Condition for exercise of power to increase limit: Sustainable Development Goals

Part of Commonwealth Development Corporation Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:30 pm on 6 December 2016.

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Photo of Patrick Grady Patrick Grady Shadow SNP Spokesperson (International Development) 3:30, 6 December 2016

I have already explained why reporting requirements are important and we heard the Minister’s response. The new clause asks for a report on how increasing the limit on Government assistance would help to achieve the sustainable development goals. It is worth putting on record why that is important. The sustainable development goals ought to be the overriding framework that explains in more detail what poverty reduction and international development look like in practice in the 21st century.

As I did on Second Reading, I pay tribute to the work of the previous Prime Minister in leading the process that drafted and achieved the agreement of the global sustainable development goals by every country at the United Nations. The emphasis now has to be on meeting those goals.

I received correspondence from the Secretary of State in response to my contribution on Second Reading and she emphasised the CDC is working towards some of the specific SDG goals: number 8 on employment, number 5 on gender empowerment, number 7 on energy access and number 13 on climate change. But the SDG framework is holistic and it is important to show how progress is being made across the board, and that progress in one area is not being traded off against progress in another.

As with the previous requirement to report on poverty reduction that we had hoped for, this proposed new clause would help prevent any risk of backsliding. It would clearly frame the work of the CDC in a global context that would shape the global development agenda through to 2030. Even if the Minister is not willing to accept the new clause, here or on Report, it would still be useful to hear assurances on how the totality of the sustainable development goals are to be reflected in the CDC’s work through the additional funding of this Bill.