‘Soft power’ is defined by the Cambridge English Dictionary as ‘the use of a country's cultural and economic influence to persuade other countries to do something, rather than the use…
Stephen Twigg is Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. He previously served as the Labour and Co-operative Member of Parliament for Liverpool, West Derby from 2010 until 2019. He was the Chair of the UK House of Commons International Development Select Committee from June 2015 until December 2019. Between 2005 and 2010 he served as Director of the Foreign Policy Centre. He also worked for the Holocaust Centre and the Aegis Trust. He also previously served as Member of Parliament for Enfield Southgate from 1997-2005. His ministerial and shadow ministerial roles have included Deputy Leader of the House of Commons, Education Minister, Shadow Education Secretary, Shadow Foreign Minister and Shadow Justice Minister.
- Human rights
- International peace and security
- Tolerance, respect and understanding
- Freedom of Expression
- Separation of Powers
- Rule of Law
- Good Governance
- Sustainable Development
- Protecting the Environment
- Access to Health, Education, Food and Shelter
- Gender Equality
- Importance of Young People in the Commonwealth
- Recognition of the Needs of Small States
- Recognition of the Needs of Vulnerable States
- The Role of Civil Society
- The 2016 Anti-Corruption Summit;
- The 2018 Global Disability Summit co-hosted with the Government of Kenya and the International Disability Alliance;
- The 2019 Global Conference for Media Freedom co-hosted with Canada and supported by Luminate;
- The 2021 Global Education Summit co-hosted with Kenya for the replenishment of the Global Partnership for Education; and
- ‘Safe To Be Me – A Global Equality Conference’ on LGBT rights which is planned for 2022 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the first official London Pride March.
- The importance of multilateral action to bring together an alliance of countries, institutions and networks to take an issue forward;
- The vital role of citizens, civil society organisations and other stakeholders in maximising the impact of any strategy built around the notion of soft power; and
- The importance of sustainability, which is partly about resources, partly political will and partly about whether an initiative is relevant to the lives of communities/citizens who, therefore, have a genuine stake in its success.
- the importance of policies being shaped by communities at the sharp end of inequality. This means strengthening the voices of the Global South in international institutions and ensuring that the most marginalised are heard, including refugees and the internally displaced;
- the availability of good, secure jobs and workplace rights. Trades unions and businesses are essential partners in achieving sustainable development;
- economic development strategies that explore alternative business models, including a greater role for co-operatives and other forms of social enterprise;
- progressive taxation, which requires countries to be able to mobilise domestic resources and for wealthy individuals and profitable companies to pay their fair share; and
- remittances, which play a vital role in development, together with a much greater focus on reducing associated transaction costs.
In January of this year, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva, issued a powerful message about the impact of inequality on development. She described it…Article by Stephen Twigg