A Manifesto for Global Solidarity in Wales

Categories: NewsPublished On: 26th February, 2021908 words4.5 min read

A Manifesto for Global Solidarity in Wales

Categories: NewsPublished On: 26th February, 202141.3 min read

Hub Cymru Africa is the leading International Development organisation in Wales. Founded in 2015, we are a partnership of four organisations: Fair Trade Wales, Sub-Sahara Advisory Panel, Wales and Africa Health Links Network and the Welsh Centre for International Affairs. Our lead funder is the Welsh Government, through the Wales and Africa Programme. We are also funded through the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office through the Small Charities Challenge Fund and the Civil Society Collective; which we sit on with counterparts in Scotland, Northern Ireland and England.

We work with more than 200 organisations and individuals across Wales from a diverse sector, which includes African-Diaspora led organisations, fair trade, faith-based groups, NHS partnerships and community links. Through our work we support groups in Wales to deliver work in partnership with organisations in Sub Saharan Africa, focussing on education, health, sustainable livelihoods and climate change. We work to improve practice, embed safeguarding, communicate about the issues impacting our partners and build networks that work towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Building on our strengths

Wales has a long and proud history of international partnership. Wales and Lesotho launched the first country to country twinning initiative in 1985; the Wales for Africa programme was launched in 2006. In 2008 Wales became the first Fair Trade Nation. We have taken our role as a globally responsible nation seriously, introducing the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act in 2015; bringing sustainable development into legislation for the first time. In 2019 the Welsh Government declared a Climate Emergency. Now is the time to build on these ambitions. We are accelerating through the ‘decade of action’ towards 2030, the deadline set to achieve the sustainable development goals.

Before the global pandemic struck, we weren’t on course to achieve all of the UN SDGs; it was estimated that 6% of the world’s population would still be living in poverty in 2030. Covid-19 has seen the first increase in global povery in decades. Reducing extreme poverty is not the only ambition; there are 16 more goals which need urgent attention. In all but North America and Europe food insecurity is getting worse, business leaders and civil society have said the overwhelming concern for the future is inaction on climate change. Global health systems are being disrupted, and even before Covid-19 struck, it was predicted 200 million children would be out of school in 2030.  If we didn’t know it before, we are now acutely aware of just how interconnected our world is. The wellbeing of Wales very much depends on the wellbeing of everyone. Now we have to push even harder to ensure global inequalities are reduced and the sustainable development goals are achieved.

A vision for global solidarity

The next Welsh Government will carry us to 2026, and it is incumbent on them to make ambitious commitments for Wales. To ensure we play our role; we want a government that showcases Wales for all its strengths. We have built an excellent foundation as a small globally responsible nation that achieves great things. But, we need to do more to sing on the global stage; we must not be passive in the face of these challenges.

The global solidarity sector is key in supporting Wales to achieve this. As a globally responsible country, we want a development sector that responds to a modern world; one that isn’t anchored in colonialism but approaches global development in partnership, acknowledging the mutuality of our issues and responding to the challenges presented to us all. It’s not enough to ‘do no harm’ – we must take this moment to be proactive, to build on what we are doing and develop policies that actively support a better future for generations to come. Even our smallest actions have the potential to create change; let’s make that change positive.

10 Recommendations for the future of a sustainable global development model

  1. Co-produce with partners in Wales and Sub-Saharan Africa a global development strategy that is based on partnership and areas of mutual concern.
  2. Demonstrate a commitment to Wales’ global role by appointing a Minister with responsibility for Internationalism and Climate Change.
  3. Seek a settlement that allows Welsh Government to allocate Overseas Development Aid transparently, based on sustainable development principles, not led by diplomatic interest alone.
  4. Drive the ability of health boards and trusts to reduce global health inequalities and deliver their globally responsible duties through education, workforce strategies and resourcing.
  5. Make fair trade and ethical procurement the mainstay of all procurement policies in public sector and government funded bodies.
  6. Increase community cohesion and participation in international partnerships by celebrating and promoting the diaspora communities living and working in Wales.
  7. Reflect on the findings of the 2019 Voluntary National Review and monitor delivery on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Ensure this is done through all domestic and international work, and not view it as a distinct framework relating only to international development.
  8. Support sustainability and increase the impact of the Wales and Africa programme, through the delivery of multi-year grants to ensure sustainable projects are rooted in and owned by our partners in Sub-Sahara Africa.
  9. Seek strong UK partnerships with the new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, to inform best practice and create a favourable environment for Welsh civil society and NGOs to deliver development programmes.
  10. Welsh Government and public bodies will as part of their decision making processes implement impact assessments to establish, record and reduce negative global impacts including those on the environment and human rights.

You can download our manifesto here.