About us

What we do

The FCO promotes the United Kingdom's interests overseas, supporting our citizens and businesses around the globe.


We are responsible for:

  • safeguarding the UK’s national security by countering terrorism and weapons proliferation, and working to reduce conflict
  • building the UK’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


The Foreign Secretary and the FCO Board of Management have agreed our new Priority Outcomes for 2014 to 2015, which fall under our foreign policy priorities of safeguarding the UK’s national security, building the UK’s prosperity and supporting British nationals with a modern consular service.

The 2014-2015 Priority Outcomes under Security include Afghanistan, Syria, Iran, the Middle East, Russia, Africa as well as international security and conflict events such as the Wales NATO Summit. Priority Outcomes under Prosperity include the Asia Pacific region, the EU, energy and climate and economic diplomacy. Priority Outcomes within Consular include our provision of consular services, our response to crises and our support to British nationals at international events.

The Priority Outcomes do not cover all our activity but complement our detailed public business plan and indicate those areas of particular importance to the FCO in the year ahead, and where the FCO has a distinctive contribution to make.

Please refer to our PDF version for full details.

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 UK 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.

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