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Make a Better World

Liberal Democrats are internationalists - we understand that by working together, people and countries can achieve so much more than they can alone.

It is a difficult time for people who believe in international co-operation. Liberals have been challenged by the vote to leave the EU, the election of increasingly nationalist and isolationist leaders across the globe, and a Conservative government seeking new trade deals with countries who are fundamentally opposed to our liberal values. With the election of Donald Trump and an increasingly assertive Russia, we must work to defend the international liberal order.

The Liberal Democrat approach to Britain's place in the world is patriotic, optimistic and progressive. We will work with our European and other international partners to promote the ideals that bring us together and make us more secure - championing human rights, helping the poorest people in the world and protecting our country and our allies.

Our priorities in the next parliament will be:

8.1 Working for peace and security across the world

This is a challenging time for peace and security across the world. Terrorist organisations prosper, the conflict in Syria continues to present a significant problem to the region and the world, and rising tensions between Russia and the USA threaten a long-standing balance of power.

The UK has a proud record of playing a leading role in the European Union and in international institutions like the UN, NATO and the Commonwealth and should continue to do so, promoting wherever possible the liberal values of freedom and opportunity for all. We will:

Liberal Democrats believe that despite efforts to prevent violent conflict, sometimes military intervention is necessary. The UK should only intervene militarily when there is a clear legal and/or humanitarian case, endorsed by a vote in parliament, working through international institutions whenever possible. We will encourage dialogue and mediation to reduce conflict between and within countries, working through the UN and other agencies.

In response to current major conflicts worldwide, we will:

8.2 Our armed forces and security services

The UK must be able to defend itself and the territories for which it has responsibility, support its neighbours and allies, and engage in humanitarian intervention. The security challenges the UK faces are shared by our partners and allies in the EU and NATO and the UK is more effective and more resilient when we work closely with those partners. We will:

Liberal Democrats recognise the vital role the UK's armed forces play in the defence of the nation and believe that it is the role of government to safeguard the interests of service personnel and veterans. We will:

8.3 International development

Liberal Democrats have always been - and remain - strongly committed to ensuring justice and equity for poor people around the world. We believe that the UK must continue to play a leading role in ending poverty and promoting environmentally sustainable development, through implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We will:

8.4 Standing up for liberal values

Liberal Democrats believe that British foreign policy and international aid should seek to promote the liberal values of human rights and democracy throughout the world. We will: