The United Kingdom’s World Affairs
The UK re-election to the UN Human Rights Council
Along with the United States, the UK has been champion for promoting Human Rights in the World with the firm and uncompromising stance.
In October 2016, the United Kingdom was re-elected for the UN Human Rights Council for three years term starting January 2017 – December 2019.
“The UK works tirelessly to protect vulnerable people from discrimination and to champion global causes including ending modern slavery and violence against women and girls, and promoting the universal right to freedom of religion or belief.
We will continue to use our voice to help strengthen the Council, to support countries working to improve their human rights record and to hold to account nations that commit serious and systematic violations against their citizens as we did recently leading a strong resolution at a Special Session at the Human Rights Council to address the deplorable situation in Aleppo.” Highlighted the Human Rights Minister Baroness Anelay on the occasion. October 28, 2016 © UK Foreign Office
Earlier this year the United Kingdom has doubled also its funding to support Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Human Rights and Democracy work around the world.
- Additional: The Launch of £10m Magna Carta Fund for Human Rights and Democracy, by UK Foreign Office January 2016
- The United Kingdom has been appointed Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights at the UN
- UK World Affairs
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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg visited UK on November 23 and met with Prime Minister May and Defence Secretary Michael Fallon. Among other important subjects, the leaders of UK and NATO discussed on the importance of all NATO members to increase their Defence spending, NATO’s cyber capabilities, and how to adapt to the new security environment and counter the emerging threats. The Secretary General praised UK for its enduring commitments both financially and by contributing troops by stating: “UK is a strong ally at the heart of NATO”
Prime Minister May and Secretary General Stoltenberg during their meeting. London November 23, 2016 © NATO Public Affairs
The spokesperson of PM Office highlighted:
“The Prime Minister reaffirmed the UK’s unwavering support for NATO and said we will remain a cornerstone of the Alliance.”
“The two leaders also discussed the recent US election and the importance of the transatlantic bond to security. Secretary General Stoltenberg relayed his recent conversation with President-elect Donald Trump, in which they had agreed on the enduring importance of NATO. ” Nov 23, 2016 © PM May’s Office
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The United Kingdom’s Foreign Policy on promoting Human Rights in the World
The United Kingdom updated National plan on Business and Human Rights
The RT Hon Baroness Anelay has announced in Parliament the update of the UK’s National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights.
“I am pleased that we have today published our updated National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights. The Plan rightly acknowledges the duty of Government but also sets out our expectation that UK businesses will act responsibly and in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles, wherever they operate.
Human Rights are at the heart of both our Diplomats’ and Ministers’ work and this updated National Action Plan clearly restates our conviction that the promotion of business and respect for human rights go hand in hand.” stated the Rt Hon Baroness Anelay May 13, 2106 © UK Foreign Office
Good Business: Implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, by UK Government
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Hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron in London, the Anti-Corruption Summit took place on May 12. The Summit was to expose, to shed a light on how to find away for many countries out of it.
Announced by the UK government:
“This is the first summit of its kind, bringing together world leaders, business and civil society to agree a package of practical steps to:
- Expose corruption so there is nowhere to hide
- Punish the perpetrators and support those affected by corruption
- Drive out the culture of corruption wherever it exists” May 2016 © UK Gov
Additional Reference: Anti-Corruption Summit 2016 in London May 12, 2016
Prime Minister David Cameron announces the creation of the first ever global forum to step up international efforts on asset recovery.
Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond visited Gibraltar for high level talks on the United Kingdom’s support for the Territory and the upcoming EU referendum.
Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond visiting Royal Navy RFA Mounts Bay. May 11, 2016 © UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office
“The UK’s support for Gibraltar and the Gibraltarian people is firm and unconditional. I look forward to holding strategic talks with the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister on the territory’s thriving economy, defence and security issues, and the upcoming EU referendum.” highlighted Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond. May 11, 2106 © UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office Continue to read
23 April 2016
The United Kingdom’s Foreign Policy on promoting Human Rights in the World
The United Kingdom, through its Political and Diplomatic stance, has been the strongest Advocator, the consistent Promoter and the un-compromising Defender of Human Rights, Democracy and Freedom in the World. A luminary record that affirms, the Ideas and Values of a Land, that can induce……and reignite movements…..and soar….. like an imaginary melody…..et…….au-delà de l’idéalisme.
(Excerpt form a Political text ‘The British Empire and its Flourishing Influences on the World’ by Catherine Stella Schmidt 2015)
On the importance of promoting Human Rights with the UK Foreign Policy, Foreign Secretary The Rt Hon Philip Hammond elaborated:
“The promotion of Human Rights is a core part of the everyday work of the Foreign Office and is the responsibility of British diplomats around the world. This year we are doubling the funding available for Human Rights projects to £10 million, through the Magna Carta Fund – a true measure of the importance we attach to this agenda.” April 21, 2016 ©UK Foreign Office
The announcement by the Foreign Office states:
The Fund is launched on 18 January 2016 by FCO Minister Baroness Anelay which aims to further British interests overseas by tackling the root causes of Human Rights violations, strengthening institutions and governance, promoting and protecting Human Rights, and supporting Democracy and the Rule of Law.
The Fund has three priority themes:
- Democratic values and the rule of law – Uphold universal rights, democracy and the rule of law as key building blocks for more secure and prosperous societies;
- The rules-based international order – Support an effective rules-based international order that stands up for universal rights;
- Human rights for a stable world – Promote a more stable world by upholding universal rights in tackling conflict and extremism. April 21, 2016 ©UK Foreign Office
Additional References on the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office to defend Human Rights and promote Democracy around the World:
5 April 2016
The UK’s Leadership in the fight against ISIL
On March 31, during an official visit to Lebanon Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond allocated from the United Kingdom £20 million aid to the Lebanese Armed Forces.
March 31, 2016 ©UK Foreign Office
Announced by the Foreign office the fund is to help Lebanon to protect itself against terrorism, including the threat from Daesh.
Additional references: the United Kingdom and Lebanon
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The United Kingdom’s Leadership in Syrian crisis -3
Since years ago, the United Kingdom has been the largest Humanitarian aid donors to Refugee crisis in Syria, only second to the United States.
Just recently in February 2016 Prime Minister David Cameron, announced that UK to invest and aid an extra £1.2 billion supporting Syria and the region
The amount will help the people in Syria and the region for Education, creating Jobs and Humanitarian Protection.
Also the UK has been the largest Humanitarian aid donors to the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), Ranking the First.
Related official References:
Supporting Syria 2016, by UK Foreign Office
Supporting Syrian and the Region, London 2016
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The United Kingdom and its Leadership in Western Balkans
The United Kingdom has been long– advocating the path of Western Balkans into European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization by:
• Political Measures: Educational sponsorship, providing help for Training and Reforms for helping the region to be qualified for EU-NATO full memberships
See implemented and the on going Projects UK and Bosnia-Herzegovina
• Military Presence: for Conflict Prevention and helping the process of Peace and Stability in Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) since 2004 in the European Union Force ‘EUFOR’
Just as recent year, in June 2014 the UK Armed-Forced deployed additional two reconnaissance platoons to strengthen the EUFOR capability in BiH.
In the same year, in response to the request by the EUFOR, the UK Armed-Forces deployed an additional of 95 troops to upgrade the EU Peacekeeping Mission in BiH.
• Multi-Financial Aid Package: for various Educational, Social and Economic Projects
Between 2010- 2015 the UK Foreign office allocated the additional £3 million for supporting the Reforms in Judicial System and promote the Freedom of Media for: Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia (and Turkey).
In 2015 Prime Minister David Cameron announced , in EU Summit-Brussels, another package of aid £20 million for Training and Good Governance Fund for Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
New UK funding to build stronger and more Democratic Nations in the Eastern Balkans, 2015
UK Government Policy: Stability in the Western Balkans 2010-2015
See news from UK Diplomatic Mission in BiH
10 December 2015
Excerpt of Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond’s message on Human Rights
“Our British democratic values have developed over time with human rights at their core. We are reminded of this fact this year as we mark the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, sealed at Runnymede in my constituency.
Human Rights Day – chosen by the UN General Assembly to mark the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is a day when Britain, a key promoter of such rights and values, can hold its head high. This Government was elected on a manifesto commitment to protect human rights. We are doing that in three ways.
…..we make most progress on human rights around the world when our approach appeals to others’ enlightened self-interest and is sensitive to their culture and history. In short, we have to persuade countries and governments that respecting human rights will be beneficial to them.
Human Rights expertise is an important part of the training our staff receive. Teams working in countries where we have particular concerns, and their colleagues in London, see Human Rights as an integral part of what we are trying to achieve with that country.
This year the Foreign Office is supporting more than 75 Human Rights projects in more than 40 countries and we are continuing to pursue a pioneering approach to preventing sexual violence in conflict.
We were leaders on Human Rights in 1215, as the Magna Carta was sealed, and we remain Leaders now in 2015.
As we promote and protect those standards across the world, we are approaching Human Rights diplomacy in our own, British way, to ensure we get the right results.” 10 Dec 2015 © UK Foreign Office
Continue to read: Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond on Human Rights Day 2015
The United Kingdom’s Leadership in refugee crisis-2
Statement by Prime Minister David Cameron on Syria refugees and counter-terrorism
At the House of Common, 7. September 2015
Before making a statement on counter-terrorism, let me update the House about what we are doing to help address the migration crisis in Europe and, in particular, to help the thousands of refugees who are fleeing from Syria.
This issue is clearly the biggest challenge facing countries across Europe today. More than 300,000 people have crossed the Mediterranean to Europe so far this year. These people came from different countries under different circumstances. Some are economic migrants in search of a better life in Europe. Many are refugees fleeing conflict. And it is vital to distinguish between the two.
In recent weeks we have seen a vast increase in the numbers arriving across the Eastern Mediterranean from Turkey – more than 150,000 people have attempted that route since January. The majority of these are Syrian refugees – fleeing the terror of Assad and ISIL, which has seen more than 11 million people driven from their homes.
The whole country has been deeply moved by the heart-breaking images we have seen over the past few days. And it is absolutely right that Britain should fulfill its moral responsibility to help those refugees just as we have done so proudly throughout our history.
But in doing so we must use our head and our heart by pursuing a comprehensive approach that tackles the causes of the problem as well as the consequences.
- It means stabilising countries where the migrants are coming from
- It means seeking a solution to the crisis in Syria
- It means pushing for the formation of a new unity government in Libya
- It means busting the criminal gangs
- It means saving lives using our aid budget
- It means funding the refugee camps
Britain is doing and will continue to apply all of these measures.
- We are using our aid budget to alleviate poverty and suffering in the countries where these people are coming.
- We are the only major country in the world that has kept our promise to spend 0.7% of our GDP on aid.
- We are already the second largest bilateral donor of aid to the Syrian conflict, including providing over 18 million food rations, giving 1.6 million access to clean water and providing education to a quarter of a million children.
And last week we announced the largest an additional £100 million in aid taking our toal contribution to over £1 billion
The is the UK’s largest ever response to a humanitarian crisis. Sixty Million pounds of this additional funding will go to help Syrians still in Syria.
The rest will go to neighbouring countries – to Turkey, to Jordan, to Lebanon where Syrian refugees now account for one-quarter of the population. And over half of this new funding will support children, with a particular priority on those who have been orphaned or separated from their families.
No other European country has come close to this level of support. Without Britain’s aid to these camps, the numbers attempting the dangerous journey to Europe would be very much higher. And as my Rt Hon Friend the Chancellor said yesterday, we will now go much further in the spending review, significantly reshaping the way we use our aid budget to serve our national interest. We will invest even more in tackling the causes of the crisis in the Middle East and North Africa. And we will hold much larger sums in reserve to respond to acute humanitarian crises as they happen.
Britain is doing and will continue to do all of these things.
We are using our aid budget to alleviate poverty and suffering in the countries where these people are coming.
We are the only major country in the World that has kept our promise to spend 0.7% of our GDP on aid.
We are already the Second Largest bilateral donor of aid to the Syrian conflict, including providing over 18 million food rations, giving 1.6 million access to clean water and providing education to a quarter of a million children.
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