Conservatives would set up an international watchdog to ensure British aid money was spent effectively and to stamp out corruption, Shadow International Development Secret ary Andrew Mitchell announced.

The Birmingham MP said fighting global poverty was "not a Labour issue or a Conservative issue but a British issue."

Conservatives would increase British aid substantially to 0.7 per cent of national income by 2013, he said.

And he took a tough line on Darfur, in Western Sudan, where the government and pro-government Arab militias are accused of war crimes against the region's black African population.

The generals responsible for targeting civilians should be put on trial in the International Court of Justice in The Hague, he said.

Mr Mitchell (Con Sutton Coldfield) led a passionate debate on international development which included contributions from a number of speakers from outside the Conservative Party.

Rwandan woman Mary Blewitt told the conference she had lost 50 members of her family in the conflict between Tutsis and Hutus a decade ago.

She said: "Along with other Tutsi families they were slaughtered in cold blood. I was lucky, I lived in the UK at the time. Had I lived in Rwanda, I would be dead as well."

It is believed that between 800,000 and 1,070,000 Tutsis died in massacres in 1994.

The world had a duty to prevent the same thing happening in Darfur, she said.

Mr Mitchell said: "Darfur is a real test for the international community. Will we stand by one again as we did over Rwanda?

"We should hit the generals where it hurts by stopping their shopping trips to Paris, freezing their foreign bank accounts and closing down their network of overseas businesses.