Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office Blogs

A unique insight into UK foreign and development policy

2nd April 2019 King Charles Street, London

Professor Andy Cundy

School of Ocean and Earth Science, University of Southampton

Tackling the Plastics Problem – SIN India

The input and build-up of plastic debris in our oceans is a major and increasing environmental problem. Plastics now comprise the majority of debris found in the sea, and are the most durable and persistent part of it. Estimates vary, but over 100 million tonnes of plastic may now be present in the oceans. While […]

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29th March 2019 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

Vienna to Bratislava: a very British journey

What is British and travels from Vienna to Bratislava? The answer is the new “Twin City Liner”, a catamaran built by the Wight’s shipyard in the Isle of Wight, which starts a new service along the Danube between Vienna and Bratislava on 29 March. I was delighted to be invited before the launch of the […]

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29th March 2019 Geneva, Switzerland

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by Verity Robson

Legal Counsellor, UK Mission to the United Nations, Geneva

New UK Report on Implementation of International Humanitarian Law

Here in Geneva yesterday we celebrated the publication earlier this month of the UK’s first ever report on national implementation of international humanitarian law (IHL).  Alongside UK Ambassador Julian Braithwaite and Michael Meyer (Head of International Law at the British Red Cross), I spoke at a reception for IHL experts from permanent missions and international […]

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29th March 2019

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by Matt Field

British Diplomat

You are not alone

A family dancing as they celebrate Nowruz in a temporary accommodation facilities for migrant families in Bihac

Last week I visited Una-Sana Canton, to see first-hand some of the UK’s support work for local communities there. By chance, this coincided with the festival of Nowruz, so during my visit to one of the temporary accommodation facilities for migrant families, I was able to join their colourful, musical Persian New Year celebrations. In […]

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28th March 2019 Skopje, North Macedonia

Rachel Galloway

British Ambassador to North Macedonia

How well do you know your world?

This was the title of the presentation I had the pleasure to hear during my visit to Kumanovo this week during an English language class in one of their high schools. The theme of how well we know our world seemed to be the central topic of the hospitality I received during the visit. In […]

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26th March 2019 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

Water security, cancer and research in Austria

Could moves to “normalise” larger clothes sizes have a link to health risks such as cancer?  And why should I travel to an 18th century Habsburg Palace to find out? 15 kilometres from Vienna is the beautiful Schloss Laxenburg, where the International Institute for Applied System Analysis (IIASA) carries out cutting-edge research on issues ranging […]

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25th March 2019 Geneva, Switzerland

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by Bob Last

Head, UK Mission Political and Human Rights Team

Fretful Felines at Forty

Last autumn, Pixie – our much loved cat (and subject of a 2015 blog trilogy) – fell seriously ill. After a week in pet hospital, the vets advised that she needed an urgent blood transfusion to survive. Except they didn’t have any cat blood in stock, so they asked if I could round up some […]

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22nd March 2019 Geneva, Switzerland

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by Aidan Liddle

UK Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament

Disarmament blog: Looking back at the UK’s Conference on Disarmament Presidency

Four weeks ago, the UK assumed the rotating Presidency of the Conference on Disarmament. Today, we hand it over, with our best wishes, to the US. It’s been an intense four weeks. During the High Level Segment we heard from 30 Ministers over five plenary meetings. We presided over eight working formal and informal plenary […]

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19th March 2019 Skopje, North Macedonia

Rudina Pasholli

Project coordinator, Centre for Common Ground

Chess, football and basketball – bringing youth together in North Macedonia

Sport is one of the best ways to socialise with peers, it has a positive impact on the well-being of children and youth and therefore it can raise productivity and change our everyday life. Youth in Chair, municipality in Skopje, North Macedonia were actively engaged in three tournaments this March, bringing together children from three […]

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19th March 2019 Geneva, Switzerland

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by Verity Robson

Legal Counsellor, UK Mission to the United Nations, Geneva

The Rule of Law in the Human Rights Council

The implementation of the rule of law, like human rights and fundamental freedoms, is a key means by which the power of the state is constrained. While human rights address the relationship between the state and its people, the rule of law governs the relationship between the branches of the state.  Its implementation ensures that […]

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