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Lancaster House

Centre stage for UK international diplomacy

Lancaster House has been at the centre of UK diplomacy since the end of WWII, hosting some of the UK’s most high-profile international diplomatic events.

Managed by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, Lancaster House continues to be the setting for prominent international conferences and high level summits.

In recent years, it has hosted US President Barack Obama, the Western Balkans Summit, The Ukraine Reform Conference and the Lancaster House Speech by Prime Minister Theresa May, among many others.

Located in the heart of St James’s, London, Lancaster House continues to play an important role in Britain’s diplomatic story.

The 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) brought together representatives from 53 nations at Lancaster House. Held every two years, CHOGM aims to unite Commonwealth nations in response to global challenges.

A major milestone was reached at the summit with the adoption of The Commonwealth Blue Charter, an accord committing all members to actively co-operate to solve ocean-related problems and support sustainable ocean development.

London Somalia Conference 

In 2017, the UK hosted a major international conference at Lancaster House about the ongoing instability in Somalia.

Co-chaired by the UK, Somalia, the United Nations and African Union, the conference brought together heads of State & Government from across East Africa and senior figures from international organisations to build on the progress since the first London Somalia Conference in 2012.

The UK government led discussions on how the international community could best support Somalia’s transition to a more peaceful and prosperous country by 2020.


NATO Secretary-General Speech

In 1950, Lancaster House hosted a series of crucial meetings between the foreign ministers of the founding 12 signatory nations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). It was here where the aims, objectives and structure of the organisation were agreed.

68 years later, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg gave a major speech at Lancaster House in 2018, discussing the present condition of the alliance and its future challenges.

Sec-Gen Stoltenberg noted that Lancaster House had been central to the creation of the NATO Alliance, and that it continued to play a leading role in the organisation’s history.

State Visit of US President Barack Obama

In 2011, the 44th President of the United States Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama visited the UK for a State Visit at the invitation of HM Queen Elizabeth II.

Lancaster House hosted talks and a joint press conference for President Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron on the second day of the visit.

Anti-Corruption Summit 2016

In 2016, the UK hosted the London Anti-Corruption Summit at Lancaster House, bringing together world leaders, business and civil society to agree on a series of co-ordinated measures to eradicate corruption wherever it is found.

The UK led discussions on the issue, pressing the need for global action. The summit resulted in the first-ever global declaration against corruption, affirming leaders’ shared ambition to tackle the problem.




Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI) roundtable

Lancaster House has played an important role in supporting the UK to advocate policies to improve the lives of people around the world.

In 2018, the UK government held a ‘Fighting Stigma Through Film’ festival to raise awareness of Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI), the fight against sexual violence in conflict.

As part of this, Lancaster House hosted roundtable events with young film-makers, with Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Prime Minister’s Special Representative on PSVI, in attendance.