Global action by the UK government to help make a fair, safe and sustainable world
We live in an increasingly interdependent world. We have made great strides over the past decade in tackling global poverty and suffering.
But despite this progress, the developing world is facing its most profound challenge in a generation. The worst global downturn in 60 years threatens to put 90 million into poverty. Climate change and conflict threaten the lives of the poor.
The UK’s new White Paper on International Development, Building our Common Future (PDF - 4 MB), argues that rather than turn away when things get tough we need to redouble our efforts. Development is not only morally right, but it is in our shared interest.
So using new approaches, new partnerships, and working through the international system, we will help the poorest countries confront global challenges and build a fairer, safer and more sustainable world for all people.
Our common challenge
Never before have people from so many countries been connected in so many ways. We depend on one another. Our futures are tied together.
Our world faces the most profound challenges in a generation.
- 1.4 billion people live in poverty and the global downturn means many are at risk of staying poor.
- Too many people are trapped in poverty and endangered by war and instability.
- Climate change, mostly caused by developed countries like the UK, threatens the lives of poor people and ourselves.
Problems faced by poor countries affect all of us, including the UK:
- Prosperity. Britain's fastest growing export markets are in poor countries. The economic downturn, weak financial regulation and unfair trade affect us all.
- Security. Poor government and social exclusion can be a source of conflict, and threaten peace and security around the world.
- Climate. Climate change will force many people to leave their homes. The UK summer floods in 2007 cost the country around £3 billion
What we promise to do
We make the following pledges to the world’s poorest and the British public.
- Maintain our commitment to people in poverty
- Work to make sure every pound of UK aid is spent well
- Work for sustained, fair and green growth
- Help make people safe and secure
- Increase our investment in international organisations and continue to lead reforms with real impact
- Commit to helping vulnerable countries adapt to climate change and develop in a low carbon way
- Reinforce our partnerships with charities, faith groups, trade unions, businesses and others
- Meet our aid target of 0.7% of UK income by 2013
Our common future
Development is good for all of us
In a world that is so interdependent, working to end poverty is the best investment we can make in our common future.
Our vision is a fair, safe and sustainable world for all people.
Where we share problems, we must share solutions.
Our shared opportunity
Our common prosperity depends on growth, but it has to be shared and sustainable.
Our common security depends on peaceful countries with effective governments emerging around the world.
Our common climate needs global action to protect our world now and for future generations.
What can you do?
If everyone does their bit, we can achieve the goal of ending global poverty.
The film below, shown at the DFID conference "Eliminating World Poverty: Building Our Common Future", highlights the severity of the economic downturn as well as the long term threats of conflict; climate change and food insecurity.
Read White Paper 2009
Building Our Common Future