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Old 02-04-2005, 04:04 PM   #1
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A Real Hero in the Struggle to MakePovertyHistory

Bono maybe? Or Bob Geldof? Of course.

But I'm speaking of no one other than beloved Madiba - Nelson Mandela!

Nelson Mandela is in London right now at the beginning of a series of meetings by the G7 Finance Ministers who are SERIOUSLY taking up the issue of FULL DEBT CANCELLATION for the world's poorest nations.

This is the biggest push for debt cancellation since the Jubilee 2000 movement.

Here is an article about Nelson's speech in London yesterday:

Associated Press , 2/3/05

Mandela compares poverty to apartheid, slavery

by CATHERINE McALOON; Associated Press Writer

LONDON -- Nelson Mandela on Thursday compared widespread poverty in
developing countries to man-made evils such as slavery and apartheid, and
urged wealthy nations to do more to fight it.

At a rally in central London's Trafalgar Square, the former South African
president and Nobel Peace Prize winner said developed nations must provide
more aid to poor countries and lift their crippling debts.

"In this new century, millions of people in the world's poorest countries
remain imprisoned, enslaved and in chains. They are trapped in the prison of
poverty. It is time to set them free," Mandela said to rousing applause from
a crowd of several thousand people.

"Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it
can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings."

Mandela was speaking on the eve of a London meeting by the finance ministers
of the Group of Seven industrialized nations. Mandela said he had been
invited to meet with the ministers Friday, where he is expected to deliver a
similar message.

On Wednesday, the frail 86-year-old statesman met with British Treasury
chief Gordon Brown, and he planned to meet Prime Minister Tony Blair later
Thursday. Blair has made doubling development aid to Africa a priority for
his chairmanship of the Group of Eight industrialized nations this year.

Brown is expected to use the meeting of G-7 finance ministers to get backing
for the International Finance Facility plan, which seeks to raise US$50
billion (euro38 billion) a year for development aid by selling bonds on the
world's capital markets.

Mandela - who was introduced to the crowd by Bob Geldolf, the rock star
behind the 1985 Live Aid concerts that raised money for Africa - used his
speech to endorse a campaign by Make Poverty History, the British arm of
Global Call to Action Against Poverty, a coalition of groups leading efforts
to tackle global poverty.

Mandela said developed nations know what needed to be done to fight the
crisis, but they were falling far behind in their promises.

"The first (step) is ensuring trade justice," he said. "I have said before
that trade justice is a truly meaningful way for the developed countries to
show commitment to bringing about an end to global poverty. The second is an
end to the debt crisis for the poorest countries. The third is to deliver
much more aid and make sure it is of the highest quality."

He said world leaders will meet in New York in September to gauge the
progress of their 2000 Millennium Declaration to reduce the world's extreme
poverty by 50 percent. The leaders must address the fact that their "promise
is falling tragically behind," Mandela said.

"Of course the task will not be easy," he told his audience. "But not to do
this would be a crime against humanity, against which I ask all humanity now
to rise up. Make poverty history in 2005 ... Then we can all stand with our
heads held high."

University student Lindsay Martin, 19, said she hoped Mandela's
inspirational message resonated with her country's leaders.

"It would really be nice if Tony Blair could listen to public opinion. I'd
really hope that he'd designate more funds to poverty," Martin said.

James Heller, 18, who attended the rally with fellow high school students
from London, said: "I think it's really important that young people have a
chance to hear such an inspirational figure. Poverty is an important issue,
and it's up to everyone to do something. It's our generation that is going
to have to take it further."

Mandela, who was jailed for 27 years under his country's apartheid laws,
went on to become South Africa's first black president. Since stepping down
in 1999, he has campaigned on a range of platforms, including raising
awareness about HIV/AIDS, especially in Africa where about 25 million of the
world's 40 million HIV-infected people live.

Mandela won praise last month for helping to break down stigma about
HIV/AIDS after disclosing that his 54-year-old son died of the disease,
which is shrouded in silence and fear in his homeland.

Picture link from Mandela's trip to London:


I completely agree with Madiba's contention that the truly poor of the world are being held down in economic slavery.

Remember Bob Marley's lyrics from his song "Concrete Jungle"?

"No chains around my feet but I'm not free. I know I'm bound here in captivity."

To keep up with the G7 Finance Ministers meeting go to:




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Old 02-04-2005, 04:13 PM   #2
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Thanks for posting this, Jamila. I was gearing up to do that myself.

They are all heroes...Bono, Geldof, and Mandela. Anyone can be be a hero by stepping up and doing the right thing. By standing up and using your voice to say, "No more."

(BTW, Jam...check your PMs)

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Old 02-04-2005, 04:23 PM   #3
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Well said ladies. Where you live should not decide whether you live or whether you die.
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Old 02-04-2005, 04:43 PM   #4
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Jamila, you're a saint.
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Old 02-05-2005, 05:28 AM   #5
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I'm really humbled, coemgen, by your very kind words.

I don't know about "saint", but I am a serious follower of the words and deeds of Great people like Mandela, King, Aung San Suu Kyi and others.

And like Bono and Geldof and many more around the world who aren't famous, I have simply decided that the issue of Peace can never be achieved in our world without EACH OF US deciding to fight for a world of Justice for all.

Nelson Mandela delivered a masterful speech yesterday at the G7 Finance Ministers meeting with Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exchequer for the U.K., by his side.


Veryr short-sighted of the Bush administration which talks a good game on world justice, then walks in a very crooked line.


G7 divided on development aid despite Mandela appeal

Sat Feb 5, 5:13 AM ET

LONDON (AFP) - Top finance officials from some of the world's richest countries were to meet here deeply divided and deadlocked on how to attack global poverty despite a vibrant personal appeal for action by former South African president Nelson Mandela.

AFP-Pool Photo

Slideshow: G7 Finance Meeting

Finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of Seven, in the face of US-European differences, failed to reach common ground on development aid during a working dinner Friday that was followed by a meeting of their deputies that went on until early Saturday, European officials said.

Ministers earlier in the evening met with Mandela who urged them to back a doubling in annual development assistance to 100 billion dollars and to approve 100 percent debt cancellation for Africa.

"I urge you to act tonight, do not delay when poor people continue to suffer," Mandela said.

But in subsequent talks, according to German secretary of state for finance Caio Koch-Weser, "the Americans (were) in a completely different frame of mind from the Europeans."

Under discussion was an ambitious scheme proposed by Britain that would fund a package of financial assistance of up to 100 billion dollars a year and provide debt relief and trade benefits.

US Undersecretary of the Treasury John Taylor said here during Friday that the plan "doesn't work" for the United States.

US officials have cited legal problems in connection with the plan, known as the International Finance Facility, and have pointed to their own proposals for debt cancellation and the transformation of World Bank (news - web sites) loans into grants.

Ministers and central bankers from the Group of Seven, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, were to re-convene here Saturday for talks on currency matters and economic growth prospects, but European sources said further debate on development aid was also possible.

France and Germany were expected to announce their own development initiative here if disagreements within the G7 persist, a European source said.

Following morning talks the ministers and bankers were to have lunch with Chinese counterparts and were later to issue a declaration certain to be rigorously deconstructed by currency traders the world over.

But G7 sources have said the document will probably break no new ground and will merely reiterate previous appeals for exchange rate stability and, where appropriate, flexibility.

The latter reference pertains to certain Asian currencies, notably the Chinese yuan, that are pegged to the dollar and are seen in the United States and Europe as undervalued and giving their exports an unfair advantage.

During their lunch with their G7 counterparts, Chinese Finance Minister Jin Renqing and central bank head Zhou Xiaochuan are likely to be told again of the need to move more decisively toward a revaluation of their currency.

China has so far resisted calls to allow the yuan to float according to a timetable set by the West and analysts say that stance is unlikely to change here.

China has repeatedly pledged to ease its dollar peg but has not said when, maintaining only that any eventual loosening would be gradual.

Europe and the United States meanwhile have clear ideas of what the other needs to do eliminate imbalances and pockets of sluggishness in the world economy.

European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet, speaking at a seminar Friday, appealed to the United States to promote savings as a means of reducing its gaping current account deficit.

Eurozone officials fear that the weakening dollar, reflecting investor concern about the persistent current account and budget deficits in the United States, will harm European growth prospects by making eurozone exports more expensive and thus less competitive.

US officials for their part insist that Europe must take concrete steps toward more business-friendly, less rigid economic management that -- they maintain -- will pull the eurozone out of the doldrums and enable it to contribute to global demand.


Thanks for reading this article.
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Old 02-05-2005, 06:44 AM   #6
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This just in from Jubilee Policy Working Group (which I'm on).

Sec. Snow isn't at the G7 Finance minister's meeting (apparently he's sick?) but Undersec. Taylor, who supports 100% multilateral debt cancellation and converting grants to loans (a great policy!), is there. Here's the news I was just emailed by Jubilee's director, Neil.

G7 Propose Debt Relief of 'Up To' 100 Pct-Sources
Sat Feb 5, 2005 08:53 AM ET

LONDON (Reuters) - The Group of Seven appeared to have achieved a compromise on aid to the Third World on Saturday, suggesting up to 100 percent multilateral debt relief to poor nations, G7 sources told Reuters.
British finance minister Gordon Brown had sought a complete debt write off for the world's poorest nations, but had faced resistance from the United States.

Washington had objected to his proposal to use IMF gold reserves to fund the debt write off and also to create a new financing mechanism that would double aid.

"The G7 has raised the prospect of relief of up to 100 percent of multilateral debt owed to development banks and the IMF for poor countries," one of the G7 sources told Reuters.

The G7 would ask IMF Managing Director Rodrigo Rato for a proposal on how to finance debt relief, they added.

G7 source sees first sign of possible compromise on aid
Sat Feb 5, 2005 06:34 AM ET
LONDON, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Policymakers from the Group of Seven rich nations were showing signs of giving some ground in fraught talks on aid and debt relief for the world's poorest countries, a G7 source said on Saturday.
"We are seeing the first signs of the possibility of compromise on development aid," a G7 source told Reuters on this morning's official talks.

Finance ministers engaged in heated and occasionally angry exchanges late into Friday night after the U.S. flatly rejected a British proposal to double aid to Africa to $100 billion a year and write off the debts of the poorest countries completely.

The U.S. has come up with its own proposals on debt relief instead.

Last night's negotiations failed to achieve any kind of resolution, G7 sources told Reuters.

But given the London meeting is their first major gathering of the year and the high degree of media attention, the pressure is on for at least some progress to be made.

The British plan has the backing of the frail 86-year-old former South African president Nelson Mandela who made a passionate appeal to the G7 on Friday to support the deal.

Here's a prayer that it will finally happen!

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Old 02-05-2005, 09:54 AM   #7
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"100 percent multilateral debt relief to poor nations"

That would be wonderful!

Now only if the US politicians would pull thier heads out of their asses....
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Old 02-05-2005, 10:54 AM   #8
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Imagine a world where everyone actually thought and lived like this. How amazing would that be?
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Old 02-05-2005, 05:20 PM   #9
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G7 backs Africa debt relief plan

The US has poured cold water on Gordon Brown's debt relief plans
G7 finance ministers have backed plans to write off up to 100% of the debts of some of the world's poorest countries.
UK chancellor Gordon Brown said the London meeting of the world's seven richest nations would be remembered as "the 100% debt relief summit".

Some 37 countries could benefit after a case-by-case review by bodies including the World Bank and the IMF, he said.

But the US says it cannot support Mr Brown's International Finance Facility to boost aid to developing countries.

BBC correspondents said the meeting had produced some movement towards the UK's ambitions, but much work was needed.

Mr Brown said it was a major breakthrough for the international organisations to offer up to 100% multilateral debt relief - "the vast bulk" of money owed by the poorest countries.

"We could be at the beginning of the final stage of the process where the debts that were owed by the poorest countries, built up over 20 or 30 years, debts that are simply unpayable in the real world, are finally taken care of," he said.

He added: "It is the richest countries hearing the voices of the poor."

But he said they would insist on government reforms and the need for transparency, tackling corruption and openness from both the poorest and richest nations.

BBC correspondent Patrick Bartlett said while it was an agreement in principle, the organisations involved now have to look at how it would work in practice.

Oxfam senior policy adviser Max Lawson welcomed the statement and said G7 ministers had "passed the first hurdle of 2005".

But he added: "They need to move quickly to turn their proposals into real change for the world's poorest.

"Two million children will die needlessly between now and the next meeting in April. If rich countries are going to keep their promises to tackle obscene poverty they need deliver - and deliver quickly."

Talks are continuing on how to finance increased overseas development assistance.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is to look at a proposal to use its gold supplies to help the debt relief effort when it meets in April.

Mr Brown said G7 ministers had agreed to defer debt interest payments and repayments for some countries affected by the tsunami until the end of 2005.

But UK plans for an International Finance Facility (IFF) to help deal with debt in the developing world have not been agreed.

Mr Brown wanted to provide $10bn (£5.38bn) a year over a decade, using G7 backing so the money could be borrowed up front on financial markets.

The US is completely committed to poverty reduction and providing financing to do that

US Treasury Under-Secretary John Taylor

It is a key element of his proposals for a modern version of the Marshall Plan, which brought US aid to rebuild Europe after World War II, for the developing world.

Mr Brown said it was "winning support every day" and said a programme had been agreed to draw up more details in time for the G8 summit in July.

But US Treasury Under-Secretary John Taylor said the US could not support the IFF because of its "legislative process".

"The US is completely committed to poverty reduction and providing financing to do that," he said.

"But this particular mechanism does not work for the United States. It works for other countries, and that is fine."

Earlier, he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme the US had increased support for Africa in the past four years from $1.1bn per year to $4.6bn per year.

But South Africa Finance Minister Trevor Manuel told the BBC's Talking Point programme what was needed was one approach, with all wealthy nations on board.

He said much of the money pledged by the US had not yet been dispersed.

The UK has made poverty in the poorest nations a key theme for its 2005 presidency of the Group of Eight (G8), which comprises the G7 and Russia. The G8 countries will meet at Gleneagles in Scotland.

At a dinner on Friday night, former South African president Nelson Mandela backed Mr Brown's plan when he urged the finance chiefs to write-off African debt and provide an extra $50bn (£26.69bn) a year in aid for the next decade.

Talks also centred on the impact of the rising economies of China and India, the US budget and trade deficits, how the US, Europe and Japan can act to boost global economic growth, and HIV/Aids.

G7 ministers called for more flexibility in international exchange rates and said "excess volatility" would impede economic growth.

Representatives from China, India, Russia, South Africa and Brazil were invited to attend some of the sessions.

A G8 summit is set to take place in July.

So it seems SOME REAL PROGRESS was finally made by the G7 nations to finally begin the process of deeper debt cancellation for the world's poorest nations, hopefully ending up in FULL DEBT cancellation for the world's poorest countries!

But the USA is still dragging its feet on this issue and is DELYING REAL PROGRESS toward this goal.

The question is : WHY?

As the representative from Oxfam said, between now and April when the G7 will meet again, over TWO MILLION CHILDREN WILL DIE from extreme poverty and its associated diseases!


Where are all those fundamentalists who believe in the "sanctity of life"?

Why aren't they outraged by this unnecessary and tragic loss of life?

Something to ponder....
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Old 02-06-2005, 06:50 AM   #10
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I don't know where all of those people who are screaming bloody murder about "the sanctity of life" are besides hiding their fg heads in the sand. Two million children will die and they couldn't care less. This makes my blood boil.
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Old 02-06-2005, 07:18 AM   #11
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I agree Verte, it is a travesty of epic proportions.

But it is a ray of real hope.
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Old 02-12-2005, 04:59 PM   #12
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Here is Bono's video endorsement of the MakePovertyHistory campaign:


It is at the bottom righthand side of the webpage.

Hope y'all take a look at it and then make your decision to GET INVOLVED in the effort to make poverty history in 2005!


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Old 02-26-2005, 11:14 AM   #13
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thank you all for the articles and the links, they really were inspired.
I only regret that for some mysterious reason my PC doesn't want me to hear well the audio of the oxfam message delivered by Scarlet and Bono..
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Old 03-10-2005, 08:43 PM   #14
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Hi! i urgently need to find and download the clip for ONE campaign that was supposed to be shown in the oscars.

i need the video in the next 7 hours, and i would be endlessly grateful if someone could give me a link for it.

thank you

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