Foreign Office Blogs

A unique insight into UK foreign policy

14th November 2016 Vienna, Austria

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

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

Austrian and British power-houses

Vienna is not Austria – any more than London is the United Kingdom. So I was delighted recently to visit Lower Austria (Niederösterreich) to find out what makes Austria’s largest and second most populous province tick; and to explore and promote connections to the UK. We started our visit in Amstetten, where I sampled tasty […]

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14th November 2016 London, UK

Will Travers

President and CEO The Born Free Foundation

I believe that we can still win for the animals

This week, delegates from 54 countries, governments, wildlife professionals, conservationists, wildlife trade experts, charities such as Born Free and our friends in the press and media, will gather in Hanoi, Vietnam, to drive forward efforts to end the illegal wildlife trade, especially the trade in ivory and rhino horn. Vietnam, our hosts, is regarded as […]

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14th November 2016 London, UK

Dan Bucknell

Executive Director at Tusk

Tackling Illegal Wildlife Trade

The illegal wildlife trade (IWT) has become the fourth most lucrative transnational crime after drugs, arms and human trafficking. Worth as much as $20billion per year, IWT threatens international security, national sovereignties, impoverished rural communities, and countless animals from elephants and rhinos, to lions and pangolins. To tackle IWT, Tusk is currently running two key […]

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14th November 2016 Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Catherine Arnold

British Ambassador to Mongolia

Ilegal Wildlife Trade: it isn’t just about the wildlife

Marmoth

Think of Mongolia, and you probably imagine impossibly open skies, the steppe flecked with horses and a solitary cluster of traditional gers (yurts). Mongolia is the least densely populated country in the world and one of exquisite natural beauty. Sitting in central Ulaanbaatar, a buzzing city of 1.7 million inhabitants, it can be hard to […]

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13th November 2016 Ankara, Turkey

Richard Moore

by Richard Moore

British Ambassador to Turkey

Why do Brits wear the Poppy?

Lots of people are asking me the same question I get every year on the significance of the poppy flower.  Here’s a slightly updated version of the blog I wrote last year  if you’re interested in knowing the answer #WhydoBritswearthePoppy? https://blogs.fco.gov.uk/richardmoore/2015/11/11/why-do-brits-wear-the-poppy/ Why do Brits wear the Poppy? The small, red flower – a poppy – […]

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13th November 2016 Colombo, Sri Lanka

Laura Davies

by Laura Davies

Deputy High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and the Maldives

The Double Sunrise of Peace

On Friday 11 November, we held our usual ceremony for Remembrance Day.  The Commonwealth War Graves enclosure of the Liveramentu cemetery on Torrington Road was as serene as ever. The headstones are a startling white against the immaculate green grass.  The tropical sun beats down.  Birdsong fills the two minute silence.  The reading from Kenny […]

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11th November 2016 London, UK

Richard Barley

Director of Horticulture, Learning and Operations, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Kew observes Remembrance Day 2016

The wreath to be laid at the Cenotaph on behalf of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on Remembrance Sunday is to be created by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. As is the custom, Kew Gardens is providing a wreath to be laid on behalf of the Foreign Office at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday. A […]

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11th November 2016 Kyiv, Ukraine

Judith Gough

by Judith Gough

British Ambassador to Ukraine

A joint blog by British, Canadian and Australian Ambassadors to Ukraine You may wonder why we, the British, Canadian and Australian Ambassadors, as well as people from other Commonwealth nations, wear a poppy flower at this time of the year. First of all, the poppy is the symbol of Remembrance Day which marks the anniversary […]

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11th November 2016 Vienna, Austria

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

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

How to ban nuclear tests

Just over 55 years ago, on 30 October 1961, the largest nuclear weapon ever constructed was set off over Novaya Zemlya island in the Arctic Sea. The Soviet Tsar Bomba had a yield of 50 megatons, several thousand times as strong as the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The mushroom cloud reached around 60 kilometers into […]

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11th November 2016 Skopje, Macedonia

Georgina Thorne

Finally…

Early October 1918 Corporal George Henry Carter, M2/130656 of the 880th Motor Transport Convoy, Army Service Corps writes to his wife Minnie. His letter, written and indeed read with hope and optimism speaks of change. He confirms an Armistice had been reached with the Bulgarians; ‘…the Germans are about done too, So I am looking […]

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