The UK has a tradition of strong, international alliances and of building dynamic relationships with other countries and peoples.
The FCO’s work in Public Diplomacy plays an important role in persuading people around the world that our common interests - and common values – mean we have to work together to tackle shared challenges, and then to turn that consensus into real action on the ground. The aim is to stimulate thinking that will contribute to decisions and actions concerning key issues.
The UK government has identified a range of priority goals which it wishes to target in partnership with other countries, governments and peoples. These
International Strategic Priorities range from achieving climate security to making the world safer from global terrorism. They are themes where the UK has the same priorities as many other countries which share the same values.
The FCO works in different ways through Public Diplomacy to support the achievement of these goals:
- A Public Diplomacy Board sets public diplomacy strategy, allocates resources and monitors performance.
- BBC World Service plays a vital role in disseminating impartial news and information around the world. It is funded primarily through grant-in-aid from the FCO but has complete editorial independence.
- The British Council is the UK's designated body for promoting UK culture and education overseas. It also receives an element of its funding through grant-in-aid from the FCO but has operational independence.
- British Satellite News (BSN) is a TV news service provided by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, producing material focussing on the UK’s international objectives. 35 broadcasters in the Middle East and over 450 elsewhere around the world regularly use BSN material.
- A portal website, i-uk.com, provides up-to-date and in-depth information about the UK and developments there for an international audience.
- Scholarships and Fellowships encourage those who will be tomorrow's leaders to build their international network by studying in the UK.
- The FCO produces a wide range of publications and displays for use overseas.
- The FCO also commissions and produces TV features and documentaries, which are broadcast in over 120 countries.
- The FCO works with partners across the UK government to promote its priorities through key international events, such as the 2012 Summer Olympics and International Expositons (Expos).