Colin Roberts (diplomat)

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His Excellency
Colin Roberts
Colin Roberts.jpg
Governor of the Falkland Islands
Commissioner for South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
Assumed office
29 April 2014
Monarch Elizabeth II
Chief Executive Keith Padgett
Barry Rowland
Preceded by Nigel Haywood
Commissioner of the British Indian Ocean Territory and the British Antarctic Territory
In office
23 June 2008 – 17 October 2012
Monarch Elizabeth II
Preceded by Leigh Turner
Succeeded by Peter Hayes
British Ambassador to Lithuania
In office
Monarch Elizabeth II
Preceded by Jeremy Hill
Succeeded by Simon Butt
Personal details
Born (1959-07-31) 31 July 1959 (age 57)
Spouse(s) Camilla
Children Oliver (b. 2002), Alexander (b.2004)

Colin Roberts CVO (born 31 July 1959)[1] is a British diplomat and the current Governor of the Falkland Islands.[2][3]

He was educated at Winchester College and King's College, Cambridge.

He previously served as British Ambassador to Lithuania,[4] from 2004 to 2008, Commissioner of the British Indian Ocean Territory and the British Antarctic Territory from 2008 to 2012[5] and Director of the FCO Eastern Europe and Central Asia Directorate from 2012 to 2014.[2] Roberts also held diplomatic service posts in Japan and France.[2]

In April 2010, Roberts, acting on the instructions of David Miliband[6]—established a marine nature reserve around the Chagos Islands known as the Chagos Marine Protected Area.[7] The designation proved controversial as the decision was announced during a period when the UK Parliament was in recess.[8][full citation needed]

On 1 December 2010 a leaked US Embassy London diplomatic cable dating back to 2009[9] exposed British and US calculations in creating the marine nature reserve. The cable relays exchanges between US Political Counselor Richard Mills and British Director of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Colin Roberts, in which Roberts "asserted that establishing a marine park would, in effect, put paid to resettlement claims of the archipelago's former residents." Richard Mills concludes:

Establishing a marine reserve might, indeed, as the FCO's Roberts stated, be the most effective long-term way to prevent any of the Chagos Islands' former inhabitants or their descendants from resettling in the [British Indian Ocean Territory].

In 2013 it was announced that Roberts had been appointed Governor of the Falkland Islands and Commissioner for South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, to take up office in April 2014.[2] Alicia Castro, Argentina's ambassador to the United Kingdom, criticised Roberts's appointment as a "provocation" and said he was "not the person to encourage dialogue between nations".[10]


  1. ^ "Colin Roberts, CVO". Debrett's. Retrieved 2013-09-07. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Change of Governor of the Falklands Islands". 2012-12-21. Retrieved 2013-09-07. 
  3. ^ "Falklands Governor Colin Roberts takes office next Tuesday 29 April". MercoPress. 28 April 2014. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  4. ^ "FCO Daily Bulletin Wednesday 14 January 2004". 2004-01-14. Retrieved 2013-09-07.  External link in |website= (help)
  5. ^ "British Indian Ocean Territory". Retrieved 2013-09-07.  External link in |website= (help)
  6. ^ "Welcome to the Chagos Conservation Trust | Chagos Conservation Trust". Retrieved 2012-06-21. 
  7. ^ Rincon, Paul (2010-04-01). "BBC News - UK sets up Chagos Islands marine reserve". BBC News. Retrieved 2013-08-01. 
  8. ^ "leaked US diplomatic cable". Archived from the original on 2010-12-02. Retrieved 2010-12-01. 
  9. ^ Castro, Alicia (3 March 2014). "Britain's new 'governor of the Falkland islands' is a provocation". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 March 2014.