Independent think tank Demos will tonight host a landmark speech by the Secretary of State for International Development. Hilary Benn MP is expected to signal the future direction of the Governments approach to development, arguing that demands for democratic government must accompany monetary aid if the spectres of poverty and hunger are to be abolished.
The speech will expand on themes in the recent DfID White Paper, ‘Eliminating World Poverty: Making Governance Work for the Poor’. The Minister will argue that aid is only part of the development story, and that a strong civil society able to participate in the political process is also essential. Just as people across the world require “freedom from” hunger and ill health, they must also have “freedom to” - to choose representatives, make views heard, worship, and join political parties.
This approach applies Demos’ core ethos of ‘Everyday Democracy’ to an international setting, with the think tank long having argued that that citizens must have greater influence over the forces that shape their lives.
Notes for Editors
- The speech will be held in the Lecture Hall, Central Hall Westminster, Storey’s Gate, Westminster, London SW1H 9NH on Monday 23rd October 2006 at 6pm. To register attendance contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rt. Hon. Hilary Benn MP is Secretary of State for International Development and Member of Parliament for Leeds Central
- Demos is the think tank for everyday democracy, the idea that all people should be able to make individual decisions that contribute to the common good.
- Media enquiries: Mark Fuller, Demos Communications Executive
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