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Response to FCDO White Paper on International Development

The FCDO white paper is a welcome attempt to launch a revised approach to international development which risks failing the test of policy coherence. 

Commenting on the white paper, Frances Guy, Chief Executive of Scotland’s International Development Alliance, said:

“There is much to commend in the FCDO’s white paper on international development published on 20 November: its headline priorities to end extreme poverty, tackle climate change and accelerate the implementation of the SDGs; its commitment to partnerships and mutual respect; its commitment to reforming the international financial system and to ensuring that the international system more generally is more representative; its recognition of the importance of standing up for human rights and international law, and its recognition of the important role of British civil society, including the value of its diaspora communities.

“This long list of UK priorities also includes long term locally led inclusive approaches, and the promotion of inclusive national social protection systems, debt restructuring and promoting the rule of law and accountable systems.

“But something is missing in this commitment to partnerships;  humility. UK centres for excellence without global knowledge exchange will risk failure. The kernel of the problem is summed up in the Prime Minister’s forward which suggests that events that begin overseas affect people at home. The reality is the world is even more joined up than that; what we do in the United Kingdom also affects many of the most vulnerable people in the rest of the world.

“A commitment to tackling climate change lacks credibility without clear action at home too. The unifying factor of the Sustainable Development Goals is that they are global and the targets are universally applicable. The UK is part of this multilateral commitment it espouses; the laudable aims of this white paper would benefit from the recognition that action will be needed domestically too to accelerate the implementation of the SDGs.”

Read the White Paper below:
International development in a contested world: ending extreme poverty and tackling climate change

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