I am really grateful for Kate taking the time to write this blog for the FCO. I very much value her views and have had the pleasure of working closely with her on our shared goal of achieving the strongest possible Arms Trade Treaty; a Treaty which will attract universal adherence and have a genuine impact on people’s lives. The UK NGO community has played a key role in pushing … The campaign for an international Arms Trade Treaty
The following is a guest post by Kate Allen, the Director of Amnesty International UK. After two decades of campaigning, it has come down to three days. As I join the rest of Amnesty’s delegation for the final discussions at the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty Conference, I do so with a sense of hope that we shall soon see a strong and effective Arms Trade Treaty. Yet this hope … The campaign for an international Arms Trade Treaty
International Women’s Day gives us a chance both to celebrate women’s achievements but also reflect on the issues they still face. Over the past two years the Middle East and North Africa has seen momentous change. At its heart has been the people of the region demanding dignity, a voice, a job, equal rights and opportunities. From Tahrir to Tunis to Tripoli, women have played a leading role, alongside men, … International Women’s Day
On 31st October I hosted a reception in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to mark two years of the Arab Partnership. This event was an opportunity to pass on my personal thanks to those who have worked with us over the last two years. The Arab Spring represented a period of unprecedented change in the MENA region, towards the more open and accountable societies its people so emphatically demand. It … Looking back over two years of the Arab Partnership
The following is a guest post by Boutheina Cheriet, Professor of Education and the Sociology of Development, National Graduate School for Political Science, Algiers. Boutheina is also the former Minister of Women’s Affairs and the Family in the Algerian Government (2002-2003). This post coincides with the Wilton Park Conference on The Economy of the Maghreb on 11 July. Preliminary remarks When invited by the British Embassy in Algiers to take … Regional prosperity and integration in the Maghreb: “The open society and its amies”
Talks are beginning in Vienna today to discuss progress on the implementation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). This meeting (the 2012 NPT Preparatory Committee) will be the first time all of the States Party to the NPT have met since they agreed to an action plan in 2010. The talks will focus on how states are implementing their Treaty obligations and commitments. Ahead of the meeting Foreign Office Minister … Audio: Nuclear non-proliferation: How relevant is the NPT Treaty today?
Ahead of the upcoming talks between Iran and the E3+3 countries, Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt has recorded a video-blog focusing on the UK’s hopes for the talks. Speaking directly to Iranians, Mr Burt said: “We welcome the fact that the Iranian government is ready to re-engage with the United Kingdom and other members of the international community on its nuclear programme. These talks present a genuine opportunity to move … Video: UK expectations for talks with Iran
Speaking during a recent visit to Kabul, Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt emphasised that Afghanistan should not be be seen as just a security issue, and highlighted the continued work of the Afghan people towards stability, whilst re-affirming Afghanistan’s economic importance to other countries in the region.
Speaking in Tunis after attending the “Friends of Syria” meeting on 25 February, Mr Burt outlined the objectives for the meeting and the leading role the UK is playing in supporting the freedom of the Syrian people. This meeting was the latest move by the international community to back the Arab League’s plan for a Syrian-led solution to the crisis, following the United Nations General Assembly Resolution on 16 February. He … Video: Friends of Syria – Alistair Burts talks about UK objectives at the meeting in Tunisia
Speaking in Vienna after attending the Paris Pact Conference on Combating the Afghan Illicit Opiate Trade on 16 February, Mr Burt underlined the need for a comprehensive and determined international approach. The UK is committed to supporting the Afghan Government’s counter-narcotics work alongside wider efforts to build up the Afghan security forces, develop a viable Afghan state and make progress towards a more inclusive political process. We strongly support the … Video: Foreign Office Minister urges comprehensive action to combat Afghan drugs trade