July 1, 2008

G8 guilty of all the good they didn’t do

By |1 July 2008|

Caritas Internationalis says that the G8 leaders must use their summit in Japan to salvage their reputation on aid and help millions out of poverty.  Leaders of Canada, Italy, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, the UK and the US meet 7-9 July in Hokkaido, Japan with progress on development and climate change on the agenda. In the case of the international community as a whole, total aid fell by 8.4% in 2007 in comparison with 2006, after a fall of 5.1% between 2005 and 2006. Aid is having an impact, but a predicted short fall of $27bn will put a potential 5 million lives at risk. The 2008 G8 is at the halfway point to the deadline for reaching the Millennium Development Goals with the anti-poverty targets way off target. Caritas Internationalis, the umbrella organisation for 162 national Catholic charities, fears that a failure to see through previous G8 aid pledges will [...]

June 17, 2008

Caritas President: Poverty targets missed unless G8 act

By |17 June 2008|

Caritas Internationalis President Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga says it will be a scandal if we fail the poor in developing countries due to lack of financing from rich countries. Leaders of G8 countries will meet from 7-9 July in Hokkaido, Japan to discuss development, among other issues. The G8 includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the UK, and the United States. Caritas is urging them to live up to past commitments on aid quantity and quality to ensure there is financing for a series of anti-poverty targets called the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In the case of the international community as a whole total aid fell by 8.4% in 2007 in comparison with 2006, after a fall of 5.1% between 2005 and 2006. In a joint statement by Caritas and CIDSE (the International Cooperation for Development and Solidarity) and signed by Cardinal Rodriguez, the Caritas Internationalis President said, “We regret that [...]

Caritas Japan leads global campaigning on G8

By |17 June 2008|

“We want them to hear all voices, not just in eight countries, but all voices.” As leaders from the world’s most powerful nations prepare to gather for  the G8 summit in Japan, Caritas Japan is gearing up to send them a message on behalf of the poor people in the world. Fr. Daisuke Narui, Executive Director of Caritas Japan, says Caritas wants to bring the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and climate change to the attention of the summit’s leaders. “These are global issues.  We want them to hear all voices on these issues, not just those from eight countries, but all voices,” said Daisuke. Caritas Japan has produced 80,000 postcards bearing a message to encourage rich countries to provide justice and not charity on aid. The postcards have been given to people in parishes, schools and Catholic hospitals across Japan and people are urged to sign them and send them to Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo [...]

Caritas President keeps pressure on G8

By |17 June 2008|

Caritas Internationalis President Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga is keeping up the pressure on G8 countries with a call to live up to their promises on aid. After meeting with world leaders in the run up to previous G8’s, Cardinal Rodriguez is urging this year’s summit in Hokkaido, Japan 7-9 July to not let anti-poverty targets be missed due to lack of money. Cardinal Rodriguez said, “Aid can make a real difference to people. I have seen how it can transform societies, for example in my own country Honduras. It would be a scandal if poor people are not given the chance to change their own lives through lack of the right support from rich countries.” The G8 includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the UK, and the United States. Leaders of G8 countries will meet to discuss development among other issues. World leaders set 2015 as the target date for the achievement [...]

April 17, 2008

Our messages to the G8 in Japan

By |17 April 2008|

Aid works. Much of the work on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is still to be done. Missing the MDGs through lack of financing is unforgivable. 2008 is the key to finding missing funding. The gap between Africa and other regions of the developing world is large and challenging but it does not have to be discouraging.  There are success stories. Most importantly, the success stories show that the combination of resources and commitment on the part of African governments and African people, can make a huge difference.  We need both the commitment from Africa and the political will on the part of donor governments to provide the resources.  Regrettably the figures for last year show that they are faltering in their commitment. They must have the courage, especially now at a time of slowing economic growth in their own economies, to put their aid budgets back on track to meet their [...]

Davos 2008 Final Day

By |17 April 2008|

On my final day at Davos I am invited to participate in the Informal Gathering of World Economic Leaders (IGWEL), a private meeting of heads of state and government, senior government ministers, heads of international and regional organisations and select private sector representatives. It is an “off the record” discussion on ‘The Responsibility to Protect: Human Security and International Action’ and centres on the importance of international action against genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. We talk about what the international community has learned from gross human rights abuses and humanitarian crises in places such as Darfur, Bosnia, Rwanda and Kosovo and what capacities are lacking in the international system to respond effectively to them. I also attend a session entitled ‘Death, Disease and Dirty Water’ which focuses on the links between water and diseases, such as malaria, dengue fever and cholera. A panel made up of scientists [...]

Davos Day Three

By |17 April 2008|

Day Three at Davos and there is much talk of the Millennium Development Goals at various sessions, culminating in a joint statement in which world leaders vow to make 2008 a turning point in the fight against poverty. Promises are made and worthy sentiments expressed, but these will need to be translated into real action on the ground. The role of faith-based and other civil society groups in helping to deliver the MDGs is at last being acknowledged. Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, said that the international community has to recognize that social and economic problems in many poorer developing countries are creating an emergency that has to be faced. At current rates of progress, the developing world is far from achieving the MDGs by 2015. Governments should join with the private sector, NGOs and faith groups to forge a common approach to issues such as water [...]

Davos Day Two

By |14 April 2008|

Poverty, climate change, water and faith were the themes that dominated my second day at Davos. The day begins early with a breakfast session with former US Vice-President Al Gore and rock star/poverty activist Bono discussing how to combine solutions to extreme poverty and climate change. Al Gore said: ““The Millennium Development Goals can only be met if the climate crisis is taken into the fold of that effort. If the world warms up by two degrees all of the good work done in development will be undone.” I was pleased to see Bono taking up this theme, so central to CI's advocacy strategy, saying that the G8 nations were not making good on their commitments to the MDGs . “It looks like they are not going to happen, and that is a scandal. If we can’t keep to these commitments, who are we?” he said. He called for governments to [...]

Holy See diplomat calls for greater solidarity on MDGS

By |4 April 2008|

“At the halfway point, while much has been done towards achieving the goals, abject poverty, hunger, illiteracy and lack of even the most basic healthcare are still rampant, indeed worsening in some regions,” said Archbishop Celestino Migliore, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, in an address delivered to the 62nd session of the U.N. General Assembly, 4 April 2008. His statement was given during the debate on “Recognising the Achievements, Addressing the Challenges and Getting Back on Track to Achieve the MDGs by 2015.” “Authoritative studies tell us that in spite of the remarkable economic growth in many developing countries, the overall goal of reducing hunger and poverty has remained elusive, said the Archbishop. “My delegation believes that greater international solidarity is necessary if we are to succeed in narrowing the ever-increasing gap between rich and poor countries and between individuals within countries,” he said. “The combined efforts [...]

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