Select Committee on International Development Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum submitted by Save the Children UK

  I am very pleased to have the opportunity to comment on the White Paper and I enclose Save the Children's detailed submission to the International Development Committee.

  We welcome the White Paper and its overall direction, in particular: how globalisation can be managed to benefit the poor; the focus on aid co-ordination; getting the international system to work more effectively; and untying aid. We are pleased to see the stance taken on specific issues such as child labour and breaking the cycle of child poverty. We would, however, have liked to see a greater focus on children, building on the 1997 White Paper which explicitly acknowledged child rights and a commitment to `children's protection and participation alongside the provision of effective and sustainable services'.

  Whilst there is much to welcome in the Paper we remain concerned that there are a number of potentially harmful consequences of globalisation which the paper either does not fully tackle or where there is a lack of detail regarding delivery. Without clarity on this we remain concerned about the potential for globalisation to deepen child poverty rather than alleviate it.

  Our main concerns relate to:

Globalisation and the Poorest

  Despite the positive aspects of the Paper we are concerned at the lack of detailed discussion on the types of important negative impacts of globalisation on some groups and thus policies to ensure that they benefit. In particular no strategies are outlined to ensure that policies are pro-child, or processes identified to assess the impact of polices on children.

  We are also concerned that whilst the paper deals with macroeconomic prerequisites for national growth, there is inadequate attention given to inequalities within and between states and the social and economic strategies required to redress inequalities, which do not neglect `poor performers'.


Social and Economic Policy coherence

  We remain concerned at the continuing impact of market reform on poor children's access to key basic services such as health and education. We would have liked to see more detail on concrete strategies for ensuring that children will not be denied access on the basis of inability to pay. We are disappointed that the paper goes no further than the current HIPC initiative as a means to enable poor countries to increase their ability to fund public spending on the provision of quality and affordable basic services. The Paper also provides an opportunity to address the contentious issue of public-private partnership in the provision of health care. This is an increasingly urgent issue which the Paper does not adequately address.


International financial institutions:

Corporate Responsibility:

  We remain concerned that if concrete steps are not taken quickly to enable poor countries to take advantage of trade globalisation, they will be excluded in the long term. In our view the existing proposals, as outlined in the paper, do not go far enough.

  We welcome the call to ensure a poverty focus in the IMF. However, we would like to have seen more on how this will be achieved and how DFID will encourage modification of adjustment processes to take account of their impact on the poor.

  There is much to welcome in the Paper on the promotion of global corporate responsibility. However, we remain concerned that the Paper does not fully address issues of global governance in relation to economic and corporate governance and human rights arenas to ensure that any adverse social impacts of economic policies are mitigated and that civil, political and economic rights are upheld.

Mike Aaronson

Save the Children UK

January 2001

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