The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has closed. It’s been replaced by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO). ## FCDO guidance, services and information These services are now provided by FCDO: - [foreign travel advice](/foreign-travel-advice) - [consular help and services abroad](/world) - [document legislation](/get-document-legalised) ## History of FCO FCO was a ministerial department from October 1968 to September 2020. It merged with the Department for International Development to create FCDO.
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 2017 to 2018, 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.
We use a proportion of our core departmental budget to fund project activity to support the policy priorities detailed in our Single Departmental Plan. This funding includes both Official Development Assistance (ODA), and non-ODA funds, to ensure that we can spent it around the world to promote British interests, including through contributing to the economic development and welfare of developing countries. This small-scale policy programme funding enables us to complement traditional diplomatic activity, respond effectively to changing international situations, and maximise funding from international partners and the private sector. It is used for a wide range of activity designed to protect our people, project our influence and promote our prosperity.
The FCO also plays an important role in delivering programmes and projects funded by 2 major government-wide funds, which support the government’s National Security Strategy, and Aid Strategy:
- the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF), established in 2015, supports work to reduce risk arising from conflict or instability in countries where the UK has important interests
- the Prosperity Fund, established in 2016, promotes the economic reform and development needed for growth in partner countries
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.