Lords debates extreme poverty in developing world

03 May 2011

The House of Lords discussed the issue of people living in extreme poverty in developing countries on Thursday 28 April in a balloted debate.

Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale (Labour) opened the debate. The former Scottish First Minister forged close links with Malawi and established the Scottish Malawi Foundation.

Other Members of the Lords who took part included:

  • Baroness Hussein-Ece (Liberal Democrat), Commissioner for the Equality and Human Rights Commission 
  • Lord Chidgey (Liberal Democrat), UK Parliament Representative to AWEPA (European Parliamentarians for Africa)
  • Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead (Labour), President of One World Action, an international development organisation, and former Minister for Africa
  • Baroness Gardner of Parkes  (Conservative), a former UK representative on the the UN Status of Women Commission
  • Lord Hastings of Scarisbrick (Crossbench), chair of Millennium Promise UK, an international non-profit organisation committed to supporting the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals; and a former head of the Commission for Racial Equality
  • Lord Loomba (Liberal Democrat), founder of the charity the Loomba Foundation, which raises awareness of the plight of widows and their children around the world. 

Baroness Verma, Government spokesperson for International Development, responded on behalf of the government.

Read transcripts of the individual contributions in Lords Hansard: Lords debates by Member

Further information

Five hours are set aside on one Thursday in each month for two balloted debates in the House of Lords.

A balloted debate provides a forum to discuss a subject rather than decide on it.

This type of debate takes its name from how the subject for discussion is chosen – by randomly selecting from the topics proposed by Members of the Lords. The Clerk of the Parliaments carries this out.

Only Members on the back benches and cross benches can propose a topic for debate – known as tabling a motion.

Because the time limit for a balloted debate, the subject for debate must be narrow enough to discuss in that time. There are limits to speaking time for Members taking part. A schedule of speakers is usually available in advance. 

Image: iStockphoto

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