Today, ahead of the G8 summit to be held in France from the 26th-27th May, I have written to David Cameron, the text of my letter is below:
I am writing to you ahead of the meeting of the G8 in France this week from the 26-27 May. The G8 is an important forum for world leaders to come together and discuss issues of global concern and since the late 1990s international development has been a major issue at almost every summit. This must continue to be the case.
G8 countries have made strong commitments on more and better aid and development policies. This included, in 2005, a promise from G8 countries to substantially increase aid to developing countries. But, six years on, many of those countries are falling back on those pledges. Those promises must be kept.
I welcome the commitment that your government has made to increasing aid to 0.7% of GNI by 2013. However, the publication of a letter to you from your Defence Secretary last week in which he said he "cannot support the proposal" to enshrine this promise in law has thrown a shadow over this commitment.
Will you ensure, at this G8 summit, that there can be no doubt over Britain's commitment and restate your support for the 0.7% /2013 target? Will you also call on the other G8 leaders present to meet the promises they made?
Finally, will you introduce the legislation you have promised immediately and send a strong message internationally that Britain keeps its word?
Britain's overseas aid saves lives in the developing world and it is also in our national interest. Other developed countries must also keep their promises to the world's poorest.
Harriet Harman MP
Shadow Secretary of State for International Development