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Development Agenda

Oral Answers to Questions — International Development – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 24th June 2009.

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Photo of Malcolm Bruce Malcolm Bruce Chair, International Development Committee 11:30 am, 24th June 2009

What progress has been made on implementing the development agenda from the G20 London communiqué.

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Photo of Douglas Alexander Douglas Alexander The Secretary of State for International Development

The London summit achieved important development outcomes, including a commitment to provide additional funds—mainly through the international financial institutions—for many of the poorest countries. We are working closely with partners to ensure that summit agreements are now fully implemented.

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Photo of Malcolm Bruce Malcolm Bruce Chair, International Development Committee

In welcoming you to the Chair, Mr. Speaker, may I say, as Chairman of the International Development Committee, that while the House has gained a great deal, I am afraid that our Committee has lost a great deal? We very much appreciate your contribution.

I thank the Secretary of State for his answer, but does he not acknowledge that the economic downturn and climate change have mostly been caused by the G20, yet the impact is felt mostly by poor and developing countries? What steps will he take to ensure that the Copenhagen summit delivers for the poor, that there is a Doha development round, and that the pledges made at Gleneagles will be not only maintained but supplemented?

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Photo of Douglas Alexander Douglas Alexander The Secretary of State for International Development

As befits the Chair of the International Development Committee, the right hon. Gentleman asked three questions rather than one. On trade, I assure him that we are continuing to work with our colleagues in the European Union in endeavouring to reach the conclusion to the Doha development round that eluded us last year. As we look ahead to the G8 meeting in L'Aquila and other international gatherings, we will continue to press the countries that made agreements at Gleneagles to meet the commitments that were made back in 2005.

In relation to climate change, I assure the House that we recognise the importance of Europe's assuming a leadership role, as it did at the time of the Kyoto agreement. We also recognise, in the context of common but differentiated responsibilities, that many of the countries that have been worst affected by climate change bear the least responsibility for generating the emissions that have caused it.

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