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Global Opportunities Fund

Volume 404: debated on Thursday 8 May 2003

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I am today launching the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Global Opportunities Fund (GOF) to support the Government's key foreign policy objectives. The Fund was established in the last spending review with an allocation of £120 million for the next three years.

The GOF will be used to support existing programmes on human rights and legal reform, democracy and good governance, the environment and international security. The GOF will also support our growing science and technology work overseas.

In this first financial year, we will be launching five new GOF programmes. These reflect the FCO's Public Service Agreements for 2003–06 as well as the emerging conclusions of the FCO's longer-term strategic review. The new programmes are:

Governance in EU accession and candidate countries and near neighbours
Counter-terrorism
Engagement with the Islamic world
Climate change and energy
Strengthening our relations with emerging markets

The Fund will bring together the resources of the Human Rights Project Fund, the Environment Fund, the Counter-Terrorism Assistance Fund and the Westminster Foundation for Democracy to ensure that long-term investment is better co-ordinated and focused.

Investing in positive change of this kind has never been more important. By tackling terrorism and threats to our security, promoting good governance and human rights, and addressing injustice, poverty and conflict we promote the interests of the citizens of Britain and elsewhere. In doing so, we can only contribute to a safer, fairer and more prosperous world.