The Foreign Office report focuses on Afghanistan and how the defeat of the Taliban brought about a "remarkable advance for the cause of human rights". Core rights, including freedom of expression and women's rights, are now better respected than for a generation, the report states.
While it proudly affirms that the military operations performed by UK troops "have been conducted strictly in accordance with the Geneva conventions", it is silent on the behaviour of American forces, including over the misdirected bombing of Afghan villagers.
The report is also silent about the hundreds of Taliban prisoners who suffocated to death in containers after they had surrendered to Afghan warlords. The report skirts around these gross violations of the Geneva conventions and says that the UK reminded its Afghan allies of the need "to treat prisoners humanely".
And it does not criticise the US for its failure to prosecute or release the British detainees at Guantanamo Bay, in Cuba. "It is for the US, as the detaining power" to decide, the report says.
UK Trade with Afghanistan
2001 Exports pounds 3.8m
2001 Imports pounds 0.6m
The country's popular reformist President, Mohammad Khatami, was re-elected in June last year. The Foreign Office says the vote demonstrated the continuing strong support by a majority of Iranians for his reform programme, which aims "to establish an Islamic civil society based on the rule of law". The report says the pace of progress has reduced since he was first elected in 1997, mostly as a result of the struggle between secular reformists and conservative clerics.
The EU's policy towards Iran involves a "critical engagement" aimed at encouraging reform. The Foreign Office claims it is constantly raising issues of human rights abuses at the highest level of Iranian government.
In the past year, the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamanei, has bypassed the President to shut down more than 70 newspapers, while the judiciary recently sentenced to death an intellectual who dared to suggest an alternative to theocracy for governing Iran.
UK Trade with Iran
2001 Exports pounds 430.8m
2001 Imports pounds 29.6m
Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the Occupied Territories
What the Foreign Office describes as the "deteriorating situation in Israel, the Palestinian Authority (PA) areas and the Occupied Territories" has led to widespread human rights violations "by both sides", the report says.
It points to significant loss of life and injury on both sides, with more than 2,400 deaths since the start of the intifada in September 2000. While condemning the "appalling suicide bombings" against Israel, the Foreign Office says that Israeli steps to protect itself from terrorist attack should be "neither disproportionate nor excessive".
It notes that Israel has resorted to using increasingly draconian measures to deal with the terrorist threat, including closures and curfews in the West Bank and Gaza and restrictions on Palestinian access to east Jerusalem. Excessive force by Israeli military operations has resulted in the killing and wounding of many Palestinian civilians, including women and children.
UK Trade with Israel
2001 Exports pounds 1,365.8m
2001 Imports pounds 975.3m
Trade with West Bank/Gaza
2001 exports pounds 0.2m
2001 imports pounds 0.1m
Britain established diplomatic relations with Stalinist North Korea in late 2000 and opened an embassy in Pyongyang last year. The human rights record is grim and the Foreign Office report says that there are "widespread and serious violations of human rights in the DPRK". The need to acquire reliable information on human rights has become "a driving factor" behind …