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The UK General Election could be our chance to ‘shift the power’ towards global justice 

As the pace quickens towards a General Election, all of us working on sustainable development have an opportunity to highlight our vision of a fairer, more equal world. In April SIDA published a briefing aimed at UK General Election candidates, outlining ten policy recommendations that would start to ‘shift the power’ towards global justice. We’re calling for our members, and in turn their supporters, to use every opportunity to share these ideas with election candidates, in the hope that the new Government will take them on board. 

Why global justice matters now more than ever

In a world where global crises are escalating and new threats are constantly emerging, it’s crucial to address the root causes of inequality and injustice. Building a genuinely just world benefits everyone, including communities closest to  us. Our focus must be on transformative policies that can create long-lasting change. 

Scotland’s International Development Alliance (SIDA) have put forward a comprehensive vision in our research paper, From Talk to Transformation, including how to achieve global justice through inclusivity, feminism, anti-racism, and decolonisation. Here’s a snapshot of policies from this vision, providing a roadmap for the next UK government to follow.

Key policies for transformative change

Acknowledge and redress historic and ongoing Injustices

Why? Addressing the complex and enduring effects of colonialism requires sincere apologies, cultural reparations, and broader knowledge sharing. 

How? Engage meaningfully with affected communities to develop plans for reparations and reconciliation, and establish an independent commission to investigate the UK’s colonial legacies. 

Promote feminist and decolonised economic alternatives

Why? Traditional economic practices are failing people, especially in the Global South, and driving environmental destruction. 

How? Participate in global debt relief discussions, support a UN convention on tax, and bring forward legislation to prevent human rights abuses in supply chains. Implement progressive wealth and windfall taxes. 

Improve policy coherence for global justice

Why? Inconsistencies in policy can undermine justice-focused approaches to international affairs. 

How? Cease issuing arms licenses to countries violating humanitarian law, stop new fossil fuel projects, and create safe routes for refugees to the UK. 

• Ensure adequate financial support for development assistance

Why? Official Development Assistance (ODA) is a critical tool in addressing poverty and inequality worldwide. However, recent reductions in ODA spending have hindered progress. Restoring and increasing this financial commitment is fundamental for the UK to play a meaningful role in global development. 

How? Immediately reinstate spending to at least 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) on ODA, with a plan to increase this percentage during the next Parliamentary term. Set clear limits on the proportion of ODA spent within the UK, ensuring that all ODA is directed towards reducing poverty and inequality globally. 

How you can make a difference

Now that we have an understanding of the key policies, it’s time to take action. Engaging with election candidates can significantly impact their awareness and commitment to these issues.  

Here are some questions you can ask on the doorstep or at hustings to bring our recommendations to the forefront: 

The upcoming General Election is a pivotal moment to push for transformative change. By asking these questions and engaging with candidates, we can encourage our key recommendations to be recognised and acted upon. 

Spread the word within your community, attend local events and hustings, and use social media to amplify these important issues. A well-informed and active electorate can drive the changes we need to see. 

This is our chance to turn our vision of global justice into reality, so let’s seize the opportunity and call for a fairer world for all. 

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