Foreign Office Blogs

A unique insight into UK foreign policy

20th May 2016 London, UK

Liz Hitchcock

Digital Training and Upskilling Manager

Digital training and capability at FCO: a new strategic approach

Digital training at the FCO has reached toddler-hood. Claire Collins blogged in November about its one year birthday and now, just like a toddler, it’s good at attracting attention and charming all who meet it! FCO staff who’ve taken up the Digital Transformation Unit (DTU) global training offer have been overwhelmingly positive about the quality […]

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19th May 2016 Los Angeles, USA

Patricia Gruver

by Patricia Gruver

Science & Innovation Officer

Trust Your Gut: Scientists Want to Study your Microbiome

It’s easy to forget that there are trillions of microbes that call us home. We tend to only think about our inhabitants when they’re causing us harm, but science suggests there’s much more to our microscopic squatters. Currently hailed as “the holy grail of health and wellness,” the microbiome is the ecosystem that lives in, […]

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19th May 2016 Los Angeles, USA

Patricia Gruver

by Patricia Gruver

Science & Innovation Officer

Funding: Global Challenges Research Fund

Agriculture and Food Systems call (~£15M) The challenge of ensuring access to a safe, sufficient and nutritious diet for a healthy life – whilst maintaining a healthy agri-environment – will intensify as demand for food rises with an increasing global population, urbanisation and changing diets. At the same time as ensuring a sustainable food supply […]

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19th May 2016 Skopje, Macedonia

Paul Edwards

Deputy Head of Mission

Sporting Diversity

I was on Facebook yesterday evening and I saw something that shocked me. It was a post which said that the World Health Organisation only took homosexuality off the list of mental disorders in 1990.  I found it hard to believe that anyone over 25 years old has lived in a time when a global […]

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19th May 2016 Vienna, Austria

Sian MacLeod

by Sian MacLeod

Ambassador and Head of UK Delegation to the OSCE, Vienna

Making the Case for Tolerance

This afternoon I will attend a memorial service in the City of London’s Guildhall to celebrate the long, eventful life of Sir Nicholas Winton, who died last year aged 106. As a young man, Sir Nicholas travelled briefly to Prague in 1938 to help a friend facilitating urgent evacuation of refugees from the looming Nazi […]

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18th May 2016

Nigel Baker

by Nigel Baker

Ambassador to the Holy See (2011-2016)

Pontifical Diplomacy

The international activism and high profile of Pope Francis has generated renewed interest in the nature and practice of the Holy See’s diplomacy. Just in the last week, the Pope visited the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy – the papal diplomatic college – to meet the young priests preparing there to take up their role as a […]

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18th May 2016 St Petersburg, Russia

Keith Allan

by Keith Allan

Her Majesty’s Consul General to St Petersburg, Russia

Arctic Convoys: UK veteran leaves his medals to a school in Murmansk

Russia celebrated Victory Day on 9 May. Commemorative events took place across the country. In St Petersburg, I joined the Governor and thousands of St Petersburg residents to lay flowers at Piskarevskoye Memorial Cemetery, where half a million of the victims of the Leningrad Siege are buried. The following day I was in Murmansk, another […]

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17th May 2016 Paris, France

Martin Redmond

Consular Communications, London

Euro 2016: hit the road Jacques

With three of the home nations having qualified for the European Championships – and hosts France such a short hop away – this summer’s tournament is expected to attract hundreds of thousands of British nationals. And whether you’re travelling by land, air or sea, we’ve got everything you need to #BeOnTheBall. If you’re already thinking about your visit, […]

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17th May 2016 Colombo, Sri Lanka

Laura Davies

by Laura Davies

Deputy High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and the Maldives

Minding mental health

“It’s Mental Health Awareness week this week, and we’ve taken the opportunity to reflect on a recent mental health consular case the team has been supporting. A few weeks ago, a British National came for a holiday of a lifetime to the Maldives.  This person had a pre-existing mental health condition, but did not inform […]

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17th May 2016 Vilnius, Lithuania

Claire Lawrence

by Claire Lawrence

British Ambassador to Lithuania

Why I am – visiting HMS Iron Duke in Klaipeda

This week the UK Royal Navy ship, HMS Iron Duke, visits Klaipeda. HMS Iron Duke (the HMS stands for Her Majesty’s Ship) is taking part in NATO activity in the Baltic Sea and will be doing some training with the Lithuanian Navy. She (ships in English are female) has already visited Tallinn and Riga. HMS […]

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