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ONE WORLD TRUST: New Report on Parliamentary Oversight of Foreign Policy: A World of Difference

Introduction by John Donovan

At the invitation from the One World Trust, I attended a presentation at the Grand Committee Room of the Houses of Parliament last December. The One World Trust is an independent organisation affiliated with the UK Legislature and the UN promoting among other objectives, ethical conduct by multinational giants such as Shell. The main speaker was a Government Minister, Lord Malloch-Brown.

I support the admirable objectives of the One World Trust and I am therefore pleased to publish information about the initiative below.

Dear John Donovan,

Accountability in global governance is increasingly on the agenda. Yet promoting accountability in global governance is not only a matter of international institutions. Also national parliaments have a key role to play in ensuring that governments develop and make decisions on foreign policy in ways that serve the goals they set out to achieve and do so in transparent and democratic ways.

Yet the research presented in the report “A World of Difference: Parliamentary Oversight of British Foreign Policy”, conducted by One World Trust together with partners Democratic Audit and Federal Trust over the past years shows that in particular in the area of Global security, Multilateral Responses to Conflict and EU Affairs Parliament “is no more capable of keeping the broad sweep of foreign policies under scrutiny than it is in influencing government policy on major issues; its grasp on detail is fitful; and it suffers from being wholly retrospective.”

This reality hits home hard, in particular in view of the UK’s significant influence in the world as a nuclear power, permanent member of the UN Security Council, and large funder of international development and humanitarian aid.

With key and detailed recommendations the report seeks to foster the reform process of Parliament as an institution and strengthen its role as a critical and cooperative partner of government in policy and decision making on issues which significantly affect people’s lives, at home and abroad.

The report also understands itself as a contribution to the current debates on the “Governance of Britain”. By focusing in particular on the accountability and democratic oversight of policy processes, we believe that the chances for achieving high quality policy results can be much improved, independent of their individual content. While the research for this report focuses on the UK, many of the results of this research can also be applied, with due adaptation, to other national contexts.

To learn more about this report, its findings and our work please do not hesitate to visit, or contact me under [email protected], or Tel +44 (0) 20 7766 3471.

Best wishes,

Michael Hammer
Executive Director, One World Trust

3 Whitehall Court
London SW1A 2EL
Tel  +44 (0) 20 7766 3470
Fax  +44 (0) 20 7839 7718

Email [email protected]

Charity Commission No 210180

Trustees:  Lord Archer of Sandwell QC; Sir Geoffrey Bindman; Tony Colman; Dr Nazila Ghanea Hercock; Dr Sylvia Karlsson; Dr Tauni Lanier; Christopher Layton; Dr Kishan Manocha  Dr Wendi Momen JP; Joanna Reynolds; Dr Gavin Strang MP; Robert Whitfield;  Vanessa Wood and its also non-profit sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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