The new Prime Minister must continue the UK’s central role in the fight against global poverty to ensure Britain retains its global standing, said campaigning organisation ONE, as it was announced that Boris Johnson MP had won the Conservative leadership contest.
Romilly Greenhill, UK Director of ONE, said: “If our new Prime Minister wants to strengthen our clout on the world stage, and for Global Britain to realise its full potential, he must keep the UK at the heart of the fight against extreme poverty.
“As Prime Minister Johnson appreciates, Britain’s impact in tackling global challenges – making the world a safer, healthier and more prosperous place – doesn’t just help those living in poverty, it helps us at home also.”
Boris Johnson takes the reins at a crucial time for global development. With just a decade to deliver the Global Goals – a set of targets to eradicate hunger, disease and inequality, which Britain played a central role in forming – the UK’s role in achieving them is vital.
Greenhill continued: “The world needs Britain to be great right now, and that means staying the course on our contribution to overcoming global challenges, including by keeping UK aid poverty focused, effective and transparent. Prime Minister Johnson must turn his optimism outwards and ensure Britain continues to work with others for the good of all, not lead us into a world of our own.”
Previously, Boris Johnson has shown significant support for major global initiatives, such as his focus on girls’ education in the world’s poorest countries, which he has referred to as “the closest thing to a silver bullet” in development.
Now, as Prime Minister, he will get the chance to deliver on these laudable goals as he represents the UK internationally. The first major moment will be the G7 Summit in France later this summer, where the leaders attending are being asked to show their commitment to gender equality through making financial commitments and strengthening accountability.