|Make Poverty History|
|Wednesday, 08 June 2005 08:49|
leaders gather at the G8 summit at Gleneagles in July, they will be aware that
this year is a crucial year for development. In order to make real progress in
reducing poverty and working towards the Millenium Development Goals, Tony Blair
will use the
I am proud of Labour’s commitment to development issues and I am pleased that the first piece I write for the Borough News since being elected as MP for Tooting should be on such an important issue. The manifesto that I campaigned on and was elected on contains far reaching and radical policies to reduce poverty, reduce maternal and child mortality and work harder to tackle killer diseases like AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
Significant progress in eliminating world poverty has already been made – over the past generation, child mortality rates have halved, illiteracy rates among adults have fallen from 46 per cent to 34 per cent and twice as many people have access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.
1997, the Labour Government has more than doubled aid, provided 100 per cent
debt relief for amounts owed to Britain, pressed for fairer trade, and pledged
to spend £1.5 billion on AIDS funding over the next three years. For the first
time ever, under
However, we can and need to do much more. One in five of the world’s population are still living on less than 1 dollar a day. 1.1 billion people still lack access to safe drinking water, and 2 billion are without adequate sanitation. 104 million children are not enrolled in school, ad some 10 million children die each year before their fifth birthday. The fight against poverty must continue if we are to meet the global commitment to eliminate poverty by 2015.
Last month in the Commons, I asked Gordon Brown to outline his proposals for debt relief. (Click here for full transcript.) Gordon Brown wants to see a new deal between the richest countries and the poorest countries, in which developing countries are partners, not merely supplicants. If developed countries work together, they can provide a real assault on the underlying causes of poverty. This represents a formidable challenge, but the presidency of the G8 places us in a strong position to push these issues to the forefront.
Many of you will be aware of the Make Poverty History campaign, a coalition of charities, faith groups, campaigns, trade unions and celebrities. You may have seen people on the street, tube or bus wearing a white wristband to show their support for the campaign.
me, this campaign represents the sheer force of people power in bringing
important issues to our attention. On 2 July, this force moves one step further,
with Live8 - 5 concerts being held across the world to highlight world poverty.
The campaign calls for trade justice, dropping the debt and more and better aid, and these are goals that the Labour Government is working towards, with solid proposals on debt, trade and financing for development. 100 per cent multilateral debt relief for debt owed to the World Bank and African Development Bank. An end to the practice of attaching conditions to aid. Trade reforms to allow poor countries to build their capacity to compete globally.
When Gordon Brown visited Tooting recently he saw first hand the work that local faith groups had been doing to campaign to help cancel debt. I would like to pay tribute to the local churches, mosques, temples and other communities here in Tooting, and their valuable contribution to eliminating world poverty.
next few weeks are vital in this campaign. Make Poverty History has succeeded in
raising awareness of global poverty, and Tony Blair and Gordon Brown are now
persuading other countries to join the
Promoted by Tooting Labour Party on behalf Sadiq Khan and Tooting Labour Party, all of 273 Balham High Road, London, SW17 7BD. Hosted by 34SP.com, 349 Bury Old Road, Manchester, M25 1PY.