By Adedayo Akinwale
The United Kingdom government Wednesday launched a new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.
The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, who announced the new office, said it would unite development and diplomacy, while also enhancing the UK’s positive impact on the world stage.
The UK government, in a statement issued Wednesday, said the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office would pursue its national interests and project the UK as a force for good in the world.
It added: “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.
“The new Department will use all the tools of British influence to ensure that we have an even greater positive global impact as we recover from coronavirus and prepare to hold the G7 presidency and host COP26 next year.”
The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, was quoted to have said that the British government values deeply the close relationship it has with Nigeria and look forward to working closely with the people of Nigeria through the new FCDO platform to support and encourage Nigeria’s people to realise their great country’s long-term potential.
“I strongly believe that bringing together our diplomatic and development efforts will help us make greater impact in Nigeria. This continues a journey we have already started where DFID and FCO have shared the same building in Abuja for three years now, and are already working in cross-departmental teams,” he said.
The UK said it is absolutely committed to to its world-class aid programme, adding that it continues to have the third-biggest development budget in the world, with 0.7% enshrined in law, and world-beating development expertise and partnerships that will continue unabated.
The UK said it is already a world leader in international development, helping to end extreme poverty in developing countries by tackling challenges like coronavirus, saving lives in humanitarian crises, helping girls get quality education, tackling climate change, reversing biodiversity loss and championing girl’s education.