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UK commits to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050

The UK’s outgoing Prime Minister, Theresa May, has announced that she will put in place a new legally binding agreement for the UK to produce net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This agreement makes the UK the first G7 country to legislate for net zero emissions. All emissions produced after 2050 in the UK would be offset by absorbing an equivalent amount from the atmosphere.

The UK will undertake a review within five years to assess whether other countries are taking similar action to ensure that UK industry is not facing unfair competition.

Web article – Sky News

United Kingdom

Boris Johnson leads the race for next UK prime minister

Boris Johnson MP, former foreign minister, is currently in the lead to be the next Conservative Party leader and prime minister of the UK.

Ten Conservative Party members of parliament (MPs) put their names into the race. Six have received sufficient qualifying votes, including the new secretary of state for international development, Rory Stewart. Conservative MPs will whittle down the remaining candidates over the coming weeks until they reach two, at which time Conservative Party members will hold a deciding vote.

According to Bond, the UK development NGO network, all the remaining candidates have committed (directly or indirectly) to maintaining the 0.7% UK development assistance target. Johnson, however, has been a strong proponent for merging the UK Department for International Development with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and for changing the current rules that govern what the UK can and cannot count as official development assistance. 

Web Article – The Telegraph

Editorial on international development implications - Bond

United Kingdom

Global Health Security Conference will be held in Sydney, June 18-20, 2019

Hosted by the University of Sydney and supported by the Australian Government, the 2019 Global Health Security conference is slated to cover a wide range of emerging health issues on June 18-20.

Side meetings will include the CEOs of product development partnerships including TB Alliance and Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), as well as the CEO of the Center for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), who will discuss research and development for health security.

Separate side events by the Burnet Institute and Global Citizen will both focus on tuberculosis issues in the region.

Conference website - GHS 2019

Friends of Europe hosts 2019 Africa Summit on EU-Africa efforts toward sustainable development

Friends of Europe hosted its 2019 Africa Summit on June 17, 2019 in Brussels on the eve of the European Development Days. The event centered on how the EU-Africa partnership should evolve to ensure resilient, inclusive and sustainable development.

Speakers included Stefano Manservisi, the European Commission Director-General for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO), various African social enterprise leaders, and representatives from the World Bank, foundations, and Germany’s development agency (GIZ). 

Africa Summit - Friends of Europe 

EU

EU’s Foreign Affairs Council adopts conclusions on EU Global Strategy emphasizing multilateralism

The EU’s Foreign Affairs Council discussed on June 17, 2019 the progress made on the EU Global Strategy, launched three years ago. The Council adopted conclusions strengthening rights and rules-based multilateralism and underlining the importance of multilateral solutions more generally in the EU’s international action to solve global challenges.

The Council committed to upholding international norms and agreements, extending multilateral governance to new global realities that require collective action, and working to reform multilateral organizations to make them fit for purpose. This will involve exercising global leadership on key issues such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 

Conclusions - Council of the European Union

EU

UK announces £170 million (US$218 million) in humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan

The UK government has announced that it will provide £170 million (US$218 million) of humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan over the next five years.

The package will provide urgently needed water, food and medical treatments, including polio vaccinations, for five million people in Afghanistan. Funding will be delivered through the UN, international NGOs, and Afghani NGOs.

Press release - UK Government

Canada updates guidelines to support international human rights defenders

Chrystia Freeland, Canada's minister of foreign affairs, has announced the launch of 'Voices at Risk: Canada’s Guidelines on Supporting Human Rights Defenders'. Informed by civil society organizations, these guidelines offer practical advice for Canadian diplomats working both domestically and internationally on how to support human rights defenders when they seek help. 

The 2019 update includes specific guidance for human rights defenders that face discrimination in various contexts. This includes women, LGBTQ individuals, Indigenous peoples, land or environmental defenders, persons with disabilities, youth, defenders of religious or ideological freedom, and journalists, whether in online or digital contexts. The guidance has also been updated to reflect Canada’s feminist foreign policy, acknowledging that human rights defenders may experience multiple and simultaneous forms of discrimination, harassment, and/or marginalization. 

News release- Global Affairs Canada 

Canada

Health professional meeting reemphasizes on UHC

The World Medical Association (WMA) and the Japan Medical Association (JMA) jointly adopted the Tokyo Declaration on Universal Health Coverage (UHC). The Tokyo Declaration reemphasizes Japan's commitment to the promotion of universal coverage and dramatically improved public health and medical standards.

WMA and JMA welcomed health and finance ministers to the meeting. They are expected to lobby again for UHC promotion during the upcoming G20 Osaka Summit.

News article - MIX Online (in Japanese)

News article - m3.com (in Japanese)

Global Japan Global health

UK Labour Party publishes strategy for civil society

The Labour Party, the main parliamentary opposition party in the UK, has set out its vision for civil society, should it win the next general election.  The strategy recognizes the importance of a strong civil society as a bedrock of democracy.

The strategy commits Labour to repealing the Lobbying Act and replacing it with a new Community Empowerment Charter which will set out the boundaries of charity campaigning and fundraising, based on the recommendations from the 2016 Hodgson Review on Third Party Campaigning. The strategy also commits Labour to provide resources for civil society, with the Party stating that it will match any lost EU structural and investment funds for civil society as a result of Brexit.

Civil Society Strategy - UK Labour Party

Web Article – Bond

Third-party campaigning practices - Independent review

United Kingdom

UK Charity Commission issues official warning to British Oxfam for past conduct, but notes recent progress

The UK Charity Commission, which registers and regulates charities in the UK, has published the findings of its inquiry into the handling by Oxfam Great Britain (Oxfam GB) of allegations of sexual exploitation and bullying in Haiti in 2010.

The inquiry found that Oxfam GB’s culture and procedures for dealing with safeguarding were below the organization's standards and that initial reporting of the incident should have been fuller and franker. The inquiry concluded, though, that Oxfam GB has made significant progress since in improving its culture and processes for safeguarding.

The Independent Commission on Sexual Misconduct, Accountability and Culture Change, set up by Oxfam International, also released a report on the incident. The Commission found similar weaknesses in Oxfam’s safeguarding systems and noted that program goals had often been given greater priority by managers than adherence to the 'do no harm' principle.

The UK Government has said it will review its decision about whether to resume funding for Oxfam in due course. The UK Government stopped funding Oxfam GB when the incident came to light. 

Oxfam Inquiry - UK Charity Commission

Report - Oxfam Independent Commission

Web article – Devex

United Kingdom