Foreign Affairs Committee announces programme of inquiries

26 July 2010

A new programme of inquiries into key foreign policy issues has been announced by the Foreign Affairs Committee.



The Foreign Affairs Committee has agreed to a wide range of inquiries for the coming months. The Committee will:

  • take regular oral evidence from the Foreign Secretary on Developments in UK foreign policy 

  • conduct an inquiry into The UK’s foreign policy towards Afghanistan and Pakistan. Detailed terms of reference and a call for written evidence will be issued in September

  • conduct an inquiry into The role of the FCO in UK government. The inquiry will be launched following publication of the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review and Strategic Defence and Security Review in autumn 2010. Detailed terms of reference and a call for written evidence will be issued in due course

  • carry out an annual review of the FCO’s work on human rights. The exact timing and scope of this review will be determined once the Government has clarified whether it will continue its predecessors’ practice of issuing an annual FCO human rights report

  • carry out scrutiny of EU issues by means of a rolling inquiry into EU enlargement and foreign policy

  • conduct an annual inquiry into the FCO’s departmental annual report, in whatever form that report appears in future years. It will seek to take oral evidence at an early stage from Mr Simon Fraser, whose appointment has been announced as Permanent Under-Secretary at the FCO

  • continue its policy in previous Parliaments of conducting a rolling inquiry into the Overseas Territories, focussing occasionally on issues of concern as they arise

  • conduct a short inquiry into FCO public diplomacy: the Olympics. Further details will be announced in due course; this inquiry is likely to consist of a single evidence session followed by a Report

  • conduct scrutiny of major appointments – in particular, scrutinising, as it deems appropriate, diplomatic or consular appointments of persons from outside the diplomatic service

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