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:
- outstanding scholars with leadership potential to take postgraduate courses in the UK on Chevening scholarships
- young Americans of high ability to study in the UK on Marshall scholarships
- victims of forced marriage with the Domestic Programme Fund
- natural resource management in the Overseas Territories with the Overseas Territories Environment and Climate Fund (Darwin Plus)
- prosperity and growth through the Science and Innovation Network
- some of the government’s work on international development, including through our activities on promoting sustainable global growth, human rights, climate change and conflict prevention. This is supported by Official Development Assistance funding.
Access our information
Jobs and contracts
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.