Digital diplomacy is solving foreign policy problems using the internet. http://digitaldiplomacy.fco.gov.uk/en/
Created by ddgdipity on 11/12/2009
Last updated: 12/03/10 at 11:36
Nearing the end of his posting, Ambassador to Israel, Tom Phillips visits community projects in Lod and Netanya.
"For such a small country, Israel is very diverse. This is hardly surprising, given the country’s ancient and modern history. Even today, as I move with sadness at the thought of leaving into the last year of my four year posting, I still discover new parts of the country, and of course new and impressive people. Recently I had a chance to see two of the many faces of Israel, which are so close geographically, yet so far apart in every other sense."
In preparation for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in May 2010, global decision-makers met at Wilton Park to discuss nuclear issues. A diverse range of diplomats and other experts outlined their visions of what will define success next year, and gave their personal views on the complex challenges
Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced Afghanistan: the London Conference at a press conference with UN General-Secretary Ban Ki-Moon.
On making the announcement the PM said:
'The purpose of the conference, which I will open and the Foreign Secretary will chair, is to drive forward our campaign in Afghanistan, to match the increase in military forces with an increased political momentum, to focus the international community on a clear set of priorities across the 43-nation coalition and marshal the maximum international effort to help the Afghan government deliver.'
The conference will take place on 28 January 2010.
The end of November 2009 saw the opening of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, usually known as CHOGM. The meeting takes place every two years and in 2009 was held in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.
The proximity of the meeting to the Copenhagen climate change summit in December, and the vulnerability of many Commonwealth states to the effects of climate change, meant that the issue was a major point of discussion at the meeting. Use the link to find out more about what was said.
November 2009 was an important month for Europe. Germany commemorated the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Czech Republic remembered the Velvet revolution which took place in 1989. The British embassy in the Czech Republic interviewed employees who worked at the embassy before and during the events of 1989, and compiled a set of photos which captured Prague at this significant time.
Minister for Europe Chris Bryant visited the German embassy in London to see a symbolic wall of ice.
Peter Ricketts, Permanent under Secretary (PUS) of the FCO, talked to an Edinburgh secondary school about what life in the FCO is really like, and the different kinds of work FCO staff undertake.
During the visit the PUS discovered that some of the students were due to go on an educational visit to Russia. He arranged for them to visit the British embassy in Moscow. The students then wrote an article for the FCO website about their experiences.
Chris Bryant, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State visited Mexico on the 17 & 18 September, 2009. During his visit he took part in a debate about climate change and business, toured a zero carbon emissions corridor in Mexico city, and attended a human rights round table.
In September 2009, the Foreign Secretary travelled to a number of European countries with the objective of focusing attention on the upcoming climate change summit in Copenhagen.
The concerns of campaign were magnified the following month when the FCO and UK's Met Office Hadley Centre produced an interactive map outlining the potential impacts of a 4°C global temperature rise. http://www.actoncopenhagen.decc.gov.uk/4degrees
In August 2009, more than 30 Hungarian and international bands demonstrated their condemnation of racism and support for tolerance by playing under the banner of "Music Against Racism" ("Zene a Rasszizmus Ellen" – ZARE).
This initiative was the result of a collaboration between the British Embassy in Hungary, UK anti-racism campaign Rock Against Racism (RAR), Love Music Hate Racism (LMHR) and the highly prestigious Sziget Festival.
Speaking about the initiative, Foreign Secretary David Miliband said:
"I am delighted that the FCO is partnering the UK music-based campaigns Rock Against Racism and Love Music Hate Racism and the Sziget Festival in order to promote the values of racial harmony, respect and tolerance in Hungary. The ZARE project is important – especially given the problems of anti-Roma racism which appear to be growing in parts of Central and Eastern Europe."
The embassy is now hoping to find partners to run the initiative on a sustainable basis.
In August 2009, Ivan Lewis made his first visit to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories to see for himself the challenges that people in the region face every day.
This visit followed previous trips to Lebanon and Syria.
In August 2009, the British government launched the 100 Voices 100 Days campaign, inviting American perspectives on why the world needs urgent action on climate change. People from all over the United States were invited to contribute short video messages addressing the issue of global warming.
The campaign launched 100 days before the beginning of the Copenhagen climate change summit, and for each of those 100 days, a new video was posted on the 100 voices, 100 days webpage.
Foreign Secretary David Miliband, visited Pakistan on 7th July 09 for three days. This was the Foreign Secretary's fifth visit to Pakistan. During his visit Mr Miliband met with President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Gilani, and Foreign Minister Qureshi.
The Commonwealth celebrated its sixtieth anniversary in 2009. A global public consultation on the future of the organisation - The Commonwealth Conversation - was launched as part of this anniversary, .
The Consultation was led by the independent Royal Commonwealth Society, and over its six month lifetime attracted more than 20,000 visits, and 1000 comments from members of the public from across the Commonwealth.
On 15 June 2009, the FCO and Amnesty International hosted an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) Youth Event at the FCO. Bill Rammell, Minister for Armed Forces (and former FCO Minister), Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International UK and John Duncan, Ambassador for Multilateral Arms Control and Disarmament, were joined at the event by over 120 student activists from Amnesty International groups across Britain. Amnesty and government exchanged views on an ATT and all pledged to continue working towards a strong Arms Trade Treaty
In June 2009, Delhi Chief Minister Smt. Sheila Dikshit and British High Commissioner to India Sir Richard Stagg unveiled a unique 600 feet long wall mural on the boundary wall of the British High Commission in New Delhi. The mural calls for global action on climate change ahead of the crucial climate summit in Copenhagen in December 2009.
In May 2009, the FCO, in partnership with many other organisations launched 64 for Suu, a web campaign in support of Aung San Suu Kyi, with her 64th birthday as a focal point.
At the end of April 2009, a new strain of flu emerged. At first the outbreak was most apparent in Mexico, but soon, in part due to international travel, the first cases of 'novel flu' were reported in the UK. This novel flu was later to be commonly referred to as Swine Flu. A flu pandemic was declared in June 2009.
The FCO provided advice about Swine flu for all those travelling overseas. This advice is still regularly updated.
Foreign Secretary David Miliband, made his first official visit to Jordan on 9 April. During his visit, Jordanians were invited to put their questions to the Foreign Secretary using Yoosk.com.
The Foreign Secretary replied to the top 5 questions. See the video to find out more.
In April 2009 all eyes were on London. The G20 world leaders met to collectively agree actions to stabilise the world economy and secure recovery and jobs. Prime Minister Gordon Brown hosted the summit and Barack Obama made his first presidential trip to the UK.
The FCO led a digital collaboration project with the London Summit website. In the 3 months leading up to the event visitors read official statements, learnt about the summit aims and tracked international developments with our global updates. Over 2,000 journalists accredited themselves through the website and the public engaged in a range of debates hosted by, or in partnership with, the summit website. The events were live streamed from 1-2 April, ministers blogged and tweeted and the communiqué was published within minutes of its release.
The FCO, in partnership with other government departments developed a London Summit website, which carried up to date summit content in all formats. A particular high point was the use of the site to publish the summit communique within minutes of its release.
British ambassador to Vietnam, Mark Kent explains his work whilst walking through Hanoi. He reaches out to a local audience by writing his blog in Vietnamese.
February 2009 saw the British Embassy in Lithuania launch a disability awareness campaign at the Centre of Tolerance in Vilnius. The campaign, called ’Change the Way you See Disability – Creature Discomforts’ highlights the disadvantages and discrimination that disabled people experience every day, largely as a result of the ignorance of the wider population. The campaign consists of a series of animated films. Our embassy worked with British charity Leonard Cheshire disability to produce Lithuanian language versions of the films.