On 29 April, the GDA hosted its first-ever UK Election debate on global development issues. Representatives from Scotland’s top five parties spoke in front of an audience of over 100 staff, students, and members of the development community in Scotland about their party’s stance on international development. Surprising levels of agreement were achieved between (L-R): Iain McGill, Conservative candidate for Edinburgh North and Leith; Claire Baker MSP (Labour) Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs; Michael Moore (Liberal Democrats); Humza Yousaf MSP, Minister for Europe and International Development (SNP); and Patrick Harvey MSP, Co-Convenor of the Scottish Green Party (outside photo frame).
All parties applauded the UK achieving the 0.7% target for Gross National Income percentage dedicated to aid – an effort led by Moore through a Private Members Bill. Gender equality and empowerment for women and girls were also high on all speakers’ priority lists for international development. More of the keen audience questions can be explored through the twitter feed, #DevelopmentDebate. The packed debate marked an inaugural collaboration between the GDA and co-sponsors, ONE, the anti-poverty campaign, and NIDOS (Network of International Development Organisations in Scotland), with future plans to address the sustainable development goals for the post-2015 agenda in the works.
Photo credit: Chris Mitchell/ONE