Scotland is an outward-looking nation, with ambition, compassion and expertise. It is our responsibility to provide leadership and take action on global issues such as tackling climate change, alleviating poverty and inequality, and protecting human rights. Our International Development Programme is integral to this.
Scotland is committed to realising the UN Sustainable Development Goals, both within our own communities and in the wider world.
We believe we have a lot to contribute to the international community. By sharing our knowledge, skills and technical expertise for global good, we continue to make distinctive contributions towards addressing global challenges and injustices; and to do so through a partnership approach. Having the opportunity to visit Malawi and Zambia last year underlined to me the extent of the work that we share with our delivery partners, and the meaningful difference that we are making together.
Over the past year, significant progress has been made in our own International Development Programme. We commenced the successful projects in our Malawi Development Programme 2018-2023, and continued our support for smaller organisations through our 2018/2019 Small Grants Funding round. Moreover, our expanded Programmes in Zambia and Rwanda moved into their second year.
I have been really pleased to see some of the innovative partnerships evolving between our delivery partners, including between the larger organisations that we fund and our Small Grant holders, some of which are captured in this report. Collaboration is at the very heart of our International Development Strategy, and across our Programme. I continue to encourage this way of working. That collaborative approach to international development has also been key in our work on safeguarding over the last year, with encouraging commitment shown across the sector in Scotland.
Beyond our development assistance funding, Scotland is leading by example globally by taking action to tackle climate change. This includes proposing legal targets to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, which will see Scotland become carbon neutral by 2040. If the Parliament agrees these targets, Scotland will have some of the most ambitious targets in the world, supporting our commitment that Scotland will aim to “do no harm” to developing countries, as part of policy coherence for development.
In terms of other Scottish Government Ministerial portfolios that are contributing to positive international development outcomes, in June 2018 we launched our NHS Scotland Global Citizenship Programme. This includes the Scottish Global Health Co-ordination Unit, which supports co-ordination for success of the Programme. Each of the 22 NHS Boards in Scotland now has a Lead Global Citizenship Champion, and a skills bank has been established. I was also delighted to welcome new support from our Social Justice portfolio in September 2018, for Malawian women recovering from fistula repair.
Whilst our Programme is forward looking, we should never forget the past. This year in Scotland we commemorated “Kwibuka 25”, the 25th anniversary of the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. Together we undertook to remember; and looked forward to a bright and peaceful future for Rwanda.
After one year in post as Minister for International Development, I am immensely proud of our achievements, with our partners overseas and in Scotland. This second report on Scotland’s Contribution to International Development is a testament to shared innovation, passion and dedication towards working together to improve people’s lives.
Ben Macpherson MSP
Minister for Europe, Migration and International Development