Debate on the Address — [Ist Day]

Part of Outlawries Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:48 pm on 8th May 2013.

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Photo of Andrew Mitchell Andrew Mitchell Conservative, Sutton Coldfield 5:48 pm, 8th May 2013

The right hon. Gentleman makes an important point, which is relevant to those who try to fill the pot when a humanitarian crisis occurs and support from Governments and taxpayers is essential. The answer is that we do it best by publishing whether people have stood by their promises. Sunlight is always the best disinfectant, and we need to be transparent and open so that we can show people whether their Governments stand by the commitments they have made.

Thirdly, we need much greater leadership by the United States. Nothing will happen to address this issue without a far greater commitment from the US. There are signs that the new Secretary of State is addressing this point, but the US’s allies need to accept that progress will be made only if we are able to persuade the US to provide the leadership that only it can. That is not just about the US, but the United Nations. The fact that the permanent five do not agree on Syria is not a barrier to the UN continuing to strive in every way and stretching every sinew to try to make progress in this desperate situation, which will pollute a far wider area than just Syria if it continues to develop as it is.