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 2015 to 2016, which fall under our foreign policy priorities of protecting our people, projecting our global influence and promoting our prosperity.

Read our Single Departmental Plan to find out more about how we are performing against our objectives.

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