The Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) Hustings in Abergavenny last night was packed out, with literally standing room only, with the candidates from the 4 main parties being present. Naturally everyone present agreed that the UK Government should honour the commitment to delivering 0.7% of GDP as international aid - but in truth recession not withstanding this is not enough.
Plaid has long supported the campaign to cancel developing countries unaffordable debts and has called for more resources to be made available for the UN Adaption Fund which has been set up to help developing countries adapt to the effects of climate change. Plaid has demanded equal representation for developing countries in the decision making process on climate change action and has long supported the international Fair Trade movement.
As you would expect Fair Trade, Fairness, Equality, Climate Change and Peak oil came up amongst other topics for discussion. VSO, OXFAM and other development agencies have specific programmes that aim to help poor men and women in the developing countries when it comes to health care, growing crops, access to literacy and to affordable credit. As poor education, poor health and lack of access to credit and markets has hit vulnerable groups in developing countries particularly hard.
The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, came in for some criticism - Plaid has long called for essential governance reform such international organisations so that they take into account human rights, the environment and workers rights. The role of multi-nationals was also discussed along with their impact on the developing world along with how better use of procurement policies here in the UK could benefit both us and food producers, here and in developing countries.