According to the Labour Party website the Labour Party have achieved the following in their time in power:
The Labour government is recognised as a world leader on tackling global poverty. Labour believes that it is wrong that somebody’s chances in life depend on where they are born. That is why, in government, we have made it a priority, at home and abroad, to work for the eradication of poverty. Our values, and the nature of the common global challenges we face, mean that it is even more important we keep our commitments to the poorest in a time of serious economic difficulties.
Since 1997, when Labour set up a dedicated Department for International Development, the UK development budget has more than doubled. Our support is targeted at the poorest – and works to promote good governance, encourage growth and economic development, and to enable countries to deliver basic public services, such as health, education and water. We also respond to disasters, and work to tackle conflicts which ravage lives and stand in the way of development. Labour is also taking steps to tackle climate change and its impacts including help for the most vulnerable communities. International institutions equipped to deal with new global challenges are essential, which is why we leading the way in arguing for vital reforms to institutions like the World Bank and United Nations (UN).
* We have more than doubled Britain’s aid budget and are committed to reaching the UN agreed target of 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income to be spent on development assistance by 2013. Our investment and international leadership have contributed to significant results on the ground lifting 3 million people permanently out of poverty each year.
* At Gleneagles in 2005 we led an international campaign to cancel 100 per cent of multilateral debts for the poorest countries and secured agreement on an extra billion of aid for all developing countries. In September 2008 the UK played a key role in the UN summit in New York on the Millennium Development Goals which saw significant new commitments made in the priority areas of malaria, food, education and health.
* We have untied aid so poor countries can use the money to buy goods and services from the most cost-effective source and have led efforts to secure support for an International Aid Transparency initiative to ensure citizens can hold their governments and donors to account and increase the effectiveness of aid.
* Labour has announced the UK’s biggest ever investment in fighting HIV and AIDS. We are currently the world’s second largest donor to the global fight against these diseases.
* We launched a Governance and Transparency Fund which will provide resources to local civil society groups to improve governance and increase accountability in poor countries – for example, by helping citizens, media and parliaments hold governments to account.
* We have committed significant support to a new Environmental Transformation Fund which will support developing countries to tackle climate change.
* Labour delivers when crisis hits – the UK is now the world’s second largest bilateral humanitarian donor with our action helping people from Sudan to Sri Lanka.
New Labour, your Britain
* We will continue to push for bold international action to ensure we meet the eight Millennium Development Goals, an internationally agreed set of priorities by 2015 on a range of vitally important issues such as increasing the number of children in school, improving healthcare, cutting maternal and child deaths, combating major diseases and stopping environmental degradation. We launched ain international campaign – the Call to Action (CtA) 2007 – alongside the UN Secretary General, to encourage the international community to accelerate progress to reach these goals.
* Labour works to promote education for all. From 2010 we will significantly increase spending on education in Africa to ensure eight million children have access to education.
* We will continue to press for progress in world trade talks to ensure a trade agreement that benefits poor people, and does not resort to protectionism. We will also work with international partners to secure billion in aid for trade.
* In 2007 we pledged to contribute £1 billion over the next seven years to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria and we will implement the International Finance Facility for Immunisation, which aims to save five million lives over the next decade. We will also provide 20 million bed nets by 2010 – one of the most effective ways of preventing malaria.
* Gender equality and women’s empowerment are essential for reducing poverty, and upholding human rights and we will continue fighting to empower women all over the world. Labour has supported girls’ education in northern Nigeria – where our support increased girls’ enrolment by 10-15% in just one year.
* We will continue to press for reform of global institutions including the UN, the World Bank and the IMF to ensure they are better equipped to deal with the challenges of the twenty-first century.
Labour Party International Development Policy :
I would be interested to hear both positive and negative views on Labour’s International Development policies in the comments below?