In the event of an independent Scotland, could the country afford to devote the recommended 0.7%的收入用于国际发展? 这既取决于国家的底线，也取决于该国的道德准则.
The latest announcement from the Scottish Government regarding Indyref2 raises complex questions about the country’s future on the world stage.
Some of the more contentious questions surround Scotland’s role in promoting international development.
Two difficult issues await policymakers in defining the country’s development agenda in the wake of a pro-independence vote: First, 这个国家能负担得起什么? 和第二, 政策会倾向于自我保护吗, or will Scotland seek to establish itself as a moral front-runner in promoting sustainable development beyond its borders?
联合国为发达经济体设定了零支出的目标.7 per cent of their gross national income (GNI) on official development assistance (ODA).
The benchmark was set in 1970s as a compromise between world-leading economists and politicians. Economists estimated that governments would need to redirect at least 1 per cent of global capital flows to low- and middle-income countries to ignite self-sustained growth there.
政客们更喜欢较低的目标和不具约束力的承诺. As a result, the UN called on governments to exert their ‘best efforts’ in meeting the goal.
The target has since been endorsed by numerous international organisations and think tanks but it has only been met by a handful of countries in practice.
自20世纪70年代以来，挪威、瑞典和丹麦一直在实现这一目标. 荷兰在2012年之前也是如此. The UK met the target for the first time in 2013 and then established it as a government prerogative in the 2015 International Development Act.
然而, 对负担能力问题的简单回答是肯定的, 苏格兰有能力实现这一目标 so long as Scots are willing to redirect funds from other priorities or go into further government debt.
苏格兰人要牺牲多少才能得到0分.7%的增长将取决于几个因素, 包括与伦敦的继承安排, 公众对增税的兴趣, 以及国内经济表现.
苏格兰的赤字最近跃升至36英镑.2020-21年将达到30亿人，也就是22人.占GDP的4%, due to the costs of health and economic interventions (and smaller tax base resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic).
The latest forecasts suggest that Scotland’s economy is recovering more quickly than expected and long-term economic scarring will not be as severe as previously feared. 然而, Scotland’s economy will inevitably be impacted by uncertainties in the global economy, 比如通货膨胀, 供应链中断, 还有暴跌的油价.
各国以各种方式受益于官方发展支出. 官方发展援助帮助各国加强外交和经济联系, which will be essential to Scotland as it seeks to diversify its trade and investment.
Scottish exporters will also benefit from a growing middle class in international markets. 官方发展援助还为捐助国带来声誉收益, 怎样才能提高政府在世界舞台上的软实力.
Academics use the term ‘soft power’ to describe the ability of an individual to influence another’s actions, 不是通过武力, 而是通过说服和申诉.
软实力使小国受益, 就像苏格兰, 在多边谈判中具有不成比例的影响力, including those aimed at defining the rules and institutions that will guide the global economy in the future.
在许多方面, answering the question of affordability requires grappling with the more moral question regarding what responsibility Scotland bears in the international community.
可以说，苏格兰在实现零关税方面面临着一种道德责任.7%的目标. Low- and middle-income countries will be disproportionately impacted by climate change, of which developed and emerging economies (and their corporations) have been disproportionately responsible.
Scotland also benefitted in its own development from the economic subjugation of British colonies in the Caribbean, 非洲, 印度和阿拉伯世界. ODA will be essential to combatting climate change and may be an important step towards restitution.
Scots will therefore have to do some soul searching in order to answer the question of affordability. 最终, some Scots will expect their governments to behave in ways that are economically opportunistic while others prefer international philanthropism.
需要注意的是，0.7%的目标 does not tell a country how or where to spend development assistance and it is easy to get it wrong.
In recent years the pendulum has swung more toward self-preservation in many countries, 导致发展议程发生重大变化.
2020年6月, 英国政府解散了国际发展部, 长期以来，它的独立决策受到发展从业者的赞赏, 进入外交和联邦事务部(FCO).
The government claimed the merger was needed to create efficiencies and better align development spending with the country’s commercial and diplomatic foreign policy objectives.
并非只有英国政府如此. Canada brought its International Development Agency under the thumb of the Department for Foreign Affairs and International Trade in 2013. Such mergers have been criticised by civil society groups as undermining countries’ abilities to address the most urgent development challenges in countries that need it the most.
不管苏格兰决定花多少钱, policymakers will have to resist the urge to blindly follow their peers in order to develop a development agenda that represents a truly independent nation.
Picture credits: Ethiopia - Jemal Countess/Getty; polio - Chris Hondros / Getty; Tuvalu - 马里奥名叫阿玉/盖蒂图片社