Scotland's Global Affairs Framework

The 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.

1. Good global citizenship

No matter what challenges may emerge, and irrespective of the behaviour of others, Scotland will always aim to be a good global citizen. This is fundamental to everything we do internationally.

Scotland acts on the international stage from a position of privilege. For centuries, Scots have made a significant contribution to the world we now know. But Scotland’s legacy is not universally positive. We recognise, for example, our part in the historic injustices of the transatlantic slave trade and our contribution to global warming. The position we now enjoy results in part from that historical legacy. We are determined to acknowledge and learn from our past, including in the way our schools address Scotland’s colonial history and through our approach to climate justice.

As a good global citizen, the Scottish Government commits to listen and act in response to the often unheard voices – especially those of women and young people, and from the Global South. Their perspectives will inform our own policies and encourage us to challenge others where appropriate in order to achieve fairer outcomes.

We will take opportunities to learn from the experience of others and to make distinctive contributions in addressing global challenges – sharing our knowledge, skills and technical expertise for global good. We will amplify marginalised voices on global issues such as migration, human rights, biodiversity and the climate crisis.

We will use the networks and platforms available to us to encourage greater action and more ambitious commitments from governments at all levels, particularly where success requires government at all levels to act.

Recognising the impact of COVID-19 and ongoing global health inequality, as good global citizens we will support measures to ensure vaccine equity.

We will also strive to ensure that Scotland’s global environmental footprint is sustainable, playing our full role in tackling the global climate and nature crises.

We will aim for policy coherence in our decisions that affect development. For example, as outlined in our Vision for Trade, we will continue to support Fair Trade to drive better trading conditions for marginalised producers and workers globally.



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