What we do

The FCO promotes British interests overseas, supporting our citizens and businesses around the globe.


We are responsible for:

  • safeguarding Britain’s national security by countering terrorism and weapons proliferation, and working to reduce conflict
  • building Britain’s prosperity by increasing exports and investment, opening markets, ensuring access to resources, and promoting sustainable global growth
  • supporting British nationals around the world through modern and efficient consular services


In 2012 and 2013, our priorities are organised around increasing security and prosperity and developing our consular presence. Specific priorities include:

  • reducing the risk to the UK and UK interests overseas from international terrorism
  • contributing to the success of Britain’s effort in Afghanistan
  • helping to build a stable and increasingly prosperous Pakistan
  • playing a central role in international efforts to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in Iran and elsewhere
  • coordinating a UK government contribution to conflict prevention and supporting conflict resolution in fragile states
  • promoting the British economy and lobbying for British business overseas and inward investment into the UK
  • improving the global economic environment and advancing UK interests through trade agreements, an effective G20 and international development
  • delivering a smaller and better consular service by managing resources more effectively to meet our customers’ needs

Who we are

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has a worldwide network of embassies and consulates, employing over 14,000 people in nearly 270 diplomatic offices. We work with international organisations to promote British interests and global security, including the EU, NATO, the United Nations, the UN Security Council and the Commonwealth.

Our funding programmes

Our Strategic Programme Fund promotes action on global issues in areas of strategic importance to the UK. Current areas of focus include the Arab Partnership, commercial diplomacy, counter proliferation, counter terrorism, human rights, prosperity, bilateral programmes and the Overseas Territories. The funding allocation for the financial year 2012-13 will total £143.8 million.

HMG Conflict Funding is managed jointly by FCO, the Department for International Development and the Ministry of Defence, and is worth £644 million for 2012 to 2013. It covers conflict prevention work and the UK’s contribution to international peacekeeping missions. You can find out more about this fund and how it will be used and managed in the future from the Written ministerial statement on conflict resources, 2012-13 and 2013-14.

We also support:

Corporate information

Read about the types of information we routinely publish in our Publication scheme. Our Personal information charter explains how we treat your personal information. Read our policy on Social media use.

Corporate reports

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