Memorandum from British Overseas NGOs
for Development (BOND)
SUBMISSION BY BOND'S DEVELOPMENT AND ENVIRONMENT
The Development and Environment Group is a part
of BOND - British Overseas NGOs for Development. BOND is a network
of more than 260 UK based organisations and works to improve the
UK and Europe's contribution to international development.
The Development and Environment Group (DEG)
is open to all BOND members and is largely attended by policy
workers. It has been very active on the World Summit for Sustainable
Development (WSSD) both on policy and in awareness raising work.
In January 2002, DEG held a workshop on WSSD
attended by 105 representatives from 68 non-government organisations
as well as officials from all the main Government Departments
involved in WSSD.
The information given below is a summary in
note form of the points raised during discussions that are relevant
to the key questions being considered during the Environmental
Audit Committee inquiry.
1. VIEWS ON
UK IS FORMULATING
1.1 Development NGOs feel there is a need
to move to a different development model not purely Globalisation,
liberalisation and positive benefits simply trickling down from
stronger National economies
1.2 There is a need to integrate health,
environment and social issues into international trade and financial
mechanisms, not as add-on but as a central goal.
1.3 There is a need to be realistic about
where there are trade-offs between environment: economic and social.
1.4 The Summit should be about cross-cutting,
not sectoral issues, this is what makes it different from other
multilateral initiatives .
1.5 It is felt the UK government needs to
improve its "joined-up thinking".
1.6 The UK Government core issues and stance
on issues likely to be raised are not clear. There is particular
lack of clarity/process to link the initiatives at the different
levels of government (UK, country/regional, local). Examples:
How do the different government department initiatives fit together
(DFID, DTI, DEFRA), and the five working groups set up by the
PM? How will the poverty and environment linkages raised by DFID
be integrated into the possible priority issues identified by
the Policy Unit (water and energy)?
1.7 There needs to be improved co-ordination
both between departments as mentioned above and also between different
policies and priorities. eg Within DFID the stance on trade liberalisation
seems to fit poorly within the pro-poor agenda
1.8 Any issue selected as a priority needs
to be looked at in the context of the bigger test of equity and
a rights based approach (including social environmental rights).
1.9 Approaches need to reduce the vulnerability
of the poor by improving governance and the control of the poor
1.10 The Summit should be about viable alternatives,
not just aspirational goals.
1.11 The UK Government should support work
on Global environmental governance - particularly on how UNEP
will fit into any structure proposed.
1.12 The Summit should be start of a process
for greater accountability - for Governments and corporates.
1.13 The UK Government should pressurise
for more progress on resource mobilisation - obviously considering
work on Financing for Development. There are issues around both
quantity and quality of aid. For example on quality, genuine participatory
processes to establish pro-poor priorities for use of aid, more
support for disaster preparedness.
1.14 The UK Government should promote responsibility
and accountability of individuals and the local scale and impact
of these actions on world. First concentrate on areas where potentially
huge shifts are not required in northern consumer.
1.15 The work on these issues should be
ongoing - not just up to Johannesburg.
2. VIEWS ON
UK PROMOTION OF
2.1 The UK government must take more responsibility:
to consult the public and civil society;
to engage with the media.
2.2 Make awareness-raising work more human
(less technical) and more local/individual by using:
Stories about individual lives.
2.3 The Government should engage the corporate
sector more positively, including use of business resources and
motivation eg BP and drive for greater accountability.
3. VIEWS ON
UK IS HELPING
3.1 The UK and EU should work to make the
Summit more multilateral with constructive US involvement. Should
work to counterbalance the US encourage them to engage more constructively
and not have Summit agreements that are based to much on what
the US is prepared to accept rather than what the majority want.
3.2 Tony Blair and all levels of British
Government should get George Bush and high level US involvement
in SummitTony Blair is positioned to do this and publicly
supports the importance of the Summit. Should use influence with
other Governments where possible.
3.3 September 11 has increased recognition
of the impact of national policies and raised the momentum for
global action on poverty reduction and inequalities. It highlighted
the inherent danger of a process of globalisation which leaves
many poor people marginalized and leads to increasing inequities.
This momentum should be used.
3.4 NGOs are encountering resistance to
increasing the levels of aid to the 0.7 per cent of GNP by northern
governments. UK Government should act unilaterally to increase
their level of aid and should lobby other Governments to do likewise.