Think Tanks

Foreign Affairs

2 Jan 2013 07:04:35

Cut aid says new Civitas paper and put money into defence and BBC World Service budgets

By Tim Montgomerie
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A new paper published by the Civitas think tank recommends a sharp change of direction in UK aid policy.

The paper written by Jonathan Foreman - a freelance journalist - makes the following five key recommendations:

  1. One-third of Britain's aid budget should be diverted over the next few years from development spending and go to expand Britain's defence capabilities and also the reach of the BBC's World Service.
    • By choosing not to hit the 0.7% target Mr Foreman argues £3bn could be added to the MoD's budget and be used to develop dual use road, air and sea equipment that could both serve military and emergency humanitarian purposes.
    • Foreman also says that part of the money should be used to fund all of the BBC World Service's foreign language services (at a cost of about £250m). The House of Commons' Foreign Affairs Select Committee has made similar recommendations in the past.
  2. A Royal Commission on aid that would examine the purpose and effectiveness of Britain's development budget.
  3. Reverse Tony Blair's 1997 decision to establish the Department for International Development and re-integrate DfID into the Foreign Office.
  4. Recruitment of forensic investigators from the Serious Fraud Office to investigate abuses of British aid by foreign governments.
  5. Cut Britain's contributions to wasteful multilateral organisations such as the EU where aid monies do not go to the world's poorest people but often to nations of political importance to France and Germany.

Continue reading "Cut aid says new Civitas paper and put money into defence and BBC World Service budgets" »

8 Jun 2012 07:38:31

The TaxPayers' Alliance calls on the Government to oppose new loans to Argentina

By Matthew Barrett
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The TaxPayers' Alliance is launching a new campaign today calling for the Government to oppose further World Bank loans to Argentina. The campaign includes an e-petition and new research (pdf) looking at the scale of the funding - the TPA's findings show that taxpayers' money is supporting loans to Argentina worth over £225 million, despite Argentina advocating a boycott of British goods, and its hostile and belligerent attitude towards Britain's territory in the Falkland Islands. The TPA also argues that Argentina has no pressing humanitarian need for aid.

The TPA is also releasing the video below to highlight the petition:

TPA research shows that outstanding loans from World Bank institutions to Argentina were worth $16.2 billion in March this year. Based on Britain's shareholdings in the two responsible institutions, British taxpayers are responsible for more than £225 million in loans to Argentina. The TPA says that we would not be isolated by voting against new World Bank loans to Argentina - the Obama administration already has a policy of voting against new loans, because of Argentina’s treatment of existing creditors. British representatives could be instructed to support the American policy.

Continue reading "The TaxPayers' Alliance calls on the Government to oppose new loans to Argentina" »

29 Mar 2010 06:06:15

Tory government urged to develop strong policies against genocide and war crimes

The Conservative Human Rights Commission - independent of the party but connected - has just published a report entitled Those Who Bear The Greatest Responsibility. Chaired by Sir Desmond de Silva QC, former Chief Prosecutor at the UN-backed tribunal in Sierra Leone, the report focused on the Responsibility to Protect principle.

It recommends:

  • The appointment of a Human Rights Minister, to oversee human rights work within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office;
  • The appointment of a number of ambassadors with specific responsibility for human rights themes.
  • An annual debate on international human rights should be held on the floor of the House of Commons.

Tony Baldry MP, Chairman of the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, comments:

“We live in an age when grave crimes are committed by tyrants around the world, and a culture of impunity prevails in many places. Such impunity cannot be allowed to continue unchallenged, for it is a threat to peace and stability. This report is an important contribution towards informing and shaping a Conservative government’s approach to these global challenges, and to promoting a human rights-based foreign policy.”

Full PDF of the report.

2 Nov 2009 13:35:00

The dangers of revolutionary Islamist party Hizb Ut-Tahrir


"Hizb Ut-Tahrir - Ideology and Strategy" (PDF)

Authors: Houriya Ahmed and Hannah Stuart

Publication date: November 2009

A report researching the Islamic extremist party Hizb Ut-Tahrir who, according to the report's authors, seek to establish an expansionist super-state in Muslim-majority countries and seek to unify Muslims worldwide into one political bloc.

31 Oct 2009 15:34:00

Adam Holloway MP calls for new thinking on Afghanistan


"In Blood Stepp'd in Too Far - Towards a Realistic Policy for Afghanistan" (PDF)

Author: Adam Holloway MP

Publication date: 31 October 2009

The author argues that the NATO presence in Afghanistan is not supported by a majority of Afghans and is making attacks on the UK by Al Qaeda more likely not less. The paper calls for a smaller NATO force committed to supporting tribal structures, forging a spirit of reconciliation and addressing the regional tensions between India and Pakistan.

30 Sep 2009 13:52:00

The undemocratic European Union

Bruges Group

"Our Fight for Democracy - The United Kingdom and the European Union" (PDF)

Author: John Strafford

Publication date: September 2009

The author argues that the EU is profoundly undemocratic with the European Parliament being little more than a sham and the real power resting in the hands of unelected and unaccountable political elites. The paper notes that as an estimated 65% of UK legislation emanates from Brussels it is time the British people had their say on our continued membership of the EU.

30 Sep 2009 00:44:00

The EU is running the UK's foreign policy


"EU Diplomats"(PDF)

Author: Dr Lee Rotherham. Foreword by Sir Antony Acland.

Publication date: September 2009

The report details the burgeoning EU Diplomatic service which according to the author is allowing the EU to develop an identity on the world stage in its own right. The report states the EU has a budget of £3.4billion a year to be spent on its international affairs programme known as the External Relations programme. The report concludes that the UK taxpayer is paying for someone else to run our foreign policy and the British public is unaware of just how much money is being spent.

24 Sep 2009 12:37:00

A Transatlantic partnership to end global genocide

Henry Jackson

"A Guilt Beyond Crime - UK - US Genocide Prevention Policy"(PDF)

Author: Julia Pettengill

Publication date: 24 September 2009

The report states that despite the existence of the UN Convention on Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, the UN Security Council has failed to prioritise the prevention of genocide and has watched as five subsequent genocides have materialised. The author concludes that the UK and the US have a moral responsibility to put the issue of effective genocide prevention at the heart of their foreign policy agenda and that this process should begin by protecting the civilians of Darfur from the ongoing atrocities committed by the Sudanese Government. The report calls for a new treaty on ending genocide to be initiated by NATO or a similar body.

4 Sep 2009 14:30:00

The Irish Government's failure to dilute the Lisbon Treaty

Open Europe

"How the Irish Government lost out in negotiations on the Lisbon Treaty" (PDF)

Author: Open Europe

Publication date: 4 September 2009

The report details the failure of the Irish Government to dilute the Lisbon Treaty following the initial "No" vote. The report states that the Irish Government objected to some of the key elements of the Lisbon Treaty such as the appointment of a permanent EU President, the loss of a national veto in many important areas of policy and the creation of a European Public Prosecutor. Of a proposed 149 amendments from the Irish Government only 36 were accepted and since this report was published the Irish have voted to ratify the Lisbon Treaty.

4 Aug 2009 13:42:00

The rise of China

Henry Jackson

"The Rise of China" (PDF)

Author: Rosalba Junginger

Publication date: 4 August 2009

The report discusses the success of China's economy and contrasts it with the failure of the Chinese Government to enact significant political reforms and their poor human rights record. The report warns of an increasing anti-American sentiment among radical nationalists in China who are blaming the US for the global financial crisis and the potential for disorder to arise as a result.