Cablegate: Mdg Call to Action: More Uk Thinking
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV
DE RUEHLO #0126/01 0141806
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 141806Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY LONDON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6992
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 0239
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0751
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1084
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 LONDON 000126
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EAID UN UK
SUBJECT: MDG CALL TO ACTION: MORE UK THINKING
REF: 07 LONDON 4389 (NOTAL)
1. (SBU) Summary: In recent meetings at DFID and FCO, UK
interlocutors raised PM Brown's Millennium Development Goals
(MDG) Call to Action. We were told the Call to Action is
intended mesh with existing development initiatives, but
bring in a private sector component that the others lack.
More details will be forthcoming once the UN announces that
it will host the envisioned September 2008 meeting. In
addition, the UK is pursuing the MDG concept via a planned
spring private sector conference in the UK, EC consultations,
and discussions with the Japanese in the G-8 context. End
What is the Call to Action?
2. (SBU) According to UK interlocutors, the Call to Action is
intended to reinvigorate progress on the MDGs )- and bring
in a private sector component that has not been included
previously. Ian McKendry, head of DFID's MDG Call to Action
Team said that including a wide range of private-sector
actors is what differentiates the Call to Action from other
development initiatives. In fact, he called this approach
the Call to Action's USP, or Unique Selling Point, which he
said is a popular private sector term that DFID is using in
its thinking. Asked to define the Call to Action, McKendry
said it aims to bring in a wide range of stakeholders and
initiate new actions to get the MDGs back on track.
3. (SBU) In a separate meeting at FCO, Nick Bridge, Head of
FCO's Global Economy Group, stressed that it is important to
generate momentum on the MDGs, not just within governments,
but more broadly. He added that the UK definitely does not
want the Call to Action to become a process.
4. (SBU) Bridge also wanted to ensure that the envisioned
September 2008 MDG Call to Action event is linked in with the
existing aid effectiveness agenda, including upcoming EU
Council meetings in June, the G-8 Summit in Japan in July,
and the December Financing For Development meeting in Doha.
(Note: Bridge was not aware of the September Accra meeting on
the Paris Declaration, but this event is on DFID's list of
upcoming meetings it needs to link in with the Call to
Action.) McKendry also stressed the MDG focus as part of the
broader development agenda, including other UK priorities
such as the development of education sector plans and the
International Health Partnership.
Who is in Charge?
5. (SBU) McKendry said that the UK has been working closely
with the UN to determine where to house the initiative at the
UN. The choice is between UNDP and the SYG's office. DFID
is lobbying for the SYG's office to take responsibility.
Bridge also envisioned that the SYG's office would take
6. (SBU) McKendry said the UN should make an announcement by
the end of January about the September conference. Bridge
said SYG Ban Ki-moon would make the announcement in a speech.
This announcement would provide a focal point for further
discussions to shape the MDG initiative in practice. Bridge
reinforced this, noting that the UK is currently in a bit of
a "holding pattern" on the Call to Action since it has "some
plans" but wants the UN to lead and shape the proposed
September 2008 event.
7. (SBU) Within HMG, responsibility for the Call to Action is
shifting within DFID. Sarah Kline has joined the MDG Call to
Action team at DFID, and will take over as head of the
two-person team by the end of January when Ian McKendry
departs on a year-long leave of absence. Also, the entire
team has been shifted from the Global Development
Effectiveness division of DFID to the division that deals
with EU and Donor (G-8) Relations. FCO told us that DFID has
the lead on Call to Action issues.
8. (SBU) Chris Carter from DFID's Call to Action team, who
participated in the FCO meeting, told us the UK, likely the
PM's office, will host a private sector event in late
April/early May to discuss ways the private sector can use
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its existing business structures (as opposed to just donating
funds) to help developing countries achieve the MDGs. This
links in with the 21 companies that have signed the MDG
Declaration. (Reftel outlines some of DFID Parliamentary
Under Secretary and State Shriti Vadera's efforts in this
9. (SBU) Bridge said the UK has been working closely in the
EU context and that the EU is "keen" to include the MDG focus
in the June European Council report. To trigger discussion
within the EU, Carter said DFID will be doing a report to the
European Council in the March-April timeframe which will
celebrate successes toward achieving the MDGs, but also look
at what more needs to be done.
10. (SBU) Bridge said that the UK has been working closely
with the Japanese and that Japan wants to use MDGs as a hook
for development issues at this year's G-8 Summit in July.
11. (SBU) McKendry told us that Australia, New Zealand and
Denmark had expressed an interest in becoming signatories to
the MDG Declaration and that UK Secretary of State for
International Development Douglas Alexander had spoken to the
new Australian government representatives at the December 17
Palestinian donors' conference in Paris. McKendry said the
UK plans to arrange a signing event in early 2008.
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