UK launches FCDO to combine diplomatic influence, development expertise

The UK today inaugurated Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), merging Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and Department for International Development (DFID) for combining diplomatic levers and aid expertise to fight against coronavirus, conflict and climate change globally.

On the occasion, the UK’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who will lead the new FCDO, announced that Britain would pioneer a global call to take action to protect the world’s poorest people from coronavirus and the increasing threat of famine, said a press release disseminating by British High Commission here today.

“We can only tackle these global challenges by combining our diplomatic strength with our world-leading aid expertise,” Raab said.

The UK has committed to spending 0.7 percent of its national income on aid, and the formation of the FCDO today will make sure its diplomatic influence and development expertise are combined to the best effect on the global, said the release.

Meanwhile, in a video message, British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Robert Chatterton Dickson said the UK is demonstrating global leadership on key world challenges such as the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change and children’s education.

“We will continue to do so, particularly in support of equitable and fair access to vaccines, putting in place actions to tackle climate change as the Chair of the UN climate change conference COP26 next year and championing quality education for young girls,” said the envoy.

He said that building shared global prosperity, eradicating extreme poverty, leaving no-one behind, tackling climate change, strengthening the international rule of law and global security, and promoting universal human rights and free, open societies would be among the core missions of the FCDO.

“All of this matters to Bangladesh and as FCDO we will be even more committed to these causes locally and globally,” he said.

Director of Development Judith Herbertson said the merger will help continue the UK’s commitment to support long term sustainable development and stability, prosperity for Bangladesh, drawing on the strengths of both former departments, FCO and DFID.

The UK is already leading the way in the international search to find a coronavirus vaccine and has committed to equitable access for all to a successful vaccine, treatments and tests while it’s the largest donor to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which is helping make sure the poorest countries can access to any Covid-19 vaccine.

Britain has so far pledged £774 million of aid to support the global effort to combat coronavirus, said the high commission release.

In addition, it said the UK will continue to use its seat on the UN Security Council to call for life-saving humanitarian access for everyone who needs it and hold countries to account on their international legal obligations to allow aid workers to operate impartially in conflict zones.

The UK will also commit a new £119 million aid package to tackle the combined threat of coronavirus and famines, which is expected to help alleviate extreme hunger for over 6 million people in Yemen, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Somalia, Central African Republic, the Sahel, South Sudan and Sudan.

https://www.thedailystar.net/world/news/uk-launches-fcdo-combine-diplomatic-influence-development-expertise-1954713

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