21 July 2005


At their recent meeting in Edinburgh the leaders of the world’s richest nations (G8) have made an unprecedented pledge to address global poverty by cancelling debt and increasing aid levels.

The challenge is now for Australia to follow that lead said Jack de Groot, Chair of the Make Poverty History campaign and National Director of Caritas Australia. His comments are reported in the latest edition of Ozspirit

"World leaders will gather again to address actions they can take at the UN Poverty Summit in September 2005. That presents Australia with an important opportunity to join with its OECD partners in announcing a more substantive aid commitment than currently exists.

Australia has been the OECD's leader over the last six years in economic growth rates and budget surpluses. We have enjoyed 14 years of continuous growth and 9 years of Commonwealth surpluses. We have the resources to make the necessary commitments."

He went on to say "At the UN Summit in 8 weeks time, Australia has the chance to demonstrate that it will rise to this global challenge. This would mean joining our OECD partners in announcing a timetable to reach 0.5 per cent of Gross National Income, up from 0.28 per cent now – as recommended by the OECD".

Polmin is urging all concerned Australians to write to the Prime Minister and Parliamentary Representatives asking that the Prime Minister and government
- join other world leaders at the UN poverty summit in New York in September
- make a firm, timetabled commitment to achieving the MDGs
- increase our aid to at least 0.5% of our GNI (Gross National Income)
- continue to pressure G8 nations to remove agricultural subsidies for fairer international rules on trade and finance

The next Edmund Rice Justice Network Seminar for schools will focus on the "Make Poverty History" campaign and will take place at Parade College, Bundoora on 19th Aug.

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