Debt campaigners honoured by Newcastle University
8 January 2007
Dr David Golding, a founder member of the Jubilee Debt Campaign, was this week among major contributors to the anti-poverty movement being honoured by Newcastle University.
The five who received Honorary Doctor of Civil Law degrees from Newcastle University during a special ceremony to celebrate the achievements of the Make Poverty History campaign, were:
- Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer
- Sir Bob Geldof, organiser of Live8 and Live Aid
- Susan George, political economist and author of a dozen books on hunger, debt, international institutions and North-South issues.
- Dr David Golding, founder member of the Jubilee Debt Campaign and Development Co-ordinator of Make Poverty History North East
- His Excellency Benjamin William Mkapa, former President of the United Republic of Tanzania
Commenting on receiving the award, Dr Golding said:
'When I took up the cudgels for debt relief in 1997, first as a voluntary spokesperson for Tearfund and then on behalf of the wider Jubilee coalition, I was convinced nobody would listen to a word we said, despite the manifest justice of our case. “It’s us against the World Bank, the IMF, the US Treasury, etc.”, I thought. “What sort of contest is that?”'
'Now in 2007 we can look back on a year when about 20 poor countries have received substantial relief, and others should join them soon if campaigners keep up the pressure. Furthermore, to my astonishment I find myself receiving the highest honour my university can confer, the Degree of Doctor of Civil Law, in the company of a number of giants in the fight against global poverty. I am immensely grateful to Newcastle University, whose support from the beginning, at all levels, has been simply extraordinary. However, above all I want to express my deep appreciation to all those who have been part of the campaign over the years. You are the people I am representing today.'
'We have made real progress, but there is still far to go, not only on debt relief which alone can provide resources for essential public services rapidly, reliably and efficiently, but also on trade, aid and climate change. Campaigners’ ‘indefatigable efforts’ (as Kofi Annan put it) will be required in the years to come, just as they have been in the past. Together, we go on: “On to the Jubilee! And on to Make Poverty History!”'
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