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Lord Judd had given notice of his intention to move Amendment No. 2:

The noble Lord said: I should like to add a word of appreciation to the Minister for her comments in reply to the helpful debate that we have had. I am sure that the words that will be recorded in Hansard will help in the future interpretation of government intentions.

However, I want to emphasise two points. First, as the noble Lord, Lord Joffe, said, a great deal in this matter concerns our good faith towards the present Secretary of State. There is still much anxiety about how a large part of this legislation could be used or interpreted by a successor to that post.

Secondly, I would argue that overseas international development requires inspired leadership. I also argue that we have just emerged from a general election which shows that a massive crisis is developing in our democracy based on the gap between the people and the politicians. There are many reasons for that; it is a highly complex issue. But I believe that it is partly because the body politic is becoming totally preoccupied with management as an end in itself. It is no longer spelling out clearly the goals and aspirations for which we should be aiming and against which we should measure the effectiveness of our management.

In that context, I ask my noble friend to consider seriously some of the points that have been raised in this debate. Perhaps on Report he will examine not whether there is a way of moving away from the disciplines to which my noble friend Lord Desai drew attention--I am sorry that he has had to return to a seminar at LSE; I should have liked to refer to him in his presence--but whether it would be possible for the Government to relate those disciplines to an aspiration against which progress can be measured and which is expressed on the face of the Bill.

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I am still slightly worried about the notion of "implied only" in terms of Amendment No. 3. That is a new notion. The phrase "implied only" appears to be rather tough and I believe that it should be explicit rather than implied.

Baroness Carnegy of Lour: Perhaps I may ask the noble Lord--

The Deputy Chairman of Committees (Lord Ampthill): Order! Having spoken to Amendment No. 2, the noble Lord--

Lord Judd: At this stage, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

The Deputy Chairman of Committees: I cannot allow the noble Lord to withdraw the amendment because, as he has spoken to it at some length, it is necessary for it to be moved.

Baroness Carnegy of Lour: I was intending only to ask the noble Lord whether he was moving the amendment because, otherwise, he was entirely out of order.

The Deputy Chairman of Committees: The noble Lord has now given the Committee an opportunity to reply to his speech. Does he wish to move the amendment?

Lord Judd: I shall not move the amendment.

[Amendment No. 2 not moved.]

[Amendments Nos. 3 and 4 not moved.]

Baroness Wilkins had given notice of her intention to move Amendment No. 5:

    Page 1, line 12, after "welfare" insert "and securing the human rights".

The noble Baroness said: I am grateful to the Minister for her clear response to the amendment. I thank noble Lords for their support. I shall not move the amendment.

[Amendment No. 5 not moved.]

Baroness Rawlings moved Amendment No. 6:

    Page 1, line 12, at end insert ", or

( ) promoting good governance in one or more such countries".

The noble Baroness said: Amendment No. 6 goes to the heart of the Bill. In speaking to it, I shall speak also to Amendment No. 7 but I should like to take Amendment No. 8 separately.

As mentioned by the noble Baroness, Lady Andrews, Amendment No. 6 seeks to stress the importance of good governance in developing countries as a key to poverty reduction. It would allow the Secretary of State to provide assistance to projects or programmes which focus on good governance, or to seek to lay the foundations for good governance where the programmes could not be described as contributing to a reduction in poverty.

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Encouraging good governance is an indispensable and crucial part of British aid programmes. A number of agencies have stressed the major impact that good governance has on poverty reduction. The UN Development Programme report stated:

    "There is a missing link between anti-poverty efforts and poverty reduction governance. Not only does that highlight governance as the missing link in the development chain; it also shows that anti-poverty efforts are useless without responsible and effective governance".

The UNDP poverty report 2000 executive summary states that:

    "For many countries it is in improving governance that external assistance is needed".

That is why good governance needs to be at the very heart of the Government's aid and development policy. The World Bank development report 2000, Reforming Public Institution and Strengthening Government, states on page 11:

    "Poorly functioning public sector institutions and weak governance are major constraints to growth and extra development in many developing countries".

The world development report sets out the importance of good governance for poverty reduction. The World Bank has said that it,

    "needs to focus even more than it has done in the past on helping governments develop the process and incentives to design and implement good policies themselves. Only through such institution building will countries achieve the ultimate goal of poverty reduction".

That is found on page 12 of Reforming Public Institution and Strengthening Government.

In their 1997 White Paper, Eliminating World Poverty, the Government said that some countries will make more rapid progress towards international poverty targets than will others. The paper states that the most likely to succeed will have effective government, enlightened legislation, prudent budgeting and efficient administration.

The Secretary of State has also said that:

    "World Bank research shows that if aid is focused where the poor are and where the national Governments are committed to reform, the effectiveness of the US $50 billion or so in the international development system is increased by 50 per cent".--[Official Report, Commons, 6/3/02; col. 159.]

If the Government truly believe that good governance is key to the battle against poverty, they should say so in the Bill. If those countries make the most rapid progress towards poverty elimination, surely government resources should be ploughed into good governance. That focus should be reflected in the Bill by stressing the importance of good governance.

The Government said on page 23 of their White Paper on globalisation that:

    "Effective governments ... are ... essential if developing countries are to reap the benefits of globalisation and to make that process work for poor people".

If that is what the Government truly believe, they should ensure that references to good governance appear in the Bill. I beg to move.

Baroness Whitaker: I have some difficulties with Amendment No. 6 while being very much in favour of

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good governance and very much in agreement with the account by the noble Baroness, Lady Rawlings, of its value. The amendment proposes good governance as an alternative purpose; that is, it could be an objective of development assistance even if welfare were not improved or sustainable development not furthered. That is one difficulty.

Moreover, good governance is implicit in the Bill. It is an element of poverty reduction. Surely we do not want to rule out the possibility of working with governments who are making good progress with governance but have not yet reached the acme. I do not think we can decide what good governance is for all countries for all time. We might not get it right.

In summary, the core purpose of the Bill, I think, should remain undiluted. Poverty reduction, sustainable development and improved welfare cannot in fact be achieved without effective governance. I think it would work better if we left it at that.

4.30 p.m.

The Earl of Sandwich: It was heartening to hear the authoritative voice of the Conservative Party on the theme of good governance, especially in a week that is particularly difficult for that party. I was most encouraged by that. Good governance unites both political parties, so the proposal should not be contentious. I have already spoken on the relevance of good governance to civil society and I do not want to repeat my belief that we should refer to civil society or, if not to that, to something involving the wider philosophy of aid that we have been discussing.

I thank the Minister for her earlier rather technical answer, which was a little disappointing. I hope that we can return to this matter in Committee.

Lord Swinfen: I entirely agree with the noble Baroness, Lady Whitaker, that we in this part of the world cannot lay down for other parts of the world what good governance is. Different societies have different mores, rules and ways of operating.

Without good governance in a country there is much less chance of that nation's businessmen starting or maintaining businesses that could provide an income for people and assist in the reduction of poverty. That would also mean that far fewer businessmen from other parts of the world would be willing to invest money in that country to expand or start businesses, which, again, would reduce opportunities for work. In the developing world, work helps to reduce poverty. We have our own ideas on work--we object to children working--but in some parts of the world they are the only people who can get work and provide an income for the family. If they do not work, the family will starve. Good governance is important.

If the Minister is not willing to agree to the amendment or a similar provision, will she tell the Committee which legislation allows the United Kingdom to help to provide and advise on good governance in a developing nation?

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