On Friday, MPs have a chance to enshrine in law Britain’s commitment to spend 0.7% of our GDP in law, and secure a piece of our Party’s legacy.
Together with the creation of DFID, debt relief, and leading global efforts to try and secure fair trade and climate deals – the trebling of aid is one of Labour’s proudest achievement. By 2010 our aid was helping to lift 3 million people out of poverty, get 40 million children into school and help 3 million children access lifesaving HIV and AIDS drugs. It was a Labour Government that in 2005 set us on course to spend 0.7% by 2013.
The Tories promised to match our manifesto pledge to enshrine Britain’s aid spending in law, but they have failed to table the bill, and it is only a matter of time before Cameron caves in pressure from his backbenches and UKIP (as he has done on so many issues). Friday’s Private Members Bill vote is the final chance to get the law passed before the next election.
The majority of the MPs who have pledged to vote are Labour. We’re fortunate to have a strong group of LCID supporting MPs amongst the Parliamentary Labour Party, and we are very grateful to them for pledging to vote on Friday and for encouraging their colleagues to accompany them.
If just 20 more MPs commit to vote the bill, we are confident it will pass – and we need your help to get us over the line.
MPs of all parties are pledging their support on the website charities are running – turnupsavelives.org.uk.
Passing this bill will secure a piece of our Party’s legacy – and ensure that in the coming years we in Britain continue to provide our fair share in the fight to make poverty history.
Tuesday 23rd September, 7.45-9pm
The Charter Gallery, Manchester Central
Come and hear speakers from across the Labour and trade union movement give short speeches at our informal rally – outlining their visions of how a future Labour government can once again play a leading role in the fight against global poverty and injustice.
Speakers include: LCID Honorary Vice-Presidents Alison McGovern MP, Shadow DFID Minister, Gail Cartmail, Unite Assistant General Secretary, Lord Jack McConnell, Richard Howitt MEP, Seb Dance MEP, and Stephen Doughty MP; Shadow Defence Secretary Vernon Coaker, Shadow DFID Minister Gavin Shuker MP; Shadow DECC Minister Baroness Bryony Worthington; Simon Franks, Franks Family Foundation; PPCs Mel Ward, Purna Sen and Jess Asato; Labour List Editor Mark Ferguson; and BOND Chief Executive Ben Jackson. The compère for the evening will be our Chair Claire Leigh.
In partnership with Bond. Refreshments provided.
Campaigning for Jeff Smith – Labour PPC for Manchester Withington
Sunday 21st September, 1.30pm
Meet at St Peter’s Square tram stop, central Manchester, close to the conference centre – contact our chair Claire Leigh on 07730 788045 or look for a group wearing white LCID t-shirts! Alternatively meet in the constituency at 2pm in Morrisons supermarket car park, Chorlton, next to Chorlton tram stop.
International Morning at Conference
Monday 22nd, from 9.45am – Conference Floor
Come and listen to Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander, Shadow Secretary of State Jim Murphy, and Shadow Secretary of Defence Vernon Coaker outline the next Labour government’s international agenda.
Development on the Doorstep: Training for Parliamentary Candidates, agents, and CLP executive members
Monday 22nd September, 6-7pm – Room F11, Friends Meeting House, Central Manchester
Training for PPCs and their campaign teams in how to talk confidently about international development on the doorstep. The session will by hosted by Lord Ray Collins, Labour’s Spokesperson for International Development in the House of Lords, and Kirsty McNeill, former Downing Street adviser and PPC, and founder of strategy consultancy ThembaHQ.
Got a footy top you can donate at conference?
The Shadow International Development team are collecting for Kits 4 Causes, a charity who send old football shirts to kids across Africa. If you’ve got a shirt you can give, drop it at the Socialist Societies stall, (no.97 in the Exhibition Area) or bring it along to the team’s fringe event:
Football, Qatar 2022 & Workers Rights
Tuesday 23rd September, 6pm – Manchester Central, Exchange 11
LCID Members Social
Tuesday 23rd September, from 9.30pm – Midland Hotel Bar
All members and friends of LCID are invited to join us for drinks in the main conference bar.
– Charity Events –
An article in The Scotsman by Andrew Whitaker, reported that hundreds of civil service jobs in international development would be lost to Scotland after a Yes vote, with a weakening of the effort to tackle global poverty and deeps cuts in aid to poorer nations.
The article explained that Labour MSP Margaret McCulloch, had warned MSPs of an “unacceptable” threat to the jobs and the end of Dfid’s presence in Scotland, which she claimed was worth tens of millions of pounds to the local economy. She added that a Yes vote would lead to the “fragmentation” of aid to the world poorest and the loss of half of the UK’s budget to help poverty stricken nations – a package of support delivered from Difid in East Kilbride that she claimed would equate to a £1 billion cut in humanitarian support.
Ms McCulloch claimed there was a “positive, progressive, humanitarian reason” to reject independence in the debate.” She concluded “The International Development Select Committee expect the East Kilbride office, which contributes £30 million to the local economy, to close within five years of a Yes vote.”
To read the full transcript of the debate, click here.
On September 12, MPs will have the chance to enshrine the UK’s commitment to international aid in law.
Click here to see why Labour are supporting the 0.7% legislation.
If you want your MP to back the Bill then write to them and tell them why.
By Baroness Gould of Potternewton, Co-Chair of the Sexual Heath Forum and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Sexual Health
This work is being carried out by the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI). Since 1998, they have been co-ordinating and leading clinical trials with partners across the world to find the approaches and compounds with the most potential. We were welcomed by Dr Martin McMorrow and Dr Phillip Bergen, who explained the scale of the challenge facing their team: the HIV virus varies far more widely between strains, and between countries, than any other infectious disease we are fighting.
The need for an HIV/AIDs vaccine cannot be doubted. As Co-Chair of the Sexual Heath Forum and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Sexual Health, I have long been convinced of the severity of the burden that this disease places on communities in the UK and overseas.
HIV/AIDS kills 1.6 million people a year, making it the most deadly infectious disease globally. It disproportionally affects those in developing countries, and people who are in their most productive years. In doing so, it deprives these countries of workers and caregivers, and increases healthcare costs.
Groups who already have less voice in society are also more at risk from HIV. 57% of new infections globally are in women, who often have less say in decisions that affect their sexual health such as whether to use a condom. AIDS is now the leading cause of death for women of child-bearing age in sub-Saharan Africa. Due to how the disease is transmitted, prevalence rates among gay men are much higher than in the adult population. Worryingly, some governments are now introducing laws to make it even harder to reach gay men by further criminalising same-sex relations.
It has been encouraging to see increased efforts and partnerships inflate the number of people who can access treatment to nearly 10 million a year – such as through the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria. I am proud that the last Labour Government was a leading supporter of this work, and glad that the current Government have upheld the UK commitment. The spread of the disease has now slowed – but it will not be controlled without further bold decisions.
No disease in history has ever been controlled without a vaccine. Half of the HIV-positive population still does not know their status, and for every three people who access treatment, another four acquire HIV. Nor do we have the resources to control this disease through treatment alone, though it is a very important part of the solution. Ultimately, vaccines are much cheaper and more effective, and when used in conjunction with treatment and education, could spell the end for HIV/AIDS.
As Dr Bergen explained, the science may be challenging but it is producing exciting results. Clinical trials in 2009 found compounds that acted to create ‘neutralising antibodies’ that can stop infected cells reproducing, and subsequent work has refined this approach. IAVI has set up partnerships with private companies to develop any compounds identified in the next stages of its research.
I was concerned however, to hear that funding from the UK Government to IAVI has fallen in recent years, from £40 million from 2008 to 2013, to just £5 million in this current period. While it is both important and laudable to fund treatments that save lives now, it is also important to fund the research and development that will create the drugs to control these diseases in the long term.
It seems apparent that the current model of funding drug research and development has left us waiting on private companies to deliver these new drugs. For the so-called ‘neglected diseases of poverty’ like HIV/AIDs, TB and Malaria, which kill 14 million people a year between them but offer no short-term returns on investment, we may be waiting for a very long time. On the other hand, partnerships between Government, private companies, and philanthropic foundations (so-called ‘Product Development Partnerships’ such as IAVI) have been producing results, as they combine government-backed investment and interest in public health needs with the capital and capacity of the private sector.
Partnerships such as IAVI require significant long-term investment and support, and we need the UK Government – and other governments – to show leadership and pledge this support. A Labour Government with Jim Murphy leading our development work has already nailed its colours to the mast. We have pledged to support fairness around the world, with good health and the benefits it brings central to this vision. We will need an HIV/AIDS vaccine to turn this vision into reality, and so I for one am calling on all Parties to support IAVI and partnerships like them.
For more information about IAVI and their work, visit www.iavi.org.
For information about the importance of supporting research and development of drugs for diseases of poverty, such as HIV/AIDS – and about the ways we can do this, such as Product Development Partnerships – please visit www.results.org.uk.
By Alison McGovern MP, Shadow Minister for International Development
Recently, the kidnapping of over 200 Nigerian girls has received widespread publicity and anger from across the globe. These issues must not fade from the public eye. Just because the news agenda moves on, the suffering does not lessen, and the careful work to return the girls (and all those abducted) to safety must continue.
Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigerian finance minister recently joined members of both houses of parliament, hosted by Mr Speaker Bercow, and Gordon Brown who, in his role as a United Nations Special Envoy on Global Education has worked with the Nigerian Government on the Safer Schools Initiative, which seeks to provide a safe environment for girls to go to school in the country. Ngozi’s speech, was clear about the complexities involved, however and the wide consequences of the actions of the terrorist organisation behind the kidnappings.
All children getting to school is vital for countries such as Nigeria that has seen significant recent economic growth. Therefore, it is imperative that we do not let the inexcusable actions of Boko Haram make girls across Nigeria – and indeed all of Africa – feel so insecure at their schools that they simply cannot attend their lessons. As a consequence, the Nigerian government has put together their Safer Schools Initiative, in an effort to provide perimeters of fence around schools, alarm systems, sanitary facilities and basic commodities that were to be shown to be painfully lacking in many schools across Nigeria.
Girls and women have every right to wish to take part in the economic development of their country. Without access to education, they will be unable to fulfil their potential, and live out their dreams and aspirations.
So this campaign is of utmost importance. Labour is an advocate for this right to education, and our work in establishing DFID has underpinned the UK Government’s role in resolving this crisis. We will continue to speak up for all children unable to go to school, wherever they are in the world. And only when all children can learn should this campaign cease.
IPPR Legislating for 0.7% aid
Monday 14th July
16:00 – 17:00
IPPR offices, 4th Floor, 14 Buckingham Street, London WC2N 6DF
Why should Britain spend more as a proportion of GNI on overseas aid that any other G8 country? Having met the UN’s 0.7% target, why should the UK now lock that spending level in through legislation?
Liberal Democrat MP Michael Moore will explain why and discuss how he is building cross party consensus to back his recently introduced Private Members Bill.
Please register here to confirm your place.
LCID Parliamentary Panel 70 years on from Bretton Woods: Time for a new era of economic cooperation?
Date: Monday 14th July 2014
Time: 6.30pm – 7.45pm
Location: Committee Room 6, Houses of Parliament
- Chris Leslie MP, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury
- Alison McGovern MP, Shadow Minister for International Development
- John Christensen, Tax Justice Network
- Petra Kjell, Bretton Woods Project
- Kitty Ussher, Tooley Street Research (Chair)
Less than a month after the D-Day landings, delegates from the forty-four Allied nations met in New Hampshire to create a new economic settlement for the post-war world. The economic planners who signed the Bretton Woods Agreement on 22 July 1944 understood the vital role that economic cooperation had to play in rebuilding a war-ravaged world.The economic challenges that the world faces today are different but stark: economic growth is failing to lift millions out of poverty in the developing world; a global youth unemployment crisis stretches throughout the world; and we face a catastrophic threat from climate change. None of these challenges will be successfully tackled by economies acting in isolation.
This high-level panel event will question what have been the lessons of the Bretton Woods model of economic cooperation and consider how its institutions have fared. The event is open to members and non-members alike; please register your attendance by email so we can keep track of numbers. Please leave 30 minutes to enter through security into the Houses of Parliament and use the Cromwell Green entrance.