The Labour Party has a proud history of internationalism. From the establishment of the Ministry of Overseas Development in 1964 to the creation of the Department for International Development in 1997, Labour has shown time and again that internationalism is in our DNA. We have always fought for justice and equality at home and abroad, and we must continue to do so. It’s one of the reason why so many are drawn to Labour in the first place.
As a party, we should be proud of what we have achieved. But we must also look ahead to what the next Labour government can do to not only reduce poverty around the world but also reduce inequality – both within and across nations.
Today, the Labour Campaign for International Development welcomes the new Labour paper on the future of international development policy, launched today by Kate Osamor MP, Shadow Secretary of State.
The paper sets out 5 key priority areas for the next Labour government;
- A fairer global economy
- A global movement for public services
- A feminist approach to development
- Building peace and preventing conflict
- Action for climate justice and ecology
The aim is that all of these will be achieved through the twin action of tackling not just poverty, but also addressing inequality. We know that during conflict or crises, women and girls are hit the hardest; open to exploitation, gender-based violence, and a high risk of early, forced and child marriage to ensure families have enough money to survive. And it is not just women and girls who can fall through the cracks by not tackling inequality, but other marginalised groups – such as those living with disabilities, in the LGBTQ+ community, and those living in refugee camps to name a few. We have long called for a focus on reducing inequality, and it is great to see a number of these things included in this paper – from focusing on the Palma Ratio, to restoring aid funding to public health and education, to creating a Centre for Universal Health Coverage.
For each of the five priorities set out in the paper, Labour will take action not only through DFID – but by working with other government departments and international partners. A whole government approach to development is to be welcomed, and is one of the priorities LCID set out in our submission to the task force.
We are engaging with the shadow development team and were pleased to see that a number of policy demands we’ve been calling for, particularly on inequality, tax and universal health care, made it into their recent policy paper.
One area where greater clarification is needed is regarding the future of the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund. The CSSF currently helps fund the White Helmets, who are are strong supporters of (raising funds for them at our Christmas fundraiser), so we would like to see UK aid funding for them continued under any future Labour government (should the terrible conflict in Syria still be dragging on).
We must be realistic. A policy paper is not a new dawn. A new dawn will only come when we have a Labour government. But this policy paper is a good place to start. The Labour Party must now join together – from the PLP, to socialist societies, to the Trade Unions, to its members in each and every constituency, and to all voters to ensure that our vision for a fair and just world is recognised and bought in to by all.
What you can do:
- Join LCID and help us campaign for a fair and just world
- If you re a Member of Parliament or a member of a CLP and would like to arrange a talk at a member meeting please get in touch
- Let us know if you would like to get involved in LCID