THE Co-operative Party put politics aside for a day and joined forces with other political parties in support of World Poverty Day on 24th April.
The Make Poverty History campaign called on all political parties to say what they would do to help eradicate world poverty if elected.
Considering the historical role played by the Co-operative Movement in the fight against global poverty National Secretary, Peter Hunt, said: `This is an area where the Co-operative Party has historic legitimacy and credibility, and we should use this opportunity to raise awareness on that.`
Mr Hunt said the Co-operative Party will campaign within the international Co-operative Movement to call for foreign governments to support the International Finance Facility and create more and better aid.
The IFF is currently the most advanced proposal that could help raise the extra $50bn required to meet the MDG in 2015.
Mr Hunt added: `We will encourage the implementation of a Tax on Currency Transaction (Tobin Tax) as a medium and long term means to raise more funding for international development. We will call Labour Party (if elected) to reach the target of 0.7% of GNI by 2010.`
Another demand from the Make Poverty History campaign is to 'Drop the Debt'. The UK has already shown political leadership in unilaterally cancelling 100 per cent of the debt owed directly to it by many of the world's poorest countries, and agreeing to cover its share of the debts they owe to the World Bank and African Development Bank.
The Co-operative Party supports the UK Government proposal that IMF gold reserves should be used to fund the cancellation of IMF debt and will encourage our international partners to call for their Governments to support such initiative.
The Party will call for the UK Government to use its influence over the G8 Summit and the EU Presidency to ensure that debts of the poorest countries are cancelled in full.
Trade Justice is another demand from the campaign group against world poverty.
The Co-op Party said it will encourage the Government to stick to its word that Britain will not force trade liberalisation on developing countries through trade negotiations or aid conditions.
It also recommends that the Government goes another step further and fully address the issue of African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP) opening up their economies to an arbitrary timescale.
Mr Hunt told the News: `We welcome the public change of position of the UK Government on issues related to trade relationships between developed and developing countries.
`These changes having only just been announced, we will actively campaign within our Parliamentary Group and the wider Labour Parliamentary Group to ensure that the rhetoric is followed up by appropriate action.`
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