Foreign Office Blogs

A unique insight into UK foreign policy

24th March 2017 Kolkata, India

Bruce Bucknell

by Bruce Bucknell

British Deputy High Commissioner Kolkata

Tea garden

I can’t find a good explanation for why they are called gardens. However, I’ve just seen a tea plantation or estate, as we tend to call them in Britain, and can understand why they are called tea gardens in India. Last weekend, I visited a tea garden in Assam, one of the main tea production […]

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22nd March 2017 London, UK

Rob Fenn

by Rob Fenn

Head of Human Rights and Democracy Department, FCO

If you seek his monument, look around you

I seem to have reached an age when there will be funerals. My father’s last year was bittersweet, after a life so fully lived. A similar mixture of grief and celebration permeated the funeral last month of Sir Nigel Rodley, the most distinguished British human rights expert of his generation. In these personal reflections I […]

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21st March 2017 Guatemala City

Thomas Carter

by Thomas Carter

British Ambassador to Guatemala

A trek to the lost Mayan city of El Mirador, Part 2

The next morning we were woken before dawn by the roaring of Howler Monkeys in the trees.  We set out early for La Danta.  Passing various excavations on the way, at one point our guide removed a tarpaulin to show us something of archaeological interest but all we could see were squirming snakes, tarantulas and […]

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20th March 2017 Holy See

Sally Axworthy

by Sally Axworthy

Ambassador to the Holy See

Helping the Homeless at the Vatican

Last week I, Dame Louise Casey and Neil O’Connor of the UK Department for Communities and Local Government had the honour of visiting the Vatican Almonry  to find out about how the Vatican helps the homeless. Dame Louise is something of a legend for her efforts to tackle homelessness, help troubled families and promote integration […]

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20th March 2017 Geneva, Switzerland

Bob Last

by Bob Last

Deputy Head, UK Mission Political Team

What lies beneath

I’m in big trouble. For the second Sunday running I’ve single-handedly, polished off a 26-pack of chocolate wafer biscuits which were supposed to be carefully rationed for the kids over the weeks ahead. I know it’s not going to do me much good come the morning as I try and squeeze into my suit, but […]

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16th March 2017 Vienna, Austria

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

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

Where is Europe’s largest motorcycle maker based?

Which is the most important economic powerhouse in Austria? Amongst the nine Austrian provinces, Vienna has the largest population, followed by Lower Austria and Upper Austria. But more international exports come from Upper Austria than from any other Austrian province. So when I visited Upper Austria recently, my first stop was at Europe’s biggest motor […]

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15th March 2017 Canberra, Australia

Menna Rawlings

by Menna Rawlings

British High Commissioner to Australia

Hello, Adele, from the other side.

I watched you perform at the ANZ stadium in Sydney on Saturday night, with my 16 year old daughter and 94,998 other people. This was just one night in your multi-city Australia tour – your first time in this beautiful country, you said. Altogether, I reckon around 600,000 people will have seen you perform in Australia – […]

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14th March 2017 Guatemala City

Thomas Carter

by Thomas Carter

British Ambassador to Guatemala

A trek to the lost Mayan city of El Mirador, Part 1

Three years ago, when I first heard I was being posted to Guatemala, I spotted in the guide books a mention of a ruined Mayan city deep in the jungle which was only accessible by walking for five days there and back.  I instantly decided I had to go there.  And finally, last month, I […]

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13th March 2017 Geneva, Switzerland

Bob Last

by Bob Last

Deputy Head, UK Mission Political Team

Change in the Air

While there haven’t exactly  been howls of protest about my online silence these last few weeks, the number of people asking what I’ve been up to rose to three on Friday (excluding my last boss who is clearly still keeping tabs on me from afar), so I feel a little sheepish and neglectful. The main reason […]

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