I am not going to pretend to be an expert on international development. One of my reasons for going to New York is so that I can learn more about the issue - and share that process through this blog. But I do like the thoroughly Liberal emphasis on political reform here.
We see the problem of poverty as fundamentally political. Barriers to the poor’s development are political and social as much as economic. Sustainable development and poverty reduction can ultimately only be achieved through political empowerment in and for developing countries.
We will take a political approach to development processes at all levels. A Liberal Democrat Department for International Development (DfID) will remain independent but be better integrated with other departments as part of a government-wide development strategy, focused on poverty reduction and social protection.
We will improve transparency and accountability in UK development spending and demand it in multilateral agencies and transnational corporations. We will aim to enable poor communities to participate in their own development and to hold their governments to account. We will support local government, civil society and political processes in developing countries – especially in fragile and conflict-affected areas.
We will make development assistance more demand-led and encourage governments and societies to reduce their need for aid. Liberal Democrats recognise that development is difficult and that there are limits to what can be achieved through external support.
We will commission local research into obstacles to development; and monitor the impact of our efforts in terms of broad impacts over time.
The Conference debate on Accountability to the Poor will be on the afternoon of Sunday 19 September.