The UK is at the forefront of support for political, economic and socio-economic reform, particularly in the Arab world. The British Government used the EU and G8 Presidencies in 2005 to inject political momentum towards reform in the region and ongoing work is led by EIWG's Arab Reform team. The broad challenges in this area have been widely recognised by the international community.
For example, since 2002, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has produced a series of annual Arab Human Development Reports on subjects including governance and political reform, education and the empowerment of women. These have been described by the UNDP as a critique of and a charter for regional and country level human development processes.
UN Development Programme - Arab Human Development Reports
In 2005, as Chair of both the G8 and the European Union (EU), the United Kingdom has encouraged the international community to prioritise support for regionally-led reform.
The G8-Broader Middle East and North Africa (G8 BMENA) - November 2005: The G8 BMENA initiative focussed on education, democracy and civil society and achieved unprecedented civil society participation. Outcomes included a $50million Foundation for the Future fund to support civil society and democracy (UK pledged $1 million).
G8 - Broader Middle East and North Africa
G8 BMENA Forum for the Future
The EuroMed Summit, November 2005 (summit of EU instrument for supporting reform in Euro-Mediterranean area or 'Barcelona Process') agreed a Counter Terrorism Code of Conduct that included a focus on countering radicalisation. A five-year Work Programme was agreed with real targets for instigating economic and political reform, a governance facility to promote democratic reform and a substantial increase in funding for education. The UK is now working closely with partners to ensure that those reform commitments are properly implemented.
EuroMediterranean summit 2005
For details of FCO projects and programmes linked to reform in Arab countries, see Global Opportunities Fund: Engaging with the Islamic World.