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Africa

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:38 pm on 30th March 2009.

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Photo of Andrew Stunell Andrew Stunell Liberal Democrat, Hazel Grove 5:38 pm, 30th March 2009

Yes, I fear that the hon. Gentleman is right. I hope that, among other things, the United Kingdom will operate through the international community to bring some international control to the wholesale and retail of such arms.

Over the past decade, the doctrine of the right to protect has been increasingly acknowledged internationally, and I hope that the Government will work harder to get that doctrine codified and accepted, alongside the regional powers in Africa—I mentioned South Africa, but Nigeria is an important player. Perhaps, as was recently implied by the report of the Select Committee on International Development, we need to work with China, although such work will require a good deal of care and a framework for such an approach.

Africa is not a disaster, it is not a failure and it is not a lost cause, but it requires help and investment, good governance, healthy trade and well-targeted aid to provide for its many diverse communities and nations. I hope that the Government will play a strong, positive role in achieving that in the next decade.

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