The FCO works to promote the interests of the United Kingdom and to contribute to a strong world community. For a summary, read the FCO’s Mission Statement . For more detailed information about the FCO’s objectives, how the work is funded, and how their success is measured, read more about our Objectives and Resources .
The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (the Foreign Secretary) is responsible to Parliament for the work of the FCO. He is supported by two Ministers of State and three Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State. You can find out more about FCO Ministers and their responsibilities.
The FCO is responsible for the conduct of business with other governments and international organisations; for the protection of British citizens abroad; and for the promotion of British commercial and other interests across the world. It does this through a network of 224 Posts worldwide. Information about, and contact details for our UK Overseas Missions (also referred to as ‘Diplomatic Missions’), are also available.
The Permanent Under-Secretary of the FCO, and Head of the Diplomatic Service, is responsible for advice on all aspects of foreign policy to the Foreign Secretary and the Ministerial team, and for the management of the FCO and the Diplomatic Service. With the five Deputy Under-Secretaries, he supervises and coordinates the work of the 13 Directors, who are responsible for the formulation of policy and the deployment of resources within their area of command. In partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry, the FCO manages British Trade International in support of international trade and inward investment. The FCO Organogram explains the organisational structure in more detail.