Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

We pursue our national interests and project the UK as a force for good in the world. We promote the interests of British citizens, safeguard the UK’s security, defend our values, reduce poverty and tackle global challenges with our international partners.



Secretary of State

 Portrait

Dominic Raab
Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State

Shadow Ministers / Spokeperson
Scottish National Party
Martin Docherty-Hughes (SNP - West Dunbartonshire)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs Team Member)
Allan Dorans (SNP - Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs Team Member)
Alyn Smith (SNP - Stirling)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

Liberal Democrat
Layla Moran (LDEM - Oxford West and Abingdon)
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

Plaid Cymru
Hywel Williams (PC - Arfon)
Shadow PC Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs)

Labour
Preet Kaur Gill (LAB - Birmingham, Edgbaston)
Shadow Secretary of State for International Development
Lisa Nandy (LAB - Wigan)
Shadow Foreign Secretary
Lord Collins of Highbury (LAB - Life peer)
Shadow Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and International Development)

Liberal Democrat
Baroness Northover (LDEM - Life peer)
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

Scottish National Party
Hannah Bardell (SNP - Livingston)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs Team Member)
Junior Shadow Ministers / Deputy Spokesperson
Labour
Wayne David (LAB - Caerphilly)
Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Stephen Doughty (LAB - Cardiff South and Penarth)
Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and International Development)
Fabian Hamilton (LAB - Leeds North East)
Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Stephen Kinnock (LAB - Aberavon)
Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Yasmin Qureshi (LAB - Bolton South East)
Shadow Minister (International Development)
Catherine West (LAB - Hornsey and Wood Green)
Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Ministers of State
Nigel Adams (CON - Selby and Ainsty)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
James Cleverly (CON - Braintree)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (CON - Life peer)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park (CON - Life peer)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State
James Duddridge (CON - Rochford and Southend East)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
Wendy Morton (CON - Aldridge-Brownhills)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
Scheduled Event
Monday 6th September 2021
Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office
Orders and regulations - Grand Committee
Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Immunities and Privileges) Order 2021
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Scheduled Event
Tuesday 26th October 2021
11:30
Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office
Oral questions - Main Chamber
26 Oct 2021, 11:30 a.m.
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (including Topical Questions)
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Debates
Thursday 22nd July 2021
Select Committee Docs
Wednesday 15th September 2021
00:00
Call for Evidence
Call For Evidence
Select Committee Inquiry
Thursday 22nd July 2021
Implementing the Integrated Review: Tilt to the Indo-Pacific

This inquiry will explore the questions raised by the ‘Tilt to the Indo-Pacific’ announced in the Integrated Review. By answering …

Written Answers
Thursday 29th July 2021
Cameroon: Humanitarian Aid
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure safe and unimpeded humanitarian access in North-West and …
Secondary Legislation
Monday 12th July 2021
Somalia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) (Amendment) Regulations 2021
These Regulations are made under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 (c.13) (“the Sanctions Act”).
Bills
Wednesday 18th October 2017
Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018
A bill to make provision enabling sanctions to be imposed where appropriate for the purposes of compliance with United Nations …
Dept. Publications
Thursday 29th July 2021
20:59

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office Commons Appearances

Oral Answers to Questions is a regularly scheduled appearance where the Secretary of State and junior minister will answer at the Dispatch Box questions from backbench MPs

Other Commons Chamber appearances can be:
  • Urgent Questions where the Speaker has selected a question to which a Minister must reply that day
  • Adjornment Debates a 30 minute debate attended by a Minister that concludes the day in Parliament.
  • Oral Statements informing the Commons of a significant development, where backbench MP's can then question the Minister making the statement.

Westminster Hall debates are performed in response to backbench MPs or e-petitions asking for a Minister to address a detailed issue

Written Statements are made when a current event is not sufficiently significant to require an Oral Statement, but the House is required to be informed.

Most Recent Commons Appearances by Category
Jul. 20
Oral Questions
Jul. 20
Urgent Questions
Jul. 22
Written Statements
Jun. 30
Westminster Hall
May. 17
Adjournment Debate
View All Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office Commons Contibutions

Bills currently before Parliament

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office does not have Bills currently before Parliament


Acts of Parliament created in the 2019 Parliament

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office has not passed any Acts during the 2019 Parliament

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office - Secondary Legislation

These Regulations are made under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 (c.13) (“the Sanctions Act”).
This Order confers immunities and privileges in relation to the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (“the COP”). Privileges and immunities are conferred on representatives of its members and other representatives in attendance at the 26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to be held in Glasgow between 31st October and 12th November 2021. This includes the 16th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, the third session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement, and all pre-sessional and other additional meetings convened in the United Kingdom in connection with the Conference. These privileges and immunities are conferred in accordance with a Host Country Agreement (CP 454), which has been negotiated between Her Majesty’s Government and the UNFCCC secretariat (as defined in article 2). This Order will give effect to that agreement.
View All Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office Secondary Legislation

Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

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2,202 Signatures
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387,574 Signatures
(130 in the last 7 days)
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10,523 Signatures
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Petitions with most signatures
Petition Debates Contributed
387,574
c. 4,694 added daily
389,499
(Estimated)
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closes in 3 months, 2 weeks

The Government should introduce sanctions against Israel, including blocking all trade, and in particular arms.

The Government should explore using the new sanctions regime that allows individuals and entities that violate human rights around the world to be targeted, to impose sanctions on members of the Nigerian government and police force involved in any human rights abuses by the Nigerian police.

146,345
Petition Closed
6 Sep 2020
closed 10 months, 3 weeks ago

The UK Government plans to introduce “Magnitsky law”, a law which targets people who commit gross human rights violations. Through this law or alternative means, this petition urges the UK Government to impose sanctions on China for their human rights violations on the Uyghur people.

View All Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office Petitions

Departmental Select Committee

Foreign Affairs Committee

Commons Select Committees are a formally established cross-party group of backbench MPs tasked with holding a Government department to account.

At any time there will be number of ongoing investigations into the work of the Department, or issues which fall within the oversight of the Department. Witnesses can be summoned from within the Government and outside to assist in these inquiries.

Select Committee findings are reported to the Commons, printed, and published on the Parliament website. The government then usually has 60 days to reply to the committee's recommendations.


11 Members of the Foreign Affairs Committee
Tom Tugendhat Portrait
Tom Tugendhat (Conservative - Tonbridge and Malling)
Foreign Affairs Committee Chair since 29th January 2020
Graham Stringer Portrait
Graham Stringer (Labour - Blackley and Broughton)
Foreign Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Royston Smith Portrait
Royston Smith (Conservative - Southampton, Itchen)
Foreign Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Henry Smith Portrait
Henry Smith (Conservative - Crawley)
Foreign Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Bob Seely Portrait
Bob Seely (Conservative - Isle of Wight)
Foreign Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Andrew Rosindell Portrait
Andrew Rosindell (Conservative - Romford)
Foreign Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Stewart Malcolm McDonald Portrait
Stewart Malcolm McDonald (Scottish National Party - Glasgow South)
Foreign Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Alicia Kearns Portrait
Alicia Kearns (Conservative - Rutland and Melton)
Foreign Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Chris Bryant Portrait
Chris Bryant (Labour - Rhondda)
Foreign Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Claudia Webbe Portrait
Claudia Webbe (Independent - Leicester East)
Foreign Affairs Committee Member since 11th May 2020
Neil Coyle Portrait
Neil Coyle (Labour - Bermondsey and Old Southwark)
Foreign Affairs Committee Member since 11th May 2020

50 most recent Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department

15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how much the UK Government has spent in the last 10 years on tackling violence against women and girls in Afghanistan; and what comparative assessment he has made of the level of violence against women and girls in that country (a) five years ago and (b) in 2021.

All our programming, including on health and education, considers gender equality, and our work to promote peace benefits all Afghans.UK Government spending to tackle violence against women and girls in Afghanistan has supported more than 28,000 survivors of Gender Based Violence to access health care, counselling, basic legal guidance, and referrals to law enforcement and housing. Additionally, the UK has addressed root causes through the UK's ground breaking What Works to Prevent Violence Programme, which received £25 million globally between 2014-20, with a further £67.5 million committed in 2021. Rates of violence against women and girls are estimated to continue to be high in Afghanistan. It is likely that rates increased during the COVID-19 pandemic as they did elsewhere in the world. We are also concerned that they are increasing with the resurgence in insecurity.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of recent statements by the President of Azerbaijan that parts of Armenia’s sovereign territory, including the capital Yerevan, belong to Azerbaijan.

We are aware of the recent statements by the President of Azerbaijan. The Minister for the European Neighbourhood spoke to Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Bayramov on 14 June where she reinforced continued UK support for the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs to secure a peaceful, fully negotiated and sustainable settlement to the conflict in line with the Minsk Group Principles. Our Embassies in Baku and Yerevan have also reinforced this ongoing support to those Principles with the relevant authorities and have encouraged both parties to engage with the Co-Chairs' renewed efforts.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the recent statement by the President of Azerbaijan that “There is no Nagorno-Karabakh, there is Karabakh”, and of whether this violates the rights to self-determination contained in the November Ceasefire Agreement and the OSCE Minsk Group Protocols.

We are aware of the recent statements by the President of Azerbaijan. The Minister for the European Neighbourhood spoke to Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Bayramov on 14 June where she reinforced continued UK support for the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs to secure a peaceful, fully negotiated and sustainable settlement to the conflict in line with the Minsk Group Principles. Our Embassies in Baku and Yerevan have also reinforced this ongoing support to those Principles with the relevant authorities and have encouraged both parties to engage with the Co-Chairs' renewed efforts.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports of an encroachment by the armed forces of Azerbaijan into the village of Yeraskh in Armenia on 19 July.

The UK Government is aware of the ongoing tensions along the Armenia and Azerbaijan border. We continue to urge both sides to refrain from rhetoric or actions which may exacerbate the situation and to engage in urgent discussions to ensure a peaceful resolution to the current tensions.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure safe and unimpeded humanitarian access in North-West and South-West Cameroon.

During the Minister for Africa's visit to Cameroon in March, he met project partners to witness the impact of UK aid and called for unimpeded humanitarian access to those in need. The UK's representative reiterated these calls at the UN Security Council briefing on the UN Regional Office for Central Africa in June, and the British High Commission in Yaoundé continues to advocate for access alongside the diplomatic community and the UN.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with international partners about sanctions against the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise.

The UK has been at the forefront of the international response to the coup, including through targeted sanctions on the military's economic interests. On 29 April, the UK laid new sanctions regulations, Myanmar (Sanctions) Regulations 2021, to allow us to better target the military and its interests. Since the start of the coup we have sanctioned nine individuals and six entities for their involvement in serious human rights violations and support to the junta.

We cannot speculate on future designations, however, we are working with partners to identify a range of further targets. The UK is committed to targeted sanctions which directly impact the military without harming the wider population. This will be a key consideration in any future designations.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of Egypt about children being given preliminary death sentences in that country.

The United Kingdom strongly opposes the death penalty in all countries and in all circumstances, as a matter of principle. This is especially the case for juveniles. This is in line with the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Arab Charter on Human Rights. We continue to raise human rights concerns, including the death penalty, with the Egyptian authorities, both privately and in forums such as the UN Human Rights Council. Following recent cases the Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa made clear to the Egyptian Government, at a senior level, our serious concern about the use of the death penalty.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the arrest of activists and staff from the human rights organisation Viasna on 14 July in Minsk, Belarus; and what representations they plan to make to the government of Belarus about the release of those detained.

As the Foreign Secretary made clear in his public statement on 14 July, this latest assault against human rights organisations and independent media by Lukashenko's regime is a further attempt to crush freedom and stifle debate in Belarus. The Government has called for those detained to be released immediately, along with the hundreds of other people detained on political grounds. The Government has raised our concerns directly to the Belarusian authorities, most recently in the Permanent Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna on 15 July. The UK stands with the people of Belarus and we will continue to work with our partners to hold those responsible for these human rights abuses to account.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the report by the APPG for International Freedom of Religion or Belief Nigeria: Unfolding Genocide, published on 15 June 2020, (1) whether they have made any representations to the government of Nigeria requesting a full investigation of cases of military complicity in violence and human rights abuses; and (2) whether they provide training in religious literacy and freedom of religion or belief to UK officials working in Nigeria.

We continue to call on the Nigerian Government to investigate allegations of human rights violations and hold those responsible to account, most recently during the Minister for Africa's visit to Nigeria in April. FCDO staff come from a range of backgrounds and religious identities, and all are encouraged to develop further understanding of religion and its role within society, supported by training from the FCDO's International Academy.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of their activities in Mali on the rights of women and girls; and what discussions they have had with organisations supporting women and girls rights in Mali about this subject.

The UK is committed to supporting women and girls in Mali. We are providing funding for women-led peacebuilding in Northern Mali, working with women delegates to Mali's Peace Agreement Monitoring Committee. In the most recent renewal of MINUSMA's mandate, we secured strong benchmarks on the meaningful participation of women in the peace process and wider political processes. We are also providing programmatic support to allow crisis-affected children (at least 50% girls) in Mali to continue their education, and have invested to support women's sexual and reproductive health. The UK Embassy in Mali is in regular contact with civil society groups that support women's and girls' rights, including in the lead up to a joint UK-France co-hosted event at the UN in May this year. This event provided a platform for women delegates of Mali's Peace Agreement Monitoring Committee and local women's rights organisation, to share their experiences and understanding of the challenges and opportunities of increasing women's meaningful participation in stabilisation, mediation and conflict resolution processes.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have takenunder the Global Human Rights sanctions regime since 6 July 2020.

The Global Human Rights sanctions regime gives the UK a powerful tool to hold to account those involved in serious human rights violations or abuses. Since it was established on 6 July 2020, we have designated 72 individuals and 6 entities under this sanctions regime. The full UK Sanctions List is available on GOV.UK website (www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-uk-sanctions-list), which provides details of those individuals and entities designated under sanctions regulations made under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act. We will continue to consider targets globally, guided by the objectives of the Global Human Rights sanctions regime and the evidence.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to implement the recommendations of the report of the Independent Panel on Pandemic Preparedness and Response COVID-19: Make it the Last Pandemic, published on 5 May; and in particular, what plans they have to support a political declaration on pandemic planning at the United Nations General Assembly in September.

It is vital to learn lessons from a global health emergency, particularly one as complex and far-reaching as COVID-19, so that we can be better prepared for future pandemics. We need to take this moment to deliver concrete improvements that allow the international system to respond better in the future. The findings and bold recommendations of the Independent Panel on Pandemic Preparedness and Response, as well as the other reviews into this pandemic, will play an important role in this process. We are carefully considering these recommendations as we approach key discussions, including at the G20, the United Nations General Assembly, and the World Health Assembly Special Session later this year.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the (1) World Health Organisation, (2) Gavi, and (3) COVAX, regarding the (a) Sinovac, and (b) Sinopharm, vaccines and their efficacy.

As a critical partner in the global vaccination effort, the UK regularly makes representations on this agenda with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Gavi, which operates as the secretariat of COVAX.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the UK has championed the importance of rapid, equitable access to safe and effective vaccines. This requires a truly global effort, and no one country or pharmaceutical company will be able to do this alone.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what funding the UK has provided to COVAX; and what proportion of this is expected to be spent on (1) Sinovac, and (2) Sinopharm vaccines.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the UK has championed the importance of rapid, equitable access to safe and effective vaccines. We are among the largest donors to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC), committing £548 million. Through match-funding, this leveraged $1 billion from other donors in 2020. This support to COVAX has been critical to its distribution of over 136 million COVID-19 vaccines to over 136 countries and economies, with its aim to provide up to 1.8 billion doses to low and middle-income countries by early 2022. The UK has also committed to sharing 100 million vaccine doses by June 2022, 80 per cent of which will go to COVAX to provide further support for countries in need.

The UK's financial commitment to COVAX contributes to the whole COVAX portfolio, which currently consists of 11 COVID-19 vaccines. Exact numbers of different vaccines supplied to countries will depend on timing of availability, country demand and preferences, overall portfolio mix, and ongoing assessment and guidance from the World Health Organisation (WHO) on vaccine effectiveness as the evidence base for different vaccines continues to evolve. All vaccines disbursed by COVAX must pass robust WHO Emergency Use Listing (EUL) or full pre-qualification assessment.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of changing the travel advice (a) for Libya and (b) for certain regions in Libya.

All FCDO travel advice pages remain under constant review to ensure they reflect the latest threat assessment to British nationals and include up-to-date information and advice.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 2 July 2021 to Question 22012 on Israel: Palestinians, whether the Constituencies for Peace and Support for Israeli NGOs peacebuilding projects conduct cross-border work between Israelis and Palestinians.

UK peacebuilding project work contains cross-border elements. Our Embassy in Tel Aviv and Consulate-General in Jerusalem work closely with all sectors of society, including ultra-Orthodox communities, the National Religious, Israeli Arabs and Palestinian communities affected by the conflict, to encourage support for and progress towards peace.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the statement from Amnesty International on 23 June that there needs to be improvement to the (1) accountability, and (2) transparency, of Frontex's operations in (a) Greece, (b) Croatia, and (c) Hungary.

The accounts in the Amnesty International report are concerning. We welcome the fact that Frontex has conducted an internal investigation into the allegations, and the European Parliament has established a permanent standing committee in order to scrutinise Frontex activity in the Aegean. The UK co-operates closely with our European partners to manage migration and strengthen our collective borders. We are committed to upholding international law and international human rights standards and to avoiding any actions that may endanger human life.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the possibility of designating the destruction of cultural heritage as an early warning sign of atrocity crimes, in line with the requirements of the UN Framework of Analysis for Atrocity Crimes; and what plans they have to support (1) the preservation of the cultural heritage, and (2) the protection of places of worship, of endangered (a) ethnic, and (b) religious, communities in (i) Iraq, and (ii) Syria.

The UK remains active and committed in this field. The UK was a penholder on UN Security Council Resolution 2347, which treats protection of cultural heritage as an issue of key importance to international peace with implications for national security. In Iraq and Syria, UK support for cultural heritage protection has ranged from providing psycho-social support to Yazidi women trafficked by Daesh, to addressing illegal antiquities trafficking through the flagship Cultural Protection Fund. The UK government is considering further work in both Iraq and Syria through the next round of the Cultural Protection Fund.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the situation of the (1) Yazidi, (2) Christian, and (3) Mandean, communities in (a) Iraq, and (b) Syria; what plans they have to (i) recognise them as endangered communities and (ii) to identify policies to protect them; what assistance they are providing, if any, to these communities; and what assessment they have made of how any such assistance is protecting them.

The UK is firmly committed to supporting the rights of ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq and Syria who have suffered as a result of conflict and been persecuted, particularly by Daesh. We have contributed £28 million to the UNDP Funding Facility for Stabilisation (FFS), which is helping to enable the return of internally displaced persons, including minorities, to areas liberated from Daesh by restoring vital infrastructure and basic services.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to support children from endangered (1) ethnic, and (2) religious, communities in securing scholarships that would enable them to be given comprehensive education outside their country of origin.

Defending and promoting human rights, including freedom of religion or belief, has been a long-standing priority for the UK Government. The UK believes that no one should be excluded from education because of their religion or belief. Discrimination damages not only societies, but also holds back economies.

Religious or ethnic discrimination can force families to flee their homes, with refugees and displaced children now constituting the largest group of those out of school, and their number increasing. For this reason, the UK is the founding and leading donor to Education Cannot Wait (ECW), the global fund for education in emergencies. The UK is providing £90 million of funding to ECW from 2019 to 2023. This investment is supporting ECW to expand its operations to more countries, respond to COVID-19, and will support up to 600,000 children living through conflict, and in areas of protracted crises, access education. For example, ECW's support includes the provision of basic education for 88,000 Rohingya children who are now living in refugee camps in Bangladesh.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 24 May (HL3), what assessment they have made of reports of the killing of eight Christians in an attack on a church in Ungwan Gaida, Kaduna State, Nigeria on 19 May; and what recent discussions they have had with the government of Nigeria about the protection of religious sites.

We condemn all attacks on places of worship including the reported attack in Ungwan Gaida, Kaduna State. We regularly raise concerns about attacks and broader insecurity with the Nigerian Government, including during the Minister for Africa's visit to Nigeria in April.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by Amnesty International Greece: Violence, lies, and pushbacks, published on 23 June.

The accounts in the report are concerning and illustrate the difficulties presented by irregular migration. As the report notes, Greece has denied using any illegal practices, while Frontex has conducted an internal investigation into the allegations, and the European Parliament has established a permanent standing committee in order to scrutinise Frontex activity in the Aegean. HMA Athens has raised this issue with Greek Migration Minister Mitarakis and we will continue to urge all parties to uphold international law and international human rights standards, and to avoid any actions that may endanger human life. More broadly, the UK is committed to engaging with European and other partners on a 'whole of route' approach to tackling the challenges of, and risks posed by, irregular migration.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have provided (1) financial support, or (2) capacity building training, to state governments in Nigeria to help them better manage (a) resources, and (b) conflict, as recommended in the report by the APPG for International Freedom of Religion or Belief Nigeria: Unfolding Genocide on 15 June; and what (i) support, or (ii) guidance, they have given to civil society organisations in Nigeria to monitor and document all cases of human rights violations against the civilian population, as recommended in that report.

We provide capacity building support, training and technical assistance to state governments across Nigeria to help them manage resources more transparently and to be more responsive to citizen needs. We work with civil society on human rights and we will continue to make clear to the Nigerian authorities at the highest levels the importance of protecting human rights for all.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the EU’s proposal to fund border controls at Turkey’s eastern border; and in particular, whether this would lead to victims of persecution being turned back.

We are aware of discussions between our close partners, Turkey and the EU, on the funding of border controls at Turkey's eastern border. We would expect any new border controls to comply with international law with respect to the protection of refugees.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he plans to apply sanctions against (a) General Shavendra Silva and (b) other officials in Sri Lanka accused of committing human rights abuses in that country.

Sanctions are one response among a number of diplomatic tools we can deploy around the world as part of a broader political strategy in order to change or send a political signal regarding particular behaviours. The Global Human Rights Sanctions regime gives the UK a powerful tool to hold to account those involved in serious human rights violations or abuses. We will continue to consider targets globally, guided by the objectives of the human rights sanctions regime and the evidence. However, it is not appropriate to speculate on who may be designated in the future, as to do so could reduce their impact.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will undertake and publish an assessment of the human rights impact of the £6.3 million the Government has spent on supporting security reform in Sri Lanka.

The UK government's aim for security sector reform in Sri Lanka is to encourage the development of a modern, accountable and human rights compliant military, and support the development of a police service that is gender sensitive and respects human rights. Promoting adherence to international humanitarian law and human rights compliance is integral to our engagement.

All UK assistance, including training and defence engagement, is subject to robust Overseas Security and Justice Assistance (OSJA) assessments that analyse the potential human rights, international humanitarian law, political and reputational risks of any proposed assistance to ensure that it supports our values and is consistent with our domestic and international human rights obligations. Annual review summaries of our Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) programmes can be found online at: https://devtracker.fcdo.gov.uk/projects/GB-GOV-3-CSSF-09-000003/documents

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what plans his Department has to consult and get input from women’s rights organisations and experts in developing the Government’s new International Development Strategy.

We look forward to engaging with a diverse range of partners and stakeholders, including civil society, on the International Development Strategy over the coming months. Women's rights organisations are critical to achieving lasting transformation in women's and girls' rights, and the Integrated Review specifically commits FCDO to work closely with them to tackle the violence and discrimination that hold women back.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 5 July 2021 to Question 22172 on Israel: Palestinians, under what circumstances the UK will collaborate with the United States on the international fund for Israeli-Palestinian peace.

The UK government shares the objective of increasing understanding and dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians. UK officials remain in close contact with the US Government regarding the International Fund. The US is at a very early planning stage, and once more information is available, we will consider options for collaboration.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the United Nations Children and Armed Conflict, published on 6 May; and, in particular their finding of “grave violations against 340 Palestinian and 3 Israeli children” in the West Bank.

We are aware of the assessments made in the Annual Report of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC) for 2020. We continue to stress the importance of the Israeli and Palestinian security forces providing appropriate protection to the civilian population, in particular the need to protect children, and urge restraint in the use of live fire. We remain concerned by the number of Palestinians, including children, killed and injured in the West Bank and Gaza.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the COP Presidency paper entitled Priorities for Public Climate Finance in the Year Ahead, published January 2021, whether his Department is planning to changing climate funding mechanisms to encourage adaptation and resilience programmes that remove barriers to family planning and girls’ education.

Coping with climate change is a challenge that faces us all. The poor in developing countries are likely to be hit first and hardest. Our International Climate Finance (ICF) reaches those most in need and we are committed to doubling our ICF to £11.6bn over the next five years. In our adaptation programming we prioritise locally-led action with a strong grounding in the local context and needs, targeting marginalised groups.

We do not need to change climate funding mechanisms to ensure that, through quality education, more girls are empowered and equipped as agents of change. Voluntary family planning programmes empower women and girls to choose whether and when to have children - this in turn supports the health, prosperity and resilience of their communities and countries.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the anti-government demonstrations in Cuba, and (2) the reports of the forcible detention of religious leaders in that country.

We are clear that all Cubans should have the right to protest peacefully. The UK government has called for calm and restraint, and the full respect of all Cubans' human rights. Detention should not be used as a tool to restrict freedom of expression, assembly, and religion. We have raised our concerns directly with the Cuban government, and called for the authorities to release information on detained citizens, including their whereabouts. We will continue to monitor the situation closely.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the likely scale of emigration from Afghanistan over the next year given the advance of the Taliban in that country.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), in coordination with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), conducts assessments of the likely scale of migration and internal displacement due to the situation in Afghanistan. They are currently preparing revised estimates to reflect the deteriorating situation and we will continue to work with OCHA, UNHCR, IOM and other donors and neighbouring countries to respond.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of some (1) European, and (2) Middle-Eastern, states seeking to re-open diplomatic relations with the government of Syria; and in particular, whether they see this as a (a) pragmatic, and (b) realistic, step.

The UK closed the British Embassy in Damascus in 2012 and has no plans to re-open it. It is up to each sovereign state to make its own decisions on its representation in Syria, but we believe the Assad regime has lost its legitimacy due to its atrocities against the Syrian people and must now engage seriously with the UN political process.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the 2016 coup d'etat attempt on the level of Turkish support for (a) the Muslim Brotherhood and (b) other extremist Islamist groups.

We are aware that the Turkish government regards the Muslim Brotherhood as a political movement, not a terrorist organisation; and that Muslim Brotherhood figures have lived in Turkey, and associated media outlets have operated there, for many years. We continue to take concerns about the Muslim Brotherhood seriously. Turkey takes the fight against all forms of terrorism, including Daesh and ISIS, extremely seriously and we work in close cooperation on those issues bilaterally and in international fora such as the Counter Daesh coalition.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to (a) help ensure security and (b) promote the UK’s economic interests in the Gulf.

The Government works closely with all our friends in the Gulf to strengthen our shared security and prosperity interests, including through dialogue to promote regional stability, initiatives to tackle illicit finance and terrorism, and defence cooperation.

Britain has strong bilateral trading relationships with the Gulf and it is already one of our largest export destinations, with total trade of over £30 billion in 2020. We are committed to broadening and deepening our shared economic interests further, including through government-to-government trade dialogues, and also within specific sectors following conclusion of the UK-GCC Joint Trade and Investment Review.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that (1) doctors, and (2) medical students, in Myanmar have been arbitrarily detained; and what steps they are taking (a) to support any such individuals who are seeking asylum in the UK, and (b) to process any such asylum applications.

We are deeply concerned by the appalling violence inflicted on the people of Myanmar by the Security Forces, and the arbitrary detention of civilians, including healthcare workers. With our G7 partners on 5 May, we called on the military junta to respect the safety of medical facilities and staff and to release all those arbitrarily detained.

Myanmar nationals who are currently in the UK can access the UK's strong immigration package according to their personal circumstances. Where there are compelling compassionate factors, individuals can apply for Leave Outside the Immigration Rules. While asylum claims cannot be made from abroad, all asylum claims made in the UK are considered on a case-by-case basis on their individual merits.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the safety of people in Afghanistan who are not Muslim; and what plans they have, if any, to offer such individuals asylum.

British Embassy officials in Kabul regularly meet with representatives from religious minority groups to hear their concerns. We continue to stress that the human rights of all Afghans should be protected. We also continue to make public condemnations about targeted killings and violence against minorities, calling for transparent investigations. The UK is committed to defending freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) for all, and promoting respect between different religious and non-religious communities around the world. Only a negotiated and inclusive settlement will bring sustainable peace to Afghanistan. We continue to make clear to all sides that any political settlement must protect the progress made in the country, including protection for women and minority groups.

The UK has a proud record of providing protection for people who need it, in accordance with our obligations under the Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights. However, there is no provision within our Immigration Rules for someone to be allowed to travel to the UK to seek asylum or temporary refuge. Those who need international protection should claim asylum in the first safe country they reach - that is the fastest route to safety.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of Nigeria about the alleged extraordinary rendition of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra movement; and what steps they are taking, if any, to ensure he is (1) protected from torture, and (2) released.

We are seeking clarification from the Nigerian government about the circumstances of the arrest and detention of Nnamdi Kanu. The UK has requested consular access to Mr Kanu from the Nigerian government, and we stand ready to provide consular assistance.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of how and where Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra movement, was arrested.

We are seeking clarification from the Nigerian government about the circumstances of the arrest and detention of Nnamdi Kanu. The UK has requested consular access to Mr Kanu from the Nigerian government, and we stand ready to provide consular assistance.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have with the government of Portugal regarding the recognition of proof of vaccine status against COVID-19 issued by the NHS in (1) Northern Ireland, (2) England, (3) Scotland, and (4) Wales.

We are working closely with Portuguese partners, including through the British Embassy in Lisbon, to ensure all travel restrictions are communicated to UK nationals, including on the recognition of vaccine status. As of 28 June 2021, travellers from the UK to Portugal who are fully vaccinated with a vaccine authorised by the European Medicines Agency do not need to quarantine upon arrival. We are working with the Portuguese to confirm how UK travellers demonstrate vaccine status. The Autonomous Region of Madeira accepts the proofs of vaccination status issued for residents in the UK who were vaccinated under the UK's domestic programme. Full information is available on our FCDO Travel Advice pages, which we update regularly.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his Egyptian and Israeli counterparts on a permanent ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

During the recent conflict, the UK urged the parties to engage with mediators. We fully supported Egyptian, Qatari and UN efforts towards a ceasefire, working closely with the US. As the Prime Minister has made clear, leaders in the region must now work to find a durable solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict that prevents terrorism, ends the cycle of violence, and delivers a sustainable and just peace based on a two state solution.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to tackle increasing hunger in Yemen as a result of the covid-19 pandemic and continued conflict.

The UK has committed £87 million to Yemen for 2021/22 which will address food insecurity and support nutrition. This includes feeding 240,000 of the most vulnerable Yemenis every month and supporting 1.5 million of the most vulnerable households with additional cash assistance to allow them to buy food and basic supplies and support 400 health centres. Globally the UK has committed £548 million to COVAX, which has allocated 2.3 million vaccines to Yemen. We also continue to work with donors, the UN and NGOs to lobby the parties to lift access restrictions and ensure humanitarian aid reaches those who most need it in Yemen.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the reported military cooperation between the governments of Russia and Ethiopia; and in particular, the impact of any such military cooperation on the situation in Tigray.

The UK has consistently urged for an end to the conflict in Tigray. There can be no military solution. We continue to urge all parties to the conflict to protect civilians and respect international humanitarian law. We would not normally comment on defence cooperation between two sovereign states.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to advocate for children in Saudi Arabia who are at risk of execution as a result of partaking in democratic resistance; and what steps he took to support Mustafa Al-Darwish before he was executed.

The United Kingdom strongly opposes the death penalty in all countries and in all circumstances, as a matter of principle. The Saudi authorities are aware of the UK Government's strong position on such cases. We reiterated our opposition to the death penalty in Saudi Arabia in a joint statement at the UN Human Rights Council on 15 September 2020. On 24 May 2021, during my visit to Saudi Arabia, I discussed the death penalty, including those charged with conducting crimes as minors, with the President of the Saudi Human Rights Commission, Dr Awwad Alawwad. The British Embassy Riyadh raised our concerns regarding Mustafa Hashem al-Darwish with the Saudi authorities ahead of, and following, his execution.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the implications of the decision by the government of France to withdraw more than 2000 troops from the Sahel on the advancement of Jihadist activities in (1) Mali, (2) the wider Sahelian region, and (3) Nigeria.

The UK is in contact with our French partners on their planned changes to operations in the Sahel. We have had assurances that France will retain the critical support functions such as force protection, medical and logistical support, which allow the UK to effectively contribute to operations in the Sahel. We are building peace and stability in the Sahel, Nigeria and wider Lake Chad Basin. Our humanitarian assistance is supporting those most affected by conflict in the region.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what diplomatic steps he is taking to support peace between Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Following the ceasefire announcement, the Foreign Secretary visited Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories on 25 and 26 May for talks with senior leaders. The Foreign Secretary met former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and reiterated the UK's firm commitment to the two-state solution. We have a regular dialogue with the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The Foreign Secretary and Ministers have also engaged regional partners, including with Egypt, Jordan and Turkey. The Foreign Secretary made it clear that the UK would continue to work with the parties, and other actors, to encourage a durable ceasefire and to urge them to address the drivers of conflict.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of the United States of America following (1) the concerns that government have expressed about the Cuban leadership’s “calls to combat”, and (2) the US President's statement that he stands with the Cuban people.

The UK and US regularly discuss our perspectives on Latin America, including Cuba. We agree with the US that the protestors' concerns need to be heard, and their right to protest peacefully needs to respected. Like the US, we have been clear in calling for calm and restraint. We will continue to discuss Cuba with the US and other partners, including our opposition to the US embargo, which we consider to be counterproductive.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the treatment of Palestinian girls under Israeli interrogation and imprisonment.

We repeatedly call on Israel to abide by its obligations under international law and have a regular dialogue with Israel on legal issues relating to the occupation, including the treatment of Palestinian children. The UK continues to engage with the Israeli Government on human rights issues in the context of the occupation and continue to stress the importance of the Israeli security forces providing appropriate protection to the Palestinian civilian population, in particular the need to protect children.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports of the destruction by the Israeli army of the Jenin Al-Tafawk children’s centre.

The UK opposes Israel's demolitions of Palestinian schools and we continue to urge Israel to cease such policies. The Foreign Secretary raised ongoing evictions, demolitions and settlement activity with the Israeli Authorities during his visit to the region on 26 May. The UK is clear that in all but the most exceptional of circumstances, demolitions are contrary to International Humanitarian Law.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)