Yesterday, Secretary of State for International Development, Douglas Alexander set out how Britain will keep its promises to the world’s poorest people in pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals, as he presented a historic draft Bill to Parliament.
RESULTS UK warmly welcomes this announcement which will make Britain the first G8 country to publish legislation on how much it will spend on international development, keeping the UK on course to meet its Gleneagles commitments.
In an article in the Independent, Prime Minister Gordon Brown also made reference to the potential of a global financial transactions tax as a source of substantial revenue for the fight against poverty.
The Official Development Assistance Target Bill, if passed, will for the first time place a legal duty on the government to ensure 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income (GNI) is spent on official development assistance (ODA) every year from 2013.
It will commit future governments to meet and stick to the benchmark for development spending laid down by the United Nations General Assembly in 1970.
The Bill will also require the Secretary of State to report annually to Parliament on Britain’s spend on ODA and, if the Government is off track, give the International Development Secretary the opportunity to state what they have done to get back on track.
Douglas Alexander said: “This historic draft Bill will ensure that Britain makes good on its promises to people living in extreme poverty across the world.
“We have achieved a great deal over the past decade in helping to lift 250 million people out of poverty, ensuring 34 million more children are registered at schools in sub-Saharan Africa and giving 3 million more people a year access to HIV and AIDS treatment.
“By locking in this commitment through legislation, Britain is securing its place as a world leader on international development.”
Douglas Alexander presented the draft Bill to Parliament yesterday. It will go before the International Development Committee for scrutiny with a view to a full Bill being presented at the next Parliamentary session.
The target would be met from 2013, as agreed with HM Treasury. The currently trajectory of ODA spending through DFID shows Britain is on course to reach this commitment.
You can show your support for this bill by supporting the government’s Global Poverty Promise campaign.