GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO THE COMMITTEE'S REPORT ON FINANCING FOR DEVELOPMENT: FINDING THE MONEY TO
ELIMINATE WORLD POVERTY
MEMORANDUM FROM THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
1. The Government welcomes the Committee's thoughtful and constructive report on Financing for Development (FfD). We appreciate the report's positive assessment of the UK's contribution to FfD and the support expressed for the Government's development policy.
2. The increased aid pledged by the EU and US in the run up to the International Conference on Financing for Development will reverse a decade of decline in global aid levels. The Monterrey Consensus articulates for the first time a possible new global partnership for development, in which developing countries, industrialised countries, civil society and the private sector have important and complementary roles to play in ensuring that the Millennium Development Goals are achieved by 2015. These are important achievements.
3. But it is still too soon to say for certain that FfD was a success. The hard work of turning principles and pledges into action remains to be done. We agree with the Committee that maintaining the momentum generated at Monterrey will be a crucial test of the international community's commitment to poverty reduction. As the UN Secretary General has said, "if we live up to the promises it [The Monterrey Consensus] contains and continue working on it together, it can mark a real turning point in the lives of poor people all over the world".
4. The Government has already taken action since Monterrey, which demonstrates UK commitment. The decision in the 2002 Comprehensive Spending Review to increase aid to 0.4% of Gross National Income (GNI) will help the EU achieve its objective of increasing EU aid to 0.39% of GNI by 2006. It puts us in a good position to influence other donors to increase their aid levels, as the Committee recommends. The Government will continue to work with other development partners to ensure that all sources of development financing are mobilised and used effectively, in accordance with the Monterrey Consensus, to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
5. A detailed response to the committee's conclusions and recommendations is set out in the following pages.