German G8 fails urgency test
11 June 2007Poverty was back on the agenda at this year’s G8 meeting in Heiligendamm, Germany, with over half a million people in the UK raising their voices in advance of the summit. But the G8 leaders failed to take the urgent action needed.
Linked to our current Lift the Lid campaign, Jubilee Germany encouraged campaigners to sign enormous red balloons in advance of the summit saying, in German, “Cancel Illegitimate Debt”. Several had been covered in signatures at the Jubilee Debt Campaign conference in April, while others from around the UK included one signed by International Development Secretary Hilary Benn in Manchester.
Debt campaigners also called for the G8 to get serious about cancelling Liberia’s debt. Liberia was one of the countries promised debt relief at the 2005 G8 summit - but it has STILL not had its arrears cleared and its debts cancelled. With an incredible $3.7 billion of debts run up by former repressive regimes, Liberia needs debt cancellation NOW. But rich countries have been arguing for more than a year over how to clear an initial $1.5 billion of debt. While the G8 communiqué reaffirmed its commitment to the 2005 G8 debt deal, it did not acknowledge that the existing debt cancellation process is too slow, too limited, and comes with damaging and unfair strings attached. Of the 41 countries promised cancellation in 2005, 19 have yet to receive it. Keep the pressure up - see our Take Action section >>