Thursday, February 10, 2005

G7 meeting and MakePovertyHistory

If you have taken part in the MakePovertyHistory campaign, you'll be pleased to see these results after the last G7 meeting. While not the best possible outcome, the G7 ministers did agree to some very important goals.

ON DEBT: They agreed that big institutions like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund should be ready to write off up to 100% of the poorest countries' debts. The door is now open for a definitive deal on debt in April so this was real progress. But we must ensure any deal covers all the poorest countries and doesn't raid aid budgets or come with harmful strings attached.

ON AID: The Finance ministers did, for the first time, agree that aid will need to be massively increased and made more effective. However they made no definite commitments to provide the cash needed to eradicate poverty. So there is much more to do.

ON TRADE: The finance ministers said they want progress in the current world trade talks to help poverty reduction and benefit developing countries. Yet the UK and other G7 countries are pushing poor countries to open up their markets to unfair trade. Trade justice means allowing poor countries to decide for themselves the trade policies which will help them end poverty and protect their environment. So we still have a long way to go in this area too.

Keep up the good work. The Bush's newest budget is out and while it doesn't really address the issues of debt relief, it does on both aid and lowering farm subsidies in the United States to allow freer and fairer trade access to American markets.