UK foreign affairs ministry goes green

New department to promote "environmentally active" diplomacy, conflict prevention

Britain's foreign affairs ministry yesterday pledged to raise the profile of environmental issues in its international diplomatic efforts, launching a new environmental policy department. The department will aim to prevent conflicts over environmental resources and support negotiations on multilateral environmental agreements. It will also assist the UK's network of diplomats around the world in addressing issues related to climate change, biodiversity and environmental pressures from globalisation.

Launching the department, junior foreign affairs minister, Peter Hain, said that competition for resources was already a serious destabilising force in some parts of the world and that the department's aim was to move the environment up the international political agenda. He also announced that the department would host an international conference next year on environmental security.

Follow Up:
UK foreign affairs ministry, tel: +44 20 72 70 15 00, a press release and the ministry's environment policy department.

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