I regularly use the Facebook application Superbadger from Tearfund to send emails to politicians on issues of justice for the poor. I find it an easy way to stay involved. Recently I sent this email to Oliver Letwin of the Conservative Party.
“In recent years, we have seen progress made towards achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and I welcome the commitment that your party has pledged to spend 0.7% of GNI on international development.
But with 1.4 billion people still living on less than $1.25 a day, more still needs to be done and it’s crucial that the world’s poorest are prioritised in your party’s forthcoming election manifesto.
Please stand up for justice and commit to the following:
1. Urgent action on climate change to secure a fair, ambitious and binding global deal in 2010, at least a 42% cut in UK carbon emissions by 2020, and the UK’s fair share of $200bn a year in climate finance that developing countries need, in addition to overseas development assistance.
2. Strong leadership to drive forward progress on the Millennium Development Goals, especially those which are most off-track. In particular, Tearfund is calling for all political parties to support the new global “Sanitation and Water for All” initiative aimed at increasing access to these vital services.
3. Renewed action to tackle HIV, including support for greater participation by pharmaceutical companies in the UNITAID patent pool, to help achieve universal access to treatment in countries who cannot currently afford the drugs.
4. Tackling corruption, by developing a new cross-Whitehall strategy to address the underlying factors which fuel corruption and stifle development
5. A pledge to enshrine in law the cross-party commitment of spending 0.7% of GNI on Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) from 2013 and active support for innovative mechanisms to raise additional finance for aid and climate change adaptation, such as the Financial Transaction Tax.”
And I received this reply
“Thank you for contacting Oliver Letwin ahead of the General Election, asking about the Conservative Party’s policy on international development. He has asked me to respond on his behalf.
Our Green Paper on International Development, One World Conservatism, sets out in detail the approach that a Conservative government would take to international development. The paper is available online at www.conservatives.com/oneworld.
As you will see, the Green Paper goes into detail on many of the points that you make and indeed chimes very closely with your concerns about global poverty and, in particular, addressing water and sanitation, climate change, corruption and HIV/AIDS. I do hope you find this useful as an in-depth explanation of the Conservative Party’s firm commitment to tackling deprivation around the world.
Office of Rt Hon Oliver Letwin MP”