Conference Motion on International Development

CLPs have the opportunity to table motions to be considered at Labour Party Conference 2022, which takes place at the end of September in Liverpool.

We are encouraging LCID supporters to table the below motion at their next CLP meeting so we can ensure that Labour continues to strongly support both the 0.7% aid target, and a independent international development department.

Conference motions are different to the standard policy motions that so many CLPs (local parties) have already debated and passed. And each CLP can only send either one conference motion or one rule change to conference.

We therefore need as many CLPs to pass our motion as possible!

Here’s a step by step guide:
1. Table the motion – send a copy of the below motion to your CLP or branch secretary, asking that it be tabled for discussion at your next meeting. Your CLP secretary’s email address is on the back of your membership card.

2. Attend the meeting where the conference motion will be debated, and speak in favour of it. We’ve put some suggested talking points at the bottom of the motion. Motions for conference will be voted on, so please encourage any members you are friendly with to attend the meeting and vote in favour of the motion.

3. Please let us know if you’ve tabled a motion by filling in this quick form.

As a country we risk becoming more and more insular at the hands of the Tories. It’s vital we send a strong message that Labour needs to make Britain a leading player on international development again!

International Development Conference Motion

Conference notes:

  1. The merger of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Department for International Development (DfID).
  2. The government cut to the aid budget, reducing from 0.7% of gross national income (GNI) to just 0.5% of GNI, a cut of £5bn.
  3. The de-prioritisation of life-saving development programmes.

Conference believes:

  1. The government’s decision to abolish DFID has been a disaster that has cost lives.
  2. Since the merger, development has been deprioritised, with aid cuts, and the Foreign Secretary using aid to focus on securing deals for businesses, rather than helping the poorest. 
  3. The creation of DfID 25 years ago was a Labour success story that saved millions of lives and made the world safer, fairer, and more prosperous for us all.
  4. Having a separate department focused on international development and humanitarian aid, funded by a budget of 0.7% of gross national income and led by a Secretary of State with cabinet-level representation, is critical for ending poverty, providing humanitarian assistance, and tackling the climate crisis.

Conference resolves:

That the Labour Party’s Leader, the Parliamentary Party and the National Policy Forum, should:

1. Commit to restoring an independent department responsible for international development on the first day of a Labour government.

2. Commit to the restoration of the aid budget to 0.7% of gross national income on the first day of a Labour government.

3. Ensure that all aid and development spending works for the most marginalised communities around the world, in support of poverty alleviation and tackling climate change. 


Talking points for motion proposer:

  • We welcome Keir Starmer’s support to reinstate DfID and commitment to spending 0.7% of GNI on aid. Keir announced on the day that he would re-establish DFID https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-53062858 
  • We welcome the retention of a shadow minister for international development as a position in the Shadow Cabinet, but we are concerned that this role is no longer Secretary of State level, and that they no longer have a paid political advisor.
  • An independent DfID was established in the first place in part to put an end to corruption (such as the Pergau dam scandal that saw aid given on the condition British arms were bought)
  • DFID was an example of something that was world-class about the UK. 
  • The 0.7% figure came about going back to the World Council of Churches declaration back in 1968.

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