Thursday, April 24 2014

G8 pledge billions to support democracy in MENA region



 There’s some coverage in the media today (Daily Telegraph, BBC, The Independent) of the G8 Summit and the central place of the Arab Spring on the agenda of the world’s largest economies. News reports detail the financial assistance G8 countries are pledging to support the transition to democratic governance and stability in the MENA region.

The Guardian reports on the FCO’s expansion of the Arab Partnership initiative, which was launched in February this year with an initial pot of money of £5 million.

This looks set to increase considerably with PM David Cameron committing £110 million over the next four years from the budget of the Department for International Development, to support political and economic reform through establishing the rule of law, combating corruption, building a strong, vibrant civil society and encouraging private enterprise and raising employment levels.

From the Guardian:

Cameron said: "I want a very simple and clear message to come out of this summit and that is that the most powerful nations on Earth have come together and are saying to all those in the Middle East and north Africa who want greater democracy and greater freedom and greater civil rights – we are on your side."

He added: "We'll help you build your democracies; we'll help you build your economies; we'll help you with trade – we'll help you in all the ways that we can, because the alternative to successful democracies is more of the poisonous extremism that has done so much damage in our world.

"And to people back at home wondering what is the relevance of summits like this, it will mean less extremism, it will mean more peace and prosperity, and it will mean there won't be the pressures of immigration that we might otherwise face in our own country."


As we await the publication of the government’s review of the Prevent programme, there is a point of interest to British Muslims in the comments reported in the papers today. Given earlier indications that the Prevent review will echo sentiments contained in Cameron’s Munich speech, will the government’s commitment to “greater democracy and greater freedom and greater civil rights” be applied closer to home? Not least in consideration of the ban on Hizb ut Tahrir that has been trailed in recent weeks and claims that the government will look to widen the definition of “extremist”.

A cross departmental strategy document on Building Stability Overseas, drawn up by the MOD, FCO and DFID, is expected to be published in June 2011.









Last Updated on Friday, 27 May 2011 15:50

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