Tuesday, July 12, 2005

outcome of the g8

As you may have noticed I took more than a passing interest in the MakePovertyHistory cause recently. That is because with the G8 summit taking place in Edinburgh last week, it was an important time to focus on the issues at hand. Below is an email I received from the campaign organizers last week which outlined how they got on with their aims.

The 2005 G8 Summit took place against a background of tragedy. The attacks in London yesterday focused all of our attentions on the terrible waste that each and every life lost always represents. Our thoughts are with the friends and family of those killed and those who were injured.

At a time when terrorists have shown such disregard for our shared humanity, Make Poverty History is a living embodiment of it.

Never before have so many people stood in solidarity with the poor. While there is a great deal more G8 leaders should have done in Gleneagles, today they responded to our campaign for justice by making significant commitments to increase aid, cancelling some of the debts of some of the world's poorest countries, and saying they will apply fewer conditions to them. They also agreed to strive for access to AIDS treatment for all by 2010. These commitments will give hope and life to millions of the world's poorest people, and they're down to you.

Are you wearing a white band? Remembering all the emails you've sent? Did you rally along with quarter of a million people in Edinburgh last weekend? Then you helped deliver the pressure that made 2005 the year the world accelerated on the road towards justice.

Today's announcement marks a turning point in the human story, but it falls far short of the plan that would truly make poverty history. To do that, and secure a place in history, world leaders must go a lot further at 2 crucial talks later in the year - the UN Millennium Development Goals summit and World Trade Organisation talks - and we need your continued help to make sure they act.

Millions of people are trapped in the prison of poverty. Today the G8 chose not to do all that we have asked them that could set those people free. The people of the world are already on the road to justice. They expect their leaders to be with them. Today's announcement has shown that the G8 need to run much faster to catch up.

The Make Poverty History Team

P.S. This year the UK government have responded to campaigners by placing Africa on the agenda as a priority for the G8. They have worked hard with European Union and G8 colleagues to deliver significant steps toward debt cancellation and more and better aid. Throughout this summit the government have demonstrated leadership on these vital issues. We must keep up the pressure on them to ensure they show the same commitment for the rest of this crucial year and beyond.

Congratulations to all those involved in both organizing and participating, and may your good work continue later in the year. This blog, for one, will be right behind you.

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