10 IDEAS FOR UK FOREIGN POLICY

 UNA-UK's Foreign Policy Manifesto

 
 
How can Britain deliver positive outcomes for its citizens and for the world?
UNA-UK makes the case for global issues to be high on the UK's agenda and offers 10 ideas for UK foreign policy which would be of national and global benefit:
 

A comprehensive strategy to prevent mass atrocities

After the slaughter of 800,000 people in Rwanda in 1994, the international community vowed: never again. 20 years on, civilians are still being massacred, from Iraq to South Sudan. Genocide, war crimes, mass rape – these 'crimes against humanity' diminish us all. Intrinsically unacceptable, the fall-out from such atrocities can also threaten our security. The UK must make atrocity prevention a priority.

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More intensive engagement to strengthen UN peacekeeping

Across the world, UN peacekeeping has proved to be the most effective framework for stabilising post-conflict situations and preventing them from threatening regional and global security. Compared to missions led by countries, UN operations have fewer costs and a higher degree of success and legitimacy. The UK should do more to support them.

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A clear pathway to eradicate nuclear weapons

The UK signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1968 in the belief that a world free from nuclear weapons was in the national and global interest. Although 189 states have taken on this legal duty to disarm, this objective remains unfulfilled, undermining not just our safety but our international system and relations. It is time for the UK to set out a concrete plan on how it will actively contribute to multilateral nuclear disarmament.

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Robust policies to control arms, drones and 'killer robots'

Conventional weapons kill half a million people a year, yet the UK continues to sell arms to countries with poor human rights records. Given the alarming absence of international regulation, drone technology is rapidly proliferating and advancing towards a new generation of ‘killer robots’. Robust controls are urgently needed.

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 Leadership to protect human rights internationally

The UK should be proud of its historic role in shaping the international human rights system, which helps to protect millions around the world and to create more stable, prosperous societies. Unfortunately, too many people see their rights unfulfilled, denied or abused – leading to misery, poverty and conflict. For their sake and to increase global security, the UK must continue to provide leadership on human rights, including by setting a positive example and by strengthening the UN’s capacity to address violations.

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 A strong commitment to safeguard human rights at home

International human rights laws, norms and standards provide crucial protections for people in the UK. Indeed, British citizens have played a key role in achieving these hard-won gains at the global level, and in making them a reality at home. These rights should be reinforced and celebrated. By striving for an unimpeachable human rights record, the UK is serving not just its own people, but strengthening its ability to act as a credible advocate for human rights internationally.

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A bold plan to advance gender equality and women's empowerment

The UK has earned its reputation as a leader in promoting gender equality and protecting women’s rights, but there is a real risk that hard-won gains may be lost amidst the numerous UN negotiations due in 2015. The UK must work with partners around the world to ensure that this does not happen. It should also continue to strive to tackle gender inequality and promote women’s empowerment here in the UK.

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Concerted action to promote progressive new development goals

Adopted in 2000, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – the UN’s most ambitious development drive – have delivered real gains for millions around the world. But too many have been left behind. The creation of a new set of goals is an opportunity to end poverty and to build sustainable societies that will ultimately benefit us all – the UK should make the most of it.

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A vigorous drive to secure the climate deal we need

After years of frustrating negotiations, the international community has made December 2015 its deadline for adopting a global agreement on climate change. Getting there will require ambition, leadership and dedication from the UK.

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Support to enhance the UN's effectiveness by improving its leadership selection

The UN is an essential tool for the UK – and international community – to address global challenges. It is in the UK’s interest to support efforts to increase the UN’s capacity to do so. This includes lending its voice to the growing calls to improve the process for selecting the next UN chief.

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Hustings Event - Chichester Cathedral, 6 May