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UNA-UK’s CEO responds to the publication of the UK Government’s white paper on international development

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On Monday, the UK Government published its “International development in a contested world: ending extreme poverty and tackling climate change” white paper. 

Marissa Conway, CEO of UNA-UK said:

"The UK’s recent white paper on international development, the first in fourteen years, signals a renewed commitment to multilateralism grounded in partnership, mutual respect, and collaboration. The Government’s commitment to fostering open societies, prioritising the needs of women and girls, engaging closely with civil society, and supporting marginalised communities in order to end extreme poverty and tackle climate change and biodiversity loss is commendable. The paper’s robust support for the Sustainable Development Goals as well as a pledge to centre development needs around locally-owned priorities, are noteworthy. 

While the mobilisation of the financial sector alongside a ‘whole-of-society’ approach is a positive step, the main financial responsibility for development efforts rests with the Government. Pledging to increase aid spending to 0.7% is a promising change, but without a detailed and timely action plan to realise this, the UK cannot effectively fulfil its role in promoting an inclusive and accountable development system. The commitments in this white paper offer the UK a chance to showcase its dedication to equitable and participatory international development, guided by strong values, both globally and domestically. I am eager to witness the concrete outcomes that emerge."