INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRSDec 23 2011
By taking our seats in Westminster the SDLP has been consistently international, as well as local, in outlook throughout our parliamentary term.
Our MPs have taken a strong stance on issues including the ill-advised government counter-terrorism measures; human trafficking; and cluster munitions, which gained cross-party support and was quickly followed by a decision by the British government to support a ban on cluster bombs.
The next Westminster Parliament coincides with the lead up to the 2015 deadline for achieving the UN’s Millennium Development Goals.
We will continue to promote fair trade and press the next British Government to reintroduce the International Development Bill as a priority in the next Parliament, ensuring an increase in aid to 0.7% of Gross National Income by 2013 to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
In this time of economic crisis, many governments are reviewing their external aid budgets. This can only spell disaster for those countries whose people’s prospects rely on foreign aid.
Building up the economies of developing countries is not just a moral imperative, it is in all our interests, as the EU has proven by boosting all the economies of the Member States, including our own.
Consistent with our fight for human rights and equality at home, the SDLP will continue to highlight human rights abuses abroad as we have in this parliament, using our Westminster platform to highlight the violence in Darfur, ongoing human rights abuses in Iran and the suffering in Gaza.