Bishop of Coventry asks about UK response capabilities to overseas violence and atrocities

On 27th October 2020 the Bishop of Coventry received written answers to two questions, on atrocity prevention training to UK embassy and diplomatic staff in fragile states, and on identity-based violence and the appointment of a Minister to act as a Special Envoy on Genocide:

Diplomatic Service: Training

The Lord Bishop of Coventry: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to provide atrocity prevention training to UK embassy and diplomatic personnel based in fragile states. [HL9121]

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: Atrocity prevention training is available to all staff at all grades in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office through the International Academy. It is available to staff based in the UK and in our missions overseas. Staff in fragile states are encouraged to complete the relevant training. Her Majesty’s Government will also pay for additional external atrocity prevention training where appropriate. We will continue to look for opportunities to enhance the existing training we provide our staff to identify the risks of atrocities and conflict, and the continued development and use of early warning mechanisms.

Human Rights

The Lord Bishop of Coventry: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of existing international capabilities to meet any global increase in identity-based violence; and what plans they have to appoint a Minister to act as a Special Envoy on Genocide. [HL9122]

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: There are currently no plans to appoint a Minister to act as a Special Envoy on Genocide. As Minister with responsibility for Human Rights policy and matters relating to the UN as well as the Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, I also have oversight of our atrocity prevention policy. The creation of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) presents us with an opportunity to identify where we can strengthen our international efforts on reducing conflict and instability, including atrocity prevention, in order to maximise our impact abroad. The UK Government has consulted widely as part of the Integrated Security, Defence and Foreign Policy Review which will propose fresh ideas to shape the objectives and systems of the FCDO, reflecting a drive towards a more effective and more joined-up foreign policy.