Another also quite obvious development initiative proposed was to continue developing global or international development arena is brought up on page 48, paragraph 5.9 which states that the UK has and will continue to play a leading role in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The UK indeed has been the forefront on the successor(s) to the Millennium Development Goals, as seen in this UN High-level panel news release, this blog post by David Hallam and David Cameron’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly. It of course increases the UK’s political standing by being a leader in forming the SDGs, but it is the quality that counts.
This brings us to the the next paragraph, 5.10 which reads:
Our development programme helps to drive economic development and prosperity overseas, enabling a permanent route out of poverty while creating markets for future British business. Our assistance focuses on improving peace, security and governance; equality of opportunity for girls and women; access to basic services for the poorest; and building resilience to crises and responding to disasters when they occur. We promote the golden thread of conditions (own emphasis added) that drive prosperity all across the world: the rule of law, good governance and the growth of democracy.
The “golden thread” is a term that PM Cameron formed around 2012, whereby you only get real long-term development through aid if there is also a “golden thread of stable government, lack of corruption, human rights, the rule of law, transparent information.” In essence, only if you follow these strict rules, you will be able to improve your overall development. It sounds like a simple formula to follow but it also sounds like theWashington Consensus policies of the 1980s and early 1990s and the post-Washington Consensus policies of the 1990s such as the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPS). As my old Development Studies lecturer Ha-Joon Chang would say, the UK is a “bad Samaritan” and is “kicking away the ladder” (the route it took in (economic) development) for these developing countries. If the UK wishes to improve the global arena, it must diversify its “golden thread” and allow states with different local institutions to develop in their own time. (You can read more about Cameron’s “golden thread” in this
gGoogle thread, this House of Commons International Development Committee publication and Simon Maxwell’s articles .)
To Be Continued