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FCDO Responsibilities: Are Conflicting Goals Diminishing Efficacy?

Radha Stirling discusses the depleting influence of Britain in the Middle East

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) with its 14,000 staff is tasked with promoting British interests abroad but the government department’s goals are often conflicting in nature, leaving diplomats in confusion over priorities, placing British citizens and interests across the board at risk.

Divided diplomatic goals diminishes British influence abroad.

by Radha Stirling, CEO of Due Process International & Detained in Dubai.

In a BBC programme, Dr Edward Wastnidge explains The Foreign Office plays a key role in projecting the UK’s influence overseas through its emphasis on the so-called ‘rules-based international order’. As part of this, the FCDO emphasises British values in the UK’s international affairs, such as respect for the rule of law and human rights, and the promotion of democracy and good governance.” He then continues to explain another key area “for the Foreign Office in terms of the UK’s interests overseas lies in its focus on promoting prosperity through promotion of economic growth and development of trade relationships with other countries.”

Are these two goals mutually exclusive? Not necessarily, but the latter certainly muddies the water, clouds the judgement and depletes the efficacy of senior diplomats, embassies and caseworkers.

FCDO diplomats promote mutual trade, investment and business