Select Committee on International Development Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 40 - 41)



  40. No, we did not receive that.
  (Clare Short) We shall certainly supply you with one.[4] We delivered it but for some reason it was not made available to Members for some hours and there was some sort of problem with the arrangements in the House.

  41. What has been the reaction of other bilateral and multilateral donors to the White Paper and what has been the reaction of NGOs? The fact that you have run out of copies and have to reprint says something but have you had any reaction directly to it?
  (Clare Short) Yes, we have had a lot of feedback, very, very high levels of interest, quite a lot of embarrassingly effusive praise, very speedy distribution. The last White Paper was put into French as well as English. This time we are going to do more languages.
  (Mr Batt) Spanish, Portuguese and German.
  (Clare Short) My own view is that it is not so much that we want people to sign up to every single proposal we make but to get the more informed debate on how we shape globalisation is really important and the more people read it and argue over it the better I think. In terms of NGOs, we were pleased by the response. I have had a meeting with BOAG directors, which was very positive indeed. Obviously there is a bit of negative comment from World Development Movement, but most of the others welcomed it very strongly and then made some comments about some elements of it. I am not trying to get everyone to sign up to every single thing we say, but to get a positive informed debate about how together we can get the international system to manage globalisation which makes sure poor people in countries are not marginalised. I think the White Paper is beginning to generate a more informed positive debate. It is also circulating in quite big numbers in developing countries, which is good. When I go I do seminars and things to try to have that shared debate much more openly.

  Chairman: I am sure that it will in fact promote a great deal of debate, both in this country and overseas and in the multilateral institutions. We are most interested and should like to thank you and David Batt and Richard Manning who have worked so hard with you to produce it. May I thank you for coming and spending your time with us? We shall obviously go into a lot more of these issues if time permits before we get to an election. Thank you very much indeed.

4   Not printed. Back

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