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UK Mission to the United Nations

New York

London 18:23, 02 Jan 2013
New York 13:23, 02 Jan 2013
Last updated at 20:41 (UK time) 12 Nov 2012

Useful information for Students and Teachers

school briefing

The UK Mission to the UN welcomes interaction with students and teachers. We do our best to accommodate requests from schools and universities for in-house briefings on the work carried out by the UK Mission. Briefings are an interactive meeting that provides an overview of the structure and work of the UK Mission. They are also helpful in preparation for Model UN or other supplementary learning for schools and university.

For more information on briefings, please send an email to

Mission briefings photo gallery


What is Model UN? 

Model UN is a simulation of a United Nations negotiation, in which school and university students assume the roles of international diplomats. Model UN provides a forum in which students can hone and develop a range of skills and techniques in diplomacy, public speaking and debating. Model UN programmes are available around the world. For more information on Model UN check out the 'Useful Links' panel on the right.

Who works at the UK Mission? 

The UK Mission is led by the British Ambassador to the UN, HE Sir Mark Lyall Grant, who is known as the Permanent Representative, and by his deputy, HE Philip Parham, who is also an Ambassador. The Mission is staffed by approximately 80 officers from a number of British government departments (Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Department for International Development, and Ministry of Defence), who together represent the views and interests of the UK at the United Nations. Our work contributes to many of the foreign policy objectives of the British government.  

How is the Mission structured? 

Officers are divided into sections, which deal with the various issues on the UN's agenda. The sections are: Political; Sustainable Development and Human Rights; Military; Management Reform and Finance; Legal; and Press and Public Affairs. The sections work closely together, particularly on cross-cutting issues. In broader terms the political and military sections deal with peace and security matters, the sustainable development and human rights section addresses matters related to development, the environment and human rights, management reform and finance officers work on UN management and finance affairs, legal section addresses international law, and the press team deals with media enquiries and digital diplomacy.  

What is the typical day for a British diplomat? 

There is no typical day. Officers at the Mission spend their time engaged in a range of activities, which change according to the UN calendar, events on the international scene, or the status of a particular negotiation. Different officers also spend different proportions of their time on the Mission's collective activities depending on their particular portfolios and responsibilities. In general terms, however, our diplomats spend their days contributing to policy discussions with British government departments in London, engaging in negotiations in the UN's range of organs, committees, working groups and other bodies, preparing briefing papers for meetings, lobbying other Member States and interested parties, and carrying out important outreach with students, non-governmental organisations and the media.  

How can I get a job with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office? 

If you have an interest in joining the Foreign Office, we would recommend that you visit the FCO recruitment website to see the different paths that are available to begin your career with the Foreign Office. You could also visit the main FCO website to get a better idea of what we do, and to find information about specialist appointments and vacancies. You will also find application forms.  

Does the UK Mission offer internships? 

Unfortunately we are unable to offer internships or volunteer work experience. Graduate university students can apply for internships at the UN. For more information, please visit the website of the UN Internship Programme.  

Can the UK Mission organise tours of the UN for our group? 

Unfortunately we are unable to organise tours of the UN, as new UN policy requires groups to provide credit card information in order to make a booking. For more information, please visit UN Tours.