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Global Influence

We have more global impact when we work together.  As part of the UK, Scotland is helping tackle issues like climate change, poverty, and conflict.

The combined strength and global influence of the UK allows it to make a real difference on the world stage. 

Using the UK’s Global Influence

The UK is working with international partners to advance the prosperity, sustainability and security of the world for generations to come.

The FCDO works with international organisations to promote UK interests and global security, including:

  • NATO
  • the United Nations
  • the UN Security Council
  • the Commonwealth

Standing with Ukraine:

The UK has now provided almost £12 billion in military, humanitarian and economic support to Ukraine and has often been the first-mover on vital lethal aid, from Storm Shadow cruise missiles to a squadron of Challenger 2 tanks.

The UK’s non-military support to Ukraine since the start of the invasion comes to £4.7 billion. This includes £4.1 billion in fiscal support, and over £660 million in bilateral  assistance.

The UK Government has introduced the largest and most severe package of sanctions ever imposed on Russia or indeed any major economy and we has now sanctioned over 2000 individuals and entities since Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The UK has also set up visa support for Ukrainian nationals.

If you want to offer a home to people fleeing Ukraine you could become a sponsor as part of the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

Support for British people living, travelling and working around the world

Embassies around the world

The FCDO employs more than 16,000 staff worldwide, and operates 280 diplomatic posts in 178 countries and territories. Each of these embassies, high commissions and consulates represents the values and interests of Scotland and the whole UK.

People with a UK passport are guaranteed help and support from this network, which includes high-quality, accessible consular services and support for incidents affecting British people overseas.

These diplomatic posts can respond rapidly to overseas crises and help coordinate action by the UK Government and its partners.

This map shows many of the UK’s diplomatic posts across the globe:

FCDO can also send the Rapid Deployment Team (RDT) to a country or area to help UK nationals worldwide in crisis situations. The team responded to various crises last year to support British nationals, including Israel, Gaza, Sudan and Rhodes.

Fraser’s Story

The UK Government coordinated the longest and largest evacuation of any Western country and brought 2,450 people to safety from Sudan in 2023, Glasgow-born Fraser McDougall was part of the UK Government’s operation.

Fraser worked for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and was despatched to the Sudanese capital Khartoum in April 2023 with the UK Government’s Rapid Deployment Team.

The aim was to help British nationals fleeing the violence.

Fraser received his call to deploy just minutes before he delivered his best man speech at his best friend’s wedding in Fenwick, Ayrshire.

International development

The UK is helping millions of people in low- and middle-income countries to improve their lives. This is possible because the UK has the resources and expertise to deliver the high-impact long-term programmes that work best.

Scotland plays an important role in the UK’s Strategy for International Development.

One of the UK’s top priorities is supporting women and girls worldwide. It aims to deliver empowerment, education and an end to gender-based violence.  Example programmes include the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI), Women’s Integrated Sexual Health (WISH), and the Girls Education Challenge.

The HALO Trust’s Story

The HALO Trust, which is headquartered in Dumfries and Galloway, is a charity that saves lives and help countries recover by clearing land mines. 

The UK Government announced April 2023 new funding for leading British organisations, the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) and The HALO Trust (HALO) to help clear mines and educate communities about the associated risks in 8 countries: Angola, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Laos, Myanmar, Somalia, South Sudan and Zimbabwe.

It follows funding announced last year for projects in Ukraine and Afghanistan, supporting more than 50,000 people from programmes across the 10 countries.

    Climate and environmental action

    Leading the world in tackling climate change and preventing biodiversity loss are top priorities for the UK.  The country was the first major economy to set a Net Zero carbon commitment in law.  It has also pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels.

    Furthermore, the UK has doubled its International Climate Finance (ICF) contribution to at least £11.6 billion between 2021-2026.  This will include investing at least £3 billion to protect and restore nature.

    The UK was granted the presidency for the United Nations 26th climate change summit known as COP26. The country used its global influence and leadership to encourage the world to go further and faster on climate action.  This culminated in a conference held in Glasgow which brought together tens of thousands of delegates.  The Glasgow Climate Pacts delivered renewed commitments for tackling climate change.  As a result, over 90% of the global economy was covered by a net-zero target, up from 30% two years before.

    The UK is also fighting the illegal wildlife trade.  This is organised crime that endangers some of the world’s most iconic species.  For example, each year 20,000 African elephants are poached for their ivory.  In response the UK has brought in one of the toughest ivory bans in the world.

    Elsewhere, the UK’s Blue Belt programme has enhanced marine protection across more than 4.3 million square kilometers of marine environment.  It is also leading an international push to protect at least 30% of land and ocean by 2030. This will help restore ecosystems, drive species population recovery and halt extinctions by 2050.

    Trading relationships

    The UK is unlocking new opportunities for businesses on the world stage by promoting and financing exports and encouraging inward investment.

    The UK Government has a trade and investment hub in Scotland to help businesses thrive and grow internationally.  Furthermore, UK Export Finance (UKEF) has appointed a specialist to focus on supporting Scotland’s renewable exports and energy transition.

    There were 130 new inward investment projects in Scotland in 2022-2023, and as a result 3,428 jobs were created.  Many of these projects were supported by the UK Government or one of its partners.  Over the past 3 years there have been 341 foreign direct investment projects in Scotland, creating more than 11,000 new jobs.

    At the same time, the UK is negotiating and signing new free trade agreements worldwide.  These will open up new markets for Scotland’s exporters and bring in further investment.

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