Letter: Government is a key EC issue

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Sir: Your report ('A two-edged sword to cut the EC jungle', 1 July) that our plan of action for the Presidency of the European Community contains no mention of our stand on good government, is quite wrong. Good government is as central to our policy on EC aid as it is to UK aid. As President of the Development Council, I shall underline the importance that the EC and its member states attach to good government.

We have consistently led the field in promoting sound economic policy, democracy and greater respect for human rights in developing countries, and we fully intend to consolidate recent progress on this at the Community level over the next six months and beyond. In November, development ministers will review action taken in the past year against countries where there have been serious violations of human rights or interruptions of the democratic process, and the positive measures taken to support those governments that are on the road to establishing more accountable, democratic administration.

In the light of this discussion, I shall urge my ministerial colleagues to continue to take firm action at the Community level that fully complements the UK's own policy in this area.

Yours truly,


Overseas Development


London, SW1

1 July