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Our Generation Can End World Poverty!
an article by Tony Dominski

I was astonished to be sitting at home watching Diane Sawyer on network TV and hear Brad Pitt say: "We can be the generation that can put an end to world poverty. For the price of one CD, one child could go to school for an entire YEAR in Ethiopia...that’s books, uniform, tuition...everything!"

Pitt’s appearance was one facet of an unprecedented international effort to convince the G-8 summit of world leaders, to take place on July 6 in Gleneagles, Scotland, to implement a three-part plan: 1) 100% debt cancellation for the poorest indebted countries; 2) fair trade; and, 3) doubling effective aid. This effort would be like the Marshall funded by the United States to rebuild Europe after WW II, but cheaper. Around the G-8 table will be George Bush (USA), Tony Blair (UK), Jacques Chirac (France), Gerhard Schroeder (Germany), Silvio Berlusconi (Italy) and Vladimir Putin (Russia).

The current international anti-poverty and anti-aids efforts, under the banner of "The Long Road to Justice" and "Live8" concerts, were spearheaded by Bob Geldof, the driving force behind 1985’s Live Aid. Geldof was aided by Richard Curtis--"Make Poverty History" campaigner and concert promoter Harvey Goldsmith. Live8 is planning for a total of 10 concerts, 100 artists, a million spectators, and 2 billion viewers. AOL will webcast the concerts to the world.

The global anti-poverty coalition includes different campaigns in each G8 country: such as ONE Campaign in the USA and "2005: Plus D’Excuses" in France and "Weltweite Aktion Gegen Armut" in Germany. The ONE campaign is supported by Bill and Melinda Gates.

On June 13, 2005 the G-8 countries agreed to write off more than $40 billion of African debt. At a recent speech Nelson Mendala commented: "History and the generations to come will judge our leaders by the decisions they make in the coming weeks, I say to all those leaders: Do not look the other way, do not hesitate ... It is within your power to prevent a genocide."


Question(s) related to this article:

The 2005 activism around G-8, Will it lead to a "tipping point" which ends extreme global poverty?

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Latest reader comment:

Unfortunately, probably not. Perhaps the world does follow the lead of its celebrities in social causes as well as hairstyles, clothing and slang, but the majority of African leaders that I heard said "trade not aid", and there was little progress in that area. Also giving African musicians a chance to perform for such a wide, affluent audience would have helped these struggling musicians have their voices heard.

On a similar subject, I read that Tsunami relief is benefiting corporate fisheries rather than the displaced individual fishermen.

This report was posted on July 10, 2005.