Scotland’s international contribution
The COVID-19 pandemic and the climate and biodiversity emergencies prove in the starkest possible way that we live in an interconnected world. For any government the global and regional context inevitably impacts the achievement of domestic objectives. That is why it is imperative that Scotland becomes more active internationally.
Our vision is for Scotland to be a thriving, inclusive and entrepreneurial country, delivering a just transition to a net zero, nature-positive, wellbeing economy. We are also determined that Scotland should be a good global citizen, making a constructive contribution to addressing global challenges.
This Global Affairs Framework sets out the values and principles underpinning the Scottish Government’s international work and the basis on which the Scottish Government will prioritise its international activity. It is being published at a time when, in the face of the invasion of Ukraine, nations are being tested on whether they support not just the principle, but the reality of adopting a rules-based approach, to protect their values.
The principles of this Global Affairs Framework will apply regardless of Scotland’s constitutional position but clearly the contribution that Scotland could make, and the benefits it could receive, would be significantly enhanced with the powers of independence rather than devolution.
The Scottish Government’s prospectus for enhanced international relations as an independent state will be published in the run-up to the independence referendum.
The Scottish Government’s domestic priorities are rooted in Scotland’s National Outcomes and the National Performance Framework. These aim to give effect in Scotland to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). And through its international work, the Scottish Government aims to contribute to the achievement of those goals at both the national and global levels.
As we pursue our domestic objectives and address global challenges through our international work, we are able to draw on Scotland’s global reputation, global connections and global outlook.
Through our international work, we can support the creation of good, green jobs, reduce child poverty, gender and other inequalities at home and overseas, and share Scotland’s experience in policy-making, while learning ourselves from others. In this way we can make a contribution to the world that is welcomed and valued.
In the face of the UK Government’s disastrous and chaotic Brexit, which was rejected by an overwhelming majority in Scotland, the Scottish Government will remain committed to the European Union and its values, and to internationalism. We will continue to work with our fellow Europeans and friends beyond to deepen our ties, improve our global networks and unlock new economic and business opportunities. And we will continue to prioritise international development and climate justice as key parts of Scotland’s global contribution within the international community, reflecting our core values of fairness and equality, and our recognition of the historical privileges we enjoy.
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