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UK Public Diplomacy Updates

May 13, 2010

I’ve just spotted a crop of PD relevant reports from the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee.  They have a their response to the FCO 2008-09 Annual Report and separate reports on the British Council and the BBC World Service, there are also responses from the Government and the BBC and British Council.  Buried among the evidence submitted there is a useful letter from, Chris Bryant, the junior minister responsible  that outlines the latest round of reorganizations in British PD community.  the highlights include the reorganization of the communication function in the FCO plus revisions to the interagency structure.

It will be interesting to see whether the arrival of William Hague as Foreign Secretary will bring about a change of approach.

Update: Hague gave quite a detailed overview of his thinking in a speech to the Royal United Services Institute in March.  I suspect that the importance that he attaches to the FCO will raise morale there.  One interesting aspect is his emphasis on strengthening bilateral relationships.  Under Labour there has been a strong emphasis on multilateralism and functional organization.  Hague talks about the need for a ‘distinctive British foreign policy’

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