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Monday, 19 November, 2001, 08:39 GMT
US cool towards UK aid proposal
Children in slum conditions in Angola
Eliminating child poverty is a key aim of the new plans
UK proposals that the West should double amount of aid it gives to developing countries have been given a cool reception by the US.

Chancellor Gordon Brown told an audience at the Federal Reserve Bank in New York on Friday that a 36bn fund should be set up to wage war on global poverty.

Managed badly, globalisation will leave whole economies and millions of people in the developing world marginalised

Gordon Brown
The chancellor said globalisation cannot be avoided but it has to be managed better, especially in terms of ensuring that the poorest countries are not marginalised.

But during International Monetary Fund talks in Ottawa Mr Brown's US counterpart, Paul O'Neill, said he had yet to be convinced by the idea.

The UK government believes world security in the wake of the US terror attacks can be strengthened if the richest nations share their prosperity.

If adopted, Mr Brown's proposal would help to meet ambitious United Nations targets aimed at raising the standard of living in the developing world by 2015.

Those targets include getting every child into primary education, halving poverty and cutting infant mortality.

Global campaign

Mr Brown, who is on his way to a meeting of the International Monetary Fund in Canada, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme his proposal amounted to a "new deal between developed and developing countries".

The chancellor used the example of richer nations coming together to offer debt relief to the poorest countries as a sign that he can get support for his new plans.

Gordon Brown
Brown: Confident of assembling global coalition
"I am confident that we can get an international coalition because this is actually a global campaign against poverty and for social justice," he said.

Mr Brown urged the US, Canada and Japan to follow the example of the European Union by opening up their markets to developing countries.

But he argued that military products should be excluded as part of an attempt to diminish what is effectively a subsidy to the arms trade.

Moves against corruption and towards greater stability in the poorest countries also form part of the plan.

At the heart of the proposals is the idea of creating an international development trust fund which would financed by a combination of developed countries, donors and international institutions.

"In future no country genuinely committed to economic development, poverty reduction and the transparency and standards I have outlined should be denied the chance of making progress because of the lack of investment," Mr Brown said.

He argued the issue is not whether the world has globalisation but rather how globalisation is managed.

Managing globalisation

"Some people say the issue is whether we have globalisation or not.

"In fact the issue is whether we manage globalisation well, or badly; fairly or unfairly.

"Managed badly, globalisation will leave whole economies and millions of people in the developing world marginalised.

Jenny Tonge, Lib Dem international development spokeswoman
Tonge: UK long way off aid targets
"Managed wisely, globalisation can and will lift millions and manage the high road to a just and inclusive global economy - so the question is not whether we move forward with globalisation, but how."

Shadow chancellor Michael Howard agreed the developed nations needed to do more to fight global poverty.

But he argued one way that could be done was to cut the ways in which aid was wasted.

Trade call

Increasing trade was the most effective way of tackling international poverty, said the Conservative MP.

The Liberal Democrats' international development spokesman, Jenny Tonge, said the UK was a long way off contributing the levels of aid recommended by the UN.

Dr Tonge added that it was time the USA "in particular" stepped up its aid to developing countries and "recognise it lives in the real world".

"This would be the best memorial to the people killed on 11th of September," she said.

The BBC's Stephen Evans in New York
"Mr Brown's also sanctioned an increase in British aid"
UK Chancellor Gordon Brown
"It is not simply about money"
See also:

15 Nov 01 | Business
IMF sees global slowdown
22 Jul 01 | Business
G8 extols globalisation
01 Oct 01 | Business
Poverty warning after US attacks
16 Nov 01 | UK Politics
'Fair trade must back aid plans'
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