Disappointing G8 in St Petersburg
18 July 2006
The G8 summit in St Petersburg has ended with only weak statements on poverty. Moussa Fye, Director of ActionAid Senegal, commented: “The G8 can take a year off, but poverty doesn’t.”
The G8 leaders – who were seen off from their countries and greeted in Russia by campaigners with giant sticky notes reminding them to “keep their promises to the world’s poor” – did refer to the pledges of Gleneagles, and promised to review progress in 2007. But there were no new advances on key economic justice issues.
In advance of the G8, Scottish rock group Travis stuck a giant yellow 'Much more to do' message to the door of Number 10 Downing Street - the first time something other than a Christmas wreath has adorned the famous London door. Meanwhile campaigners in Berlin, Ottawa, Paris and Washington put on similar stunts.
Jubilee Debt Campaign and others sent a letter to Tony Blair in the week prior to the summit, calling on him to step up international action on debt:
"We welcome the fact that already some of the world's poorest nations have been using money released by debt cancellation to save lives, providing emergency relief in the face of drought, getting more children into school, making healthcare available without charge," it said.
"But if debt cancellation is to be really effective, much more action is needed. More debts and more countries must be included, and there must be an end to imposed economic policy conditions. There needs to be a new process for dealing with debt – one that is focused on justice, meets the needs of the poorest people, allows debtor nations a proper voice and recognises that creditors also have responsibility for the debt crisis."
Debt campaigners will now try to ensure that the G8 doesn’t ignore poverty for another year, by putting on pressure for further action on debt at the German summit in Heilingandamm (near Rostock) in June 2007. Click here
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