Harriet Harman

Member of Parliament for Camberwell and Peckham. Mother of the House of Commons.

Labour launches International Development Policy Review - 20/04/

Today Labour launches its International Development policy review. The review is made up of one working group which will oversee the process and advise the Shadow International Development team and six taskforces working on specific development issues. 

The Labour Party's commitment to reducing poverty in the developing world is an historic one at the heart of Labour's values.

We cannot and should not stand by when elsewhere in the world people are starving and dying of preventable disease when we can stop that happening. Not only is action morally right but in our national interest - underdevelopment is a restraint on the global economy and poverty can foster conflict which spills over into regional and global insecurity.

We only have four years left to meet the Millennium Development Goals. The global financial crisis, rising food and fuel prices, together with natural disasters like the earthquake in Haiti and the floods in Pakistan make meeting them even more difficult. We must not let the momentum slide.

In government, Labour set up the Department for International Development, trebled our aid budget and put dropping debt and increasing aid at the centre of the international agenda. In a changing world we must make sure our international development policies continue to help the poorest people in the world.

The groups we are launching today will examine many important issues: trade; tax and growth; the empowerment of women; climate change; conflict and development; the role of the diaspora and tackling global inequality.

These groups bring together a wide range of expertise: from the diaspora; charities; faith groups; business; academics; trade unions and, importantly, people who live and work in the developing world. Their contributions will be invaluable in helping us ensure our international development efforts will have the biggest possible impact for the millions of people who still live in poverty around the world.

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