Foreign Office 2017

A look back at our work over the past year

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has 274 overseas missions operating in 168 counties and territories and is the voice of the UK government across the world.

Take a look at some of the biggest priorities we've been working on this year:

Hurricanes Irma and Maria

Over 500,000 British people were affected by the worst hurricane to hit the Caribbean in 50 years, leaving many British Overseas Territories without shelter, power and water.

The Foreign Office led the UK Government’s response, mobilising a 24hr crisis centre and deploying 1,000 emergency response staff to the region.

Our crisis centre handled over 3,500 consular cases, as well as co-ordinating the delivery of UK aid and military assistance to the overseas territories.

We’re now helping to ensure that there is a long term reconstruction plan and that islands become more resilient against future extreme weather events.


Defeating Daesh

Daesh has claimed responsibility for some of the most high profile terrorist attacks in recent years. But they are losing the fight.

As a leading member of the GlobalCoalition, the UK has helped local security forces to clear Daesh from Iraq and most of Syria, reducing their territory by 96%, and liberating Raqqa from Daesh control.

And the UK-led Counter Daesh Communications Cell has been working around the clock to undermine Daesh’s narrative, reducing its propaganda to a third of what it was 2 years ago.

Protecting our planet

Protecting the planet

The Foreign Office has continued to play a crucial role in protecting the planet – from leading climate change action around the world, to protecting marine areas in our overseas territories.

Some of the world’s most iconic species are threatened by the illegal wildlife trade. In October, the UK Government announced proposals for a ban on ivory sales to help bring an end to elephant poaching.

We’re inviting global leaders to London next year to strengthen international efforts to tackle the crime and corruption underpinning the illegal wildlife trade.



Since the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, we’ve made good progress in the first phase of negotiations. We’ve agreed on rights for UK citizens in Europe and EU citizens living in the UK and now we’re looking ahead to the next phase of negotiations on trade and security.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has visited over 52 countries since his appointment, forging greater diplomatic relations with the world and ensuring that the UK remains a leading player on the international stage.

UN General Assembly

United Nations General Assembly

In September world leaders gathered in New York for the annual United Nations General Assembly. They came together to discuss some of the biggest challenges facing the world and to seek solutions to common problems.

The UK used its diplomatic relationships to urge the international community to intensify pressure on North Korea and rally support for sanctions resolutions, making it clear that stopping the spread of weapons of mass destruction was a responsibility for all nations.

The Foreign Secretary also hosted key partners to focus efforts on what can be done to improve the terrible situation in Burma. They called for an end to the violence and full and unhindered humanitarian access for international aid agencies, including the UN.

But there is still more work to be done.

The Foreign Office is continuing to use its role on the international stage to push for progress and solutions to the shared challenges we face.

Read more about what the Foreign Office did at UNGA this year.

Iran Nuclear Deal

The nuclear deal was the culmination of 13 years of diplomacy and a crucial agreement that neutralised Iran’s nuclear threat. The Foreign Office has been working with partners to ensure the integrity of the deal with Iran and address US concerns.

British diplomacy has helped to maintain the deal, and we will continue to work with partners to make sure it continues to deliver for shared security interests.

Spanish State Visit

In July, King Felipe IV and Queen Letizia of Spain visited the UK on the first official Spanish state visit in more than 30 years, celebrating the close royal, cultural and commercial ties between our 2 countries.

The UK and Spain are close allies: partners in NATO, the UN, G7 and G20 among numerous international organisations.

We continue to co-operate in the European Union, and once the UK leaves the EU, we will work to strengthen our strong and constructive UK-Spain bilateral relationship.

Somalia Conference

Somalia Conference

In May, the Foreign Office co-hosted a major international conference on Somalia, bringing together 42 countries and international partners to build a more secure, stable and prosperous future for all the people of Somalia.

The conference focused on improving security, delivering political reform, supporting economic development, and building on the international response to the ongoing drought and humanitarian crisis.

Get a behind the scenes look at the London Somalia Conference from one of our vloggers, Fatima Ahmad:

In 2018, the Foreign Office will continue to promote British interests overseas, and support our citizens and businesses around the globe.