You are here: Philip Hammond: our commitment to the UN will be at the heart of the NSS and SDSR

20 November 2015

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, stated that the UK's commitment to the United Nations will be "at the heart" of Britain's foreign, defence and security policy.

Mr Hammond was responding to a letter from Sir Jeremy Greenstock, UNA-UK's Chairman, calling for the UK Government to invest in strengthening the United Nations in its upcoming Nataional Security Strategy (NSS) and Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR). 

Mr Hammond stated that he has "on many occasions, stressed that as one of the most open economies in the world, the UK has a greater stake than most in securing a world that operates according to a rules-based system". The letter goes on to state that the "United Nations is the cornerstone" for building a more stable, secure and prosperous world. 

Mr Hammond also explains that:

"The UK is proud of the active role it plays in strengthening the UN and the order it helps to sustain ... Living up to international rules is part of the British way of diplomacy. Our commitment to the UN and to the wider rules-based system will be at the heart of the NSS and SDSR."

The Secretary of State also addresses the UK's recent announcement to increase its contribution to peace operations in Somalia and South Sudan, where UK troops are to provide medical, logistical, engineering, training and advisory support.

UNA-UK has sent similar letters to the Prime Minister and Secretaries of State for International Development and Defence - and their shadow counterparts - as part of its engagement with the NSS and SDSR. All have now responded positively to our request that these strategic documents set out a key role for the UN in the UK's foreign and defence policy.

UNA-UK also coordinated submissions from its members and supporters on what the UK should prioritise as part of its review process. 

The NSS and SDSR are expected to be published next week.

Read Sir Jeremy's letter to the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

Read Mr Hammond's response

Photo credit: UN Photo/Cia Pak