What the Conservatives manifesto says about international development

26 November 2019
Author: Paul Abernethy

The Conservative Party has released its manifesto, “Get Brexit Done”.  

While light on detail, we take a closer look at their plans and pledges on aid, climate change, human rights, and other areas of international development. 

This is just a snapshot of the manifesto, so make sure to read the full document here. We’ve been analysing the other main parties’ manifestos as they come out, so you can also check out our analysis of Labour and the Lib Dems. You can also find links to all the party manifestos that have been released so far at the bottom of this blog. 

Aid and development 

Declaring themselves “proud of their record” of reducing global poverty, the Conservative Party has once again committed itself to spending 0.7% of the country’s gross national income on aid and development, along with the law that protects it.  

Building on their 2015 international development strategy, the party is also keen to do more to help help countries receiving aid become more “self-sufficient”. 

Leave no one behind 

Boris Johnson has long been an advocate for girl’s education around the world, which is evident in the manifesto. If elected, the Conservative Party will “stand up for the right of every girl in the world to have 12 years of quality education”. 

The manifesto also commits the Conservative Party to supporting the “most marginalised communities in the world”, including hosting the UK government’s first ever international LGBT conference.  

The party will also work to protect those persecuted because of their faith and will implement the recommendations of the Bishop of Truro’s independent review of the government’s support for persecuted Christians.  

Climate change 

If the Conservative party returns to power, the UK will lead global efforts to tackle the climate emergency by delivering on their promise to make the country carbon-neutral by 2050.  

They will also launch a £500m “Blue Planet Fund” to help protect oceans from plastic pollution, extend the Blue Belt programme to preserve the maritime environment and ban the export of plastic waste to non-OECD countries.  

The party will use next year’s UN Climate Change Summit in Glasgow to push other countries to match the UK’s ambition. 

Global health 

The Conservatives have also committed to build on their existing efforts to end the preventable deaths of mothers, new-born babies, and children by 2030, while leading the way in eradicating Ebola and malaria. 

Global institutions 

After Brexit, the party claims it will support and bolster institutions, such as the UN and the UN Security Council, the Commonwealth, the G20 and the G7, to help protect the UK’s influence and keep the UK safe.  

They will also extend the UK’s diplomatic network to reinvigorate relationships with Europe and “seek to strengthen new and old partnerships around the word”. 

Other manifestos released so far (in order of release date) 

About the author

Paul Abernethy
Bond

Paul leads the political advocacy of Bond, working with parliamentarians and ministers in support of ending global poverty.