Bishop Andudu Elnail attended the Conservative conference
The Conservative party conference was dominated by discussion of securing the 0.7 per cent overseas aid spend in 2013.
Despite a recent barrage of media attacks and opposition voiced by some party members in fringe meetings, all senior party officials - including the Secretary of State for international development, the chancellor and Foreign Office minister Mark Simmonds - confirmed that the Conservatives remained committed to reaching the target.
In her address, Justine Greening reaffirmed her commitment to the results agenda set out by her predecessor, saying support for development was ‘not just the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do.’
She also focused on the important role of women in development and the need to use innovation and technology to improve development.
Christian Aid director Loretta Minghella spoke on a Bond (the UK membership body for NGOs working in international development) panel alongside the Secretary of State, who was making her first address to the sector after moving from the Department of Transport.
Under the heading ‘Tackling Poverty in a Resource Constrained World’, Loretta urged the Secretary of State to ‘move forward in a sustainable way, not a way that degrades the environment’ and pointed to the need of the UK to link the global conversation on the post-MDGs with the Sustainable Development Goals.
Loretta also stressed the need, alongside ensuring that current aid spending was effective, to begin thinking about a long-term exit strategy from aid.
Bishop Andudu Elnail of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan was also at the Conservative party conference.
He met with government ministers to highlight the ongoing humanitarian emergency in the Nuba mountains region of Sudan, where civil war has left 500,000 people internally displaced and over one million people in need of humanitarian aid.
Speaking at the Bond fringe event, Mark Simmonds said the conflict was a ‘top priority’ for the UK.