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Clare Short: I think that the hon. Lady was a member of the Select Committee when that recommendation was made. Since the conflict in Africa cross-departmental review was set up, which I chair, I am now a full member of that Committee. That is not so important for me, because I used to attend; it is more important that the Department is recognised.
Dr. Tonge: That is excellent news. However, I note that the Secretary of State still does not sign the annual report on strategic arms exports, which is a significant factor in poverty in the developing world.
The Department for International Development supports ethical trading and ethical foreign policy, but I sometimes wonder whether the Department of Trade and Industry does. We certainly worry about whether the Foreign Office does any longer. There was confusion a few weeks ago about arms to Morocco. The Foreign
Incidentally, I think that development will be set back hugely if the Government support the United States on national missile defence. The world could not sustain another arms race; it would be anti-development.
The WTO is, in theory, one of the most democratic global institutions, and it must be made to work. However, it is in need of reform. A significant co-ordinated effort is needed to ensure that developing countries establish the administrative capacity to be able to participate in WTO proceedings. I understand that 38 of the world's poorest countries are unable to send representatives to the 50 or so meetings held in Geneva. If we are to encourage good governance and good world trade, it is important that they should be encouraged to attend those meetings and given the expertise that they require. WTO dispute settlement proceedings must be made more transparent and must be resolved more quickly. I think that the hon. Member for Hertford and Stortford would agree with that.
That surely means that the WTO, the World Bank and the IMF must somehow be brought under the umbrella of the United Nations. There must be world regulation of those things. It can work; it has already happened--for instance, global certification for conflict diamonds is under discussion and is being agreed by 159 countries. That is surely proof that such worldwide systems are possible. We must work towards them.
I shall not say much about HIV/AIDS--as hon. Members know, in my view, that is probably the biggest problem facing the world at present. If we do not do more about HIV/AIDS, it will stop development--it will engulf the world. It is not a problem only for developing countries, but for all of us.
As I said in a debate on HIV/AIDS held at the beginning of this week, among the earliest examples of globalisation were the Christian and Catholic Churches. If only the Vatican would promote the use of condoms in developing countries--really go for it, make it public and produce a big statement on the subject--that would help so much in what is really the only defence of the developing world against HIV/AIDS at present. I hasten to add that that would be a pro-life measure, not anti-life. I hope that the Special Assembly of the United Nations in June will command the attention of the world's media. It must do so, because as I said, this is a global emergency.
In conclusion, we need global monitoring and global legislation to tackle globalisation so that it will be a force for good for all the people in the world. Without concerted international and domestic cross-departmental action, without moving from declaration to implementation and tackling those problems, the 2015 development targets and the noble aims of DFID will be irrelevant.
The globalisation White Paper just about gets it right: as my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development says--rather than in the words attributed to her--she is not pro-globalisation, but pro managed globalisation that serves the needs of the poorest people in the world. We have resources that must be used for the poor.
My right hon. Friend and I agree, above all, that that means getting our ideas right. We have to conceptualise the problems in the right way. I have four brief examples of that. The first relates to the way in which we think about HIV/AIDS. A recent judgment in the Pretoria high court was greeted with triumph; it was seen as a wonderful achievement--as indeed it was. However, in a sense, that triumph was one for the drug companies, because it means that we think about HIV/AIDS almost exclusively in terms of finding drugs for it. That is wrong.
No matter how cheap those drugs are in South Africa, only a tiny number of people will benefit from them. What matters is that we stop AIDS and prevent people from catching it--not that we manage death better, but that we keep people alive by stopping them catching that appalling disease.
When I looked into the subject, my immediate thought was that the drugs companies would make more money from managing death than from saving life through anti-retrovirals. There would be less money to be made from a vaccine and even less from microbicides. The World Bank estimates that $2 billion is being spent annually, world wide, on treatment research, for example, on anti-retrovirals--primarily by the private sector. It is estimated that the total research on a vaccine was not $2 billion, but $300 million, and private research accounted for less than half that sum. Public money is being spent on a vaccine, but only a little bit of private money. In 1999, the sum spent on microbicides to protect women was about $35 million, of which $3 million came from the private sector.
We have a very clear picture and if those figures are correct, the private sector spends $7 or $8 on managing the disease for every $1 it invests in research on finding a cure or preventing it. Virtually nothing is spent on microbicides to protect women who are reliant on men. That is not a sensible policy. The challenge for us is to find out how to structure the fight against AIDS--where to spend the money and on which basic services--but we must somehow get the research right.
Another way to structure ideas is in terms of manpower and the mobility of labour. As the hon. Member for Hertford and Stortford (Mr. Wells) has suggested, we tend to think of ourselves as a given in such matters. We use the language of aid, but I think that we should ban the word "aid"; it is damaging because it implies that we are the good guys. I suspect that an audit of whether we gain
We must consider another inhibitor of development. When we studied corruption, I started by thinking that it was about good governance in the developing world and that the developing countries were exploiting the poor with their appalling practices. They are, but by the end of that piece of work, I became convinced that the problem lies here.
Let me cite some unfair figures. According to last year's annual report, we put about £14.9 million of bilateral aid into Nigeria. However, the Nigerian Government are trying to trace £4 billion that the Abacha regime took out of Nigeria and invested in the western world. So for every £1 that we put into Nigeria, one Nigerian family took out £200 and invested it in the west, and it is not the only family in Nigeria and that happens not just in Nigeria.
Let us consider what has happened in Russia. We used to have know-how funds for Russia--perhaps we still have them--but I think that those funds should come this way because enormous rackets have been involved in placing Russian money in this and other countries. If we are to promote development, we must be a bit sharper than the Home Office, the Financial Services Authority and the Treasury in closing down money laundering in this country and elsewhere. That would be in our own good and in everyone else's.
Next, I turn to the way in which we consider trade. I am amazed when people demonstrate against the World Trade Organisation. It is amazing that one of the few agencies for bringing trade under control should become a bogey figure. We have to consider multinationals such as Cargill. People in this Chamber have never heard of it, yet it is the world's largest agricultural company and private firm. It has huge control over every stage of food production: from the supply of seeds, fertilisers, and pesticides right through the food chain to shipping and transportation. Its interest is not in ending poverty. When it offers miracle seeds to the developing world, it is interested in making profits and dominating the market. If, as a consequence of that, it reduces poverty, that is a useful by-product. However, its by-product is more likely to be depleted land, which is likely to be dependent on Cargill fertilisers and pesticides, the elimination of small, self-sufficient farmers and the destruction of the biodiversity of the area. That must be stopped on behalf of the poorer people of the world. We should work with the poorer countries in the WTO to bring democratic control to the world's marketplaces, not campaign on the streets against one of the only mechanisms that we have for controlling multinationals.
I have tried in my speech to say how futile it is to protest against globalisation. People are right to say that this is an area of major concern. I have tried briefly to look at four areas: AIDS, the mobility of labour, money laundering and trade. It is important for the Secretary of State and all of us who remain here to get our questions right about how we manage globalisation. If we accept the questions as they are presented to us, we are in danger of intensifying rather than curing poverty.
The Secretary of State is right to point out the impact that her globalisation White Paper is having throughout the world. DFID has been useful in getting a focus in this place for crucial ideas on subjects such as AIDS, corruption and trade. We have not had such a focus here before. The existence of DFID has enabled us to do that.