"How the G8 lied to the world on aid" - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Free Your Mind > Free Your Mind Archive
Click Here to Login
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-24-2005, 06:47 AM   #1
Rock n' Roll Doggie
ALL ACCESS
 
sulawesigirl4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Virginia
Posts: 7,416
Local Time: 07:15 AM
"How the G8 lied to the world on aid"

Quote:
How the G8 Lied to the World on Aid
The truth about Gleneagles puts a cloud over the New York summit
by Mark Curtis

World leaders are now preparing for the millennium summit to be held in New York next month, described by the UN as a "once-in-a-generation opportunity to take bold decisions". Yet the current draft outcome simply repeats what was agreed on aid and debt last month in Gleneagles. The reality of that G8 deal has recently emerged - and is likely to condemn the New York summit to be an expensive failure.

The G8 agreed to increase aid from rich countries by $48bn a year by 2010. When Tony Blair announced this to parliament, he said that "in addition ... we agreed to cancel 100% of the multilateral debts" of the most indebted countries. He also stated that aid would come with no conditions attached. These were big claims, all of which can now be shown to be false.

First, in recent evidence to the Treasury committee, Gordon Brown made the astonishing admission that the aid increase includes money put aside for debt relief. So the funds rich countries devote to writing off poor countries' debts will be counted as aid. Russia's increase in "aid" will consist entirely of write-offs. A third of France's aid budget consists of money for debt relief; much of this will be simply a book-keeping exercise worth nothing on the ground since many debts are not being serviced. The debt deal is not "in addition" to the aid increase, as Blair claimed, but part of it.

Far from representing a "100%" debt write-off, the deal applies initially to only 18 countries, which will save just $1bn a year in debt-service payments. The 62 countries that need full debt cancellation to reach UN poverty targets are paying 10 times more in debt service. And recently leaked World Bank documents show that the G8 agreed only three years' worth of debt relief for these 18 countries. They state that "countries will have no benefit from the initiative" unless there is "full donor financing".

The deal also involves debts only to the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the African Development Bank, whereas many countries have debts to other organizations. It is a kick in the teeth for the African Union, whose recent summit called for "full debt cancellation for all African nations".

The government's claim that debt relief will free up resources for health and education is also a deception. The deal explicitly says that those countries receiving debt relief will have their aid cut by the same amount. If, say, Senegal is forgiven $100m a year in debt service, World Bank lending will be slashed by the same amount. That sum will be retained in the World Bank pot for lending across all poor countries, but only when they sign up to World Bank/IMF economic policy conditions. And this leads to the third false claim.

Blair's assertion that aid will come with no conditions is contradicted by Hilary Benn, his development secretary, who told a parliamentary committee on July 19 that "around half" of World Bank aid programs have privatization conditions. Recent research by the NGO network Eurodad shows that conditions attached to World Bank aid are rising. Benin, for example, now has to meet 130 conditions to qualify for aid, compared with 58 in the previous agreement. Eleven of 13 countries analyzed have to promote privatization to receive World Bank loans, the two exceptions having already undergone extensive privatization programs Yet in the G8 press conference Blair refuted the suggestion that privatization would be a condition for aid.

According to recently leaked documents, four rich-country representatives to the IMF board want to add yet more conditions to debt relief. This will be a key topic for discussion at the IMF's annual meeting the week after the millennium summit. The British government opposes new conditions but continues to support overall conditionality.

This makes a mockery of Brown and Blair's claim that poor countries are now free to decide their own policies. It is true that the G8 communiqué stated that "developing countries ... need to decide, plan and sequence their economic policies to fit with their own development strategies". Yet it also stated that "African countries need to build a much stronger investment climate" and increase "integration into the global economy" - code for promoting free trade - and that aid resources would be focused on countries meeting these objectives.

Poor countries are free to do what rich countries tell them. The cost is huge. Christian Aid estimates that Africa has lost $272bn in the past 20 years from being forced to promote trade liberalization as the price for receiving World Bank loans and debt relief. The draft outcome of the millennium summit says nothing about abolishing these conditions and contains little to address Africa's poverty. With only a few weeks to go, massive pressure needs to be brought to bear.
original article here
Bolded parts are my emphasis. What do you all make of this?
__________________

__________________
"I can't change the world, but I can change the world in me." - Bono

sulawesigirl4 is offline  
Old 08-24-2005, 12:33 PM   #2
ONE
love, blood, life
 
FizzingWhizzbees's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: the choirgirl hotel
Posts: 12,614
Local Time: 12:15 PM
I'm glad someone posted this as I think it's important people don't become too focused on the message being promoted by governments (and some campaign groups for that matter) that the G8 summit represented some sort of victory for poorer countries.

I think a lot of people who were involved in campaigns like Make Poverty History would be shocked to realise just how little was actually achieved at the G8. Particularly shocking is the fact that money received in the form of debt relief will be immediately recouped through a reduction in the supply of aid -- talk about giving with one hand and taking away with the other.

And of course, as the article points out, the conditions imposed on countries which accept aid or debt relief are often no less damaging being heavily indebted. Apparently it's fine for the US and the EU to subsidise their farmers to the tune of billions of dollars annually but if a desperately poor country adopts the same policy they risk losing millions in aid. And if a country dares to object to, say privatisation of water supply because of the devastating impact it might have on the population, they'll also be denied aid or debt relief. It makes a mockery of the claims that the latest 'deal' on aid and debt relief wasn't going to involve these sort of conditions.

I don't know there's that much more I can say about this. It's appalling that all the promises of an increase in aid and debt relief have come to this, but it's hardly unexpected either.
__________________

__________________
FizzingWhizzbees is offline  
Old 08-24-2005, 12:37 PM   #3
Blue Crack Distributor
 
LarryMullen's POPAngel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: I'll be up with the sun, I'm not coming down...
Posts: 53,698
Local Time: 07:15 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by FizzingWhizzbees


I don't know there's that much more I can say about this. It's appalling that all the promises of an increase in aid and debt relief have come to this, but it's hardly unexpected either.

Exactly. I don't know what makes me angrier: that so much that was hoped for resulted in so little, or that I knew all along this is how it would end up.
__________________
LarryMullen's POPAngel is offline  
Old 08-24-2005, 01:56 PM   #4
Blue Crack Addict
 
MrsSpringsteen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 24,994
Local Time: 07:15 AM


I wonder if this will even make the TV news here, considering there was quite a bit of coverage of the G8 in the US
__________________
MrsSpringsteen is offline  
Old 08-24-2005, 02:00 PM   #5
Blue Crack Addict
 
Moonlit_Angel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: In a dimension known as the Twilight Zone...do de doo doo, do de doo doo...
Posts: 19,271
Local Time: 06:15 AM
Gah, that really sucks . Come on, leaders, people aren't asking for this stuff just for grins and giggles!

Angela
__________________
Moonlit_Angel is offline  
Old 08-24-2005, 06:27 PM   #6
Rock n' Roll Doggie
VIP PASS
 
Jamila's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 5,454
Local Time: 06:15 AM
There will be a LOT more going on around the world coming in September to keep alive the struggle against extreme poverty.

Here is some background of what will be happening in Sept., including the SECOND INTERNATIONAL WHITE BAND DAY.


Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP)
www.whiteband.org

WHITE BAND DAY II: WAKE UP TO POVERTY!

On 10 September, ahead of the UN Summit, people across the world will
unite
in the second GCAP mobilization - to demand that world leaders Wake-Up
to
Poverty. Thousands of people will be holding breakfast meetings with
politicians, all night vigils, rallies outside state buildings,
jamborees,
petitions and early morning press calls. World leaders will literally
be
waking-up to the voices of people demanding action to end poverty
before
they depart for the UN Summit. These actions will be mirrored in New
York on
14 September, the opening day of the Summit, with a stunt including
alarm
clocks to 'Wake-up' the delegates. Millions of people will also be
wearing
white bands - the symbol of the campaign - to show their solidarity for
an
end to poverty.

A number of countries have already arranged meetings with their
leaders, and
others have suggested doing 'Shadow Reports' on their government
progress
toward to the MDGs.


visit www.whiteband.org to download materials.


More to come about these various activities.

This is just to let y'all know that the struggle to end extreme poverty in our world will be a long and arduous one.

It may take 40 years, like Bono has said.

Do you have the resolve to struggle for this long to end extreme poverty in our world? I know I do.
__________________
Jamila is offline  
Old 08-24-2005, 06:39 PM   #7
ONE
love, blood, life
 
FizzingWhizzbees's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: the choirgirl hotel
Posts: 12,614
Local Time: 12:15 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by Jamila
This is just to let y'all know that the struggle to end extreme poverty in our world will be a long and arduous one.
I think we're all aware of that, Jamila. But the fact that the actions around the G8 have achieved very little when compared to what was expected has caused many people to question the effectiveness of the tactics employed in the campaign surrounding the G8.

I think we need to be a lot less willing to trust our politicians when they claim to be 'on board' with debt relief. Blair and Brown both professed to be committed to meaningful debt relief and aid and yet now that committment is looking like little more than paying lip service.

So yes of course it's going to be a long-term campaign, but equally the fact that successes so far have been more limited than many hoped should lead us to re-evaluate the tactics of the movement and perhaps try to find ways of engaging with politicians that will ultimately be more effective.
__________________
FizzingWhizzbees is offline  
Old 08-24-2005, 06:45 PM   #8
ONE
love, blood, life
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 10,881
Local Time: 07:15 AM
I am really sad at the number of people here that I have spoken with who did not realize there was a concert.

It was poorly publicized in my opinion.

The broadcast was GOD AWFUL.

And sadly, I do not find there to be enough momentum to hold the politicians accountable.
__________________
Dreadsox is offline  
Old 08-24-2005, 06:47 PM   #9
ONE
love, blood, life
 
financeguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ireland
Posts: 10,122
Local Time: 01:15 PM
The concert was certainly well publicised over on this side of the pond. To be honest we were bombarded with publicity. I did hear it did not get as much publicity in the US however.
__________________
financeguy is offline  
Old 08-24-2005, 07:03 PM   #10
Rock n' Roll Doggie
VIP PASS
 
Jamila's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 5,454
Local Time: 06:15 AM
Dread, the momentum to hold our politicians accountable must come from US - it can come from no where else.

So if the momentum is not sufficient, it means that we as individuals are not doing enough to let our politicians know that we will hold them accountable for their actions/lack of on this issue.

And if we are disappointed in the vacillation of world leaders on this issue, all I can do is to paraphrase Bono

"To be disillusioned means that you had illusions to begin with."

I never had illusions about the G8 - I knew that they would come out of Gleneagles and waffle.

As a longtime activist (over 25 years), I've seen this thing over and over again.

But we are much closer now than we have ever been before to holding these dodgy politicos accountable for their half-truths.

And for that, I'm grateful for Live8.

But I hope this thread doesn't degenerate into an argument.

There are much better things to do than to be disagreeable.

LOVE AND PEACE....
__________________
Jamila is offline  
Old 08-24-2005, 07:11 PM   #11
Blue Crack Addict
 
anitram's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NY
Posts: 16,297
Local Time: 07:15 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox

And sadly, I do not find there to be enough momentum to hold the politicians accountable.
I absolutely agree.
__________________
anitram is offline  
Old 08-24-2005, 08:57 PM   #12
Blue Crack Addict
 
Moonlit_Angel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: In a dimension known as the Twilight Zone...do de doo doo, do de doo doo...
Posts: 19,271
Local Time: 06:15 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by Jamila
And if we are disappointed in the vacillation of world leaders on this issue, all I can do is to paraphrase Bono

"To be disillusioned means that you had illusions to begin with."

I never had illusions about the G8
Heh, I did. 'Tis that optimism in me coming out again .

Angela
__________________
Moonlit_Angel is offline  
Old 08-25-2005, 02:23 AM   #13
ONE
love, blood, life
 
FizzingWhizzbees's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: the choirgirl hotel
Posts: 12,614
Local Time: 12:15 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by Jamila
So if the momentum is not sufficient, it means that we as individuals are not doing enough to let our politicians know that we will hold them accountable for their actions/lack of on this issue.
One of the problems is that politicians know most people won't hold them accountable where it counts - at the ballot box. While millions of people might be willing to sign a petition, send a letter or join a demonstration, only a small percentage of them will actually consider debt relief and aid to be the major issue determining who they will vote for at the next election. Politicians are only too aware of this, unfortunately.

Quote:
But I hope this thread doesn't degenerate into an argument.
I like to avoid arguments as much as the next person, but disagreements (as distinct from outright arguments) are an inevitable part of a political movement and we shouldn't seek to silence them. When you have a political movement which tries to suppress debate its effectiveness is greatly reduced as people who have sugestions which could be beneficial to the movement are prevented from making their contributions.

So much was expected before the G8 and so little has materialised, this is the perfect time to re-evaluate the campaign and ask how we can make it more effective. Perhaps we should be less concerned with having a 'relationship' with politicians and more willing to stand up and criticise them where they've failed to meet their obligations. Perhaps we need to spend more time trying to involve the people we're supposed to be helping in our campaign. I don't know that either of those is necessarily right and there are a thousand other suggestions out there, but the point is that we shouldn't try to stifle debate within the campaign in the name of avoiding arguments.
__________________
FizzingWhizzbees is offline  
Old 08-25-2005, 03:04 AM   #14
The Fly
 
ibiarain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: pakistan
Posts: 85
Local Time: 05:15 PM
so correct me if i'm wrong...the best thing to happen to africa was the writing off of all its debt by china.. was it not?..and believe it or not it isnt even part of the g8!!
__________________
ibiarain is offline  
Old 08-25-2005, 03:23 AM   #15
Rock n' Roll Doggie
VIP PASS
 
Jamila's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 5,454
Local Time: 06:15 AM
"But we are much closer now than we have ever been before to holding these dodgy politicos accountable for their half-truths.

And for that, I'm grateful for Live8."

THIS statement is where I gain my optimism on regarding this issue.

The world's politicians may not give up everything that they promised at Gleneagles, but they know now BETTER THAN THEY EVER KNEW BEFORE that millions of eyes ARE WATCHING THEM and WILL DO EVERYTHING THEY CAN TO VOTE THEM OUT OF OFFICE if they do not keep their promises made at Gleneagles.

That is part of OUR POWER TO CHANGE THINGS.

If we follow through on our part to hold our politicians accountable.

WE HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO BE OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THE FUTURE - to be pessimistic is to help Africa to an early demise.

IN THE NAME OF LOVE....
__________________

__________________
Jamila is offline  
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:15 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com