Select Committee on International Development Fifth Report


  1. The Financing for Development process has been highly successful in focussing attention on international development and the resources needed to meet the MDG targets. As a consequence, there is now much greater awareness of the huge resource gap. If the Monterrey Summit is ultimately to be judged a success in terms of its contribution to meeting the MDG targets, this resource gap must be filled and soon. There has been enough discussion; now is the time for action by all who are committed to the Millennium Development Goals and the elimination of global poverty. Southern governments must commit themselves to poverty reduction and good governance. Northern governments—including our own—must fulfil their promises to provide sufficient, timely and quality aid, and to work for a fairer world in which no country is denied the opportunity to develop because of a lack of resources. Now is the time to make the global new deal a reality.
  2. The UK Government is committed to eliminating poverty globally and to making globalisation work for the poor. The Chancellor has argued that the elimination of poverty is a moral imperative, a social duty and an economic necessity.[166] We agree wholeheartedly, and would add too that reducing poverty is a precondition for global security and integral to environmental sustainability. The Government recognises that the provision and mobilisation of finance for development is crucial to developing countries' efforts to meet the MDG targets and eliminate poverty, and appreciates the role that aid will continue to play. Aid should indeed be seen as investment; there is enough hard evidence to show that aid spent wisely produces excellent returns in terms of eliminating poverty. We welcome the Government's willingness to back up its development rhetoric with increased aid resources in the recently announced spending review, and urge continued efforts to improve the effectiveness of aid and to move quickly towards the 0.7 percent target.
  3. The case for aid is powerful. It is our strong belief that the Government could and should make the case for aid and international development even more strongly than it currently does, in international fora, to our EU partners, and to the electorate.[167] As the Chancellor put it, prior to announcing in the spending review that UK aid will reach 4.9 billion per year by 2006: "it does come back to whether individual countries are prepared to say that they themselves are prepared to spend more, one way or another; because, if you are to raise money, you have got to get the consent of your own domestic legislature, whatever country you are, to do so".[168]


166   Tackling poverty: A global new deal-A modern Marshall plan for the developing world, HM Treasury, February 2002, p.1. See footnote 13 for web-site. Back

167   See Development Initiatives' outline proposal for a UK Council for International Cooperation-copy placed in library and see Back

168   Q123 Back

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Prepared 24 July 2002