Stephen Farry stated: “This election should be fought on the issues, and of course the primary issues relate to the economy and the state of public finances. But Westminster also has a major input into UK Foreign Policy. This election in North Down therefore must also be about how candidates will best seek to represent local view in global affairs.
“The international system has gone under considerable changes over the past two decades. New opportunities for economic prosperity have been opened through globalisation. The world has become a smaller place through easier travel and the communication and information technology revolutions. Globalisation also brings new costs for those who cannot access new opportunities and enhanced risks of financial problems spreading rapidly around the world. Indeed, many of the sources of the recent economic recession lie with inadequate regulation of the global economy.
“Underdevelopment, poverty, famine and disease, including in particular HIV/Aids, in many parts of the world remain pressing challenges. Such problems will only be accentuated through the consequences of climate change.
“Alliance takes a liberal internationalist perspective. To us, it is clear that the national interests of the UK now go hand in hand with global responsibilities. The security of the UK is wrapped up with the promotion of democracy, human rights and the respect for the rule of law, and the stability of other states. The current deployment to Afghanistan is the clearest example of this. It is important that the forthcoming Strategic Defence Review reflects the changing demands on our armed forces, and the future investments that are required.
“The United Kingdom shares in the global responsibilities to tackle poverty, underdevelopment and climate change. Alliance will support the UK meeting the UN target of 0.7% of GDP going to international aid, and the fulfilment of the Millennium Development Goals. We support an open international trading system, and will support fair trade and other efforts to ensure fair access to markets for all. We will also support an international climate change treaty.”