UN General Assembly September 2023

Lord Purvis of Tweed Excerpts
Wednesday 18th October 2023

(9 months, 1 week ago)

Lords Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Watch Debate Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Portrait Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con)
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

My noble friend is right to bring focus to that. One practical example is the current status of the UN Security Council, which was built on the pillars of the post-Second World War settlement. We have seen the Security Council not working effectively, particularly as one P5 member—namely, Russia—has interjected quite directly on its illegal war against Ukraine, a founding member of the United Nations. We need reform to reflect the global dynamic of the world today. There are many reforms. The rules-based system needs reform on how we interject when natural disasters hit different parts of the world, for example. These rules were made more than 40 years ago. They need reform to reflect the modern world we live in.

Lord Purvis of Tweed Portrait Lord Purvis of Tweed (LD)
- View Speech - Hansard - -

The main reason we are off track with the goal on poverty, as well as the others the Minister referred to, is that the richest nations on earth are not making the contributions they said they would, including the United Kingdom with its unlawful ODA cut. As the Independent Commission for Aid Impact highlighted in its recent report, the UK provided £3.3 billion for multilateral ODA in 2022, but £3.7 billion was spent within the United Kingdom on refugee costs. Will the Minister agree with me that official development assistance for the world’s poorest should be spent overseas and not here in the UK?

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Portrait Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con)
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

My Lords, I agree with the principle the noble Lord articulates, but he will be aware that it is within the ODA rules. The reduction we had to make was reflective of the challenges that the United Kingdom is facing, as all countries are. We remain one of the largest donors when it comes to ODA. It is also right that, as the United Kingdom has done with Ukraine and other conflicts around the world, we look to support those seeking protection here in the United Kingdom. It is within the rules to spend on that within that first 12-month period. He will know that my right honourable friend Andrew Mitchell, the Minister for Development, is very seized of the importance of ODA spend globally. That is why the White Paper referred to earlier will also define our future way on ODA spending and our priorities in the years to come.