From his time as Climate Change Secretary, and in his video interview with LCID, we know that Ed is a strong advocate of international development – so we are calling on him to place the fight against global poverty and injustice at the core of his leadership. In particular, we are asking that Ed hold the Coalition to account on the 0.7% commitment to ensure it is met and spent on poverty reduction, take strong action on climate change and campaign for a Robin Hood Tax.
LCID invites you to co-sign the letter so we can show the grassroot support for keeping international development high on the agenda of the Labour Party.
Dear Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP,
Congratulations from the Labour Campaign for International Development on your election to Leader of the Labour Party. We appreciate the time you took during the leadership contest to record a video for us and welcome your strong words of support for maintaining the cause of global poverty eradication as central to our mission as a party.
As you said in your first speech as Labour leader, some of our proudest achievements in Government were in the field of development – by the time we left office the Department for International Development was lifting 3 million people a year out of poverty and putting 5 million children a year into primary school. This would not have been achieved without a well-funded, independent DfID with a seat at the cabinet table, and the inspired leadership of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown – particularly on Africa. We ask that your leadership drives on this agenda even further.
It is a complement to our party that the Coalition Government has committed to reach the target of spending 0.7% of GNI on overseas development assistance by 2013. However, the coming months will provide several tests of their resolve and sincerity on this issue:
1. The Comprehensive Spending Review (20th October)
There is an increasing danger that the Coalition will undermine their commitment to 0.7 by removing DfID’s poverty focus. The securitisation and commercialisation of aid has always been the Tory approach. They may also seek to water down Britain’s world-leading definitions on what counts as aid – and reclassify spending in other departments in order to meet the target. Finally there is a risk that the Government will backload the promise, increasing the chance of them reneging in future.
2. G20 in Korea (8-9th November)
With the decline of the G8 it is vital that the development agenda is addressed within the G20. Thus far David Cameron has shown an unwillingness to show the type of leadership Brown and Blair exhibited at major summits – he does not realise that commitments like those made at Gleneagles in 2005 do not happen without huge effort and expenditure of political capital. Instead while a growing alliance of countries support new reforms such as the Financial Transactions Tax (Robin Hood Tax), Cameron and Osborne are blocking international agreement.
3. Cancun UN Climate Negotiations (30th November – 11th December)
David Cameron’s promise to ‘lead the greenest Government ever’ is already looking like a bad joke. In Cancun the world will once again come together to seek agreement on cutting global emissions and funding adaptation projects. We know that climate change is placing an additional burden on the world’s poorest people so should be met with additional support – from both public and private sources, including the FTT. It would be a severe undermining of UK aid commitments if support were diverted to climate finance.
This letter has been signed by XXXX of Labour members who ask that building on the party’s proud record of fighting global poverty and injustice is at the core of your leadership. LCID stands ready to assist you in any way to make this a reality.
Labour Campaign for International Development