Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Photograph of stairs inside the Foreign & Commonwealth Office


The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has a worldwide network of embassies and consulates, employing over 14,000 people in nearly 270 diplomatic offices. Staff on this FCO international “platform” work for many different UK departments and agencies.

The key priorities for the FCO are:

  • 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 FCO works with international organisations to promote UK interests and global security, including the EU, NATO, the United Nations, the UN Security Council and the Commonwealth.

The Diplomatic Academy was launched by the FCO in 2015 to build skills and expertise for all UK government staff working on international issues.