desk globe on table
Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

Internationalism is a bedrock of the co-operative movement.

From helping to tackle global poverty to supporting fair trade in developing countries, we have a proud history of standing up for international development right across the world.

We know our values and principles don’t stop at our borders. That’s why last week saw a great step forward for the focus and integrity of overseas international development as a country.

It was announced that the next Labour Government would reverse the Government’s decision to merge together both the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with the Department for International Development.

The past year has seen the UK take huge steps backwards from the global stage in terms of its contribution to aid efforts. And like the Co-op Party’s Parliamentary Group Chair and Shadow International Development Secretary Preet Kaur Gill MP said:

“We’ve all seen what the decision to axe the world renowned Department for International Development has had, not just on Britain’s reputation as a global leader in this field but in the lives of thousands of people … Worse still has been the lack of transparency, accountability and the account trickery that we have seen under this Conservative government since the merger, it has been costly and unfortunately hasn’t always given value to taxpayers money in the way that DFID did.”

It’s never been more urgent and vital to campaign against this merger whilst also calling for the reinstatement of 0.7% of GDP funding. That’s why it’s no surprise then that this announcement has been praised by many including NGOs and international organisations.

As a Party, we’ve long fought against the merger as well as campaigning for the reinstatement of the crucial 0.7% of GDP budget commitment scrapped last year by the UK Government. This announcement from the Labour Party is a vital step forward in our campaign.

This is a crucial step in the right direction. Recently we’ve asked our members to take part in our annual member-led policy process which has been looking at the future of the Co-op Party’s international development policy. Through this, Party members and local party branches have been submitting their ideas as well as discussing in their local areas issues such as global health inequality, tackling global poverty and climate change responses – forming the basis one of this year’s policy debates at our Annual Conference in Leeds this October.

We mustn’t stop now. This news is a great start but we must keep campaigning together. Only then can we have a society where power and wealth are shared.