s event was an excellent opportunity to showcase UK leadership on global education following the launch […]

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12th May 2023 Vienna

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by Corinne Kitsell

Ambassador and UK Permanent Representative to IAEA and CTBTO

Tackling global cybercrime in Vienna

You might hear about ‘cybercrime’ in the news; but what does it mean, how does it affect us and how are we tackling it in Vienna? Cybercrime is a global threat. It affects each of us more than we might realise, from Ransomware attacks that threaten NHS services to online scams and other types of […]

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12th May 2023 Skopje, North Macedonia

Richard Welham

HM Revenue & Customs Western Balkans Regional Training Coordinator

Women into leadership

 The 2022-23 Programme of Events concludes with Women Into Leadership 23 in Birmingham and a nomination for a Civil Service Team of The Year Award. The British Embassy Skopje based Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) funded HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) Western Balkans Training Team have concluded the 2022 to 2023 calendar of events […]

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25th April 2023 Belgrade, Serbia

Sian MacLeod

by Sian MacLeod

UK Ambassador to Serbia

Challenges, risks and threats

Slovyansk in 2017

On 24 February 2022 the world watched with horror and disbelief as Vladimir Putin had launched his illegal, unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. Many people including in Serbia did not to believe or want to believe that Moscow would take such a reckless step, particularly against another Slavic nation with many historic, family and cultural ties […]

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24th April 2023 Vienna

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by Corinne Kitsell

Ambassador and UK Permanent Representative to IAEA and CTBTO

Multilateralism and diplomacy for peace

Ambassador Corinne Kitsell

Today (24 April) we are celebrating the International Day for Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace. I didn’t plan a career in multilateral diplomacy when I joined the Foreign Office but an early experience at the UN in New York – an amazing city, especially when you’re an enthusiastic 20-something – sealed the deal.  I loved […]

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5th April 2023

Ennis Diaz

Communications and Political intern at the British Embassy in Venezuela

Ambassador for a Day in Venezuela

Within the framework of International Women’s Day, the British Embassy in Caracas held the “Ambassador for a Day Contest”, an initiative of the British Government to promote the participation of young women in leadership roles. As a result, UK Heads of Mission around the world give hundreds of women the chance to experience first-hand our […]

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5th April 2023 Geneva, Switzerland

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by Bob Last

Head, UK Mission Political and Human Rights Team

Groundhog Council

I think it’s over. But I’m not entirely sure. Each morning for the last six weeks I’ve been waking up to the grim realisation that the Human Rights Council session was still going and going and going. It went on for so long that I’ve lost track of everything. What day it is, my name, […]

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15th March 2023

Alicia Herbert

FCDO Director of Education, Gender and Equality and the UK’s Special Envoy for Gender Equality

Rights, freedom and potential: our Women and Girls Strategy

Last week the FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office) launched its International Women and Girls Strategy on International Women’s Day. As the Director for Education, Gender and Equalities, and Gender Envoy at the FCDO, I had the privilege and pleasure of joining the Foreign Secretary in Sierra Leone for the launch, where we saw the […]

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