International development

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on international development. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

20.05.2016Commons Library analysis: The international anti-corruption summit in May 2016
This Commons Library briefing discusses the international summit on anti-corruption held in London on 12 May 2016 and what so far has emerged from it.
14.03.2016War and peace in South Sudan: March 2016 update
South Sudan has been embroiled in a brutal civil war involving immense human suffering since December 2013. After numerous false starts, a peace deal was agreed in August 2015, but important elements are yet to be implemented.
11.03.2016Syrian refugees and the UK
The Government is planning to resettle up to 20,000 Syrian refugees in the UK by the end of this Parliament in 2020. It is under ongoing pressure to extend opportunities for Syrian refugees to be able to come to the UK.
12.02.2016EU referendum: impact of an EU exit in key UK policy areas
This paper looks at the current situation in a range of policy areas and considers how it might change if the UK left the EU: would UK citizens benefit? This would depend on how the Government filled any policy gaps left by withdrawal.
11.01.2016The UK National Security Council
The Commons Library has published a briefing paper on the UK National Security Council (NSC). Using a Q&A format, the briefing provides basic information about its origins, mandate and operation.
30.11.2015Pakistan: November 2015 update
The Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) government, led by prime minister Nawaz Sharif, is now well into its third year in power. Its tenure has arguably seen a weakening of civilian authority, although there seems little prospect of a military coup. But the overall security situation within the country has improved markedly during 2015.
28.09.2015The Sustainable Development Goals and the post-2015 development agenda
On 25 September UN Member States agreed 17 'Sustainable Development Goals' at an extraordinary Summit of the UN General Assembly. At various points during the negotiations, the UK Government expressed concern that 17 goals was too many. Debates continue over how far the goals embody a 'transformational agenda'.
09.09.2015Somalia: September 2015 update
There is a mounting sense amongst donors that President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud's government is not the fresh start that Somalia needed. He has announced that 2016 elections will not be on a 'one-person one-vote' basis as hoped. There are currently parliamentary moves to impeach him. While it has suffered setbacks, Al-Shabaab remains a real threat.
19.03.2015In brief: UK aid to Iraq
Figures for UK humanitarian aid to Iraq
03.03.2015International Women's Day 2015: Background and statistics
What are the trends for women's equality in the UK and across the globe? This document provides background statistics for International Women's Day 2015, examining international comparisons and UK-specific data.

Lords Library Notes

12.05.2016Queen's Speech 2016 Day 2: Foreign and European Affairs, International Development and Defence
The House of Lords is due to debate the Queen's Speech over four days between 19 and 25 May 2016. This briefing is one of four prepared by the House of Lords Library to cover the themes of each day of debate.
20.01.2016Work of the Ad Hoc Committees in 2013-14
This House of Lords Library briefing provides an overview of the work of the five ad hoc Lords Select Committees which reported in the 2013-14 session.
27.11.2015United Kingdom's Role in Supporting International Security and Stability
This Library Note has been prepared in advance of the debate in the House of Lords on 3 December 2015: "that this House takes note of the United Kingdom's role in supporting international security and stability in the light of the Strategic Defence and Security Review".
10.09.2015Sustainable Development Goals: Parliamentary Perspectives
UN member states are expected to agree a set of sustainable development goals (SDGs) at a high level summit in New York from 25 to 27 September 2015. This Library Note provides information on issues relating to the SDGs which have attracted parliamentary attention over recent months including the number of goals; universal health coverage; climate change; and implementation and monitoring.
05.12.2014Global Development Goals in 2015
On 11 December 2014, the House of Lords is scheduled to debate the following motion: 'that this House takes note of the case for establishing new global development goals in 2015'.
24.06.2013Debate on 27 June: the Challenges Faced by Women in Developing Countries
This Library Note focuses on the challenges faced by women in the developing world, and the action which is being taken by the UK Government, international governments and multilateral aid organisations to address these challenges. It briefly considers the significance of gender within the field of international development, and goes on to summarise some of the key research and statistics on the position of women in the developing world, focusing on four areas: education, employment, health, and violence against women.


20.04.2016Access to Water and Sanitation
This briefing discusses the challenge of increasing access to water and sanitation in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
15.08.2014Reducing Emissions from Deforestation
The UNFCCC REDD+ scheme aims to promote sustainable forest management in developing countries in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Developed countries are expected to provide finance of approximately $20bn per year from 2020. This POSTnote summarises the extent to which REDD+ could contribute to meeting international climate targets, challenges to its implementation and technologies for tracking its performance
15.06.2012GM in Agricultural Development
Almost 2 billion people suffer from chronic hunger and malnutrition in developing countries. The UK funds research into genetic modification (GM) as one option for agricultural development. This POSTnote examines the potential benefits and challenges of using genetically modified crops to improve food security in developing countries.
16.02.2012Resilience to Natural Hazards in Developing Nations
In the last 10 years, over 500,000 people have lost their lives and around 1.5 billion people have been adversely affected due to rapid-onset natural hazards such as earthquakes, tsunami, floods and tropical storms. This briefing discusses the potential for science and technology to enhance resilience to such hazards in developing nations.
01.06.2008International migration of scientists and engineers, June 2008
International migration of scientists and engineers, June 2008. POSTnote 08/309.
01.04.2008Research ethics in developing countries, April 2008
Research ethics in developing countries, April 2008. POSTnote 08/304.

Select Committee Reports

20.03.2012Economic impact and effectiveness of development aid.
Economic Affairs Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
14.09.2011The impact of UK overseas aid on environmental protection and climate change adaptation and mitigation....
Government response. Environmental Audit Select Committee; Department for International Development report [Commons]
12.07.2011Humanitarian response to the Pakistan floods.International
Government response. International Development Select Committee; Department for International Development report [Commons]
22.06.2011The impact of UK overseas aid on environmental protection and climate change adaptation and mitigation....
Environmental Audit Select Committee report [Commons]
10.05.2011Department for International Development annual report and resource accounts 2009-10.
Government response. International Development Select Committee; Department for International Development report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

That this House congratulatesEthical Consumer for its work exposing the poor ethical record of the companies being awarded contracts to run our public services; is deeply concerned ...
That this House notes the service done by civilian and military humanitarian workers deployed by the Government in humanitarian and disaster relief operations across the globe and the ...
10.10.2011GLOBAL DEBT WEEK 8 TO 16 OCTOBER 2011
That this House supports the aims of Global Debt Week from 8 to 16 October 2011 which highlights the need for an end to unfair debt; recognises the work of Jubilee Debt Campaign and ...
That this House applauds the Tea Time for Change mass lobby for international development held on 9 June 2011; congratulates ActionAid, the Catholic Overseas Development Agency (CAFOD), ...
That this House notes that the Free Trade Agreement currently being negotiated between India and the EU is nearing finalisation; further notes that the EU is pushing for the inclusion ...


  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses