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GAPS Statement on the International Development White Paper

On 20 November 2023, the UK Government published International development in a contested world: ending extreme poverty and tackling climate change, its International Development White Paper. GAPS welcomes the publication of the White Paper and we are pleased to see a number of our recommendations reflected throughout. The paper provides strategic clarity for the UK in its approaches to development. Like the Integrated Review and its Refresh, the rights of women and girls in all their intersecting identities and gender equality remain a core policy priority. The inclusion of LGBT+ and disabled communities build towards an intersectional potential of UK development policy. GAPS
welcomes the, albeit limited, Paper’s language on prevention of conflict. Prevention is one of the four pillars of the WPS agenda, an agenda in which the UK has taken a leadership role, as penholder.

However, given the central role of prevention in WPS and the Paper’s focus on fragile and conflict affected states, we are concerned there is no mention of the UK’s National Action Plan (NAP) on WPS, the only ‘conflict prevention’ strategy that currently exists. Without integrating the existing commitments to gender equality throughout UK policy, the Government risks operating in silos which will directly undermine the ambitions to get the UK and the world back on track to fulfill the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Moving forward, it is critical that these commitments made by the UK Government, especially the fifth NAP, are sufficiently resourced and integrated throughout UK policy. GAPS and our Members stand ready to support. Please find our full statement, including our initial analysis here.

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