Tag Archives: The Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP

Foreign Secretary Calls For International Effort To Tackle Wildlife Crime

The Foreign Secretary inspected illegally trafficked wildlife at the Metropolitan Police Wildlife Crime Unit in London

The Foreign Secretary inspects a seized rhino horn

The Foreign Secretary inspects a seized rhino horn

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson visited the Metropolitan Police Wildlife Crime Unit (WCU) facility in London today (Monday 19 February) to see illegally traded wildlife products seized by the Met Police before they could be sold on the black market in the UK.

Many of the cases the WCU deals with involve cross-border smuggling and require police collaboration with international agencies, underlining the need for greater international cooperation to tackle the illegal wildlife trade.

The Foreign Secretary saw items seized in successful WCU operations. This includes the recent Abbas Allawi case, where Met Police raided a Watford property using trained search dogs and found wildlife goods with a street value of over £1 million stashed in his attic.

The Foreign Secretary was shown items including seven rhino horns weighing over 16kg, and dozens of raw ivory tusks and carved ivory specimens as well as animal trophies including a stuffed lion’s head and tiger skins. He heard how there is online demand for primates, including severed monkey hands turned into trinkets and monkey skulls.

During the visit the Foreign Secretary said:

When we think of the illegal wildlife trade, the slaughter of elephants, rhinos and other species teetering on the brink of extinction, we think of Africa, Asia and distant countries where some think this acceptable. We rarely associate this crime with our own shores. To say I was angry to see the haul of ivory, rhino horns, animal furs and other items in the gross menagerie of seized illegal animal products in London is an understatement.

This is not just a crime taking place overseas. Criminal lowlifes operate right here in the UK and the Met Police and other forces are working to stop them in their tracks. Criminal gangs trafficking wildlife across UK borders will not be permitted to operate with impunity, but this requires a global effort, tackling both the supply and demand of this odious trade.

We will not let up our efforts to ensure that future generations can share our planet with rhinos and elephants and that the criminals who seek to harm them face justice.

The Foreign Secretary also learned about a new technique for taking fingerprints from ivory. The technique was tested on ivory from the WCU facility from previous seizures, and it increases the chances of building a legal case against perpetrators.

This follows on from the Foreign Secretary’s recent visit to Asia where he viewed illegally trafficked ivory and pangolin scales seized by Thai customs.

In October the UK will host an international conference on the illegal wildlife trade, bringing together global leaders to work to end wildlife crime.

Foreign Secretary Welcomes New UN Special Envoy For Yemen

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has issued the following statement on the appointment of Martin Griffiths as the new UN Special Envoy for Yemen

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

I welcome the appointment of Martin Griffiths to the role of UN Special Envoy for Yemen. Mr Griffiths brings a wealth of experience from several high profile UN positions in the region, and is a leading expert on international mediation and conflict resolution.

I would like to thank Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed for his dedication in the role of UN Special Envoy since April 2015, working to facilitate a credible peace process in Yemen.

The UK is at the forefront of international efforts to help bring to Yemen the peace, stability and security that all Yemenis deserve. This can only be reached through an inclusive political settlement. Mr Griffiths and his team will be central to achieving progress and I call upon all parties to engage with the UN process in good faith.

Foreign Secretary Holds Talks With Aung San Suu Kyi

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson held talks with Burmese State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi on 11 February 2018

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Lasting an hour, the talks focused on the Rohingya crisis and took place a day after the Foreign Secretary visited Cox’s Bazar where he saw first hand the scale of the humanitarian disaster.

During the meeting Mr Johnson expressed his deep concern over the current situation and urged Burma to work with the international community to create conditions in Rakhine which will allow Rohingya refugees to return safely, voluntarily and in dignity to their homes under international oversight.

The Foreign Secretary also urged for the involvement of the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) in the repatriation of the Rohingyas and raised the plight of two Reuters journalists currently detained in Burma.

Speaking after the meeting Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said:

I have held talks with Aung San Suu Kyi and discussed the range of challenges facing her country.

I spoke to her about my own experience witnessing the terrible conditions of the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, and my deep concern about their future.

I underlined the importance of the Burmese authorities carrying out a full and independent investigation into the violence in Rakhine, and to hold to account those responsible for human rights violations.

I underlined the urgency of creating the conditions in Rakhine that could make it a safe place for the Rohingya refugees to return to, free from fear, and in the knowledge that their basic rights will be respected and upheld.

The UK is already a major donor to the humanitarian crisis. We will continue to use all our diplomatic tools and influence on the global stage to find a way to provide a better future for the Rohingya community.

I encouraged her efforts to broker a nationwide peace settlement to put to an end seventy years of conflict in her homeland.

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson Holds Talks With Political Leaders In Thailand

The UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson visited Bangkok on 12 February as part of his four day tour of Asia

Foreign Secretary The Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP met Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai

Foreign Secretary The Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP met Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai

During his visit, the Foreign Secretary met Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai. The Foreign Secretary encouraged swift progress towards democratic elections. Mr Johnson updated Foreign Minister Don on what he had seen during his recent visit to Bangladesh and Burma, and discussed how to do more to address the Rohingya crisis. The wide-ranging discussions also covered co-operation on education, the digital economy, science and innovation, financial technology, and trade and investment, as well as further co-operation to tackle the Illegal Wildlife Trade. Prime Minister Chan-o-cha confirmed that Thailand would be represented at Ministerial level at the London Illegal Wildlife Trade conference this autumn.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said:

The UK is a country that goes out into the world to build and develop relationships and it was a great pleasure to meet Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai.

Our relationship with Thailand spans a broad range of issues from bilateral trade and investment to regional security and the Illegal Wildlife Trade. I look forward to further strengthening the UK’s relationship with Thailand in the future.

During his visit Mr Johnson also met Dr Surakiart, Chairman of the International Board to Rakhine Advisory Commission, viewed illegally trafficked ivory, pangolin scales and other animal parts seized by Thai customs, and visited a transport development to highlight opportunities for UK businesses in the infrastructure sector.

Foreign Secretary Travels To Bangladesh And Burma For Talks On The Rohingya Crisis

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will begin a four day tour to Asia today (9 February) where he will visit Bangladesh, Burma and Thailand

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is making his second visit to Burma

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is making his second visit to Burma

Mr. Johnson will travel to Bangladesh, the first official visit by a Foreign Secretary in ten years, and meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmud Ali.

The Foreign Secretary will also visit a refugee camp on the Bangladesh-Burma border near Cox’s Bazar. The Foreign Secretary will see first-hand the conditions of the Rohingya who have fled Burma to refugee camps in Bangladesh and discuss with the Burmese government the steps needed to enable them to return to their homes.

In Burma he will hold talks with State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and visit northern Rakhine.

Speaking ahead of the visit Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said:

The plight of the Rohingya and the suffering they have had to endure is one of the most shocking humanitarian disasters of our time. This is a man-made tragedy that could be resolved with the right political will, tolerance and cooperation from all those involved.

I want to see and hear for myself the terrible things these people have been through, and I will be talking to State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and other regional leaders about how we can work together to resolve this appalling crisis.

The Foreign Secretary will travel on to Bangkok for talks with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and also meet the chair of the Advisory Board on the Rakhine Advisory Commission, Surakiart Sathirathai.

UK response to the Rohingya crisis:

 

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