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    The UK Is A World Leader In Development - For Labour, That's A Source Of Pride

    On September 12, MPs will have the chance to enshrine the UK's commitment to international aid in law. Seventeen years ago there wasn't even a Department for International Development - It's been a remarkable journey.

    In 1997, the new Labour government established the Department for International Development

    DFID began with a mission to make global development a national priority and promote it to audiences in the UK and overseas, while fostering a new ‘aid relationship’ with governments of developing countries.

    In the autumn of 1997, DFID published its first proposals to focus on eliminating world poverty.

    Over the course of our time in government we more than trebled aid and helped lift more than 3 million a year out of poverty.

    Not just big numbers but big change – 40million people permanently lifted out of the sort of grinding poverty that holds back generations.

    Labour's Investment in Education helped to get some 40 million more children into school.

    In 2000 we led global negotiations to establish the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

    The MDGs have been described as the most successful international agreement in history. Their impact on the world's poorest has been immense.

    Since 1990, partly as a result of that agreement, poverty has halved, 90% now gain primary education (where crucially there is now equality between boys and girls), 17,000 fewer children die each day, Maternal mortality is down 45%, and 2.3billion have gained access to clean drinking water.

    In 2002 the Labour Government helped establish the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

    We also announced the UK’s biggest ever investment in fighting HIV and AIDS, making the UK the world’s second largest donor to the global fight against these diseases.

    In 2005 at Gleneagles, we led a successful international campaign to drop the debt for the poorest countries and secured agreement for an extra billion of aid for developing countries.

    Alongside the Make Poverty History campaign, and international leaders like Nelson Mandela, Labour's Tony Blair and Gordon Brown used the UK's hosting of the 2005 summit to bring about real change for developing countries held back by crushing debt to richer countries.

    In 2008 we established the Environmental Transformation Fund to help developing countries tackle climate change

    In office we put the UK on course to hit our historic commitment to give 0.7% of Gross National Income to Official Development Assistance.

    And in our 2010 manifesto we promised to enshrine that commitment in law.

    The commitment follows a global agreement dating back to 1970. The other parties followed Labour's lead, creating the first ever cross party consensus on development spending.

    ...But Ministers have refused to bring forward government legislation...

    In spite of a promise in the Coalition Agreement

    ...So Labour MP Mark Hendrick’s brought forward a Private Members Bill

    But without government support his Bill was defeated. But Labour kept the pressure on.

    Now Michael Moore has submitted a similar bill.

    On Friday September 12, MPs have a real chance to pass this Bill

    If you want your MP to back the Bill then write to them and tell them why

    (Although many Scots MPs of all Parties may be in Scotland as this vote takes place just a few days before the independence referendum - we need to get to at least 100 to turn up and support the Bill to give it a chance of becoming law)

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