Delivering the mission statement
A Foreign & Commonwealth Office case study

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Page 3: Strategy

Once FCO has identified specifically what it wants to achieve and by when, it then goes on to develop strategies and tactics.

  • Strategies are the broader plans the 'what needs to be done'. These are generally longer term.
  • Tactics are shorter term activities which help to fulfil the strategy.

There may be several tactical ways of implementing a strategy.

As part of FCO's work, it aims to counter the spread of nuclear weapons. Some of the strategies it adopted to meet this aim included:

  • discussions with world leaders to secure a unanimous UN resolution to curb Iran's nuclear weapons programme
  • contribution to drafting a letter from EU foreign ministers to Iran offering assistance and support in creating a modern, stable nuclear energy programme
  • co-ordinating Britain's response to Iran with partners such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and members of the European Union, the US, China and Russia.

FCO's goal to 'Support British nationals abroad' includes the need to protect the 200-300 British citizens every year who are forced into marriage overseas.

Vinay is the Head of the Forced Marriage Unit which implements this goal: 

'My job makes a difference. The FCO is the only government body in the world involved in helping individuals escape from forced marriages. It is also about changing perceptions and raising awareness. Many people who force their children into marriage think they are just encouraging them like encouraging them to go to university. I need to be able to deal with people in sensitive situations and communicate complicated messages in an easily understandable way. You don”t always have the right answers but it does force you to think and you develop good line management skills at the same time.'

The FCO sets out its objectives relying on its people to make things happen. FCO staff need to be innovative and able to handle and solve problems creatively. They must also be capable of taking high levels of responsibility. This is why, when someone applies for a job, FCO is more interested in the whole person not just their qualifications.


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Foreign & Commonwealth Office | Delivering the mission statement