Orkney MSP Liam McArthur has today backed the 'Show Your Hand: Make Trade Fair' campaign being led in Orkney by pupils at Kirkwall Grammer School.
In recent months, pupils at Kirkwall Grammer School have been looking at charities as one of the ways to eradicate world poverty. Taking up the challenges themselves, pupils have joined with the Fairtrade Foundation to launch their own 'Show Your Hand: Make Trade Fair' campaign in Orkney.
The campaign is calling on the Prime Minister to adopt a comprehensive five-point plan to lead a new joined-up approach from the UK Government that puts farmers and workers first.
The support follows Mr McArthur's visit to KGS last Friday (22nd) with Lord Malcolm Bruce to speak with pupils about international development and the challenges in alleviating world poverty.
As Chair of the House of Commons International Development Committee for 10 years, Lord Bruce was able to share his wealth of experience, including some of the ways in which the UK funding and partnership approach is delivering on the ground for people and communities.
Following the visit, Orkney MSP Liam McArthur said:
"My thanks to Theo Ogbhemhe and colleagues at Kirkwall Grammer School for hosting Malcolm Bruce and myself on Friday.
"Malcolm has a wealth of experience in international development and was able to talk about the important role the United Kingdom has as the world's second highest contributor to aid funding. To be effective, however, close partnerships need to be formed in each country. This allows a tailored approach to be taken that recognises the specific needs of local communities and populations.
"KGS pupils and staff seemed really interested in discussing these issues. This is perhaps unsurprising given how active they have been in the 'Show Your Hand: Make Trade Fair' campaign. This aims to put trade at the heart of an action plan to eradicate poverty worldwide by 2030.
"All too often the interests and livelihoods of many farmers and workers continue to be undermined by unfair regulations and one-sided trade deals that only benefit the very wealthy. As with pupils at KGS, I believe the UK Government can and must do more to bring fairness to trade markets. On that basis, I am happy to lend support to their campaign”.
Commenting, KGS RMPS Teacher Theo Ogbhemhe said:
“We at KGS are really grateful to our MSP Liam McArthur for making Lord Bruce’s visit a reality. As Liam has always done in the past when it comes to campaigns on global issues, he is supporting the ‘Show Your Hand, Make Trade Fair’ campaign at KGS.
“We at KGS give credence to a world in which justice and sustainable development are at the heart of trade structures and practices so that everyone, through their work, can maintain a decent and dignified livelihood and develop their full human potential.
“As supporters of Fairtrade, we at KGS want to see change. We want to see justice at the heart of trade structures and we think it is time the Prime Minister’s rhetoric on trade being the way to tackle global poverty, matches the reality; otherwise it becomes a case of giving with one hand and taking with the other.”
Notes to Editors:
Please see attached a photo of Mr McArthur at KGS. From left to right: Liam McArthur MSP, KGS pupil Angus McDonald, (back) KGS RMPS Teacher Theo Ogbhemhe and Lord Malcolm Bruce.
Please see the 'Show Your Hand: Make Trade Fair' campaign here: http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/en/get-involved/current-campaigns/show-your-hand
The proposed five-point plan the Fairtrade Foundation is as follows:
- To back ambitious SDGs on trade, demanding indicators that drive fair and sustainable trade for poor communities, not just trade for its own sake.
- To make sure that the whole government works better together to deliver poverty reduction through trade: a positive impact on sustainable development must be the top shared priority for the UK’s trade goals.
- To ensure that comprehensive assessments are made of the likely impact of trade decisions on poor communities, the risks of damage to livelihoods and how positive outcomes can be assured.
- To ensure that farmers and workers affected by changes to trade regimes receive proper support to help them adjust.
- To use the UK’s influence within the EU, so that the EU’s trade decisions deliver fair outcomes for farmers and workers in developing countries.