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London, 13th March: Launched today, the Government’s 2023 Integrated Review Refresh will seek to meet the challenges of an increasingly volatile and complex world through the implementation of four priority areas related to national security and international policy.

The Prime Minister has set out four priorities focused on national security at home and abroad in the context of a challenging and volatile world.

In addition to responding to emerging geopolitical threats posed by Russia and China, the review also looks to bolster the UK’s international development offer through expanding on the four priorities listed in the 2021 International Development Strategy to seven, new strategic priorities including but not limited to reforming international financial institutions, global health, climate, and women and girls.

To support these priorities, the government has appointed a new second Permanent Secretary in the FCDO (1), and the Minister for International Development will now have a permanent place on the National Security Council.

Romilly Greenhill, UK Director of The ONE Campaign, says: 

“It is encouraging to see the Government realising the need to reinvigorate leadership on International Development and do more to ensure the delivery of the SDGs. It is also positive that reforming financial institutions is top of the government’s list of priorities (2). This is an area where UK leadership could make a real, measurable difference to the lives of millions of people around the world.

“Security and stability – both home and abroad – are achieved in many ways. It is vital that equal weight is awarded to development alongside the key pillars of defence and diplomacy – so new representation of development at the most senior levels of government is a step in the right direction. Greater oversight of the aid budget will drive effective and transformative spending – and will hopefully check the dangerous trend of aid increasingly being spent within the UK and less abroad.

“As with all strategies, however, the devil is in the detail and the delivery. These commitments must now be matched by real money. This must begin by Ministers putting their money where their mouth is and treating the ODA budget as a floor, not a ceiling, to be able to deliver on its promises to the world’s most vulnerable.”

Notes to editors:

  1. Announced on 9th March, a new second Permanent Under-Secretary role is due to be established in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). The role will focus on delivering the Government’s international development priorities and will report into the FCDO Permanent Under-Secretary, Sir Philip Barton.
  2. The government will work to reform international financial institutions, particularly multilateral development banks, to leverage more money for developing countries “to deal with the economic, debt, climate, and nature crises” of today.

Press contact: Emilia Micunovic: +44 7881 370 524 [email protected]