Great finish to our campaignin’ year!

Dear Friends of NE-CAP: See below for THREE items of good news!

Friday 5th December: Aid Target Bill passes in House of Commons

JDC’s on the verge of securing $100 million towards the fight against Ebola.

3) ‘HATS OFF’ FOR THE UNITED NATIONS! (And Newcastle University’s Senate)
The General Assembly has voted (by 124 to 11! ) for a proper, fair and
transparent system to deal with unpayable debts.



Note from David Golding:

Doubtless many North East MPs backed this Bill, including Guy Opperman,
Conservative MP for Hexham (and one of NE-CAP’s Patrons). Alan Campbell MP, as Deputy Chief Whip of his party, encouraged many in his party to attend
the Commons on Friday, a day when they would normally be back in their
constituencies – we not only had to win the vote, we had to get at least 100
MPs to be present. Now it goes to the House of Lords and on to the Queen to
be signed into law.

Michael Moore makes some good points in his press release – see below.

A press release from Michael Moore:

Lib Dem plans to make it a legal requirement to spend 0.7% of gross national
income on international aid are one step closer to being realised. Today
Michael Moore’s International Aid Bill, which enshrines in law Britain’s
commitment to UN aid targets, passed in the House of Commons. Britain was
the first country in the G7 to meet the commitment and the Bill has been
backed by the heads of top UK international development charities.

It passed its third reading despite attempts by some Tory backbenchers to
use parliamentary tricks to block it.

During the debate on third reading, Liberal Democrat Michael Moore said:

“This Bill matters because UK aid saves and transforms lives. It provides
people with their most basic needs, builds capacity and contributes to vital
economic development. It also honours the commitments the three main UK
political made in their 2010 manifestos. Through this Bill we will give
predictability to our partners and aid recipients and we will show
leadership around the world and encourage other countries to join us.

“Passing this Bill will move the debate on to how we spend aid rather than
how much we spend and it will ensure proper scrutiny of our aid spend.

“I wish to thank all supporters of the Bill including MPs from all parties,
campaign groups, NGOs and colleagues across the House and I am proud that
today we are taking this step.”



JDC is on the verge of securing $100 million towards the fight against
Ebola. It will come from an emergency fund set up by the IMF as a result of
our campaigning after the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, and will be used to
cancel some of the debts of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. It would take
JDC’s total budget 250 years to amount to that!


3) ‘HATS OFF’ FOR THE UNITED NATIONS! [And for Newcastle University’s
Senate. 🙂 ]

In September, the UN’s General Assembly voted (by 124 to 11! ) to work
towards the establishment of a proper, legal, fair and transparent system to
deal with unpayable debts. [Disgracefully, the UK voted against – we have
work to do there.] This is the fundamental, ‘structural reform’ for which
JDC has been calling since the campaign’s launch in 1996! Crucially this
needs to be done under the auspices of, for example, the United Nations, not
a lender such as the IMF which is inherently biased because it’s a creditor

Newcastle University’s Senate, its highest academic authority, passed a
motion in favour of just a process as far back as 2001! The motion stated
that, “Senate endorses the call by Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the
United Nations, for a new, fair and transparent procedure involving ‘a debt
arbitration process to balance the interests of creditors and sovereign
debtors, and introduce greater discipline into their relations’ “.


So a great finish to our campaigning year!

On behalf of the Officers and Committee of NE-CAP, I send you and yours our
best wishes for a Happy Christmas. We hope you will continue to partner us
in this good work!


Dr David Golding CBE

Development Coordinator

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