Open Labour and LCID Report on A Progressive Foreign Policy

LCID is pleased to be supporting Open Labour to publish ‘A Progressive Foreign Policy For New Times,’ a new pamphlet written by Dr Harry Pitts and Professor Paul Thompson.

We were particularly grateful to have been joined at the launch of the report last night by Oscar nominated and Emmy and BAFTA award winning journalist Waad Al-Kateab, and Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy.

It really is a privilege for us at LCID to be able to work with Waad and her colleagues at the Syrian British Council to support their demands for a free and democratic Syria. Waad once said ‘I don’t want your tears, I want action’ and that’s the challenge for us all – how can we ensure that Britain and the international community acts to protect civilians from mass atrocities in Syria and across the world?

It was a source of great shame that – as this paper highlights – too often Labour’s approach to Syria and other countries over the last few years was driven by an outdated, rigid dogma, instead of being focused on what Syrians themselves wanted to see. It is welcome that we are now able to move forward in a positive way under Lisa, Wayne David and Anna McMorrin, and we’re grateful to them for meeting with the Syrian British Council the other week, and for the work they are doing to hold the Government to account on Syria.

On the report specifically, LCID particularly welcomes the call for Labour’s foreign policy going forward to build on the legacy of Robin Cook and Jo Cox.

Jo passionately believed that Britain and international community has a responsibility to protect civilians from mass atrocities – and that in responding to any conflict, we should use all the tools at our disposal to protect people – including diplomatic means; sanctions; and, in the most extreme cases, military operations such as No Fly Zones or enforcing safe havens. And she also believed it was vitally important that post-conflict, people are properly supported to rebuild their country.

Jo, like Robin Cook, was opposed to the Iraq war, and the lessons of Iraq will be important considerations in choosing the right approach to protect civilians in a particular conflict – but so too must be the lessons of Bosnia, Kosovo, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Syria.

Most of all, it is absolutely essential that in any discussions about Labour’s foreign policy going forward we listen to what people actually affected by these conflicts have to say. That is why it was so important to have Waad with us at the launch last night, and why LCID has launched a speakers network with speakers from the Syrian British Council, the World Uyghur Congress, and activists from Kosovo, Yemen, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Afghanistan to raise awareness in the Party about these issues. We would welcome the opportunity to speak to your local CLP so please do request a speaker here.

You can download the report here and watch a video of the launch event above. More information on LCID’s policies on R2P can be found here. To find out more about Waad and watch her film, please go to forsamafilm.com.

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