Archbishop Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Justin Welby and Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow, joined more than 60 religious leaders from across the G8 countries, have called on Heads of Government to follow the UK in fulfilling existing commitments to spend 0.7% of national income on aid, in a letter to the Financial Times. They point out that from Friday 5 April, 1000 days remain to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the 2015 deadline.
In the letter, the religious leaders argue for a G8 Convention on Tax Transparency committing signatory countries to prevent individuals and companies from hiding wealth so that it is untraceable. Further, they call on the G8 to press for greater financial transparency from governments of developing countries so citizens can hold their governments to account for the money they spend.
‘Development is working but challenges remain,’ the letter points out. ‘The number of people living in extreme poverty has been halved ahead of time and 14,000 fewer children die each day than in 1990. Yet one in eight people still goes to bed hungry every night and more than 2 million die of malnutrition each year.’
The financial crisis may be a reason but is not an excuse for hesitation or deferral of countries aid commitments the letter states. "Reaching a purposeful consensus on these areas won’t be easy. But, if the political will and moral leadership is forthcoming, this year’s G8 could help to create an environment that encourages the conditions for inclusive, equitable and sustainable economic growth – conditions that are desperately needed if we are to realise the MDGs and even greater things beyond."
Christian Aid’s Senior Adviser on Poverty and Inequality, Helen Dennis, welcomed the intervention from faith leaders: "The MDGs have guided a huge amount of work to tackle global poverty, but will expire in 2015, precisely 1000 days from Friday April 5, 2013. And there is nothing to replace them. Without a new plan in place, political leaders could relegate tackling poverty to a 'nice to have' rather than a 'must do'. It is vital that David Cameron and the G8 make this a priority at their meeting in June, which this year is being held in the UK.
"They need to focus on promoting financial transparency and tackling tax dodging in developing countries which cost them $160 billion a year - much more than they receive in aid. The Prime Minister and his fellow world leaders have an opportunity to create a new global plan to tackle poverty and protect the planet."
To read the full letter, follow the links on the Christian Aid website here: www.christianaid.org.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/april-2013/christian-aid-backs-faith-leaders-call-for-action-on-global-poverty.aspx
For more information about the Millennium Development Goals see: www.un.org/millenniumgoals/
You can follow the twitter conversation at #1000DaysToGo
Tags: Archbishop Philip Tartaglia 0D0A0D0A G8 Convention on Tax Transparency, Archbishop Vincent Nichols, Financial Times, MDGs, Millennium Development Goals, the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Justin Welby
We Need Your Support
ICN aims to provide speedy and accurate news coverage of all subjects of interest to Catholics and the wider Christian community. As our audience increases - so do our costs. We need your help to continue this work.
Please support our journalism by donating today.Donate