MIL-OSI UK: Committee question Minister of State on China

Source: British House of Commons News

11 January 2019
The Foreign Affairs Committee hold its final evidence session on China and the international rules-based system.

So far this inquiry has covered various topics, including China’s attitude to the international economic order, China’s regional relationships, and the way in which China’s domestic affairs affect its foreign policy. The Committee may ask Mark Field about these and a range of other issues affecting UK policy towards China.
Witnesses
Tuesday 15 January 2019, Committee Room 5, Palace of Westminster
Rt Hon Mark Field MP, Minister of State
Kate White, Director, Asia-Pacific Department
James Kariuki, Multilateral Policy Director, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Further information
Image: iStockphoto

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MIL-OSI UK: Lords debates developments in Western Balkans

Source: British House Of Lords News

09 January 2019
Members of the Lords, including a former member of the UN Secretary-General High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change and a former senior special adviser to the Foreign Secretary, will debate developments in the Western Balkans and the threat posed by instability and insecurity in that region, in the House of Lords on Thursday 10 January.

This is a general debate. During debates, members are able to put their experience to good use, discussing current issues and drawing the government’s attention to concerns.
This debate will take place in the Moses Room, a room outside the Lords chamber used to host extra work. Any member can attend and participate, as with debates in the Lords chamber.
The debate was proposed by Baroness Helic (Conservative), former senior special adviser to the Foreign Secretary
Members expected to take part include:
Baroness Anelay of St Johns (Conservative), former minister of state for the Commonwealth and the UN in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Lord Browne of Ladyton (Labour), director VERTIC, support organisation for effective verification of international agreements
Lord Hannay of Chiswick (Crossbench), former member of the UN Secretary-General High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change
Earl of Sandwich (Crossbench), adviser to humanitarian aid organisation CARE International
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Conservative), minister of state in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, will respond on behalf of the government.
Further information
Image: Open Street Map

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MIL-OSI UK: Committee examines how China’s domestic affairs interact with foreign policy

Source: British Parliament News

07 January 2019
The Foreign Affairs Committee holds an evidence session on China and the international rules-based system with two panels.

This session considers the ways in which China’s domestic affairs interact with its foreign policy, and the implications for UK engagement with China; and the present status and future of Hong Kong, including the UK’s role and responsibilities.
Witnesses
Tuesday 8 January 2019, Committee Room 8, Palace of Westminster
At 2.45pm
Professor Eva Pils, Professor of Law, Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London
Paul Roseby OBE, CEO and Artistic Director, National Youth Theatre of Great Britain
Professor Steve Tsang, Director, SOAS China Institute
Professor Sebastian Veg, Professor of Intellectual History and Literature of 20th Century China, School of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences (EHESS), Paris
At 3.45pm
The Rt Hon. the Lord Patten of Barnes CH, former Governor of Hong Kong
Further information
Image: PA

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MIL-OSI UK: A shifting world order necessitates change in UK foreign policy

Source: British Parliament News

18 December 2018
Major shifts in the world order have widespread implications for the UK’s security, prosperity and global influence, says Lords report published today.

Background
Following a year-long inquiry the House of  Lords International Relations Committee today publishes a report on new conditions now fundamentally changing international relations, and their implications for UK foreign policy.
Chairman’s comments
Commenting on the report, the Chairman of the Committee, Lord Howell of Guildford said:

“International affairs are in a state of upheaval and the re-shaping and conduct of British foreign policy must respond. After a year of taking evidence from our expert witnesses we conclude that, while welcoming existing efforts to adapt, a new strategic approach and vision are both needed, led from the centre of government.
“The most powerful common influence, fuelling much of this worldwide change, is the ongoing revolution in communications technology, connecting and empowering peoples, interest, causes and groups on a scale never before known.
“To address this new world, and enhance the UK’S influence, a more agile, active and flexible approach to foreign policy must now be developed. We hope that the Government listend to our concerns and that this report forms part of a constructive debate about which new paths the UK should take.”

Conclusions and recommendations 
Major shifts in the global order to which British foreign policy and diplomacy must now respond to include:
Alterations in the UK’S ‘bedrock’ relationship with the US–The US Administration has taken a number of decisions on high-profile foreign policy issues, such as the Iran nuclear deal and trade policy, which undermine the UK’s interests. The UK has struggled to influence the US, and will need to place less reliance on reaching a common US/UK approach to major foreign policy challenges. 
The expansion of China’s power and influence across the world. Relationships with China–The UK should work closely with China to address global challenges, while ensuring this is consistent with international humanitarian law.
The need to defend and repair the rules-based international order–The UK should be a vocal champion of key institutions particularly the UN, the WTO and NATO, in the face of challenges from countries including Russia and the US. Maintaining the rules-based international order should be a central theme of UK foreign policy, as well as engaging closely with newly established networks and institutions, particularly those set up by China.
New policies and initiatives to handle cyber security, cyber warfare and new types of aggression. New technologies mean that significant harm can be done to a nation without the use of traditional weaponry. Cyber warfare is an increasingly significant global challenge, and one in which the UK can be a strong player. The Committee recommends the designation of a Minister with responsibility for cyber issues across Whitehall. 
A revised policy to meet Russia’s constant provocations, but also maintain dialogue and cooperation on certain fronts. In the face of provocations, the UK must remain open to dialogue while and seeking to counter and deter its hostile activities.
Strengthen and deploy more effectively Britain’s considerable soft power assets, woven together with a high efficiency hard power capability.
Expand new ‘deep and special’ links with a fast-changing and challenged European neighbourhood.
Stronger engagement with networks in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and in particular with the modern and evolving Commonwealth network. 
Invest more in Britain’s diplomatic capacities by re-balancing current resource patterns and ensuring much close coordination between the internationally focussed departments.
Develop and communicate a strong narrative on foreign policy and on national purpose and direction. The Government should engage with the public on the demands and parameters of UK foreign policy. The National Security Council should add to its tasks the co-ordination of the Government on this domestic narrative.
Further information
Image: iStockphoto

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MIL-OSI UK: FCO Official and nuclear diplomacy experts give evidence to Committee

Source: British Parliament News

17 December 2018
The International Relations Committee takes evidence on rising tensions between nuclear armed states and the fragmenting of existing non-proliferation and arms control agreements.

Witnesses
Wednesday 19 October in Committee Room 4, Palace of Westminster
At 10.40am
Ms Sarah Price, Acting Director for Defence and International Security, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
At 11.40am
Ms Shatabhisha Shetty, Deputy Director, European Leadership Network
Mr Paul Ingram, Executive Director, British American Security Information Council
Possible questions
How do you see the current state of global nuclear diplomacy, and to what extent has it been challenged in recent years?
Ahead of the 2020 Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) what are the government’s priorities?
To what extent is the development of new technologies affecting the established non-proliferation and disarmament regimes?
How effectively has the UK responded to challenges to the global nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime, including the US withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal?
How has the UK’S approach to nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament developed since the entry into force of the NPT, in particular in recent years?
What recommendations would you make to the Government on how to approach these issues ahead of the 2020 Review Conference?
Further Information
Image: PA

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MIL-OSI UK: Lords debates reconciliation in British foreign policy

Source: British House Of Lords News

13 December 2018
Members of the Lords, including a member of the Lords International Relations Committee and the Labour spokesperson for international development, will debate the role of reconciliation in British foreign, defence and international development policy, in the House of Lords on Friday 14 December.

This is a general debate. During debates, members are able to put their experience to good use, discussing current issues and drawing the government’s attention to concerns.
The debate was proposed by the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury (Bishops).
Members expected to take part include:
Earl Howe (Conservative), minister of state in the Ministry of Defence, will respond on behalf of the government.
Further information
Image: House of Lords 2018 / Photography by Roger Harris

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