• Getting 391 British Nationals home safely0

    Skip to content Leigh Turner
    Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna
    6th April 2020 Vienna, Austria
    Getting 391 British Nationals home safely A plane approaches London Heathrow, appearing to grow larger as it nears the runway. As British airways flight BA0961 lands safely, a collective sigh of relief is heard at the British Embassy in Vienna.
    In the last two weeks, the British Embassy in Vienna has helped 391 people get out of ski resorts in Austria to return home to the UK. This is part of the Foreign Office’s huge international task of getting travelling British nationals home, as international transport routes close.
    On 3-5 April, a group of 129 seasonal ski workers, including British and Irish nationals, returned to the UK from quarantine areas in Tyrol and Vorarlberg. To do this, they needed to register with the embassy for special permission to leave a quarantine zone. We then worked closely with..

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  • “We can be heroes. Just for one day.”0

    Skip to content Matt Field
    British Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina
    25th March 2020 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
    “We can be heroes. Just for one day.” I sit to write this blog at a table in my home. Like many people across Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), and in fact the world, I am currently working from home, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am lucky to have the space and technology to do so. There are many who want to work, but are now unable. I hope to show that being an Ambassador is also a job that can be done remotely. And I am really pleased that as the British Embassy we are all doing our part.

    Why? Because we collectively face the greatest public health crisis in a generation. It is now abundantly clear that the entire world is affected, or will be so, and that every single one of us has a role to play. On the frontline are our doctors, nurses, emergency service staff, and similar critical workers. Many are continuing to do other essential work, the shop assistants,..

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  • Corona Council (24 February – 13 March)0

    Skip to content Bob Last
    Deputy Head, UK Mission Political Team
    19th March 2020 Geneva, Switzerland
    Corona Council (24 February – 13 March) I’ve long had a sense of foredboding about the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council. Those of us who’ve been around these parts longer than most tend to measure our life-spans in the number of Council sessions we’ve racked up, as well as years. I worked out some time ago that session 43 would be the one when my real age and my Council age would come together and it was not something I’d been looking forward to.
    Before the session began, the biggest talking point had been how we would manage to finish the session on time following the drastic cuts in meeting time imposed on the Council by UN HQ. The fear was that the session might overrun by a couple of days into a fifth week. But who could have imagined this?
    For the last few weeks, it felt like the walls were creeping in on us, slowly at first, but ever closer and more menacing as the scale a..

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  • Nina Forgwe: Success, what success?0

    Skip to content Nina Forgwe
    Political and Programmes Officer, Cameroon
    Guest blogger for FCO Careers
    12th March 2020
    Nina Forgwe: Success, what success? Nina Forgwe, Political and Programmes Officer, CameroonAs part of our Women’s History Month campaign, #RedefiningSuccess, we have asked our colleagues from across the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to share what success means to them. Here, Nina Forgwe shares her definition.
    Success, what success?I come from a family where my siblings and I are all university educated.
    I have travelled the world a fair bit.
    Some consider me successful. I have a great job.
    But, I also come from a community where the success narrative for a woman is dominated by three solid tests; marriage, child bearing and the needs of the home and husband.
    A successful woman is one who excels at all three. I failed at all three.
    I bought into that narrative so completely that a year ago, I was a failure.
    There was no pitty-patter of tiny feet. In the eyes of my husb..

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  • Blog: Understanding the Nuclear Fuel Cycle0

    Skip to content Simon Cleobury
    UK Deputy Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament
    11th March 2020 Geneva, Switzerland
    Blog: Understanding the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Working on nuclear issues is hard – not only understanding the science behind it, but also its complicated politics and history. To help me do nuclear diplomacy better, I wanted to improve my awareness of how the nuclear fuel cycle works. That is why earlier this year I visited five nuclear sites – three in the UK and two in France.
    My visit to the UK nuclear sites was organised by the Ministry of Defence and the National Nuclear Laboratory. Over the three days, we visited Capenhurst, a uranium enrichment site; Springfields, where uranium is converted into fuel for use in reactors; and Sellafield, where spent nuclear fuel is reprocessed. The sites at Capenhurst and Sellafield produced the UK’s fissile materials for its nuclear weapons, prior to the moratorium on new production in 1995.
    The visits helped me t..

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  • Maiden – awesome, inspirational women on the big screen

    Maiden – awesome, inspirational women on the big screen0

    Skip to content Leigh Turner
    Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna
    Part of UK in Austria
    8th March 2020 Vienna, Austria
    Maiden – awesome, inspirational women on the big screen I recently had co-hosted a special premiere of Maiden, the gripping story of how Tracy Edwards, a 24-year-old Briton, became the skipper of the first ever all-female crew to enter the Whitbread Round the World race in 1989. The race, today known as the Volvo Ocean Race, was a brutal competition comprised of six legs totalling 32,000 nautical miles. The screening was organised by UN Vienna to mark International Womens’ Day on Sunday 8 March.

    The film is about defiance and determination. Tracy undertook huge personal risks, including mortgaging her own house to embark on her endeavor which was met with dismissive comments and condescending coverage from colleagues and male sports journalists. These are retold – with starting can..

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