CAFOD calls for aid commitment in Queen's speech

In the lead-up to the Queen's speech, CAFOD is calling on new Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell to follow through on a manifesto promise to introduce new legislation committing the UK Government to spend 0.7 per cent of national income as aid by 2013.

The full text of a joint letter signed by CAFOD, Oxfam, Action Aid and other members of the UK Aid Network follows:

Many congratulations on your appointment as Secretary of State for International Development.On behalf of the UK Aid Network, I look forward to further developing our already productive working relationship with you.

We would also like to thank you for your significant efforts in securing the important Conservative Party Manifesto pledge to introduce legislation committing the UK Government to spend 0.7 per cent of national income as aid by 2013 “in the first session of the new parliament”.

Consistent with this commitment and that of the Liberal Democrats, we urge you to immediately begin efforts to introduce this legislation by announcing that a Full Bill will be put to Parliament in the Queen’s speech on 25 May. Suitably, this is also Africa Day - the official day of the African Union and a worldwide celebration of African unity and success.

With important EU, G8 and G20 meetings coming up, as well as of course the vital UN Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Review Summit in September, immediate action on this legislation will send an important message to the international community about the type of political commitment that is needed this year to help achieve the MDGs.

We also strongly welcome the Conservative Party’s Manifesto pledge to protect the existing 2010-11 aid spending plans for the June Emergency Budget; and look forward to working with you on the Spending Review as the Government plans its annual aid spending towards delivering 0.7 per cent of GNI as aid by 2013.

Thanks for your ongoing support on aid and development at this critical time.

Gideon Rabinowitz, Coordinator, UK Aid Network

On behalf of the UKAN Steering Group – ActionAid UK, Bond, CAFOD, Care International UK, ONE, One World Action, Oxfam GB, Tearfund, Wateraid and World Vision UK

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