MPs Debate Post-2015 Development Agenda

By David Brockway

A recent backbench business debate arranged by Hugh Bayley MP and attended by the Secretary of State for the Department for International Development, Alan Duncan, highlighted the importance of promoting open trade in the future international development agenda.

The debate acted as a forum for MPs to promote their own priorities for the Post-2015 agenda while lending support to the Prime Minister in the run up to next high-level panel (HLP) discussion in Bali. A number of TOP members were present, including Peter Lilley, Hugh Bayley, Fiona Bruce and Jeremy Lefroy.

With the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) due to expire in 2015, promoting an effective dialogue on how to succeed them is an important challenge. As was raised many times in the debate, action on international development is not something that can be drummed up through a handful of meetings; it takes committed support from a range of state and non-state actors over a number of years.

The debate itself assessed and reiterated the importance of continued support for many ‘traditional’ areas of development assistance that are included in the MDGs, such as eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education and healthcare, and promoting gender equality. Although obviously important as ends in themselves, discussions about these goals and others within and beyond the MDGs were mostly framed within the context of how to make them truly sustainable and how wider economic development can support this process.

Issues such as job creation, business capacity building, agribusiness, access to finance and a secure business environment were all put forward as areas that need to be built upon to help build sustainable and competitive economies in the developing world. Underlining all of these issues is the vital role of trade.

The importance of trade as a tool for international development was one of the key themes of the debate and was promoted by MP’s representing all parties. Open and free trade has long been seen as a building block of international development, but in recent years it has also come to be appreciated as a means for achieving other goals as well.

This debate highlighted the importance of open trade as a means of leaving poverty behind for good. Tariffs and other protectionist measures – employed by both developed and developing countries – must be broken down and the UK can lead the way for trade liberalisation and the opening up of access to credit and resource flows. There was widespread support from those present for the PM to take this forward to the HLP discussions and establish it as part of the framework for the post-2015 agenda.

It was also agreed that both public and political will are vital if the development agenda is to capture imaginations and progress. All present recognised the important role that the youth of the UK play in promoting development projects, and that as the heirs of the decisions of the post-2015 agenda it is important to build on their interest when creating the new framework.

At a time of economic hardship at home it is understandable that funding for international development has become a controversial subject. Damian Hinds (Conservative MP for East Hampshire) tackled this matter by highlighting that goals promoting economic growth, specialisation and trade are “win-win”, providing benefits that are reflected in the growth of theworld’s economy, not just that of recipient developing countries. Seeing international development as a source for worldwide economic growth should not be regarded as self-serving, but as a means of creating a more secure and prosperous future for all.

Watch the full debate here: Watch the debate here

summary

A recent backbench business debate arranged by Hugh Bayley MP and attended by the Secretary of State for the Department for International Development, Alan Duncan, highlighted the importance of promoting open trade in the future international development agenda.

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By | 2017-10-08T11:56:23+00:00 April 2nd, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on MPs Debate Post-2015 Development Agenda

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