The Contemporary Foreign Policy of the United Kingdom

Kara Owen, the Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in France, spoke to students about the contemporary foreign policy of the United Kingdom. She laid out the three broad goals of British diplomats overseas: to promote global security and the security of the UK, to promote the prosperity of the British people and to keep British nationals living abroad safe. Owen stressed that as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and a member of NATO and the EU, the UK has a responsibility to take a position on conflicts around the world, and thus she described the UK’s stance on recent developments in Hong Kong and Ukraine, among other areas of tension around the world. It was fascinating for students to learn about Owen’s personal experience in diplomacy, including her day-to-day work overseeing 220 people and the delicate, personal art of negotiating with people who hold different values and represent disparate interests. Owen had particularly interesting insights into the radically different approaches of British and French diplomats, which actually make the countries even stronger allies. Owen’s talk was undoubtedly very inspiring for the many students on campus interested in pursuing a career in diplomacy.


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