The Greens’ policies on international development are the best of any of the main parties, according to analysis by the World Development Movement which put the Greens ahead of the Lib Dems, Labour and then the Tories. (1) This analysis comes ahead of World Poverty Day, which will be marked on Sunday 18th April. (2)

World Poverty Day events include the showing of ‘Dirty Oil’, a film about the exploitation of tar sands in Canada, a new film from the distributors behind The Age of Stupid & Burma VJ.The organisers of the event, Take One Action (3), are also delighted to be welcoming Cree Tribal elders to Edinburgh to speak about Britain’s climate impact on the first nations. Green candidate Clare Cooney will also speak at this event.

WDM’s analysis strongly criticises Labour and Conservatives for aid policies that divert mainstream aid money to climate finance and military spending respectively.

Greens would instead:

* commit a minimum of 1% of GDP in aid to developing countries, above the 0.7% minimum recommended by the UN

* drop the debts owed by the most indebted countries which cannot afford to repay them, and push other EU and G8 nations to do the same

* seek to ensure fairer trade rules both through World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations and by aiming to reform the WTO, and

* develop international trade based on the standards set out by the International Labour Organisation and integral to the Fair Trade movement, for example by supporting trade from co-operatives and mutuals

Clare Cooney, the Scottish Green Party’s candidate for Edinburgh South West, said:

“The UK has a key role to play in delivering a safer, more ethical and more just world, a role currently being neglected by this Government. A good start would be to clean up the investment activities of British banks, which are currently fuelling climate change, adding to the severe pressures faced by the world’s poor. Today is World Poverty Day, and my opponent at this election, Chancellor Alastair Darling, has left a legacy of missed opportunities on this key issue.

“Greens recognise that radical change can be achieved if there’s the will, even with seemingly intractable problems. The cynical attitude to economics that says we cannot interfere with markets to change things for the better is simply defeatist and frankly it will not do. That was the argument for slavery: it was wrong then and it is wrong now. If we want the world to be better, we can make it so, and organisations like the World Development Movement are helping to do just that.”